Brian McDermott has confirmed that he has been reinstated as Leeds United manager after he was informed on Friday night that he was being “relieved of his duties” ahead of a manic 72 hours at Elland Road.
With most football fans around the country keeping an eye on the headlines for any surprise deadline day signings, the biggest surprise of all came late on when news broke that McDermott had been sacked ahead of a proposed takeover of the club’s ownership.
But it soon emerged on Saturday that McDermott was reportedly “unlawfully sacked” by the lawyers of the Italian man heading the takeover, Massimo Cellino, and the club were attempting to persuade McDermott to return as manager ahead of their 5-1 shock victory over Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield.
McDermott spoke for the first time on Monday afternoon and confirmed that he had been told he was “relieved of his duties”, but that he had now returned to his job.
“You didn't expect to see me did you?” McDermott joked. “I got a phone call Friday night from the football club to say I'd been relieved of my duties and a letter was on its way.
“On Saturday morning I got another phone call from GFH [capital] to say that wasn't the case, a couple of statements came out and I've been speaking to the LMA so we've now got to this stage where I'm sitting here again.”
McDermott admitted that he didn’t know who the new owners will be with GFH confirming that they are selling their majority share in the club, but he did stress the need for calm heads to prevail at what is a difficult time for the club.
“We don't know who the new owners will be yet. I don't know certainly and all I'd be doing is speculating. There's been enough of that. Whatever happens, we need some calm.
“We need this place to go in the right direction and since April when I came in it's been going in the right direction. We had 31,000 turn up for that game on Saturday. That tells you all you need to know.
"I've no idea if I'm more secure now. I can't answer that. The most important thing in football is to win games."
The 52-year-old couldn’t confirm whether he will still be in charge for Saturday’s early kick-off at Yeovil, but made it clear that what occurred over the weekend was not acceptable as his job hung in the balance.
"I can't answer that question [whether he’ll be in charge at Yeovil],” he said. “The only thing that matters now is moving forward and put this to bed. The ownership needs to be resolved very, very quickly.
“It would be easy to sit here and say I'm let down and start blaming people. This situation should never happen to a football manager or staff. It's not right and let's hope it never happens again.”