Brian McDermott sacked: Leeds United manager dismissed on transfer deadline day
McDermott had been in charge at Elland Road for less than a year
Friday 31 January 2014
Amid all the last-minute moves on Friday, there was a significant change at Leeds United, who sacked their manager Brian McDermott after less than a year in the job and following an eight-match run without a win. His dismissal could lead to club captain Ross McCormack leaving, after six clubs enquired for his services on deadline day.
The news of the 52-year-old's departure comes at the end of a dramatic day at Elland Road which saw the club's ownership issues thrust into the spotlight.
United are in the midst of a takeover, which it is understood will be completed by the Italian Massimo Cellino, and throughout the week it has quickly become apparent that McDermott was not his man.
Cellino, the owner of Serie A side Cagliari, has had a delegation in Leeds for the last week as he prepares to sign off a 75 per cent purchase of the club from Gulf Finance House.
One of his party is the former Middlesbrough defender Gianluca Festa and it is understood that on Tuesday it was asked if Festa could sit in the dugout with McDermott during Leeds' 1-1 draw with Ipswich.
It is thought Festa is Cellino's first choice to replace McDermott but until Friday the chance had not arisen.
But, as it emerged that Cellino was in the driving seat to buy the club after a management buyout by current managing director David Haigh collapsed, McDermott's position looked all the more vulnerable.
McDermott, who joined Leeds in April last year, gave a news conference on Friday afternoon during which he admitted that Saturday's game against Huddersfield could be his last before saying he intended to "enjoy" the occasion.
The manager's exit could trigger an move for club captain and top goalscorer Ross McCormack. The striker turned down the chance to join Cardiff less than three hours before McDermott was sacked, insisting that he was looking forward to the remainder of the season with United.
McCormack later spoke live to Sky Sports to admit his devastation that McDermott had left the club, and questions quickly re-emerged over his future with reports of six enquiries over his availability coming into the club within 45 minutes of McDermott's sacking.
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