imagesMLC7H1ZIimages3LTIKHFNimagesDIZN1Q20imagesTBMacdisillusionedimagesN1ZDGFUYhis is the Leeds United Louth Branch website updated by Gerry Cunningham – Always Leeds always loyal.  


Dave Hockaday becomes Leeds new boss. Hopefully he proves us all wrong

Past to Present of Leeds bosses. Who is next ?  Fixtures for new season are now on the second tab.  


Mon June 30th. McCormack on way out with Kenny and Stewart ? THE future of Leeds United captain Ross McCormack appears uncertain this morning, with the club refusing to comment on reports suggesting he has asked to leave. Reports surfaced on Saturday that the Scot had told United owner Massimo Cellino of his desire to quit Leeds following a face-to-face meeting last week. When contacted by the YEP, the club did not comment on the story. But there are fresh suggestions today that McCormack has not travelled to United’s pre-season training camp at Santa Cristina in the Val Gardena region with renewed speculation that he could leave the club. Meanwhile, it is understood that Paddy Kenny has also not flown out with the squad to Italy. McCormack has been the subject of intense transfer speculation this close season and is thought to be on the wanted list of relegated Championship duo Fulham and Norwich City, with the former tabling a failed £5m bid earlier this summer. The Canaries, with money to spend following relegation and with their transfer kitty set to be swelled further by the impending sale of ex-United winger Robert Snodgrass to Hull City, are in the market for another frontline striker, despite the seven-figure signing of Lewis Grabban from Bournemouth. West Ham are believed to have retained a level of interest, despite seeing a bid to sign McCormack rebuffed in January, with Newcastle United having also been linked with the 27-year-old this summer. On the incoming front, Hockaday, who included young Academy centre-back Jake Skelton in his travelling party who left for Italy this morning, says he is confident Leeds will be able to bring in ‘two or three’ players shortly, with the club working on getting their transfer embargo lifted with their bank account no longer frozen. The summer transfer window formally opens tomorrow, with the club continuing to be linked with several players in the Italian media, including goalkeeper Marco Silvestri. The 23-year-old former Italy U-20 custodian made his Serie A debut in April while on loan at Cellino’s former club Cagliari, with his playing rights owned by Chievo and he is believed to be close to sealing a move to Leeds. Hockaday said: “What I do know in football is that until pen is put to paper officially and things are recognised and registered, it would be unprofessional of me to comment on anything. “As and when I have a player and I can announce it, then I’ll put my arm around him and do it properly. (But) I am hopeful we will have two or three signings next week.” Meanwhile, United are still believed to be working towards attempting to cancel Cameron Stewart’s three-year deal, which he is due to sign tomorrow. The winger was absent from pre-season training at Thorp Arch at the end of last week. United will head straight into training this evening at Santi Cristini and over the next fortnight will be faced with three sessions a day. During their time in northern Italy, United will play two games against local sides, fielding a totally different starting XI in the first half and second half of each game – with every player getting 90 minutes under their belts. Pleased with the response of players to him in training so far, Hockaday added: “We have cranked it up. Their attitude on the first day (Thursday) was a little bit of uncertainty, as it would be on the first day with a new head coach. But the first day was super. And on the second day, there was a big lift for me; we’ve made massive strides in the two days, but we’ve a long, long way to go.”
Mon June 30th. Glenavan friendly all ticket – Lurgan Mail. Glenavon received a boost ahead of their Europa League tie in Iceland this week with the news Leeds United confirmed their visit to Lurgan later this month. A date had been discussed with the club a few weeks ago but it was only finalised at the weekend and the Lurgan Blues can now begin plans for the game on Wednesday, July 30 with a 7.45pm start. “The friendly, agreed within the Robbie McDaid transfer deal, will be part of our club’s 125th year celebrations,” said club chairman Adrian Teer. “The game will be all-ticket and prices and other arrangements will be announced within the next few days. This will be Leeds United’s only fixture in Ireland and under the terms of Robbie’s transfer supporters should note the Leeds squad for the game will include at least ten members of their first team squad.” The match will be a financial boost for Glenavon with a huge number of fans expected to attend. Leeds began their pre-season preparations by flying out to northern Italy for a two-week training camp on Monday.
Sun June 29th. Leeds friendlies confirmed.  The club can now confirm that United will head to Northern Ireland to face Glenavon on Wednesday July 30 (7.45pm). The friendly with the NIFL Premiership side comes on thGlenavane back of United confirming pre-season trips to face Guiseley (July 19) and Chesterfield (July 26). The friendly match with the Northern Ireland side forms part of the contract that saw highly rated 17-year-old striker Robbie McDaid sign for United in March of this year and the game will be part of Glenavon’s 125th year celebrations. The club can also confirm that a Leeds XI side will travel to Corby Town on Wednesday July 23 (7.45pm).  Tickets prices and arrangements for both friendly matches will follow in due course.
Sun 29th of June. Leeds chase Bologna defender. Sources in Italy are suggesting that Leeds United’s soon to

Andrea Mantevani

Mantovani to swop Bologna for Leeds

be appointed sporting director Nicola Salerno is lining up a bid to bring Bologna defender Andrea Mantovani to Elland Road, reports Inside Futbol  According to Tutto Mercato, Salerno has drawn up a list of players from Italy that he wants to bring to the Championship club, and Mantovani is among his targets. The 30-year-old centre half spent last season on loan at Bologna from Palermo, with the club having the option to make the move permanent this summer.Mantovani made 21 appearances for the Serie A club last season but was unable to prevent them avoiding relegation from the top flight. Salerno, who served as sporting director at Cagliari under current Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, confirmed during the week that he is to join up with his old boss once again in West Yorkshire.

Sunday June 29th . Silvestri about to become first new signing. Leeds United are expected to finalise the the signing of Chievo goalkeeper Marco Silvestri next week when the club’s transfer embargo is lifted, according to BBC Leeds sports broadcaster @APOPEY. Silvestri is a 23-year-old who started his career at Modena – without making a first team appearance – before he was sent on loan to Chievo. He made one appearance whilst on loan at the Verona-based club, who were persuaded to sign him in a co-ownership deal for €300,000. Marco Silvestri could complete his Leeds move once the Championship club have their transfer embargo lifted Silvestri didn’t make a single appearance for Chievuid_143e35dcc5e.640.0o before being sent out on loan in the 2011-12 season to Reggiana making 27 appearances. He spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Padova making 25 appearances before going back to his parent club. In January 2014, Silvestri joined Cagliari on loan until the end of the season which included the option for Cagliari to acquire half his ownership rights at the end of the campaign. Silvestri made three appearances during his time at the Sardinia-based outfit, whose president was none other than Leeds owner Massimo Cellino  Hockaday on the signing : “What I know about football, until it is official and pen is put to paper it is unprofessional of me to comment”. Looks like Paddy Kenny is under pressure.
Sat and Sun June 29th. New Kit launched and Flags now allowed at Elland Road for atmosphere. LNewKitLaunchong queues were the order of the day on Saturday as “The Hock” and his players were at the Elland Road to launch the new home shirt and sign the home shirts also. Hockaday added ; “The fans were a wonder to behold. We have a responsibility to perform on the pitch for them”. Leeds United are to allow the return of supporter flags into the North and South Stands before each game. The club are looking to create a unique pre-match atmosphere with a sea of Leeds United flags on display in the stands behind both goals and create a visual spectacle whilst our supporters sing famous club anthem ‘Marching on Together.’ Small handheld banners and flags will be allowed through the turnstiles in the North and South Stands on a matchday and will be checked by the turnstile operators on entry – any flags that are deemed to contain offensive content will be confiscated. Larger flags will need to be pre-authorised by the club in order to comply with ground health and safety regulations. Likewise all poles must be made of hollow plastic and be collapsible, no wooden sticks will be allowed inside Elland Road. Any flag over the dimensions of 5ft by 3ft would be classed as an extra large flag and these must strictly be agreed in advance with tFlagshe Club and will be stored at Elland Road. These extra large flags will be made available pre match to registered supporters to wave their own flags to help create a fantastic atmosphere before the referee’s first whistle. All flags must carry a fire rated certificate. We hope that this inititiative will be well received by our fans and supporter groups alike. Be Proud to be at Elland Road next season, get your Season Tickets and Memberships now for the 2014/15 Championship campaign, click here for more information.

Sat 28th of June Murphy impressed by new boss Hockaday – LUKE MURPHY says that the first impressions made by new Leeds United head coach Dave Hockaday have been favourable ones.  Hockaday got to work with his United charges at Thorp Arch on Thursday morning, although some players, including Murphy, had popped in the previous day for a light session to prepare themselves for the beginning of pre-season in earnest. When it got underway, the real stuff was undeniably tough, according to Murphy, but fully expected with Hockaday coming across well with the vibes boding well for the future. And while Murphy admits he did not know much about the 56-year-old former Forest Green RTA1overs manager when he was handed the head coaching position, he insists he has no preconceptions, with it all being about impressing the new ‘gaffer’ and not about his name. The former Crewe captain, brought in for £1m by former boss Brian McDermott 12 months ago, said: “I came in on Wednesday and met him and he seemed a really nice bloke and carried that onto the field in training. “What he was saying football-wise and manager-wise was really positive. “I was really impressed with the things that he was saying and things he is looking to do in the future, it sounds bright. “I’d say it was a hard first day, to be fair. We got put through our paces, but it is nothing we did not expect.” On Hockaday’s appointment, he added: “I can’t say that I had (heard of him), to be honest. But obviously, I am sure he hadn’t heard of me either, so I am sure we are both starting from a clean slate. “I am really looking forward to working under him. “Obviously, I was quite disappointed Brian McDermott left. “He gave me my chance at this level and I will always be thankful for that and wish him all the best. “I have realised over the past few years that football is a ruthless, cut-throat game. “But this is a new challenge and I am really looking forward to working under the new management staff.” With a season of Championship football under his belt and some good and bad imageexperiences to call upon, Murphy is confident United fans will see a more rounded, consistent and honed player in the campaign ahead. The midfielder, who signed off in 2013-14 with some encouraging displays after decidedly mixed form before that, is sure he can push on in his second year in West Yorkshire, having struggled to justify the outlay paid out on him for parts of last term. Murphy, 24, who became the expensive signing for almost eight years at United when he joined last summer, added: “Last season was about getting to grips with the Championship and the pace of the game and this season, I have one under my belt here and am used to a few more things. “This season, I am looking to push on and have a bit more of an impact in the games and score a few more goals. “It took quite a while to settle, but I obviously know the lads a lot more this season and feel a lot more confident and I think that will leave me in good stead for the start of the new season.” Murphy and his team-mates will head off to Italy for a two-week training camp on Monday in the Santa Cristina region of Val Gardena and he feels that the time away with enable players and staff to build bonds and working relationships for the season ahead. “It’s always important to get away with the squad and coaching staff, especially when they are new. “It gives them and us a good chance to get to know each other and mix and if we have any good signings, it’s always good for them. I am looking forward to it.”

Sat 28th of June. Whites just can’t rely on Ross – Andy Ritchie LEEDS UNITED are back in pre-season and it’s obvious that the staff are going to be working the players hardYes, fitness can take you a long way and graft can take you to places you think you were not going to get to. But it is not the be-all and end-all. You do need some craft and guile in there. You look at Wimbledon years ago and that may have been built on graft, team work and hard work and fitness. But they still had the players with a bit of guile such as Lawrie Sanchez and Dennis Wise, even Vinnie Jones was decent. They were good players, along with doing the hard work. Hard work can get you a long way, but you need one or two special players. At the moment, Leeds have got one in Ross McCormack, but I do believe they have another in Luke Murphy. I like him as a player and am sure he can shine a bit more. But for Leeds, looking at the last few years, you can’t just pare away and pare away and get rid of players. It’s detrimental. Leeds just cannot rely on Ross for another season and obviously this second season will be important for Matty Smith as well. He got something like 13 goals in his first season in the Championship and did really well. But you can’t just rely on that happening again. Although he has done fantastically well, the second season is going to be harder than his first, definitely. Obviously, former captain Lee Peltier has left Leeds for Huddersfield Town and I am sure there will have been a settlement involved. He will have wanted to get away and Leeds will have obviously been trying to save a bit of money, so in this case it’s fine. At the minute, no-one really knows what is happening at Leeds and obviously they are still sorting out pre-season and no-one is really coming in. I know there seems a bit of unrest with some spectators and from what I have heard there’s a number of fans who are just not renewing their season tickets. It’s as if they just see the place being in turmoil. Many are saying they are not going back and that has shocked me, with this coming from Leeds fans. On to matters at the World Cup in Brazil. Obviously, the Luis Suarez incident is still in the headlines and what a total embarrassment it was. It was total amazement from me when I watched that. There’s not a lot of things that shock me in football; some things surprise me, but don’t shock me; but that did shock me. Personally, I don’t think the ban is long enough. I think it’s ridiculous and it’s totally let him off the hook. Four months? He should be banned from the World Cup, which he has been. But for me, the Uruguayan striker should have been banned for football for at least a season from all domestic, European and world football. I agree it’s unfortunate for Liverpool and I am sure Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers will have had conversations about all this with him after last time when it happened at Liverpool. But for it to happen once is bad, twice is a case of ‘what is going on here?’. But for a third time? I really do think they should have banned him for longer. Yes, they say geniuses have a fatal flaw, but come on! You don’t bite people. Much more of this behaviour and I think you will find he is playing in the Transylvanian second division! It was just a shocking incident, everyone I spoke to couldn’t believe it. It was ridiculous; he should certainly have been banned for longer than he has been by the authorities.

Sat 28th of June. Bates critical of GFH. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates criticised former majority owners Gulf Finance House (GFH) last night over their treatment of the Championship club’s ex-managing director David Haigh. Haigh, who in April resigned Jawsfrom his Elland Road post following Massimo Cellino’s purchase of a 75% stake, is currently being held in Dubai after allegations, which he denies, of financial irregularities whilst working for GFH. According to the BBC, the 36-year-old travelled to the United Arab Emirates last month to discuss the possibility of a new job with GFH, but was arrested on arrival and has been remanded in custody ever since while authorities decide whether to press charges. Bates, who previously described GFH in glowing terms via the Yorkshire Evening Post during the December 2012 takeover, says that evidence Haigh claims to have concerning “wrongdoing” at the Yorkshire outfit is the reason for the imprisonment, and was now scathing about the group he sold the club to. “I can only say my dealings with Gulf Finance House, particularly Salem Patel, but more importantly Hisham (Alrayes), who is his CEO, I found totally untrustworthy, totally unreliable, and totally liars,” the one-time Chelsea owner was quoted by The City Talking as telling Yorkshire Radio. The 82-year-old added: “Apparently, a couple of days after he was arrested, a lawyer acting on behalf of GFH, saw Haigh and told him that they intended to make sure he was found guilty, and they intended to keep him locked up for a very long time,” “And the reason for that is, as Haigh has told me a number of times over the last few months, he has serious evidence, of serious and continuing wrongdoing on behalf of GFH and GFH Capital. “He can’t get to his apartment or anything; they’ve confiscated his laptop and this that and the other. It means of course that they have been able to get their hands on the damning evidence, hopefully from their point of view, to destroy it or eliminate it.”

Friday 27th of June Leeds chase Italian trio – Daily Express. NEW Leeds owner has wasted no time in returning to Italy as he eyes three players currently plying their trade in Serie A. Reports in Italy suggest that Cellino will return to former club Cagliari to snap up promising keeper Marco Silvestri. But the 57-year-old is also casting his net wider and is close to landing Hellas Verona striker Daniele Cacia as well. Cellino is also optimistic he can tie up a deal for Roma starlet Federico Viviani, who spent last season on loan with Pescare and Latina. The news comes amidst speculation that Cellino could look to offload fan favourite Ross McCormack if he gets the right offer. Last week he said: “Why should I sell McCormack? We are not desperate to sell him, so why should we? “If he gets an offer from a big team then we should give him the chance to go. But the teams who’ve asked for McCormack are from the Championship.” It now remains to be seen whether Cellino can tie up a deal for all three players as he looks to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion next term. It seems likely that the Italians will join up with Leeds at their Italian training camp. Meanwhile few of us expect McCormack to start the season in a United shirt despite Cellino’s protestations.


Nicola Salerna – one of many Leeds Italian targets where Cellino perceives the value and quality to be much better

Friday June 27th. Leeds chase defender Grillo. Sporting director Nicola Salerno has admitted he may be interested in signing Fabrizio Grillo for English Championship side Leeds United. Salerno recently departed his role at Cagliari, following the sale of the Serie A club by Leeds owner Massimo Cellino. He fielded an offer to join Cellino at Leeds, as well as an approach from Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini. And Salerno has revealed that not only is he linking up with Cellino once again, but that he is also already hard at work on potential signings for the Yorkshire giants. And Salerno admits that Grillo, a left-back who spent the second half last season at Varese in Serie B, having started the season with Siena, is a possibility. You do not miss a thing”, Salerno laughed to Itasportpress when asked if Grillo is in his sights. “Yes he is a player that I respect and in whom I might be interested”, he added. Grillo started his career in the youth ranks at hometown side Roma, but failed to make the breakthrough to the club’s senior team and moved on in 2007 to Arezzo. The left-back has represented Italy at Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 level


No dozer – Mattie Smith

Friday June 27th. Smith backs the Gaffer. Leeds United striker Matt Smith has backed new boss Dave Hockaday to prove his doubters wrong when the season starts. Whites owner Massimo Cellino caused something of a shock when he named Hockaday as Brian McDermott’s successor earlier this month, with the 56-year-old having never previously managed in the Football League.  Leeds have since been mentioned as possible relegation candidates but rangy striker Smith, who himself spent time in non-league, is confident the boss has what it takes to guide the West Yorkshire club to a respectable season.  “I hadn’t heard of Dave before he took charge and he has come under fire and there has been backlash from the fans,” he said. “But he has so much experience. People are focusing on the four years at Forest Green Rovers. But he was involved when Watford went up to the Premier League in 2006 which is a big ask and they beat Leeds 3-0 in the play-off final to get there.  “He has coached at Southampton and MK Dons and played over 600 games. He has a wealth of experience he is bringing to the club.” That’s why Mattie boy has his BA. Trying to get on the Gaffer’s good side. Clever boy!


Players don’t look in the best of form at TA


Dave Hockaday looking over his charges at Thorp arch

Friday 27th. of June. Hard graft on menu for Leeds squad – YP. Back to Basics: New United boss David Hockaday took his first pre-season training session yesterday and spoke to Leon Wobschall about his aims. COLLECTIVE DESIRE, togetherness and work-rate oozed from every pore of the two stand-out Championship sides in Leicester and Burnley last season – and Leeds United head coach David Hockaday was an unabashed fan. The 56-year-old may have been unveiled seven days ago, but his story effectively began yesterday morning at his new work-place of Thorp Arch when he met with his players for the start of pre-season. It’s a grand training base, with considerable trappings, but Hockaday isn’t fooled or dazzled by its allure. A space-ace facility doesn’t guarantee points on the board and for the north-easterner, it’s all about graft at the real coalface, the training pitch. Never mind creature comforts, just watch your mates’ back. Plenty of hard yards were done yesterday and will be done today ahead of the first-team squad heading for northern Italy for a two-week training camp away from prying eyes on Monday. Players can expect more of the same on the continent too. United may have a cast-iron star in Ross  McCormack, who would grace every Championship side worth their salt, but invariably, the successful ones at this level are the teams who are greater than the sum of their parts. This is where Hockaday hopes he can come in, with his mission being to build a tight, together and fit unit who won’t want for endurance next season. Hockaday, whose preparatory work before training began on Monday at Thorp Arch said: “I have shuffled things around a little bit to how I want them to be and I feel familiar now. “It (the main building) is like a warren; I don’t know how many rooms are in there, we even joke we don’t know how many doors are in there – we are into the hundreds! “It will take me time to get used to the office, but out there on the pitch, I am fully au fait with what is out there. “It’s a very iHockadaTAmpressive facility. But what we need at the end of the day is changing rooms, showers and grass. “All the other stuff is brilliant and the criteria that the academy needs, but for me, it’s changing rooms, showers, grass and goalposts. Everything is here in abundance of what we need.” “I know I keep saying ‘we are going to work the players’ as if we (Leeds) have never worked them before. They are going to be worked hard. But really when you work hard, you need to channel it all, so we are all pulling in the same direction as well. “It was pretty obvious to not just me but everybody that it wasn’t pulling in the same direction and working (last season) for whatever reason. So my job is to pull it altogether. “We have to work hard as a team. That isn’t rocket science or me saying I have found a new answer, it’s just basics. “You look at Leicester and Burnley, that’s what they did. They got a group of lads together all pulling in the same direction and working their socks off. That’s the minimum I will ask. “With the talent these players have got here, then we’ll see where we go. “If you all work separately, that is not good enough. When you are all working together, that’s a force to be reckoned with at any level. “It’s not me cracking the whip. We are here to work to make Leeds United fans proud – simple as that. If we go out and put in a shift, that’s a good base to start from.” He added: “It’s a new start for everyone; it has to be. What is gone is gone. I can’t control that; I can control the future, today. “It’s up to them now. Although I write the names on the sheet, their form in training and in games picked and dictates the team. They now take control of the situation and ownership of their own performances. “No excuses, they step over the line and perform on demand. “The time for talking is over, it’s the time for doing. “We need to work harder and work and as a team. “Last season wasn’t good enough for Leeds United Football Club. “These players are here because they are talented and my job is to help them help themselves and mould them into a strong, hard-working honest team unit. It’s simple as that.” In Hockaday’s world, players will be self-governing and take responsibility for their own performances and as a collective, with their two-week training camp in Italy forming an essential part of their seasonal journey. It will also represent a time when bonds are forged or reinforced and lines drawn and relationships between coaches and players built. Sharing the weight of the goalscoring burden, with United’s reliance on McCormack bordering on the frightening for large parts of last season, is an obvious area Hockaday is seeking to address, with Leeds winning just three league games without the Scot’s predatory input last season. As a former full-back with the likes of Blackpool, Hull City and Swindon Town, United’s defensive deficiencies – only five clubs conceded more Championship goals last term – is something which has understandably hasn’t escaped the notice of Hockaday either. He said: “We finished 15th last year. That isn’t good enough for Leeds United. These players need help for want of a better term. My job is to help them help themselves as they are the ones who go out there. “They are at Leeds United because they are talented and I have got to pull it all together, assess what I have got. “It’s pretty obvious we concede too many goals. To be fair, you defend and attack as a team. Defensively we need to look at that. It isn’t rocket science. “I don’t like conceding goals. The best form of defence is attack and if my team has possession the opposition are going to struggle to score if they haven’t got the ball. “The training camp will give me two weeks where I can get to know the players and have one-to-one sessions with them as well. “It’s not just about what they do on the field, it’s getting to know them what makes them tick off the field as well an finding the key to each individual. “I should have a good idea within 15, 16, 17 days as to where we are. I will have a better idea once we come back from our camp in Italy.”

Thursday 26th of June 2014. Excess baggage to be trimmed Dave Hockaday: Leeds United ‘epre-season-training_zp90o6l8xhdg14p9qgty1ofwuxcess baggage’ to be trimmed. Leeds United’s new head coach Dave Hockaday says the Championship club need a “tight-knit” squad this season. The 56-year-old former Forest Green Rovers boss took charge last week, but owner Massimo Cellino still wants to appoint a director of football. Since finishing 15th last term, Leeds have released 13 players, leaving just 18 first-teamers under contract. Stewart not Elland Road bound? Cameron Stewart played 11 times on loan with Leeds, but the club hope he will now not join permanently, as initially agreed. “The new structure is that Leeds need to be leaner. There’s excess baggage in every department,” said Hockaday. “We’re going to strip back to the bones and then start fleshing things out. I want us to have a tight-knit group where everyone has each other’s back.” One player who may not be part of that group is winger Cameron Stewart, with Leeds still believed to be attempting to cancel a deal to sign the 23-year-old when his Hull City contract expires on 30 June. The transfer was agreed in January under previous owners Gulf Finance House, and former manager Brian McDermott. Meanwhile, Leeds have confirmed they are under a transfer embargo, but expect it to be lifted soon, as their bank accounts are now unfrozen. United’s players reported back to the club on Thursday, when coaches Benito Carbone and Neil Redfearn helped lead training, and the squad is heading to Italy for a pre-season camp. We finished 15th last season – that isn’t good enough for Leeds. I’m hopeful we’ll have fresh faces in Italy,” Hockaday said. “It’s my job to find out what makes each player tick, asses where to strengthen and form a team that’ll work hard and make everyone proud”.


Leeds new kit for 2014-15 (very plain )

Thursday 26th of June. Leeds launch new home kit. LEEDS UNITED will be looking all white throughout the 2014-15 campaign – having gone back to a traditional look for their new home strip. The club have announced a return to their famous all-white strip, sponsored by kit provider Macron, featuring a white shirt and all white shorts and socks. Main club sponsor Enterprise Insurance and secondary shirt sponsor Help-Link both feature on the new kit, with both partners having updated brand logos. The kit will go on sale on Saturday morning at the club’s brand new Elland Road superstore during the kit’s official launch, with the facility to be opened by new head coach David Hockaday at 10am. Several first-teamers will be in attendance from 10am to 12noon to mark the occasion with a variety of activities planned including face painting, dancers and a soccer skills centre. Andrew Flowers, Managing Director at Enterprise Insurance said: “We are extremely proud to have the Enterprise Insurance logo on the famous white Leeds United shirt. “As a lifelong supporter I am delighted to see the return of the classic all white playing strip and hope that this season is the start of a successful new era in the history of the club.” Alan Dickinson, Sales and Marketing Director at Help-Link Home added: “We are delighted to be supporting Leeds once again. This is a new season and new beginning for the club, likewise we at Help-Link are entering a new era with the launch of our full service Help-Link Home brand; so it is extremely fitting that we move forward together.” It looks very plain and very like the home kit of two years ago. Just another rip off.


Enjoy !


“Great to be back in TA” – we thought this place would be sold


McCormack to Gaffer – “What’s your name again” ?

Thursday 26th of June. Players return to Thop Arch for pre-season training. LEEDS UNITED head coach Dave Hockaday has urged his players to rise to the challenge of embracing their new start at the club – after the first-team squad returned to training at Thorp Arch.The players will undergo two rigorous days of fitness training ahead of flying out to northern Italy on Monday for a two-week training camp in the Santa Cristini region of Val Gardena. Hockaday confirmed that Alex Mowatt and Scott Wootton will stay back in the UK, with the pair picking up injuries in the close season. The duo are ‘well on the way to recovery’ according to Hockaday, who expects them to be fine when United return from Italy. Hockaday confirmed that he expects that by the end of play today that all the club’s pre-season fixtures will be finalised. Speaking ahead of the start of his first pre-season session in charge, he said: “It’s a new start for everyone; it has to be. What is gone is gone. I can’t control that; I can control the future, today.“It’s up to them now. Although I write the names on the sheet, their form in training and in games picked and dictates the team. They now take control of the situation and ownership of their own performances. “No excuses, they step over the line and perform on demand.”Hockaday says the club are working hard on bringing in some new faces and is confident signings will be made in time for the pre-season camp in Italy. He said: “I am very hopeful we will have fresh faces going to Italy.”

Thurs June 26th. Ex Whites on the move. Robert Snodgrass has agreed  move from Norwich City to Hull City for a deal rising to 8M. It represents a 5M profit for Norwich in just over a year on the Scot,  and elsewhere former Leeds misfit winger Ryan Hall has joined Rotherham.

Thursday 26th of June . Hockaday has great chance to impress – Lorimer Despite Dave Hockaday’s unheralded background in coaching, Peter Lorimer believes he can still make his mark at Elland Road.DAVID HOCKADAY is the new head coach of Leeds United and while he is not the biggest name, I don’t think names mean anything in coaching, to be honest with you. There have been loads of instances of great footballers who have not become great managers and coaches and we have had some big names come to Leeds over the years and they haven’t worked at this club. It’s about what the individual person does and how he gets his message across and stamps his authority and making sure people are impressed with him to get the right results. If I was in David’s position, I would just think ‘what a wonderful opportunity it is for me to show people I am a good coach who can do the job at a big club.’His job is a defined one, like any other job where you have your roles. Footballers are there to play football and similarly, coaches are there to get them fit, organised and train them. That’s David’s job and he will need to make his mark that way on the players. From what I know of the group of players we have got at Leeds, they are a decent set of lads and I don’t think there’s anyone who causes trouble down there. I would imagine that they will respond accordingly to him and give him his chance. They have to impress him, of course they have, to be firmly in his plans for next season, which kicks off at Millwall on August 9. The good thing for a lot of the players is that a fair few of them under Brian McDermott seemed to have been dropped out of the pecking order altogether during the course of last season. But they will see this as having another chance now. This is a big chance for a lot of them who weren’t really involved with Brian’s group and it’s up to them who are still here to impress the new coach and show they are worthy of a place. This always happens at a football club when you get a new coach or manager in. It can revitalise a lot of players who had maybe got a bit stale or weren’t really part of the situation. I am sure a lot of players will be wanting to show that while they weren’t part of it last season that they are worthy of a place and that it can work for them at Leeds United. In terms of David, we all have to give him a chance, the decision has now been made. Let him get on with the job – and he has got a job on his hands before the start of the season and he will have to get to know the players and the aspects of the club quickly. He’s basically got a month to get things organised and has a big job in front of him. It’s a major change in his life as well, coming to a club like Leeds United from where he has been will be a major challenge for him. It’s a big challenge for him, yes, but equally I am sure it is one he will look forward to. Leeds are a big club and a big job and it can be the making of him if he does well here. In terms of what he will be doing on the training ground, with pre-season getting underway again today, I think he will be judging the fitness of the players and basically looking at what he’s got once training starts, that will be his priority along with getting some friendly games organised. I am sure Dave will be seeing if we are potentially weak in certain areas before making his decisions. A few midfielders have already gone such as Paul Green and Michael Brown and that might be a position we need to strengthen for instance and there will be other areas that we may need to strengthen in as well. I think he will have an idea of how he wants to play in terms of style. But once again, he will have to look at the players he has got and see if he has those type of players to play the system he wants to. Every coach has an idea of how they want to play, but do you have the players within the club to do that? I would imagine Dave will have his mind on one or two positions or players he’d like to bring in, for sure. We’ll just have to wait and see on that count. Obviously, Lee Peltier has now left the club and joined Huddersfield Town and to be quite honest, it never really happened for him at Leeds, looking at his time here. He was out on loan at Nottingham Forest at the end of last season and all parties seemed happy for him to go and find another permanent club. Realistically, the crowd never really took to him and this represents a big chance for him to get away to Huddersfield, where he has played before, and pick his career up again. That is what he will be looking to do. While some players will be revitalised and become involved again, a move for Lee could do the same for his career as well. Yeah yeah Peter. Bullshit !

Monday 23rd of June. Leeds United winding-up petition dismissed by High Court. The winding-up petition issued to Leeds by Sport Capital has been dismissed by the High Court, meaning the club’s bank account can be unfrozen. The case was adjourned on 10 June, but the Championship side were ordered to pay back £958,000 before 23 June, which was completed last week. The money was given as a loan, but a winding-up petition was issued after the date for repayment was missed. Sport Capital’s attempted takeover of Leeds fell through in January. Italian businessman Massimo Cellino later took control of Leeds, and now the winding-up petition has been lifted the club can pay their players’ wages.

Mon 23rd of June. Peltier moves on. Lee Peltier has left Leeds United, with both the club and the player having agreed for him to leave by mutual consent. The former Whites captain had a year left on his deal, but following talks, it has been agreed that he can now quit Elland Road following a difficult final season at the club. United are expected to officially confirm the news shortly, with the former Huddersfield and Leicester defending keen to move on and kick start his career again following a frustrating end to his time in West Yorkshire. Peltier, 27, joined United tLUFCLeePeltierwo summers ago and was appointed captain by former boss Neil Warnock. But his fortunes dipped last term and he ended on joining Nottingham Forest on loan after falling out of favour under Brian McDermott. Peltier, who made 27 appearances for Leeds last term, tweeted: “I have now officially left Leeds United football club, just want to thank all the people at the club who have helped and supported me. “All the fans that have supported me over the two years, and all the boys at the club been a pleasure working with them – top lads, wish them all the best for the season, now time for me to move on to the next chapter off my career and look forward to the future.” Warnock wasted £800K on Peltier. Looks like Cellino is slowly but surely getting rid of the high earners. Warnock was truly an horrendous buy and to make him captain just about summed up Warnock’s reign at Leeds. Disastrous !

Mon 23rd of June. Reading “happy” Dolan spurned Cellino’s advances Nick Hammond believes Eamonn Dolan’s decision to resist the advances of Leeds United will have a big impact on Reading’s future success. Royals’ director of football brought Dolan to the club in 2004 and has seen his close friend work wonders in his role as academy manager. Stars such as Alex Pearce, Alex McCarthy, Jem Karacan and Gylfi Sigurdsson have all flourished under his guidance and last season the club’s youth teams enjoyed unprecedented success. The Under-21s won the Premier League Cup, the U18s reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup and the U14s beat Chelsea at Wembley to land the Nike Trophy. It was those successes that caught the eye of Leeds’ chairman Massimo Cellino who identified Dolan as his favoured choice to replace Brian McDermott at Elland Road. But after holding talks with the Italian and also with the Reading board, Dolan decided to remain at Madejski Stadium. Hammond said: “There was interest in him but we’ve moved through that now and I’m very pleased. “I made it very clear, as did the members of the board, that we wanted him to stay. “It’s always flattering to be linked with others clubs and it’s a reflection of the success that Eamonn’s had as an individual. “But he absolutely believes in this club and the potential of the academy. “He has a strong affinity to this club and decided to stay. We’re delighted that he’s still here and can continue build on the excellent success he’s already brought.” Hammond added: “What we have to recognise is, if parts of your club is successful, then people who have brought that about will come to the attention of others. “That’s part and parcel of the game and we’ve lost people previously because of it. I brought Eamonn to the club on the back of Brendan (Rodgers) being headhunted by Chelsea. “But this time Eamonn has decided to stay and as I said before, we are all delighted with that. It’s great news for the club moving forward.” I suspect Hammond is trying to claim the higher moral ground here when in real terms they priced themselves out of the market for Dolan with their excessive compensation demands.

Monday 23rd of June. Hockaday must get “ a fair crack of the whip” Eddie Gray DAVE HOCKADAY has got his opportunity now at Leeds United and everybody has got to support him. Like a lot of people, I don’t know much about him, but he must have impressed Massimo Cellino because he’s hired him, so, hopefully, things will work out for him. You have got to be honest and say it was a bit of a surprise to see him appointed. But that does not mean to say he’s not going to be successful. Everyone will have their chance to start with, in terms of the new coach and he will also bring in some players to the football club. Let’s hope it works for him. Basically, the president wanted a coach and someone to run things with the first team and coach the players and get the best out of them. Dave seems to have confidence in his own ability and now he’s coach of Leeds United Football Club, everyone has got to support him. That’s the most important thing. If he’s a good coach, he will have the players’ respect. That’s what it is all about. Football players are all the same and they will respond to working for somebody who knows the game and puts their ideas over in the right manner. Do that and people will get behind you, that’s the nature of football. Everyone starts from scratch and we have got to give him an opportunity. It’s a tough job for anybody, if Roy Hodgson was getting the Leeds job, it would be tough. People know that; looking at the past few seasons, people will see it has been a difficult job. Hopefully, he will bring the players in he thinks will turn the club around; that’s his job and it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Friday 20th Thorp Arch is unlucky – Cellino Leeds president Massimo Cellino wants to move the club away from its Thorp Arch academy and replace it with coaching facilities on a site closer to Elland Road. The 56-year-old Italian revealed he was considering leaving the state-of-the-art training complex in May and gave a clearer indication of his intentions when unveiling David Hockaday as the club’s new head coach. Hockaday said he and new assistant Junior Lewis could not wait to meet the Leeds players after signing a two-year contract and when asked if that would be at Thorp Arch, Cellino revealed: For this year yes, but we are looking for a let close by the club. My intention is to move the training centre close by Elland Road because we cannot waste too much time up there. “You know that I’m very superstitious. Thorp Arch was built in 2002. Since then we are down (out of the Premier League). “I don’t think it’s a very lucky place, so there’s something wrong with the place and it’s too far away.” Cellino, who completed his club takeover in April, temporarily closed Thorp Arch as a cost-cutting measure at the end of the season and claimed then that he could not justify the academy’s B£2.5million annual running costs. Former manager Howard Wilkinson was responsible for establishing the club’s training facilities at Thorp Arch in the mid-90s and it was upgraded in 2002. The academy, situated in the village of Thorp Arch outside Wetherby and over 20 miles from Elland Road, was sold by the club’s previous owners shortly after Leeds were relegated from the Premier League in 2004. It is currently owned by Manchester-based businessman Jacob Adler’s Barnaway Ltd and leased back to the club for a reported annual fee of B£600,000, which rises three per cent each year. Another broken promise as he was to buy it back instead of close it down.

Friday 20th of June Cellino on buying Eland Road. Massimo Cellino has reiterated his commitment to buying Leeds United’s stadium from its private owners and said he will use funds raised from the sale of Cagliari to repurchase Elland Road. Speaking during the unveiling of David Hockaday as United’s new head coach, Cellino highlighted Elland Road as a priority among his aims at Leeds, saying he was “embarrassed to be a guest in my own house.” The Italian, who has previously promised to buy back the ground before the end of 2014, would need more than £15m to regain ownership of Elland Road for the first time since its controversial sale 10 years ago. The ex-Leeds board led by Gerald Krasner sold the stadium to property developer Jacob Adler in 2004, raising £8m at a time when United were under pressure to repay a substantial loan.Adler negotiated a 25-year lease and also gave the club the right to buy back the ground for a set fee at any stage before 2029. Both the rent and the buy-back cost rise by three per cent annually, and Leeds currently pay £1.4m a year to use Elland Road. Neither Ken Bates, who took control of the club from Krasner’s board, nor Gulf Finance House – the Bahraini bank which Cellino bought out in April – were able to repurchase the ground, but Cellino claimed the recent takeover of Serie A side Cagliari would help to provide the necessary finance. “I’m going to buy back this stadium because I’m embarrassed to be a guest in my house,” he said. “That’s my dream and I’m going to do it. “I sold Cagliari mostly to buy this stadium back for the people. It’s very important.” Cellino agreed a deal to sell Cagliari – the club he bought back in 1992 – to the Giulini family on June 11 and is believed to have officially severed ties with the Sardinian team on Thursday morning. The takeover cost the Giulinis around £36m, more than twice the price of repurchasing Elland Road. Cellino told the YEP in May that any sale of Cagliari would not alter his financial strategy at Leeds but the deal with the Giulinis appears to have increased the likelihood of Elland Road coming back under United’s control. The stadium’s deeds were transferred by Adler to Teak Commercial Limited, an offshore firm in the British Virgin Islands, in early 2005 and have remained in Teak’s hands ever since. The shareholders and beneficiaries of the company are anonymous, but Adler is still thought to retain ownership of Elland Road. The Manchester businessman also owns United’s training ground at Thorp Arch having bought it around the same time as the sale of Elland Road.

Friday 20th of June. Leeds chase Humphrey – Daily Express  Leeds United looking to make Chris Humphrey first signing. Leeds United are looking to make Preston North End winger Chris Humphrey there first signing since appointing new heChrishHumphreyad coach Dave Hockaday according to reports in The Express. Leeds United are interested in Humphrey. Humphrey joined Preston last season from Motherwell on a free transfer, and Leeds are believed to have made an enquiry for the wide man. Humphrey played a major part for Preston as they made the play offs last season and is someone Simon Grayson would be looking to hold on to. Whilst Dave Hockaday sees him as the ideal fit at Leeds United as he begins to build a side capable of reaching the Premier League. Leeds are reported to face competition for the impressive Humphrey with Burnley and Wigan interested in the player. And this is Humphrey’s tweeted response : Chris Humphrey @humphrey_17  Just to clear it up. My main focus is to help Pne to get bk into the championship. It’s a championship club in league1″.

Friday June 20th Hockaday ‘deserves chance’ – Dale Vince Forest Green chairman Dale Vince believes David Hockaday deserves his chance after being controversially installed as the new head coach at Leeds. Hockaday, 56, was Leeds president Massimo Cellino’s surprise choice to succeed Brian McDermott and the appointment has angered the majority of the club’s fans who demanded a bigger name to take on the new role. But Vince, who worked closely with former Watford and Southampton coach Hockaday during his time in charge at Forest Green – his only managerial job – said he has all the right attributes to prove his critics wrong. I’m really pleased for David actually, I’m chuffed for him,” Vince told Press Association Sport. “He’s a great bloke. He’s a very hard-working, loyal and honest man with an unbelievable depth of footballing knowledge. “I really want him to succeed, but would not dare to predict how it will work out for him. “Massimo Cellino is a lot better qualified than me to make a judgement on whether David can be successful in the Championship, but he deserves his chance.” Hockaday parted company with Forest Green by mutual consent last October following a run of seven defeats in eight games. Both parties bowed to fans’ pressure, but Dale maintains a close friendship with the former Blackpool and Swindon defender. Vince added: “His experience in the game, at all levels, makes him an ideal candidate for anybody and he’s so determined to succeed. “It’s interesting to see he has taken up a head coach role at Leeds rather than becoming the manager. “Cellino will take all the pressure off him with regards to recruitment and other managerial duties and that lends itself to David’s strengths. “We formed a friendship during his time at Forest Green and I’ve spoken to him to wish him luck. “Cellino appears to be a very interesting character and he made a good point that everyone has to start somewhere. “I’m not sure about his analogy about managers being like watermelons though. “He said you can’t tell what they’re like until you open them, but you can tap a watermelon to find out exactly what they’re like before you do that!”

Friday June 20th. Lee Chapmans’s Sofa on Dave Hockaday In 2002 during the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Leeds United sacked David O’Leary. The side had just had a mildly disappointing season, finishing outside the Champions League places again and rumours were surfacing that missing out on the financial rewards of playing in Europe’s elite competition may see some of our star names having to be sold. I was stunned by the news, but 12 years on that is nothing to how I feel now. Since that day, Leeds United have been on the decline, and despite the three seasons suffered in League One, there is no doubt that this is as close to rock bottom as I think we have ever been. The appointment of David Hockaday as “First Team Coach” is quite frankly the most bizarre event in our roller coaster history. What it signals is that Leeds United have become the plaything of Massivego Cellino. He has searched the land for a yes man who will allow him to have total control over the playing side as well as the business of the football club. Let’s face the facts. Hockaday is no up and coming coach full of new ideas about how to restore the club to its former glories. He is a 56 year old journeyman and even that word is being generous to his coaching career. His history of being in charge of a team is by now well documented, three and a bit seasons at Forest Green Rovers, all of which were spent in the middle to lower reaches of the fifth tier of English football. He surely cannot believe his luck, having landed a job at one of the most famous clubs in the land. However these days the clubs fame is purely for the farcical way in which it is run, and this is just the latest episode in the catalogue of disasters which we have stumbled through in the last 12 years. In a vote in the YEP, 85% said that they did not want Hockaday as the coach, but just as Mr Bates did, it seems Massivego has decided that we are just a noisy minority who are not worth listening to. This decision shows that pleasing himself is what he is at Leeds United for, and as for the rest of us, then we can all go and whistle. It seems inevitable that a season of struggle is to follow. There is no way we can attract players to the club financially, the famed training ground at Thorp Arch which is spoken off by every signing is sat gathering dust and now we have a coach who 99.9% of people in football will have never heard of until the last couple of weeks. I’m sure Ross McCormack is interrupting his holiday now to get his agent to sort out a move away from the nuthouse, and clubs all over the country will be sniffing a chance to whisk away our young talent. There will be those out there who demand that Massiveego knows what he is doing and that we should give Hockaday a chance, but I’m sorry, I’m not that deluded. I love what Leeds United was but I loathe what it is becoming. I will still turn up every week and cheer on the team but this coach will never get my support and this owner needs to produce miracles for me to be won over. Those Cellino blowhards who can see no wrong in what he is doing need to take a long hard look at themselves. The club is a financial disaster and the money he has put into the club could merely be another form of loan, just moving money owed from one person to another (I’ll leave the business side of things to others more qualified). There seems to be no evidence that he is going to put a penny into the playing side, and this appointment just reinforces that. My only concession to Massivego and his new best mate Dave are that my dissension will be a silent one where it matters. When the team are on the pitch they will have my full support, no matter how dreadful they are. But what I will say is when you guys get to Elland Road next season and start hammering Tom Lees, Noel Hunt and whoever else we have left in the team, take a deep breath and have a think about who is coaching them and who has picked them. Then vent your anger on the ones who deserve it the most. Stephen Clark. 

Friday 20th of June. The proof will be in the Hockaday pudding by Gwyn Hughes Believe it or not but I feel relieved that Leeds United have finally sorted out a coach. The fact that I and probably the majority of Leeds fans were surprised, sceptical and, yes, stunned, when we heard who was the favourite to land the job was an understatement. I was hoping to get Roberto Di Matteo or perhaps Tim Sherwood in, young and hungry to succeed and proven in managing teams that play attractive football. I also felt sure that Cellino (El Presidente!) was going to appoint an Italian, something that we all thought he would be a safer bet as his first victim, alluding to his history of hiring and firing coaches as often as he changes his sports car. It is a bit of a shock to find that he has opted to hire Dave Hockaday, who with the greatest respect even the media were struggling to find information on him. The fact that he was part of the set up at Watford when they beat Leeds in the Championship play-off final of 2006 was unknown to me, and he has also been involved with Southampton as well. These were attractive teams to watch by the way. In equal measure we are all scratching our heads to why Cellino chose this particular path for Leeds. From the fans’ perspective we have been expecting a ‘name’ be it British or Italian, to basically appease the fans. May I remind you all that we have had such people in the past who have not been in a position to sort the real problems at Leeds; the financial running of the club. Every manager since 2002 has had both hands tied behind their backs and gagged for good measure. No manager can succeed in such ircumstances.
Now we have a man like Cellino in charge things will be done differently, and I’m glad that the cycle of airy-fairy promises, wasted opportunities and, even more serious, money hemorrhaging at an unsustainable flow will soon be at an end. I’m afraid that the big signings that we envisaged coming to the club are a way off and will only start to happen when Cellino sees that the club is finally in a position to not waste his money. As Cellino said recently, I’ve been told since I arrived here the club is a sleeping giant. I found out it wasn’t sleeping, it was close to dead. Showbusiness is very important in football, but now is the time to be silent and to work.” So getting Hockaday in seems a sensible option. I think now that he is our coach it helps to make fans realise what a disaster the last 12 years have been for Leeds. The underwhelming response to his appointment, although understandable to the level of expectations of Leeds fans, shows our pitiful standing in the football world. If Cellino had appointed a big personality in the game, I fear the destructive cycle would have carried on; big signings on big wages are even more of a risk than appointing an ‘unknown’ coach who will not demand money in order to make him look successful. We have, I believe, an honest grafter who is as grass roots as they come, perhaps just what Leeds need at this moment in time. Hockaday should be given the same respect as a Di Matteo or anyone we consider as worthy to be at the helm of Leeds United. David O’Leary had no management experience, and little coaching experience for that matter, and look what he accomplished. He seems a no-nonsense kind of guy which will complement the Cellino way. I for one am looking forward to who they can get in and work with. By going a different way to what we expected shows what a confident and assured individual he is. He quickly assessed the situation and is acting as a responsible owner should. Before he came along, we were still under the impression that we were a big club and could compete as such. We couldn’t. Even other clubs we considered were not as big as us were miles ahead in all aspects, football and anagement and financial strategies. But Cellino lives in the real world and this is why we should trust his decisions and his vision for a profitable future of Leeds United. It’s about time we had a sensible and realistic approach to the club.

Thursday 19th of June. Interview with Dave Hockaday and LUTV “I feel excited and ready to start work . (Re surpise appointmet) It isn’t a surprise because of my background and that I was a very experienced playDaveHockadayer with 20 years experience and I am a very experienced coach. Given that the president wants an experienced British coach and I seemed to tick all the boxes. I have been given this great opportunity and I intend to grab it with both hands.  My remit is purely the players. Everything that goes on the training pitch and  everything and that goes on on  the football pitch, and that suits me. That’s my passion. That’s my drive.  It’s what makes me tick. All the tactics. All the fitness, the players. You are managing players to a degree anyway. To me it makes sense. Managing the game on a Saturday.(Re input re transfer targets) I’ve already talked to the president about a number of players that we have identified, and a number of  positions where we will need to strengthen. So there will be changes. Everybody at the club will be given their chance. I am looking forward to meeting the players to looking at the hunger in the eyes. Because the president and I believe everyone at the club should have the hunger and work ethic and if they haven’t got that then they are at the wrong club. It’s a massive club. Proud doesn’t even come close to how I feel. Everyone knows how big a club Leeds United is. I could eulagise. I will give this club everything I have got. My experience isn’t just Forest Green. I’ve spent the last six months looking at the Championship. The most important relationship will be between the coach and the president and  when we disagree which we will…… we have to work it out which we will. My assistant Junior Lewis will help me. Everyone else at the football club will be given a fair crack. Just because the head of the snake changes doesn’t mean that other heads have to go also. I don’t believe in that. (Re targets)15th in the league isn’t good enough for Leeds United. Work hard and improve. The president is here to take the pressure of my back. No targets have been set. We have to improve. (Re type of football) We have to play attractive football but we have to play winning football. I want to play a passing game but I want to play a winning passing game. Look at the World Cup at the moment. It’s the teams with less than 50%possession that are winning the games. I need to look at the players and judge if the players can play into these slots. I have been given a great opportunity and I will be here until they throw me out. (Re the Doubters) Get behind the team. This team will have a great work ethic. No team will work harder than us. Get behind the team. I need to meet the players to see who is happy here and see who is not. Pre season we are working on that now. We have two weeks in Italy. But the rest I will be organizing that with the people here . We need to lay our flag down and we are Leeds United and I am up for this. This is my 40th year in football as man and boy. To win he first game and get the ball rolling I can’t wait… I can’t wait” (I might have missed the odd bit here and there but this is the gist of it)
Quote of the day ” There are people in witness protection programmes with bigger profiles than Dave Hockaday”
DaveHockadayandJuniorLewisThursday June19th Click here or paste in your browser for the press conference with Hockaday and Cellino Cellino will buy the players mostly Italian because of “the better value” and Hockaday will “coach” them the “British” way. ‘Coaches are like water melons. You don’t know what you get until you cut open one”. Cellino interviewed “six or seven” candidates but spent five hours with Hockaday. Cellino on Hockaday: “I follow my feelings and my instinct and my feeling is that this is the right man. I could be wrong, I don’t know.” That was, however, followed by Cellino basically saying that he won’t hesitate to fire Hockaday if it all goes wrong. McCormack will only be sold to a “big” club in the Premiership. He is a “beautiful player”. HoTerryandArthurDalyckaday didn’t know if there was a director of football coming in. There would be roles at the club for Gibbs and Redfearn but he wasn’t sure what they were. Junior Lewis gives him what he wants “ten times over”. Nobody gives you respect,” Hockaday said  “If I’m a big name or a little name, I have to earn respect. So I’ll earn (the players’) respect and they’ll have to earn mine. It’s a mutual thing.“I came to Leeds as a player and an opponent and it was a horrible place to play, a tough place. I know the Leeds fans want hard work, honesty, passion and hunger. That’s my job and that’s what I’ll give them.” Unbelievable stuff. An Italian Arthur Daly with Terry. You couldn’t script this stuff !!
Thursday June 19th Marching on together..A  petition will be withdrawn and Leeds United can start the process of having


The new gaffer

their bank account unfrozen. In the meantime it appears that Cellino has found a way round this issue with money reportedly being transferred to pay players wages. The situation has been flipped on its head however as now Sport Capital, amidst allegations involving David Haigh, have had their company assets and shares frozen following a ruling from a Dubai court. Haigh has been in custody for nearly 5 weeks accused of financial regularities by his former employer GFH. He denies the allegations. 2014 season Hockaday left the club.  Having finished playing League Football in 1995 Hockaday moved into coaching, his first role establishing the first football academy in the country at Cirencester. In 2000 he joined Watford under Graham Taylor as under 18 coach and in 2005 took the role of first team coach as Watford achieved promDaveHockaday2otion to the Premiership in 2006. He was sacked by Adrian Boothroyd in 2007 and took on a temporary role at MK Dons. He also held a subsequent role at Southampton as youth team coach until 2009.  His new assistant will be former Leicester and Hull City midfielder Junior Lewis. 40 year old Lewis was still playing last season as player-coach at Hendon, a team he previously made 100 appearances for back in the 90’s. He has also had limited coaching experience under Peter Taylor at Wycombe Wanderers as reserve team manager and at Bradford City as a coach. The appointments of Hockaday and Lewis will be extremely disappointing to most Leeds United fans but they are not out of character for Cellino. He had stated that he wanted to appoint an experienced English coach and Hockaday is certainly that, although not at the level we might have been expecting. The other requirement on Cellino’s list will have been ‘cheap’ and Hockaday certainly seems like the cheapest option out there. Reading’s academy manager Eamonn Dolan had been tipped for the job but Cellino is said to have been surprised how much he would have cost with Reading demanding around £400,000 in compensation. Whoever the new ‘head coach’ it was clear from the moment that Cellino walked through the door he would be the man calling the shots. Hockadays role is very much as a coach and coaching the players. He told the club website; “It isn’t a surprise because of my background and the fact I’m a very experienced coach and obviously 20 years a player, and the fact that the president wants a very experienced British coach, then I seem to tick all the boxes. At the end of the day I’ve been given a great opportunity and I intend to take it in both hands. Everything that goes on the training pitch, everything that goes on on the football pitch, and that’s it, it’s a simple as that. That suits me, because I’m a coach, it’s my passion and my drive. Everything that goes on in training, all the tactics and the fitness, you’re managing players to a degree anyway, and then it’s managing the game on a Saturday. For me it makes sense.” model will work but Hockaday does not have experience as a coach at a high enough level for me and the comments regarding the type of football played when he was at Watford and Forest Green do not fill me with confidence either. d be surprised if Hockaday was still here at Christmas. Hockaday will start his reign as Leeds coach away at Millwall in the Championship on Saturday 9th August. The first game he will take charge for at Elland Road will be against Accrington Stanley in the League Cup on Tuesday 12th August followed by the first home League game against Middlesbrough in Saturday 16th August. The first relegated team Leeds will face will be Norwich away at Carrow Road on Tuesday 21st October. The first promoted team will be Brentford away on Saturday 27th September and Rotherham away on Saturday 18th October. Huddersfield visit Elland Road on Saturday 20th September and Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 4th October. The final game of the season will be against Rotherham at Elland Road on Saturday 2nd May.

Dave Hockaday at the match against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday      ZSEM4913V10

Time for your tin hat Dave because you are going to need it

Thursday 19th of June. Official website Leeds United are pleased to announce that David Hockaday has been appointed to the position of head coach. The 56-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will assume overall responsibility for the coaching staff and first team playing squad with immediate effect. David arrives at Elland Road with a vast amount of coaching experience and was integral to the management team at Watford that gained promotion to the Premier League in 2006. As well as his time at Watford, the former Forest Green manager enjoyed success at Southampton and MK Dons. Hockaday had a long playing career with over 500 league appearances to his name. He started his playing career at Blackpool where he remained for eight years until he moved onto Swindon Town. The former right-back made over 200 appearances for Swindon and was also part of the side that gained promotion twice in his time at the club. His other clubs include Hull City, Stoke City and Shrewsbury Town. Leeds United’s new head coach will be joined by former Leicester City midfielder Junior Lewis.  F####N Joke !!! We have what is increasingly appearing like  a dictator as chairman and a muppet 1872799043as coach/manager who will be lucky if he lasts 5 to 10 games. I hope he proves me and the 85% of the 2,000 Leeds fans polled on line WRONG, but with that CV I don’t believe this guy wants promotion full stop. Still, I’m a Leeds fan and I’ll always get behind the badge. It’s just so frustrating when before a ball is kicked, the vultures are circling around our top scorer who we all know is going to be sold and we have a manager/coach who simply can’t cut it at this or maybe any level. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion. There is very little to get motivated for at present. New signings ? Thorp Arch closed when it was supposed to be repurchased within four to five days of the new owner coming in.  Repurchase of Elland Road ? Was that a Bobby Ewing moment in the shower also ? If the guy didn’t do proper due diligence, it’s no good cutting corners and costs everywhere else to make up for overpaying for the club. So far Cellino has been all talk, but it has not been backed up by enough concrete actions and I am far from convinced that he is good for Leeds United. He will quickly lose whatever goodwill and credibility he has left with the fans unless he brings some positivity to Elland Road. We want to see investment and quality players arrive and not cheap skate third rate coaches from non league clubs whilst our International players depart. Not good enough by a long shot. Just another Bates with a foreign accent so far !  Ciao !
Weds 18th Fixtures – The fixtures for the forthcoming season are out and if you click on the second tab (left top corner) you can see them. we start off with a tricky “love in” at Millwall, followed by three home games and finish the season off with a May 2nd home to Rotherham.
Weds 18th. Dave who ? The most obscure of candidates – Phil Hay YPThe manager behind Watford’s promotion from the Championship in 2006 was known for a while as ‘Aidy Who?’ The sound of head-scratching accompanied Aidy Boothroyd’s appointment at Vicarage Road but Watford’s punt was vindicated in the end. Dave Hockaday worked with Boothroyd in that same season, a year when Leeds United were beaten by Watford in the play-off final, and any lessons he learned from Boothroyd’s capacity to surprise will be coming back to him. For the past two weeks, the 56-year-old has been ‘Dave Who?’ – the most obscure candidate for the job of running the senior squad at Leeds. Hockaday is travelling to Yorkshire by train today with the expectation of becoming Massimo Cellino’s first head coach, or the first to be employed at Elland Road with the Italian’s blessing. United’s owner never warmed to Brian McDermott – too expensive, too tied up in matters away from the training ground, unsuited to Cellino’s model of ownership – but Hockaday is Cellino’s man; albeit his second choice. Associates of Cellino says his tendency to change his mind overnight is a fundamental trait of the man but all around him were as convinced as they could be yesterday that Hockaday’s appointment would be confirmed this afternoon. He was recommended to Cellino by one of several agents advising United’s president but the decision asks questions of Cellino’s own rationale. Confusion abounds about Hockaday’s pedigree, his qualifications and his suitability for a post which has eaten far bigger names than him. When Cellino began looking for McDermott’s replacement, his specification was a coach rather than a manager. At a stroke, that distinction ruled out anyone who saw management as a role overseeing every aspect of a club. Cellino wanted someone to look after his squad, train them and stop at that. The fact that United have been assessing potential signings all summer is adequate evidence that Cellino is adverse to the employment of a coach who needs or demands full control over the transfer policy at Elland Road. Eamonn Dolan is a coach – the long-serving academy manager at Reading – which is why he came to Cellino’s attention earlier this month. Cellino warmed to Dolan’s credentials and spoke with his brother Pat, the agent who negotiated McDermott’s severance from Leeds. Contact was also made with Reading but Reading’s board were resistant to the idea of losing Dolan. In the view of one of Cellino’s inner circle, the Berkshire club “overplayed their hand” by setting the level of compensation too high and scaring Cellino off at a stroke. Dolan would have cost around £500,000. Amid those manoeuvres Hockaday was never forgotten. He was a serious option in Cellino’s eyes from the day McDermott left, though Cellino was annoyed to hear of heavy betting on Hockaday in the 24 hours after McDermott’s departure. It was only because of those wagers that Hockaday’s name appeared among the odds and slipped into the press. Google became the media’s friend and his Wikipedia page took a hammering. As a right-back, Hockaday spent most of his playing career at Blackpool and Swindon. As a coach, he applied himself initially to youth development. Graham Taylor appointed him as Watford’s Under-18s coach in 2000 and Hockaday was promoted to the position of first-team coach in 2005, one of Boothroyd’s right-hand men. Nigel Gibbs, Leeds’ existing assistant boss, was also part of that coaching team but did not survive for long under Boothroyd, or not as long as Hockaday. Gibbs’ association with Watford had spanned 24 years and his sacking was a deeply unpopular move. Gibbs is still employed by United, despite McDermott’s exit, but he was not responsible for recommending of Hockaday to Cellino. Much as Cellino wants Gibbs to remain at Elland Road, it is less than certain that he and Hockaday would be a compatible partnership. The YEP was told yesterday that Junior Lewis, a coach at non-league Hendon, is a likely addition to United’s backroom team if Hockaday becomes head coach. Both appointments would be as unpredictable as each other, gambles by a club who are used to piling everything on black and losing. Hockaday’s last job was as manager of Forest Green Rovers, the Conference club based in Gloucestershire. He was rumoured to have one of the biggest budgets in the division but between 2009 and 2013, his squad finished no higher than 10th. They were relegated in 2010 but later reinstated after Salisbury City’s demotion for breaching Conference rules. Last October, Hockaday and Forest Green parted company after seven defeats from eight games. It would not have occurred to him then that Leeds might pick up his CV and run with it. Hockaday is said to be an ambitious and self-confident man. It takes a certain level of self-confidence to step into the job Cellino is offering him. The social media implosion yesterday was much as it might have been had Twitter existed when Watford took the plunge with Boothroyd. Presenters on Sky Sports News chuckled as the story broke. Hockaday is not an expensive choice but Cellino’s credibility will be heavily invested in him. For United’s owner, appointing Hockaday ticks a box. That might come as a relief to him when he considers that at the start of this week, Leeds had no head coach, no new signings announced, no pre-season games confirmed and their bank account frozen. But any willingness among the club’s support to be patient with Hockaday and let him crack on is being tempered by the question of why he of all people is coming here; why Cellino sees in Hockaday the top-level potential that few other Football League clubs have identified. “I won’t make the wrong choice,” Cellino told the YEP last week. “We need to start playing soccer, proper soccer, and we need a coach to make that happen.” If Hockaday does the trick, you can only conclude that Cellino knows far more about this game than any of us.
Weds 18th. Cellino to take the cheapest option – the Scratching Shed Various news outlets, including Sky Sports New and the Yorkshire Evening Post, are reporting that Leeds United fans wait for Brian McDermott’s successor will come to an end today as Massimo Cellino unveils David Hockaday as the new Whites boss. The extent of Hockaday’s powers remains to be seen, Cellino has stated on several occasions he intends to hire a coach to lead the first team instead of the more traditional management role we more commonly see here in England which usually gives the boss of a football club control over transfer targets, contracts and so forth. The ‘European model’ Cellino intends to use instead generally means someone else deals with player signings and contracts, leaving the “manager” to simply coach the team, train them and select the line-up and tactics. If Hockaday is to become Leeds’ new Head Coach, he’ll be something of an obscure choice having very little experience in such a position and none whatsoever at this level. His only management role to date was at lowly Forest Green Rovers, where he was relegated from the Conference and only narrowly missed out on relegation from the Conference South the following season. His overall win record with the club stands at a rather uninspiring 33%. Perhaps the appealing part of Hockaday’s CV is his experience developing players. He was responsible for setting up the first English football academy at Cirencester, going on to win a National College Championship and seeing his idea adopted by professional clubs around the country. By 2000, Hockaday was working as the Under 18 coach of Watford where he is credited with helping to develop quite a few big name players, including Manchester United striker Ashley Young. He was later promoted to first team coach and helped Watford to promotion in 2005, only to be fired by Aidy Boothroyd two years later. Since then, Hockaday has had coaching spells with MK Dons, Southampton and Cheltenham Town. While parts of Hockaday’s CV are indeed encouraging, particularly for a club like Leeds United who have a great history of producing our own players, there’s no escaping the feeling he’s being hired because he represents the cheapest option for Cellino and that means he’ll be starting out with an awful lot to prove. How Hockaday copes with a club as high-profile as Leeds United, where he’ll constantly be the subject of media scrutiny and have to deal with the lofty expectations of one of the country’s biggest clubs will be his greatest test of all. Many talented and experienced managers have failed spectacularly on the path Hockaday is set to travel, but motivation shouldn’t be hard to come by, after all, this will be the biggest job of his lifetime and a make or break moment for his career in professional football.

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Give me the Champers Maximo !

Tuesday 18th of June. Ridiculous As Leeds were drawn against Accrington Stanley in the CC, all sources point to Massimo Cellino unveiling the dream ticket of Dave Hockaday as our new coach along side his buddy Junior Lewis. I hate being negative, I really do. I hate negative people around me. But this is Leeds United, not Forest Green Rovers where Hockaday’s record was : 1st season : relegated but reinstated due to technicality of Salisbury breaking a rule . 2nd season : 10th. 3rd season : 10th. 4th season : lost first seven out of eight games and sacked . Is Cellino taking the piss ??? Leeds aren’t his play thing. How will a guy like this attract decent players or will we lose any decent players we have ? I really hope I’m wrong but this is a recipe for disaster. We were promised a quality British coach. How many of us ever heard of this guy before ? Elland Road can be tough for experienced managers at the bet of times as Neil Warnock and Brian McDermott found out. Cellino promised us  promotion within two years. He obviously doesn’t want it in his first season. But then again this was the guy who promised he would buy back Thorp Arch a few days after he owned Leeds. Guess what, he closed it down and wanted to use the university. I don’t give a monkey’s if my chairman can play the guitar but I expect him to hire the best candidate for coaching my team, not one of the Mitchell brother lookalikes on the cheap. Then again maybe I’m doing this guy a disservice. Maybe he learned a lot assisting that tactical genius, Martin Allen at Southampton and Leicester before he was sacked by Aidy Boothroyd. Maybe he will be the 2014/15 Sean Dyche, and maybe this is all a bad dream and we will have a proper appointment on Wednesday. We deserve better. So Far Cellino like the Emperors before him appears to have no clothes.

Sun 16th. Cellino returns. Massimo Cellino has returned to Yorkshire today  where he hopes to appoint his coach tomorrow (Monday). Reading are indicating that they want £750K compensation for Eamonn Dolan, a man who shouldn’t even be in the equation for the Leeds job, let alone having to consider compensation for his servises. Indications are tonight that the Italian is leaning towards Forest Green’ s best, Dave Hockaday. Unbelievable ! Elsewhere, Cellino is hoping a bidding war develops for his best player, McCormack. What this will do for season ticket sales if he is sold is anyone’s guess, particularly if an unpopular appointment of coach is made and the proceeds are not ploughed back into player purchases.

Sat 14th. Unknown bidder for Macca  revealed.  Fulham are the club that have made the £5M for Ross McCormack. Cellino wants £7M so no doubt will settle for £5.5M. How much of that will go back into the team I wonder? Friday 13th. 5M bid for McCormack received from mystery Championship bidder. Leeds have received a bid of £5M from an un-named Championship club for Ross McCormack. McCormack – heavily linked with Derby County and Norwich City in the past 48 hours – was the subject of a firm offer yesterday and the bid is under consideration with Leeds owner Massimo Cellino due back in England on Sunday. United are understood to value McCormack in excess of £6m but the club anticipated a flurry of interest in him this summer on the back of the striker’s haul of 29 goals in the Championship last season. Newcastle United made an enquiry about Leeds’ club captain at the beginning of last week but denied tabling a formal bid for him, despite Cellino claiming to have rejected a “substantial offer” from St James’ Park. Cellino, however, is pondering his next move after a Championship side made clear their intention to pay a sizeable fee for the Scotland international. The club concerned have not been identified but Derby – last season’s beaten play-off finalists – and recently relegated Norwich are both rumoured to be interested in McCormack. Cardiff City, his former club, bid unsuccessfully for the 27-year-old in January but are not thought to be behind the latest offer. Cellino has not resigned himself to losing McCormack before the start of next season but it is understood that the Italian will sanction the forward’s departure for an acceptable price. McCormack is under contract for another three seasons having signed a four-year deal last summer, an agreement which made him one of the club’s highest earners, but Leeds do not intend to improve his salary again. Cellino and McCormack spoke at a one-to-one meeting at Elland Road on June 2, and Cellino claimed to have knocked back Newcastle’s interest later that week. “Newcastle made an offer for McCormack and I said no,” he said. “He is happy to stay here and that made me proud.” Cellino has been in Italy this week, signing off the sale of Serie A side Cagliari. He will return to England on Sunday night, with McCormack’s future and the appointment of a new head coach high on his agenda at Elland Road.


Macca could be on his way and will be a good test of the new chairman whether we are serious re promotion or still a club that just sells its player of the year each season

Weds 11th. Cellino returns to appoint a new coach. Cellino is due to announce his new coach tomorrow with Eamonn Dolan nailed on to be our new arrival with Dave Hockaday a distant second and Gary McAllister now appearing out of the running. It seems a ridiculous appointment to risk our club on an unproven appointment at this level with no CV of working at this standard at one of the biggest clubs in English football. There is a huge difference in managing kids and bringing through youth players from an academy perspective to managing/coaching men at the pressure cooker of Championship matches at Elland Road. If this were the case Brian Kerr would be in huge demand  and not dusting off his Faroe Island CV. Massimo Cellino is very much his own man but he is clearing the deckchairs on the Titanic regarding eliminating expenses and yet we are paying out large compensation to McDermott (£750K) and possibly £400K to Reading for Dolan. I think we as fans deserve better treatment than this list of candidates of prospective new Leeds United coaches. Weds 11th of June. Cellino completes Cagliari sale. Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has completed his sale of Italian club Cagliari in a deal worth more than £35m. The Floursid Group – a chemical firm run by the family of former Inter Milan executive Tommaso Giulini – has bought a 100 per cent stake in Cagliari, ending Cellino’s 22-year reign as president. Cellino bought the Sardinian side in 1992 but had been attempting to sell them since acquiring 75 per cent of Leeds in April. A proposed deal with a group of unnamed American investors collapsed a week ago but the sale to Floursid went through last night, worth a reported 45m euros. Cellino has been in Italy throughout this week but will return to Leeds tomorrow to press ahead with his search for a new head coach. The Italian has identified Reading academy coach Eamonn Dolan as his preferred candidate for the post at Elland Road, though Reading insisted yesterday that they were not open to offers for him. Speaking to the YEP, Cellino said: “I’ve closed the deal on Cagliari and now I’m coming back to Leeds to pick a coach and finish the team for next season. “Cagliari were my love and my dream but I don’t look back, only forward. I’ve sold them to people who will look after the club, I’m sure about that. “Now I can give all of myself to Leeds. People question me and my decisions but I know what I’m doing. I’ll show everyone that.” The sale of Cagliari could clear the way for Nicola Salerno, the club’s sporting director, to join Cellino at Elland Road. Salerno is a long-time ally of Cellino’s and has spoken about the possibility linking up with Leeds if and when Cagliari changed hands. Italian side Palermo are also interested in employing him. Talking this week, Salerno said: “I have a duty towards Cellino. “The Leeds hypothesis is concrete, I’m considering it carefully.” Cellino is facing a pressing bill of £950,000 after losing a court battle with Sport Capital in London yesterday. At a High Court hearing, Cellino was ordered to repay a loan given to Leeds by Sport Capital in November of last year. United have until June 23 to complete repayment or face a winding-up order, and the club’s bank account will remain frozen until the money is transferred. The playing squad at Elland Road are still waiting for their salaries for May having gone without wages last month.

Tues 11th of June. Reading say hands of Dolan. READING have issued a hands-off warning to Leeds over academy bosEamonnDolans Eamonn Dolan. Dolan has been heavily linked with the vacant manager’s job at Elland Road to replace ex-Royals chief Brian McDermott, who left the Yorkshire club last month. But Reading’s director of football Nicky Hammond insists the club have no intention of letting Dolan leave his current role, which he has held for almost 10 years. In a statement on the Royals’ website, Hammond said: “Reading FC are aware of the interest of another Championship club in our academy manager Eamonn Dolan. “Eamonn is an integral part of our club and is under contract to Reading Football Club. Eamonn has done an incredible job since taking over from Brendan Rodgers and we hope he will be a big part of our club for many years to come. “He has a fantastic relationship with our manager Nigel Adkins and we do not welcome any approaches from any club for our key staff. We hope this is the end of the matter.” Word is Reading want 400k for a pay off for Dolan. Are we right in the head ?

Tues 11th of June. Cellino tries to axe Stewart deal. Cemeron Stewart who is due to sign a three year deal with Leeds is having his deal explored by Cellino’s officials. Cellino wants it terminated before he signs on. He has three weeks to perform a U-turn on a player who hasn’t set Leeds alight since arriving at Elland Road on an emergency loan from Charlton athletic.

Tues 11th of June. Cellino axes Leeds legends. Five former Leeds United players are set to leave the club’s matchday hospitality team after their paid positions were withdrawn. Paul Reaney, Norman Hunter, Mick Jones, Terry Yorath and John Hendrie will no longer be employed by Leeds next season. The group have worked for several years in United’s corporate suites but their jobs are being culled as part of a wide-reaching cost-cutting process. United owner Massimo Cellino implemented a formal redundancy scheme at Elland Road last month in an attempt to reduce losses of more than £1m a month. The club are understood to have offered the ex-players the chance to stay on without pay next season, replacing wages with matchday hospitality for the five men and a guest for each home game.

Leeds legends axed

Reaney, the former Leeds right-back and a member of Don Revie’s legendary squad, said the group would be leaving their positions but said: “No matter what’s happened, we’ll always support Leeds United.“We’re not going to forget about or abandon a club who we played for and won trophies for. I wish the club all the best for next season.” Leeds recently removed another high-profile ex-player from their payroll by ending Dominic Matteo’s spell as a club ambassador.Eddie Gray is expected to remain in a similar position next season but Peter Lorimer – the third of three ambassadors at Elland Road – has yet to learn if he will be kept on.



Tues 10th Leeds fail in 950K winding up bid LEEDS United have failed in a High Court bid to strike out a winding-up petition hanging over the club’s head. The Championship club were in court after creditor, Sport Capital Ltd, decided to call in a £950,000 loan made to United last year. Lawyers for the club said it was not a case of “cannot pay”, but “will not pay”, because they contested whether a valid debt to the company existed at all.

Leeds lose winding up petition

But after an afternoon hearing in London’s Companies Court, Deputy Registrar Christopher Garwood rejected the club’s case and gave it 13 days – until a week on Monday – to pay. The registrar said that, although the club’s bank account had been frozen, new owner Massimo Cellino was footing other bills and could find the money to pay back the loan. Earlier, the club’s barrister, Rory Brown, had argued that the club owed Sport Capital nothing. All of the evidence suggested that the loan had been made directly to the club from the man behind the company, former United director David Haigh. “Everything in this case suggests that the loan was from Haigh,” he said. “If one looks at the agreement, the benefit goes to Haigh. The money came directly from Haigh. “The money never touched the petitioner [Sport Capital]. It went straight from Mr Haigh’s account.” Mr Brown said the club was also concerned that the money, if it came from Mr Haigh, might be tainted, given his recent arrest in a fraud investigation in Dubai. And he said counter-claims which the club has against Mr Haigh himself would potentially “extinguish liability” for the loan. Denying that the club is insolvent, the barrister continued: “There are funds readily available to pay. This is not a ‘can’t pay, won’t pay’ situation. This is a ‘can pay, won’t pay’ situation.” Giving judgment, Deputy Registrar Garwood said the fact that the money came from Mr Haigh’s account, and not from Sport Capital, did not mean that he was the lender. It was “obvious and clear” that the lender was Sport Capital, he said. The club, having received a demand for payment and done nothing about it, was now “scratching around” looking for ways to address the problem. “They did not seek to engage with Sport Capital in terms of paying or negotiating for time to pay, or even raising issues as to payment,” he said. “The view was simply taken: we will ignore it. He added: “The club is the author of its own misfortune.”  Mr Brown told the Deputy Registrar that the club now intended to pay in the light of his ruling. The case will return to court a week on Monday when the winding-up petition will be dismissed if payment has been made. The club was refused permission to appeal.

Mon June 9th. Eamonn Dolan, twin brother of Pat the mouth Dolan, has raced into the clear lead to become Leeds new coach with the bookies refusing to take any more bets. He has gone down from 14/1 to 1/10. Unbelievable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sunday 8th of June. Weekend round up. This is what we do know. Phil Hay has had it confirmed that two of the three names interviewed over the weekend are United legend, Gary McAllister, and the unknown quantity that is David Hockaday. We can only speculate on the third name, but it is not Chris Hughton. Massimo Cellino will bring in the players and the coach will be responsible for the tactics and training. Cellino will also be responsible for the contracts of the players and the day to day running of the football club. The announcement of the coach will be made by the middle of next week. It’s a huge gamble and let’s be honest none of us want Hockaday near our club. Macca has a place in all our hearts but he has been out of football for a long time and his Leeds United were humiliated by Histon in the FA Cup, lost to Donny in the League One Play Off Final, and he was responsible for hiring STAN ! If and I say if Eamon Dolan is the third name on the list, give me Macca, on the grounds that he is better than the other two, he signed Snodgrass and Becchio, and he knows Leeds United inside out. The romantic in me would love to see him make with us but……..Joe Quigley claims that Stan will lose out to Paul Martin this time around as Macca’s assistant if the former Coventry boss is successful. It remains to be seen if Paul Martin’s teams can defend set plays. Other news,EddieandLUTV Eddie Gray will remain on as Leeds ambassador, and will continue to work in LUTV. That’s a decent call by Cellino and a popular one. Cellino has agreed the sale of Cagliari to a fellow Italian and has received a down payment, although the ground is not in any way involved in the deal. Cagiari fans are unhappy that he couldn’t tie up a deal with the Ameicans, but Cellino claims that they didn’t have any money. Brighton have appointed Sammi Hypia as their new manager on a three year contract. Norwich City have signed Bournemouth striker Lewis Grabban, so what now for Luciano Becchio ? Leeds are according to Sky Italia thought to be interested in signing 700K rated Serie B striker Leonardo Pavoletti who scored 20 goals with Varese last season. Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga are also keeping a close eye on the Italian allegedly.

Sat 7th of June McAllister in frame for second spell at Leeds. Gary McAllister is vying for a second spell as Leeds United boss amid expectations that the club’s former player and manager will be interviewed by Massimo Cellino today.  McAllister, 49, is reported to be one of three domestic candidates lined up for talks with Cellino later as United’s owner attempts to conclude his search for Brian McDermott’s replacement at Elland Road. Cellino planned to meet with a group of British coaches this weekend after confirming that McDermott’s successor would not be a foreign  appointment. Leeds are in the market for a new head coach after parting company with McDermott last Friday, 14 months after the 53-year-old took charge, and contact between McAllister and Cellino during the past few weeks appears to have opened the door to the Scot for a second time. McAllister – a hugely-respected personality at Leeds on account of role in Howard Wilkinson’s title-winning squad – managed Leeds for most of 2008, taking the club to the League One play-off final that summer. He was sacked by then chairman Ken Bates after exactly 50 competitive games, the result of five straight defeats before Christmas and an FA Cup second-round exit at the hands of non-league Histon. The retired midfielder took up coaching roles with Middlesbrough and Aston Villa following his dismissal at Elland Road and has worked recently as a co-commentator with BT Sport. He and Cellino are believed to have met at York racecourse on May 16 when the two men shared a corporate box owned by Steve Parkin, the Yorkshire businessman who has attempted to buy Leeds on a number of occasions. McAllister, pictured above, and Cellino also crossed paths last weekend, shortly after Leeds and McDermott agreed a deal to sever McDermott’s contract. McAllister was unavailable for comment last night. The precise identity of the three British coaches singled out by Cellino remains a secret but Dave Hockaday, the ex-Forest Green Rovers manager who has been heavily linked with the vacant post at Leeds, again refused to rule himself in or out of contention yesterday. Hockaday told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he could “only say ‘no comment’” following a week of persistent betting on him to land to the job of handling United’s senior squad. The 56-year-old is an obscure option with a profile far below the level of McAllister’s. Cellino explained the remit for McDermott’s replacement earlier this week, saying: “I am meeting three British coaches for talks and want to get someone in place soon. “I have always said I wanted a British coach. I am a man of my word and that is still the case. “I want someone to take care of the preparation of the team, the training, the tactics, not the recruitment or the contracts – which I will take care of. “The job is a coach, not a manager, which is an important difference.” Cellino, meanwhile, has lined up a fresh deal to sell his Italian club Cagliari following the collapse of a mooted takeover by US investors. A £36m bid for Cagliari made by former Inter Milan executive Tommaso Giulini has been accepted by Cellino.

Fri June 6th. Dolan in frame. Former Exeter City manager and Reading coach Eamonn Dolan is in the running to become the next Leeds United boss. Dolan, who was Exeter City manager during the 2003/04 campaign, was on Friday evening 3/1 with Sky Bet to take over at Elland Road from former Grecians’ player Brian McDermott, who left Leeds United by ‘mutual consent’ six days ago. It is thought new Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino is keen to hire a coach to work under a director of football at the club and that was one of the reasons behind McDermott’s departure. During his time at Exeter City, Dolan worked alongside the club’s current director of football Steve Perryman. Are we taking the piss with these type of candidates ?

Fri 6th of June. Cellino to meet with thee British coaches. Massimo Cellino says he will hold discussions with three British coaches tomorrow as he closes in on Leeds United’s next boss. Cellino insisted he was committed to appointing a domestic head coach after Leeds parted company with Brian McDermott last week. The club’s Italian owner, who has been seriously considering handing the job to little-known Dave Hockaday, is assessing his options in the wake of McDermott’s departure from Elland Road. Hockaday – a former Watford assistant who recently managed Forest Green Rovers – emerged as an obscure candidate for the vacancy within 24 hours of McDermott leaving. Cellino, left, however, is understood to have been angered by the flurry of betting last weekend which brought Hockaday’s name into the open. But his latest comments appear to rule out a range of foreign possibilities, including Gianluca Festa and Massimiliano Allegri, the ex-AC Milan boss. Cellino told Sky Sports: “I am meeting three British coaches for talks (tomorrow) and want to get someone in place soon. “I have always said I wanted a British coach. I am a man of my word and that is still the case. “I want someone to take care of the preparation of the team, the training, the tactics, not the recruitment or the contracts – which I will take care of. The job is a coach, not a manager, which is an important difference.” United’s players, all of whom met Cellino one-to-one at Elland Road on Monday, are due to start pre-season training on Thursday, June 26. Fri 6th of June. Collapse of American takeover of Cagliari. Italian side Cagliari remain under Massimo Cellino’s control after the proposed sale of the club to a group of American investors collapsed just hours after a deal was reached to renovate Cagliari’s stadium. Cellino, who set a deadline of Wednesday for a US group led by Italian businessman Luca Silvestrone to make a down-payment for Cagliari, claims to have lost all contact with the group and intimated yesterday that the £65m takeover was dead. The American interest in Cagliari has been both long-running and a source of confusion in Sardinia amid public doubt about whether the proposal would lead to a change of ownership and end Cellino’s 22-year reign as president. The Leeds United owner has been quoted repeatedly as saying that he could not continue to run two professional clubs after completing a buy-out of Leeds two months ago. Cellino told the YEP last month that any sale of Cagliari would have no impact on his strategy at Elland Road, though a multi-million pound deal would significantly strengthen his hand financially. The US-based investment group – representatives of whom met with Cellino in Miami last week – were due to make a payment of €10million to him on Wednesday after the council in Cagliari ruled that the club could increase the capacity of their Sant’Elia stadium to 16,000. But speaking to L’Unione Sarda, Cellino said: “There is no American investment group interested in acquiring Cagliari. “I have not seen or heard from anyone since last Wednesday’s meeting with Silvestrone and Dan Meis in Miami. No down payment of 10 million has been received. From what I can gather they only can be found through ‘missing’. “I only decided to meet Silvestrone because I was asked by a number of fans to do so. I always had the impression that Silvestrone was just representing himself and not a group.” Silvestrone has not responded to Cellino’s comments. The American bid, credible or not, proposed to buy Cagliari and most of the club’s assets. A second offer put forward by Tommaso Giulini, a former Inter Milan executive, was understood to be for the club alone and made at a far lower value but Cellino plans to revisit that option after the collapse of the US approach. The decision by the council to allow Cagliari to extend their neglected ground from a capacity of 5,000 to 16,000 appears to have ended the threat of Cagliari being forced to play home Serie A games away from their ground next season due to a lack of room for supporters. Cagliari have also received £2.2m as part of their deal with the council, potentially increasing the value of the club in any future takeover. Cellino had planned to attend the Football League’s annual general meeting in Portugal this week but chose not to travel at short notice with the council’s decision over Cagliari’s stadium pending and Leeds continuing to fight a winding-up petition served on them by Sport Capital. The petition over a disputed loan of £950,000 made to Leeds last November is due to be heard by a judge in London on Monday and Tuesday. The Football League’s gathering in Portugal would have been Cellino’s first meeting with senior officials from the governing body since the Football League’s board attempted to block his takeover of Leeds. That decision was overturned on appeal by an independent QC, allowing Cellino to buy a 75 per cent stake in the club in April.

Thurs June 5th. McCormack offer from Toon rejected. Leeds United have rejected Newcastle United’s approach for top scorer Ross McCormack. Owner Massimo Cellino claimed last night that a firm offer from Newcastle – made to Leeds at the beginning of this week – had been turned down, saying McCormack was “happy to stay” after talks between them on Monday. Newcastle are bidding to buy three strikers before the start of next season and intend to sign one from the English leagues. The Premier League club have been in touch with Burnley about Danny Ings – the player who beat McCormack to the Championship’s player-of-the-year award in April – and made an enquiry about McCormack as the Scotland international and United’s other players were preparing to meet Cellino face-to-face at Elland Road on Monday afternoon. Newcastle’s valuation has been described as “substantial” but Cellino is believed to favour the option of retaining McCormack on the back of his 29 goals for the club this season, despite the money his sale would raise. Cellino said: “Newcastle made an offer for McCormack and I said no. He is happy to stay here and that made me proud.” McCormack is protected by a long contract, running to the summer of 2017, and Leeds are thought to value him in the region of £6million. The club do not intend to discuss a new deal with him, however, having handed McCormack a four-year contract last August and made him one of their higher earners. West Ham United and Cardiff City bid for McCormack unsuccessfully in January and West Ham are expected to make another offer during the current transfer window. It is not clear if Newcastle will now step up their pursuit of McCormack having identified other British-based alternatives.

Weds 4th of June. Newcastle move for McCormack – Phil Hay YP. Newcastle United are attempting to initiate talks with Leeds United about signing Ross McCormack in a move which could start the bidding for Leeds’ captain and top scorer. A request for discussions about McCormack’s availability is understood to have been made by Newcastle at the start of this week as the Scotland international and United’s other players returned to Elland Road for meetings with owner Massimo Cellino. The Premier League side are yet to table an offer for McCormack – valued at around £6million by Leeds – but an expression of interest from St James’ Park is likely to be followed by further enquiries from other English clubs. Newcastle are in the market for three new strikers this summer and have lined up the signing of 20-year-old Ayoze Perez from Tenerife. At least one of the remaining two forwards will be sourced from the English leagues, however, and Newcastle have already approached Burnley over Danny Ings – the striker who narrowly beat McCormack to the Championship’s player-of-the-year award this season. Ings has only 12 months left on his contract at Turf Moor but McCormack is tied down until 2017 having signed a four-year deal with Leeds last summer, an agreement which made him one of the club’s top earners. The 27-year-old finished the recent term as the Championship’s leading scorer with 29 goals and swept the board at United’s player-of-the-year awards ceremony last month. Leeds retained him throughout the campaign despite receiving bids from West Ham United and Cardiff City in the January transfer window but numerous clubs have been linked with McCormack since the season finished on May 3. He and Cellino spoke on Monday afternoon during a series of one-to-one meetings held between United’s owner and the playing staff. The former Cardiff player refused to make any comment on the meetings but speaking to the YEP before the end of the season, McCormack said: “There’s no point in me sitting here saying that I don’t want to play in the Premier League because I do. “I want to play there as soon as possible but in my head there’s a lot to take into consideration.“I think about the feeling of being at Elland Road on the last day of the season, winning promotion and being captain. “That would surpass just playing in the Premier League for any old club and I don’t say that lightly.” Another player of the year about to be sold ?

Tues 3rd of June. Summary of Tuesday’s events. Instead of regurgitating all of todays events here is a snap shot of the latest happenings allegedly involving Leeds targets and personnel. Wolves are “delighted to announce the signing” of left winger, Tommy Rowe (remember him) on a two year contract. He was out of contract at Peterboro. Paulo Di Cannio’s agent has denied any approach about the Leeds job, thank God. Gianfranco Zola’s agent has also denied any approach from Leeds United, nor is it likely given the bad blood between the Sardinian and Cellino. Just when you think things can’t get worse, think of poor David Haigh, who is now in custody in Dubai 16 nights and yet to be charged with an offence. I’ll be travelling for the next couple of days so updated may be sporadic.

Tues 3rd of June. Cellino thoughts after meeting players One day after breaking off from their summer holidays, Leeds United’s players can today relax.They had to attend Elland Road yesterday for personal meetings with new Italian owner Massimo Cellino when they were informed that they will be required to return for pre-season training on June 26. Some players had either cancelled or curtailed holidays to attend. Cellino announced himself impressed with the fantastic professionalism” of the players – who are still awaiting payment of their wages – in showing him “respect” by attending the meeting. The club remain optimistic of being able to pay them this week and of successfully challenging the winding-up order against Leeds before June 9. They have mapped out a 15-day pre-season tour in northern Italy in the municipality of Santa Cristina in Val Gardena. Details regarding matches have yet to be formalised. Cellino said: “I met all the players and they showed me that they wanted to stay at the club. They work for the club, not Massimo Cellino. “They showed me respect and have a fantastic professionalism towards the club. “We are a better team than we first thought. “All the players are hungry to be involved in this new project at Leeds United.” Leeds’s return date is a week ahead of the prior schedule to report into Thorp Arch for the start of pre-season training on Thursday, July 3, five weeks before the new season begins. Last month, Cellino had stated he expected United’s players and coaching staff to report back to work on May 28 – less than four weeks after the end of the Championship season. Cellino had claimed that the 25-day gap would account for the squad’s entire holiday allowance, but subsequently put back the date for their return to yesterday. Cellino is now focusing his attentions on speaking to candidates for a new head coach role at Elland Road, as well as grappling with the financial issues engulfing the club, with a £950,000 winding-up order issued by Sport Capital high on his list of priorities. Reports in Italy late last night suggested that former Middlesbrough defender Gianluca Festa was emerging as the strongest candidate for the job.

June 2nd. Players arrive back for meeting.  Leeds United’s players have been recalled from their holidays and are due to meet the club’s owner Massimo Cellino at Elland Road on Monday. The players have reportedly not been paid for the last month after the Championship club were hit by a winding-up petition after missing the date to repay a £1m loan from Sport Capital. That is expected to be one of the topics of discussion during Monday’s meeting as Leeds continue their search for a new manager after Brian McDermott left the club by mutual consent on Friday. Defender Scott Wootton admitted some of the players were frustrated at being called back from their time off. He told Sky Sports News: “I’m sure the lads will have to had change flights, I’m not sure what’s going to happen over that. I’m sure the lads are frustrated to be honest, yes.” On the issue of not being paid, he added: “No-one’s spoken to anyone. Hopefully we’ll find out all about that in this meeting now, it’ll be one of things that will crop up.”  Sky Sports News reporter Richard Graves said: “It’s been a turbulent period for Leeds United. Late on Friday night around 11pm we got the news that Brian McDermott had agreed to leave the club by mutual consent so Leeds United’s search for a new manager is already well underway.“Cellino has been quoted as saying he has up to 10 potential coaches to see at some point this week.“Among the names being considered we believe is Gianluca Festa, the former Middlesbrough defender, and also a surprise name, that of former Forest Green Rovers manager and ex-Watford coach Dave Hockaday. “There is also a winding-up petition which Leeds United have got to deal with. As a result of that sources at the club have told us that the players haven’t been paid because the club bank account has been frozen. “Although the general full-time staff have been paid out of a personal bank account, FA rules prohibit players from being paid (this way). “Sources at the club tell us they expect that petition to be dealt with accordingly and the players’ wages should be paid some time in the near future.”

June 2nd. Cellino meets players at Elland Road. From the negative reaction to Hockaday, Cellino is allegedly rethinking his options and the BpIhEsYCIAAgm2Gbookies have reflected this in the betting. He no longer has a price.  Cellino talked to most of the players individually and insisted that they not speak to the press after the meeting (see pic of Sam Byram leaving ER). Gianluca Festa appears to be the bookies second favourite (God forbid), whilst Leeds fans favour a candidate like Malkay McKay. Gary Bowyer of Blackburn Rovers seems high on the list also but that would involve compensation which is unlikely given Cellino’s pre-occupation with cuttings costs. Benito Carbone 7/4 Gianfranco Zola 9/4 Gianluca Festa 8/1 Roberto Di Matteo 12/1 Paolo Di Canio 16/1 Claudio Ranieri 20/1 Nigel Gibbs 20/1 Massimiliano Allegri 20/1 Neil Lennon 20/1 Neil Redfearn 20/1 Tim Sherwood 20/1 Malky MacKay 20/1 Simon Grayson 20/1 David O’Leary 25/1 Chris Hughton 25/1 Alan Curbishley 25/1 Steve Clarke 33/1 Gary Megson 33/1 Mick McCarthy 33/1 Billy Davies 40/1 Paul Ince 40/1 Kenny Jackett 40/1 Gary McAllister 40/1 Steve Lomas 50/1 Gareth Southgate 50/1 Paul Jewell 50/1 Tony Mowbray 50/1 Stuart Pearce 50/1 Paul Dickov 50/1 Sven Goran Eriksson 50/1 Terry Connor 50/1 Phil Brown 50/1 Glenn Hoddle 50/1 Dennis Wise 66/1.

June 1st. Cellino must step up to the mark – by GC. Well, here we go again. Another season over and we have no manager or as our new owner calls it, no coach. In many ways this has been our worst season since we were relegated from the Premiership over 10 seasons ago. It has beem like watching a car crash in slow moton. There is no doubt that Brian McDermott is a decent man and history will probably be kind to him. His signings ultimately were poor, although he worked under conditions at Leeds that few managers would have condoned let alone remained. Sacked by a man who didn’t own the club, criticised for going “missing”, not being paid for weeks on end etc etc Ultimately the Italian and the mild mannered second generation Irishman were never going to last. Cellino inherited a club from hell where GFH and Bates mortgaged everything from the family goldfish to the season tickets for the next couple of years. Cellino has made a lot of promises before he won his appeal against the Football League. This was the man who after all was going to “go to the bank and immediately and buy back Thorp Arch within a week of his takeover”. As we speak, Thorp Arch is closed for the summer to save CellinoandPDSon rent. Promise number one broken, and broken badly. Massimo Cellino is a hugely experienced Italian football club owner, but with no experience in England. As we speak the tangled web of the Cagliari sale has not been completed and we do not know the full extent of his wealth. Cellino talks of stabilising the club and launching a real promotion bid the season after next. This won’t sell season tickets and will not encourage Leeds fans, and these fans are crying out desperately for hope. Already Ross McCormacks’s suitors are circling like vultures, and if our 29 goal top scoring forward is sold a lot of answers will be deduced from that action. Next week is our most important week of the season when up to ten candidates are going to be interviewed for the post of Leeds United manager or coach. Watford have tried the coach role and it has failed miserably. They have regressed badly. In fact the man they sacked has brought Burnley in a shoestring to the Premiership.  A manager must be allowed to manage. Cellino is astute and must choose wisely. A surprise name in Dave Hockaday has come from nowhere to 6/4 favourite. I have nothing against the man, but even without knowing him, his background of four years managing Forest Green Rovers is no way good enough to get him near the door of a interview for Leeds United. Even Gianluca Festa scares the living daylights out of me with his lack of experience at managing at any decent level. The third favourite is Benito Carbone who also has little or no experience. Leeds United are not a test case. We are one of the biggest clubs in the country, who need an astute appointment backed by investment. Regarding Cellino, we don’t care how good he is on the guitar. The supporters want to see change. They need a lift. They want investment on the pitch. No bullshit.  They don’t want to see another year of no mark free transfers arrive. Let’s see if Massimo Cellino will put his money where his mouth is. The players arrive back for a meeting tomorrow with the chairman extremely annoyed having cut short their holidays, and no pay packets on time again. A dangerous tactic to cut off people who he desperately needs on side by early August.  So far the jury is very much out on Massimo Cellino.

June 1st. Mac’s signings let him down – Mick Jones  LEGENDARY Leeds United striker Mick Jones believes several of Brian McDermott’s signings let him down in the final analysis following his departure from Elland Road. McDermott left United late on Friday night by mutual consent, a development that Jones admits he was not surprised by following an almost ceaseless bout of speculation about his future – which intensified after Massimo Cellino’s deal to buy the club was ratified. McDermott’s record at United was mixed, with Jones of the view that a number of his captures didn’t live up to expectations – and help his own cause. On McDermott’s exit, Jones said: “I think it was expected. I don’t think anyone is really surprised.It’s sad really as I feel some of the players he got in let him down and didn’t play for him at all. “The crowd got on the players’ backs and he brought them in and obviously has got to take the blame for that.untitled untitled (2)That was one of the things. But it’s sad as he was a nice guy. But when new owners come in, they have their own ideas and it is a new start and new era for the club. I wouldn’t be surprised if he (Cellino) brings someone he knows in and he’s probably got someone in mind. He will have his own ideas.” Jones added: “It will interesting from this summer. There’s a lot of work to do down there. “It’s a big squad and there’s a lot to be done with that. Obviously, there’s money problems and there’s a lot to be done with the club and let’s hope it gets sorted out. “He (Cellino) seems to be one of those who does not mess around much. We’ll see.” Ex-Leeds United captain Trevor Cherry admits to feeling empathy with McDermott, with the Slough-born manager having to deal with all manner of the off-the-field problems at the club. But he believes that some poor results, particularly this year, fatally weakened his position.Cherry said: “I am not too surprised as Leeds had a poor season. The squad just didn’t  perform. Obviously there were all the off-the-field problems and it has been difficult; I remember having problems in that regard at Bradford. unfortunately, despite the off-the-field stuff, a manager’s job is to get results. That’s the bottom line and Leeds weren’t good enough last season. “Whoever comes here has to get the squad giving 100 per cent every week on the field and get back to basics really. It’s about the squad raining well all week and giving their all on a Saturday.”

June 1st McDermott just wrong fit for Cellino – Hay YP MASSIMO CELLINO’S first attempt to rid Leeds United of Brian McDermott was instant and ruthless.  Second time around, the process was painfully slow. Alongside regret and that sense of emptiness managers hate, McDermott must feel a touch of relief. His departure is closure if nothing else. Quite when he resigned himself to this fate is for him to say and the weeks between January and last night were like creeping death but McDermott knew the game was up when Cellino began communicating McDermottPreQPRwith him in writing last month. Their inability to speak said much about a relationship beyond repair, exposing a managerial charade at Elland Road. The job was McDermott’s for as long as Cellino allowed the game to continue. The letters they exchanged were formal, terse and defensive; most likely written with legal advice. The League Managers’ Association (LMA) assisted McDermott from January onwards and notes were kept detailing Cellino’s behaviour and comments; a dossier which would have been used to show an owner undermining his manager. That McDermott and Leeds parted company without the need for a tribunal does not change the fact that he prepared for one. From Cellino’s perspective, McDermott was never his man – not on January 31, when he tried to fire McDermott but lacked the authority to do so, or on April 7 when the Italian’s takeover of Leeds went through. In moments of amicable reflection, Cellino talked about giving him a chance but in context it looked like a marriage of convenience. A matter of finance rather than football. United’s owner is known to have been shocked by McDermott’s salary – around £750,000 a year – and the implications of sacking him with two seasons left on his contract. Many at Leeds think McDermott would have left weeks ago had Cellino not walked into Elland Road to find an endless pile of unpaid bills on his desk. “The manager is the last of my problems,” Cellino told me at the end of April which, with the Championship season petering out, was probably true. But tomorrow is the first day of June and for all the focus on a crippling winding-up petition, football is climbing up the agenda again. McDermott’s position could no longer be ignored. The sad realisation for McDermott is that he failed with one of his few stated aims as manager of Leeds: to break the club out of the cycle of sacking after sacking. McDermott saw United’s chronic instability – a trend which began long before his tenure – as the fundamental reason for 10 consecutive seasons in the Football League but after 14 months and 55 games he joins the list of casualties. In Italy Cellino is renowned for changing tact and giving coaches the bullet. Leeds in their own way are not so different. Instability was all McDermott saw at Elland Road. In April 2013, he acquired a squad who were five games from relegation. At the time he received the usual promises and assurances from Gulf Finance House, United’s owner, but found many of them to be hollow. SignCellinoLUTVings trickled into Leeds slowly during his first summer as manager and the expensive transfer of Luke Murphy from Crewe Alexandra came at the end of a week in which an increasingly anxious McDermott badgered his board for some support and some money. If he had not been pre-warned about GFH’s style of ownership, he saw soon enough that the Bahraini bank had a habit of looking after itself before anyone else. The pre-season groundwork was patchy and incomplete and against that backdrop, the season that followed proved incoherent; a year in which McDermott was always grasping for answers and solutions. As Reading’s manager his style was established and effective. At Leeds, his team and his tactics were never nailed down. He set out with a diamond midfield but dispensed with it a month into the term. The employment of wing-backs took United into the play-off positions before Christmas – a stage at which McDermott believed the club would finish inside the top six – but a wobble around new year broke the facade and the air of confidence. Rochdale away in early January was a severe aberration, an embarrassment which led the away crowd at Rochdale to tear McDermott’s players to shreds. The loss at Sheffield Wednesday the following weekend can be seen as the moment when United’s equilibrium went completely. McDermott had spoken repeatedly about his need for out-and-out wingers and in the 48 hours before the derby at Hillsborough, he signed two – Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart. With those players at his disposal, there was no explanation for an untried and unfamiliar 3-4-3 system he adopted, minus the height and power of Matt Smith up front. Wednesday worked the formation out and annihilated Leeds with six unanswered goals, United’s worst defeat for more than half a century. It was two goals short of their heaviest ever. McDermott never recovered from that. His squad were bullied mercilessly during the run-in, battered by Bolton, Reading and Bournemouth and beaten five times on the bounce in March and April. The supporters appreciated his effort and admired his decency, never turning on him as they did on Neil Warnock, but over time their faith was lost. GibbsandMaccaFew of his signings settled in and he found himself returning in desperation to players and tactics that had failed him before. He also believed that certain senior players began to doubt him. McDermott took the view that his authority in the dressing room had been severely weakened by his bizarre sacking and reinstatement in January. United’s spineless defeat at Watford, a day after Cellino’s takeover went through in April, was as far removed from a statement of intent as it was possible to get. The defence of McDermott, his results and the football played under him is that for several months he worked to the sound of knives sharpening behind his back. A senior official at GFH attempted to persuade David Haigh, United’s former managing director, to dismiss McDermott at half-time during the 6-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, a demand Haigh ignored. In that same week, a move to sign Ashley Barnes from Brighton was blocked by GFH on tenuous grounds. So chaotic has United’s recent existence been that it is easy to forget the attempt by Cellino to place Gianluca Festa – a close confidant of his – on the bench for a 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on January 28 or the demand from GFH that McDermott submit his line-ups for approval before each game. For too long, McDermott worked for a club who operated at a base level of professionalism. When wages for the playing staff went unpaid in March, he and his squad read about the crisis in the press. They received no prior warning or communication from the club. When Benito Carbone, Leeds’ newly appointed technical advisor, appeared at Thorp Arch towards the end of April, McDermott was not told to expect him or informed of Carbone’s role. I know as much as you know,” he told the media week after week. More often than not, he knew less than that. Towards the bitter end there was a train of thought which said McDermott was there, hanging on for a pay-off. Those of us who saw the strain he was under would say he was hanging on to a job he coveted and hated the idea of losing. Cellino refused to back him but made no immediate move to replace him either. They barely spoke. The situation was stressful and humiliating, more than a seven-figure sum of compensation is worth and in the background McDermott had the personal worry of his mother in Stoke Mandeville hospital, suffering from cancer. Far from taking a holiday last month, he travelled down south to tend to her. Cellino’s infamous question – “where’s Brian?” – would have been easily answered by a phone call. Even yesterday, the two men did not talk directly. The mutual parting of ways prevented a highly awkward conversation at Elland Road on Monday. McDermott is a traditional English manager who knows and likes the English way. For as long as John Madejski held the power at Reading, McDermott was in his element. Leeds took a different path with GFH and have done so again with Cellino, a volatile and single-minded boss. It will take a certain type of coach to work under the Italian and McDermott is not it. Some would say he failed at Elland Road. Many others would say he never had a chance. That argument will be settled by what McDermott does next.
Sat 30th of May betting for new Leeds manager. DAVID HOCKADAY is the shock candidate who has leapt to the front of the betting to be named as the next Leeds United manager. The former Forest Green Rovers boss, 56, is emerging as the surprise frontrunner in the odds for the vacant United post following the exit of Brian McDermott late on Friday night. When contacted on Saturday afternoon, Hockaday declined t220px-DavidHockaday@FGRFCo comment on being heavily linked with the Elland Road position. Surely Cellino us taking the piss here. No way can he be serious. Six leading bookmakers have made him the favourite or joint favourite for the position ahead of the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Benito Carbone and Gianluca Festa. The north-easterner spent four-and-a-years at the managerial helm at Forest Green from February 2009 to October 2013 before parting company with the west country outfit by mutual consent. He was previously part of the Watford coaching staff under Adie Boothroyd at Vicarage Road between 2005 and 2008. It represents his only previous managerial experience, although he was linked with the Swindon Town post after the departure of Paolo di Canio in February 2013, a season which saw Rovers narrowly miss out on the Conference Premier play-offs. As a player, Hockaday was a full-back with Blackpool, Swindon, Hull City and Shrewsbury Town before retiring in the mid-nineties. He favourite to replace McDermott early on Saturday morning was Carbone, currently in situ at Elland Road after recently arriving in West Yorkshire as a technical consultant. Comments from owner Massimo Cellino, however, have appeared to cast doubt over the possibility of the former Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday striker becoming the new United manager. Speaking late last night, Cellino implied that Carbone, despite recently speaking about his ultimate desire to be a manager one day, will be charge of United’s under-21s next season and have responsibility for that and not the first team. Cellino said: “I have always said that Carbone will be in charge of the under-21s next season and that doesn’t change now.” Another name figuring prominently in the betting is former West Ham and Watford manager Zola, out of work since leaving Vicarage Road in mid-December. The Sardinian was linked with the United post in April, although his agent Fulvio Marrucco rebuffed talk at the time of him potentially replacing McDermott. Speaking in April, Marrucco said: “Absolutely not. But I think we will see him back on a bench in England soon enough, rather than back in Italy. “The one thing I can tell you today is that Zola will not be Leeds’ coach for next season.” Cagliari-born Festa is also strongly in the betting with the former Middlesbrough and Inter Milan defender brought in as an advisor by Cellino in late January while he was in the process of attempting to finalise his move for the club. Festa, an observer at first-team training at Thorp Arch, had been earmarked for a place in the dug-out before the home game with Ipswich Town on January 28, but in the event, didn’t take his place there. One other Italian name in the betting is veteran coach Claudio Ranieri, who recently left Monaco having also had previous spells at many leading European clubs such as Roma, Juventus, Inter Milan and Chelsea. Another former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo – linked with Leeds once before – is also beleived to be in the frame. Other names mentioned in the betting include Neil Redfearn, who has managed the club twice on an interim basis, Tim Sherwood, Chris Hughton and former Whites boss Simon Grayson. Here are the current odds from Sky Bet. Add your own choices in the comments box below… Dave Hockaday 6/4  Benito Carbone 7/4 Gianfranco Zola 9/4 Gianluca Festa 8/1 Roberto Di Matteo 12/1 Paolo Di Canio 16/1 Claudio Ranieri 20/1 Nigel Gibbs 20/1 Massimiliano Allegri 20/1 Neil Lennon 20/1 Neil Redfearn 20/1 Tim Sherwood 20/1 Malky MacKay 20/1 Simon Grayson 20/1 David O’Leary 25/1 Chris Hughton 25/1 Alan Curbishley 25/1 Steve Clarke 33/1 Gary Megson 33/1 Mick McCarthy 33/1 Billy Davies 40/1 Paul Ince 40/1 Kenny Jackett 40/1 Gary McAllister 40/1 Steve Lomas 50/1 Gareth Southgate 50/1 Paul Jewell 50/1 Tony Mowbray 50/1 Stuart Pearce 50/1 Paul Dickov 50/1 Sven Goran Eriksson 50/1 Terry Connor 50/1 Phil Brown 50/1 Glenn Hoddle 50/1Dennis Wise 66/1