Social media is at meltdown levels after the fiasco since Cellino’s return from his ban. The madness of Massimo has dominated the media.
Uwe Rösler is expected to be announced at three o’clock today, not a bad appointment in isolation but the circumstances surrounding the club have fans baying for the blood of the owner.
It doesn’t matter at this point if Neil Redfearn was the right man for the head coach job, his record was patchy and only really impressive when his oppo Steve Thompson was in place. What does matter is that Redfearn along with his missus Lucy Ward have, with the other staff at Thorp Arch, delivered a production line of talent over a number of years, culminating in 4 graduates becoming first team regulars last season. What also matters is that Neil & Lucy are likely to be lost to the club they have served so well and with it their relationships with the current crop of youngsters.
The madness of last week’s press conference to unveil Adam Pearson as Executive Director has been well documented but added a whole level of bizarre to previous Massimo shows, with a couple of fag breaks, accusing local journalists of championing Redders, belittling him and slagging of both the existing coach and the sacred Leeds salute as he lurched from upset to emotional to wild-eyed.
Pearson looks like a good signing, a football man who understands the club and has massive experience, his ability to handle the situation and influence Cellino will determine his and by association, the club’s success. Pearson spoke of giving the Championship a right good go, let's hope we can sort out the on and off-field issues.
The way Cellino treats people would not be tolerated in a lot of industries, his handling of the Cameron Stewart situation, albeit a hangover from GFH was more bull in a china shop than considered negotiation and it has, unsurprisingly come back to haunt him, five hundred thousand times.
Leeds are paying more people on gardening leave than the Chelsea Flower Show, at substantial cost, not far off the annual £1.2M academy wages Cellino bemoaned.
Pearson insists the club is on a sound financial footing, despite the fact that Andrew Umbers’ time as temporary chairman was classed as hopeless by the owner.
It’s crucial that Leeds United sorts out the split in the dressing room, appoints a proper coach, keeps the youth, adds some real quality, clears out the deadwood, has a strong pre-season and hits the ground running in August. On top of that, off-field must be sorted: kit, sponsorship, commercial and catering all need major attention to maximise revenues and fund the team.
Most importantly the club must re-engage with the fans, over one million of whom turned up to watch another dire season, home and away. They deserve better than to feel ostracised, with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and frustration at what has become of their club.