Leeds United takeover: Brian McDermott reveals concerns over whether players will be paid as Massimo Cellino takeover drags on

It is believed that current owners GFH Capital and Cellino are arguing over who should fund March's wage bill after the Football League blocked the latter's takeover bid

Leeds manager Brian McDermott has not been given any assurances by club owner Gulf Finance House Capital that his players will be paid this month.

McDermott told a press conference on Thursday that he had not sought any either, but admitted after Tuesday night's 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth that "all the talk of who's going to be in (as owner), talk of who's going to be paid" had been distracting his players.

GFH Capital and prospective owner Massimo Cellino have been reported to be arguing over who will fund the wage bill for March after the Football League blocked the Italian's £25million takeover bid earlier in the week.

When it was suggested his players would be unable to focus on Saturday's home league game against Doncaster if they had not been paid, McDermott said: "That's a hypothetical question, I can't answer that.

"I expect my players to be thoroughly professional and ready to play whatever the circumstances and get the right result."

McDermott added: "I'm not looking to get assurances. I've never had that at Reading or anywhere else I've worked.

"The answer to the question is do I need those assurances? And since I got here in April we've been paid every single month."

Football League sources confirmed with Press Association Sport on Thursday that Cellino has formally appealed against Football League's decision to block him from buying a majority stake in Leeds.

The appeal will be heard by an independent QC and is expected to take place within the next two weeks.

Cellino was disqualified under the League's owners' and directors' test this week after being convicted in a Sardinia court of failing to pay import duties on his luxury yacht.

He was fined £500,800 and had the vessel confiscated, but his legal team have confirmed they are appealing against the court's verdict and that under Italian law he is treated as innocent until proven guilty.

GFH Capital exchanged contracts to sell 75 per cent of the club's shares to Cellino's company, Eleonora Sport, in February.

Bahrain-based investment firm GFH Capital confirmed on Monday that it is still in talks with the Football League and Eleonora Sport in a bid "to find a solution that is suitable to all parties".

Cellino has bankrolled Leeds for the last two months and fans fear the club could slide into administration if a new owner is not found soon.

Leeds managing director David Haigh has insisted there is "no chance" of the club going into administration.

McDermott added: "It's been a test, there's no doubt about that.

"When I came here a lot of people told me about what has happened, what can happen and what possibly can happen and it definitely has been a test - as a fella and as a manager, there's no doubt about that.

"I've learned a lot. I took the pro-licence three summers ago and they didn't tell you about this on pro-licence."

When asked if he had considered the club going into administration, he said: "No. It doesn't bear thinking about and we've been told that won't happen."

PA

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