Brian McDermott: Manager might return to Leeds United as League urged to act

 

Brian McDermott was considering a return to Leeds United on Sunday night, 48 hours after the club’s prospective new owners sacked him before they even took control.

The 52-year-old is understood to believe the situation at Elland Road remains extremely fluid and that there could yet be more twists and turns this week, as the Football League embarks on discussions with the company of controversial would-be owner Massimo Cellino, who had McDermott dismissed on Friday evening.

With the League expected to be urged today by the 9,200-member Leeds United Supporters Trust (Lust) to bar Cellino and his company Eleonara Sport from buying the club under fit-and-proper-person ownership rules, McDermott’s Elland Road staff were hopeful last night that he would return to the Thorp Arch training ground to resume work with the players today.

Sources close to McDermott said that he had also been hugely encouraged by the defiant show of support for him from Leeds fans during Saturday’s 5-1 win over Huddersfield, during which his name was sung repeatedly.

McDermott is understood to be unwilling to work under Cellino, who last week by instructed his compatriot Gianluca Festa, the former Middlesbrough defender, to observe two of McDermott’s training sessions and then requested that Festa be in the dug-out for the 1-1 draw against Ipswich on Tuesday.

Miami-based Cellino’s attempts to buy a 75 per cent share in Leeds for £25m will place the League under pressure to impose its own rules, which prohibit owners with criminal convictions. Cellino has a conviction for defrauding the European Union and the Italian Ministry for Agriculture out of £7.5m, for which he received a reduced and suspended 14-month sentence following a plea bargain in the 1990s. In 2001, he was given a 15-month suspended sentence for false accounting at Cagliari.

Gary Cooper, chairman of Lust, said he anticipated his members being overwhelmingly in favour of asking the League to reject Cellino’s bid to buy the club when they were canvassed by email last night. “I don’t think there will be a willingness to welcome him and his family here,” Cooper said. “I imagine the Football League are under massive pressure to get things right on this one.”

The League said it had made Eleonara aware of its “requirements under Football League regulations relating to the change of ownership at Championship clubs. Information has been requested that is consistent with that required of all potential new owners.”

McDermott does not appear to have received a letter terminating his employment at Leeds, following his dismissal by telephone by one of Cellino’s lawyers at 6pm on Friday, though several sources last night suggested that one was written on club headed notepaper and signed by Cellino.

The decision of present Leeds owners GFH Capital to sell a majority ownership to Cellino reflects the desperate need for money, with the club currently running “unmanageable losses”, according to one source. “We accepted that GFH bought us as an investment but we have always said that if they brought someone else in we expected them to ensure that they were the right people,” Cooper said.

 

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
The reindeer pen at the attraction
lifeLaurence Llewelyn-Bowen's 'Magical Journey' and other winter blunderlands
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'