Football round-up: Leeds claim Brian McDermott 'not sacked'


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The Independent Football

Leeds United performed an astonishing U-turn last night by announcing that Brian McDermott had not been sacked and remained their manager.

McDermott was on Friday told by a lawyer working on the instruction of Leeds' prospective owner Massimo Cellino that he had been dismissed following a series of bizarre off-the-field incidents.

The 52-year-old was consequently absent from yesterday's 5-1 win over Huddersfield at Elland Road which was watched by Gianluca Festa, the coach it appeared Cellino had lined up to replace McDermott.

But to add more confusion it emerged McDermott had been invited to the game and declined, before the League Managers Association stated that McDermott had been sacked by someone who had no authority to do so. Leeds duly responded by claiming that he had not been sacked. "The club would like to make it clear that Brian McDermott remains our first-team manager," read a club statement.

"He has not been dismissed from his post as has been suggested and we look forward to him continuing in his role with us in taking Leeds United forwards." Ross McCormack, the club's top scorer who made a television appearance on Friday night expressing his support for McDermott, claimed a hat-trick in the comfortable Yorkshire derby win.

Emmanuel Frimpong, the former Arsenal midfielder, was sent off for two bookings on his Barnsley debut as his new club lost 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday. Team-mate Jacob Mellis and Wednesday's Jermaine Johnson also saw red before Chris Maguire struck a late winner.

Arsenal are assessing the extent of a back injury that their new signing, Kim Kallstrom, suffered before joining the club. The problem could delay the Swede's Premier League debut.

Lionel Messi scored in Barcelona's shock 3-2 home defeat by Valencia in La Liga yesterday.