CELLINO GETS GREEN LIGHT BUT BRIAN’S IN THE DARK
Takeover could spell end for boss
LEEDS boss Brian McDermott admitted he may have taken his final game after Massimo Cellino won his long-running battle to buy the cash-strapped club.
Former Calgiari owner Cellino initially failed the Football League’s fit and proper person’s test, sparking fears of administration and forcing players to go without full wages for March.
But the Italian – who has pumped £6m of his own money into the club – appealed the decision and was yesterday granted permission to complete his takeover.
The news came as a huge relief to Leeds supporters, but for McDermott – already sacked and then reinstated by Cellino – it is a disaster.
Martyn Waghorn’s 33rdminute goal for Wigan consigned his side to an eighth defeat in nine games and afterwards McDermott conceded that he may not be around much longer.
“To me, the most important thing is not the position of the manager or any individual player,” said McDermott, speaking before the news broke.
“It is Leeds United going forward. Me, I can work with Massimo. But it’s the prerogative of any owner at any club to choose the manager he wants to work with and I absolutely respect that.
“But as I’ve just said to our press officer now, even if I’m not manager I would come back and support Leeds United, because it’s a fantastic club.”
Asked whether Cellino – recently charged with tax evasion in Italy – was right for the club, McDermott was cautiously optimistic.
“It’s a time thing,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see. But from what I know, he’s a leader. He’s owned a club for 22 years and been consistent with that.
“And from what I know he’s got financial clout, which is something we haven’t had over many, many years. It’s a big, big job. There’s a lot to be done on and off the field.”
The Football League expressed disappointment that an independent QC had upheld Cellino’s appeal.
“We are disappointed at the outcome of the appeal hearing, however we would like to thank the independent QC for his diligence in reviewing this decision,” said a statement.
“The independent QC has concluded that Mr. Cellino's recent conviction in the Sardinian Court did not involve conduct that would ‘reasonably be considered to be dishonest’ based on information available to him at the current time.
“This was never about individual personalities, but