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Opinion: Cellino is ‘poisoning the possibility’ of Leeds being successful

first_imgIt never rains but it pours at Leeds United.Monday’s events at Elland Road were just another twist in the Massimo Cellino era.‘Here we go again’ was the reaction of Leeds fans, while other football fans began to feel sorry for supporters of the club.Italian Cellino, known as the ‘manager eater’ during his spell as chairman of Cagliari in his home country, reacted after the loss to leaders Brighton by firing yet another coaching team. He immediately hired his sixth manager in 18 months at Elland Road and his actions are becoming increasingly frustrating for fans of the club.After all, they are the ones affected most by Cellino’s actions. Never mind the managerial merry-go-round and the uncertainty of the club, the fans were hit again last week as the chairman unravelled another crazy idea of his.As the Whites are being broadcasted on Sky Sports ten times between August and January, Cellino has decided to protest against the Football League by restricting the amount of fans Leeds take away.His idea is the amount of coverage should be shared equally across the division, as being broadcast affects fans’ arrangements, ticket sales and other matchday revenues. So, by restricting away tickets to 2,000 to a club that sells out most allocations and has the highest average away attendance in the Football League, Cellino thinks he has a plan. For a club that is taking around 4,000 fans to Fulham on Wednesday night. Yet Sky will understandably benefit from this ‘protest’ as viewing figures will inevitably rise. Another of Cellino’s crazy masterplans.Things seemed to be going smoothly at Elland Road up until mid-September, as the young squad looked promising, they had a manager with a vision in Uwe Rosler and they had Adam Pearson assisting Cellino in running the club, along with keeping the Italian under wraps.Chief Exective Officer Matt Child and Sporting Director Nicola Salerno have left the hierarchy under Cellino’s reign, while acting chairman Andrew Umbers seems to be out of the picture. Cellino undermimed previous manager Neil Redfearn by suspending his assistant Steve Thompson, before unexplicably replacing fans’ favourtie Redfearn. Next, executive director Pearson has departed after just four months, to apparently put his full focus back into running his rugby league club, Hull FC, and Cellino regained full control again. Fans knew what was coming.Cellino spoke recently of his support for Rosler and the need for stability, only to yesterday backtrack by saying he had lost faith in the German. He is a man who seems to make rash decisions – and here is another one.New boss Evans, not many fans’ first choice to take charge at United, claims he will be fully in charge of selection, but Cellino is known to have interfered regularly in the past.He brought in ex-Rotherham boss Evans on a rolling contract before the Football League banned the Leeds owner from running the club (again) after a court ruling in Italy on unpaid VAT. Cellino was reportedly aware of the forthcoming ban before the weekend, before he decided to change his management team (again).It is the second time Cellino has been banned by the Football League and he intends to appeal the latest one. Fans of the club see it as positive news, in the hope he will have to sell up and give fans hope once again.Cellino has created an evident divide between fans and the club. The Leeds United Supporters’ Trust has urged Cellino to sell his majority share, to end the ‘turmoil’ and to act ‘in the best interests of the club’.The fans are ‘United’ in their belief Cellino should sell and a club of its size should not have a shortage of interested buyers. The Leeds Rhinos,Yorkshire County Cricket Club and much more, the city deserves a stable and successful football club and Cellino appears to be poisoning the possibility of that happening any time soon.Leeds United are one of the biggest clubs outside the top four and arguably the biggest outside the Premier League. They have the fan base to prove it, although that does not grant you success.But neither does a ruthless, axe-wielding Italian owner.Meanwhile, former Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson says the club are ‘crying out for stability’ after appointing their sixth permanent manager in 18 months. Click here to read more. 1last_img read more