Tues May 31st  So who now for the Elland Road hot seat ? GARRY Monk is the new hot favourite to be the next head coach of Leeds United – but five different managers have been odds-on for the position in the last week. John Sheridan Was at one stage as short as 1-6, the former Whites midfielder, then in charge of Oldham Athletic, was heavily linked with the job but nothing official was confirmed and the 51-year-old eventually signed a deal to manage League Two side Notts County. Karl Robinson With Sheridan still at Oldham, MK Dons boss Karl Robinson then became the new odds on favourite for the Leeds post and the 35-year-old is thought to have personally met Whites chairman Massimo Cellino in person in London. Whether Robinson was actually offered the job is unclear but whilst admitting to being “surprised” and “flattered” to be considered for the Whites post, he nonetheless made his intentions to stay with the relegated Dons clear. Darrell Clarke Robinson – who had been as short as 1-8 – was then replaced at the head of the market by Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke whose switch to Leeds looked imminent. Bristol Rovers confirmed that United had made an initial and official approach to speak to Clarke who was also as short as 1-8 favourite at one point. But the 38-year-old was also offered a new deal by Rovers – the second deal making him the highest paid manager in the club’s history – and the 38-year-old opted to sign a new three-year-contract with the team recently promoted from League Two.


Gary Monk – New favourite in the ER Rat-Race

Garry Monk Took over Swansea in the February of 2014 following the sacking of Michael Laudrup but only lasted until the December of 2015 as the threat of relegation was cast over the Premier League club. Having played in every division for the Welsh club, he is Swansea through and through, and it remains to be seen whether he would be interested in diving back into the game by taking on such a huge challenge at Leeds. May 31st Steve Evans leaves Elland Road with enhanced reputation – Phil Hay Out-of-work coaches queue around the block whenever the sign says ‘situation vacant’ but it could be said that managing Leeds United is bad for your professional health. All five head coaches who came before Steve Evans found that life after Leeds was life in the wilderness, at least for a time. Brian McDermott took an 18-month breather from management after becoming Massimo Cellino’s first victim. David Hockaday coached Kidderminster Harriers for 13 games but is back to building youth academies in his own image. Darko Milanic spent almost two years on gardening leave and Uwe Rosler, sacked last October, is still out of work and still on United’s payroll. Neil Redfearn survived at Rotherham United for less than a third of this season. EvansandplayersIn light of that, and in spite of his demise, Steve Evans has fared rather well. He goes out of Leeds looking trimmer and healthier, a few stones lighter after weeks on a health kick, and with a heavier reputation than he held when he took charge. Popular managers find Leeds difficult to handle and Evans came to Elland Road without the popular vote behind him. This “motherf*****”, as Cellino chose to describe him on day one, found a way into the fold; a way into what Evans liked to call the “Leeds United family.” He expects to receive other job offers this summer and doubtless he will; not from Celtic – the dream ticket for every second Glaswegian – and perhaps not from certain other clubs linked to him but from good sides in the Football League. Peterborough United, where Evans has friends at a high level, might have proved be a good fit so close to his family home but he can be confident of rolling up somewhere. Leeds on his CV should do more for him than some of his predecessors. He said on the final day of the season that he was “not one of these coaches who goes away, goes to court or speaks ill of this club” and he is likely to hold to that. On one hand, Evans had no contract to speak of, ending as it did on June 30, and no grounds for the sort of legal action which ex-employees have legitimately taken. But on the other he is as well-placed as any recent boss to draw a line and move on without dwelling on grievances.   A verdict on his performance (38 games, 14 wins, 12 defeats) depends on context. Leeds were no more a play-off team under Evans than they were at the start of the season but his signings numbered three, one of them permanent, and the club’s reluctance to twist in the January transfer window was tacit acceptance of a campaign free-wheeling towards mid-table. From December onwards, Leeds were nowhere near the bottom three either. It was comfortable under Evans, in control almost, with the exception of a few nasty defeats. Much of the tension came from doubts about his own job and the inevitable questions the uncertainty posed. The two weaknesses he inherited – a shortage of goals and defensive ineptitude, particularly at centre-back – did not go away, despite Liam Bridcutt bringing bite to the midfield, and those flies were in the ointment against Preston, aptly summed up by Scott Wootton’s blunder. But Leeds were spirited under Evans. Their players were playing for him, or playing for something, even as injury-time came and the summer beckoned at Deepdale. That is not in itself indicative of Evans’ ability to build or sustain a top-six team but it was one of the reasons why a full away end gave him their approval. In Cellino’s eyes, Evans has served a purpose by keeping relegation at arm’s length and giving United’s owner the breathing space of another summer and another season in the Championship. Had this season gone off the rails after Rosler’s exit, Cellino’s problems would have been tenfold and the strain on him more intense. But a 4-0 hammering at Brighton in February started the countdown for Evans. Cellino’s comments afterwards, so familiar when his head coaches are on dodgy ground, started the countdown. By the first week of May even the optimist in Evans had come to accept that his time was up.   Evans says his relationship with Cellino has been solid enough and crossed words between the pair have been relatively few but Cellino disliked the Scot’s out-there style; disliked the fact that Evans talked “too much”, no matter the effort the Scot made to defend Cellino. A background check would have told the Italian that Evans operates that way. There is rarely a question he won’t answer. There was never a press conference which failed to elicit a notable soundbite. But there were occasions when he went too far or tied himself in knots, as he did on the issue of new deals for Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook. “Maybe I’d have liked it to be true,” Evans said, explaining why he had claimed contract talks were in progress when in fact there were none. Week after week, he gave the impression of someone who was thrilled to be in his job. Thrilled to be in it, reluctant to lose it recklessly and determined to be as good-humoured as possible. In the final throes he was more upbeat than Redfearn and nothing like the beaten figure McDermott cut. The reason for the change of tone at Preston, the tears, the slumped shoulders, the defeatist comments, must have been the realisation that for him it was over. No more games, no more work. All of a sudden the end was unavoidable. Cellino clearly favoured a change but then Cellino always seems to. There are players, too, who will warm to an alternative coach more than they warmed to Evans’ full-frontal nature. He was willing to be critical and point the finger, occasionally to the verge of throwing players under a bus. Jordan Botaka was the best example, hung out to dry after Leeds’ FA Cup defeat at Watford, but it was notable still that when Evans crossed swords with Giuseppe Bellusci before last month’s game at Hull City, he had the nerve to confront the defender’s indiscipline and drop him from his squad. Evans’ approach can be summed up by a phrase he repeats to many of his prospective recruits: “If you can’t take a bollocking, don’t sign for me.” Again, there are plenty of people in the game who would have told Cellino that in advance. There is ample evidence. Watch the video of the Crawley Town players Evans left behind in 2012. Read the words of Ben Smith, the ‘journeyman’ footballer who was in his shadow at Broadfield. Hard but fair, Evans would call himself, and his tenure with Leeds can be seen that way: difficult, exacting but more than good enough for him to leave with his reputation as a manager enhanced. After their meeting on April 29, Evans thought Cellino would offer him a new deal. He thought Cellino had decided to offer him a new deal. But the days passed, the jungle drums changed their tune and Cellino moved on. As Evans does the same, he can think back to his first press conference, the plea for acceptance he made that day, and tell himself that in the arena of public opinion, he won.

May 31st Long time sponsor pulls out over “embarrassment” of Cellino A long-time sponsor of Leeds United is withdrawing its support of the club, saying association with Massimo Cellino has become an “embarrassment”. In an email sent to Cellino last night, Crosswater Holdings chairman David Hance told United’s owner he had “had enough of how you run our famous club” and said the company would not consider further sponsorship deals while the Cellino remained in charge at Elland Road. Elland Road tunnel, sponsored by Crosswater. Crosswater, a firm which supplies bathroom fittings, has held commercial agreements with United for the past decade and is currently in the middle of a two-year deal which includes sponsorship of the tunnel at Elland Road. Hance said Crosswater would now look for an early exit from its existing contract, a deal which is due to run to the end of the 2016-17 season. Crosswater’s move to end financial backing came hours after the latest managerial change under Cellino at Leeds. United announced the departure of head coach Steve Evans yesterday evening and the club are continuing their search for a replacement – the seventh first-team boss in little over two years since Cellino bought a majority stake in Leeds. Hance’s email, a copy of which was sent to the YEP, read: “It is with great regret that I am severing my commercial association with Leeds United. “After 10 years supporting the club as a true fan, and longest-serving sponsor, I have had enough of how you run our famous club. 

For my brand to be associated with Leeds United is now an embarrassment to both me and my customers. As always, I will follow the club all over the UK but until you exit the club I or any of my employees will not return in a commercial capacity. “I wish your task of recruiting another manager all the best. I certainly would not work with you or for you.” Leeds have been asked to respond to Hance’s comments. Crosswater is not the first club sponsor to threaten to end commercial deals with Leeds in protest against Cellino’s controversial involvement at Elland Road. Former shirt sponsor Enterprise Insurance and one-time academy sponsor Flamingo Land both announced that they would be pulling all financial backing of United in the aftermath of the events of ‘Mad Friday’ in 2014, the night when Cellino first agreed his takeover of Leeds and attempted to sacking then manager Brian McDermott. Enterprise’s contract ran to the end of the 2015-16 season but Leeds played out that campaign without any branding on their shirt. The club, however, recently announced a deal with online casino company 32Red to sponsor their kit for the next three years. Two further sponsorship agreements have also been reached with Clipper Logistics, the company found by lifelong Leeds fan Steve Parkin. Clipper will act as both East Stand sponsor and secondary shirt sponsor next term. May 31st Evans leaves with his head held high and refuses to criticise club Steve Evans refused to criticise Leeds president Massimo Cellino, despite losing his job as head coach on Tuesday night. Evans was finally put out of his misery after a three-week wait to learn his fate, a period during which he had limited contact with Cellino while the Italian interviewed others for the position. In the end it fell on club secretary Stuart Hayton to deliver the news to Evans, but the 53-year-old refused to criticise his now former boss, despite being put through what many felt was a public humiliation. Cellino met with MK Dons boss Karl Robinson and also made an unsuccessful approach for Bristol Rovers’ Darrell Clarke, all while Evans remained in position, but the Scot said: “First and foremost I have always believed that, if you’re an owner and have the final say, you’re duty bound to put the best man in the chair for the job. “If Mr Cellino has an option on me to extend my contract and sees fit to speak to other people, I had to ask myself, ‘One, was he doing it because he doubted me or, two, he wanted to see if there was something better in the market?’“For a time I believed it was the second of those two, but the last week I saw there were other people in for the job and I took the opinion it was not going to be me.” As a consequence, Evans requested an Elland Road meeting where Hayton delivered the news on Cellino’s behalf. The Italian has not told any of the six coaches he has sacked in two years of the news himself. I got the news from the club secretary late this afternoon,” Evans added on Sky Sports News.   I went up to Elland Road, it fell upon me given recent events to be asking the question whether my contract was going to be extended and, following a meeting with the board and Mr Cellino, Stuart was asked to convey to me that it would not be renewed.“It was hard to sit there and accept. When you work for Leeds United, the first think you realise is the size and the fans are simply stunning and wonderful people and you realise you have to keep your dignity and respect. If you come out of that club it’s a sad day. I will move on, but it’s been a wonderful experience.” Asked if he felt undermined by Cellino’s pursuit of other managers, Evans said: No, not at all. I wish that great football club and those supporters every success and I will be the first to buy a ticket if they get in the Premier League.” So confident are Leeds that they can achieve promotion next season, they have promised either a 25 per cent of 50 per cent refund for season ticket holders if they do not make the play-offs. Given they have not finished higher than 13th – achieved under Evans – during Cellino’s two-year tenure, that could prove a tall order, especially given Cellino’s constant off-the-field troubles. He is currently the subject of a Football Association charge for an alleged breach of its agent regulations, while he has also served a Football League ban for tax evasion. His ownership has come under heavy criticism from fans, with the ‘Time To Go Massimo’ protest group particularly vociferous. A fortnight ago the Italian said he wanted to sell the club – not for the first time – but he now has a new head coach to appoint. Evans got the job after Uwe Rosler was sacked in October, his unsuccessful tenure following those of Brian McDermott, Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic and Neil Redfearn. Former Swansea boss Garry Monk heads the betting to replace Evans. Tuesday 31st of May United sack Evans – LUSC website Leeds United can confirm that the Club has parted company with head coach Steve Evans. Evans, along with his assistant Paul Raynor, leaves with the Club’s best wishes following a seven-month stay at Elland Road. United chairman Massimo Cellino said: “I would like to thank Steve Evans for his efforts as the head coach of Leeds United. “Steve completed the job he was brought in to carry out – to keep the team in the Championship – and his hard work here has been greatly appreciated. I wish him and Paul Raynor the very best for the future. “We have, however, decided that a different approach is required in order to achieve our targets for the new season. “The Club is now looking to appoint a new head coach to build on the good work of Steve and Paul and deliver the special season which our supporters deserve.” Mon 30th of May 2016. Noel Whelan – “Another non-existent season if we don’t start getting things right off the pitch” YOU have got to feel a little bit for Steve Evans at the moment. With what’s going on and the way they are going about their search for a new manager – not firing him, not speaking to him, it’s very disrespectful to Steve Evans, or any manager in that position. It’s not the way you should go about your job and it’s not professional. I don’t like to see any manager lose their job but when someone is still in a job and you are interviewing other managers for that position when he hasn’t been sacked, that just becomes farcical. The fact that Steve is still here is saying that he wants to be at the club and he wants to manage Leeds United next season. Many managers would have walked, I’m sure. But like Steve said at the end of the season, he fell in love with the club and I think that’s what Leeds United does to you so why would you want to walk away from the job? But it’s going to be very difficult to have a relationship with a chairman that obviously doesn’t seem to want you at the club because he is looking elsewhere. And he is looking at managers that I don’t think are any better than Steve Evans. The fact that Steve is now even money favourite to keep his own job shows just how ridiculous this situation is. Could he still stay? There’s always ways of making it work but for how long? That’s the problem. The fact that Cellino is looking for other managers while he is still the manager shows that he hasn’t got great faith in Steve to get them promoted next season. He wants somebody else to do that but you have had two other managers that have turned the job down. You are turning Leeds United down when you are manager of Bristol Rovers and manager of MK Dons. And no disrespect to those two sides but generally and usually when somebody gets that opportunity, you jump at it. That says to me that these managers at other clubs are happier staying where they are because they don’t like the way the club is run. That tells you that they think the job is more safe at MK Dons and Bristol Rovers and the ship is sailing more smoothly than it is at Leeds – and rightly so. Everyone can see that this is not the way you run a club. It seems like nobody wants the job and that’s the stumbling block. Generally, you go to a club, the chairman brings you in and then allows you to get on with your job. This isn’t the case at Leeds United – you are not allowed to get on with your job, there is too much interference and as a manager that’s the first thing you think about. If you want to fail at your job you want to fail because you have not done things right your way – not because you are not doing it right the chairman’s way. You can’t tell me that Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke has got more experience then Steve because he hasn’t. Steve has been working at clubs in higher divisions whereas Darrell is relatively new to the game as a manager. No disrespect to him but he has been working with League Two players. It’s a bit strange and, for me, I wouldn’t be looking elsewhere. If I couldn’t get the one I really wanted then I would stay with Steve. You only change your manager if you can get better. You don’t change your manager for the sake of changing a manager. You have got to change a manager knowing that you are getting something a little bit better and a little bit more special. In the case of Karl Robinson, I think he is an excellent manager. He’s done a great job at MK Dons, he has been there a long, long time but he has been allowed to get on with his job. He’s been allowed to get rid of players he doesn’t want and bring in players that he does want. Would he have been given that freedom at Leeds? I very much doubt it. Being turned down by the managers of MK Dons and Bristol Rovers is a bit embarrassing. But it’s not about Leeds United as Leeds United and it’s not about the fans because you know you have got the best fans in the country that will travel far and wide to support the club. It’s not about the players that you are going to inherit because you have got some fantastic players there and hopefully with new additions as well you have got a very good chance of having a strong squad that is going to compete. But it’s about what is happening upstairs in the boardroom. It’s about what you are going to have to work with and that’s the disappointing thing for me. Cellino could be a very good chairman but you have got to take a step back and you can’t boss everything. It just seems to me that he wants to run everything his way and that can’t happen. You have got to trust people and that’s what he obviously struggles to do. He wants everything his way but unfortunately that’s not right. These people in Italy that have been linked with the job like Ivan Juric – what do they know about the Championship? Absolutely nothing. It’s a completely different ball game in England, in the Championship, and that’s not going to bring anything to Leeds United. Does he even speak English? Does he understand the players properly and does he understand what sort of character you need in your changing room? I’m very worried. I don’t think we will go down next year but I just feel like we are going to have another non-existent season if we don’t start getting things right between now and the start of the season.   Monday 30th of May. Cellino has no class- Andy Ritchie Leeds legend slams owner Cellino following club’s pursuit of Clarke with Evans still in charge.  LEEDS United legend Andy Ritchie believes owner Massimo Cellino has shown a lack of class in looking for a new manager while Steve Evans is still in charge. The Elland Road side were banking on grabbing Darrell Clarke from Bristol Rovers last week but he decided to turn down the reported approach and agree a new deal with the Pirates. Clarke, the back-to-back promotion winner, will become the highest paid manager in club’s history after agreeing a three-year contract at the Memorial Stadium. However, while it’s all smiles for Rovers the turmoil at Leeds rambles on under Italian Cellino. The majority shareholder has hired and fired six managers since taking over the side in 2014 – with Evans his sixth appointment. Meanwhile Ritchie, who made over 100 appearances and scored 44 goals for the Championship side, told the Yorkshire Post: “Speaking to other head coaches whilst Steve is still in charge is not very classy is it? Well. I don’t think it is. “And how does Steve put up with it? For me, it seems as though they are trying to force him out and make him quit. It looks like they are trying to force his hand, if you like.” went on to say: “I think we need to have that stability and if we have a new head coach there will be people that he won’t want at the football club, he’ll want to bring new people in and there will be uncertainty again with the players. “There will be a new regime; it will be a new way of training with most probably a new system in place of how he wants to play .I just feel it’s too much change every three or four months and the players must be getting sick of it, I would have thought.” Monday 30th of May 2016. Millwall should do a Leeds and start next season minus 15 points From Life, Leeds, The Universe and everything As any Leeds United fan will remember well enough, the Football League can act with draconian viciousness when they deem it necessary. We started our first ever League One season fifteen points adrift at the foot of that division. The intention was to ensure a second successive relegation and to kill the club if at all possible. That we finished in the playoffs after briefly topping the table was an unbelievable achievement, thwarting the ill-wishers. But it’s also a fact that even such a hefty punishment is not by any means the worst the League can do.


Millwall ‘angels’ in action

Luton Town found this out for themselves when the League had them start the 2008-09 season a massive thirty points behind the rest. Rotherham and Bournemouth suffered 17 point deductions. The League were showing that they could play hardball – when it suited them. These sanctions, though, had one thing in common. They were all for administrative offences, sins of commission or omission by those charged with the running of the respective clubs. When it comes to matters involving crowd control, the League appears to be curiously wimpish in its approach. And yet these are the offences that most affect innocent, match-going fans, intent on a good day out, whose plans are ruined by bands of marauding thugs.Millwall Football Club are a case in point. Many clubs suffer the shame of odd, isolated outbreaks of wanton thuggery by adherents masquerading under the guise of “supporters”. The difference with Millwall is that these incidents are not isolated. They are tiresomely regular, and the minority of vicious, cowardly thugs in Millwall colours, charging at defenceless families and pelting visiting coaches with half-bricks, are repeat offenders who fail utterly to respond to the occasional weak slap on the wrist.Those thuggish fans were at it again at the playoff semi final second leg at home to Bradford. As a result, the club is on the end of a charge of “failing to control its fans” – an accusation positively reeking with irony. Millwall has got nowhere near controlling its fans in the whole time I’ve been following football.And yesterday, at Wembley, the scene of Millwall fans scrapping like jackals among themselves at an FA Cup semi final not so long back, those thugs shamed themselves and their club yet again, running at helpless groups with women and children, striking terror into the hearts of people who just wanted a day out supporting their team. On the day, Barnsley beat Millwall easily, which was punishment of a sort. But it’s nowhere near enough. The fact is that football has had enough of stone-age behaviour like that of the Millwall fans. Mass violence and the wanton attacking of innocent, non-combative fans has no place in the game. That sort of cowardice didn’t even fit in with yesteryear’s casuals scene, now so passé. But Millwall fans indulge in this sick behaviour time and again. There is no sign of it stopping. So, it’s high time the Football League got its collective finger out and did something about this. Get them banned or hit them with a points deduction, it’s the only language these people understand. And, for good measure, close their ground for the first few League One games next season. It’s been done before, and for much less – as we at Leeds know to our cost. It’s time to stop treating Millwall with kid gloves. The League will have abjectly abandoned their duty of care towards fans of proper clubs and to the game in general, if they yet again turn a blind eye and cock a deaf ear. Make Millwall start next season 15 points behind and playing to an empty stadium. At the first repetition of mass violence or playing area incursion, deduct a further ten points. You know it makes sense. Give Millwall a lesson they’ll never forget. The whole game will regret it if the Football League fails now.  Friday May 28th 5 Reasons Steve Evans Is A Better Option Than Darrell Clarke (The Scratching Shed) It’s been well documented this week that although Steve Evans has yet to be relieved of his duties as Leeds United head coach, he is likely to be replaced by Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke in the near future. Here I will explain five reasons why I think Evans is a better fit than Clarke. 1. Championship Experience Although Clarke has won two successive promotions with Bristol Rovers, he has never managed at a higher level than the fourth tier. Evans now has two years of Championship management under his belt with both Leeds and Rotherham and will know the ins and outs of the league whereas Clarke will need time to settle and adapt to the league, we all know how that worked out for Dave Hockaday! 2. Evans wants to be at Leeds United The passion shown by Steve Evans on the last day of the season at Preston showed how much he has fallen in love with Leeds since his appointment last October. The tears in his eyes showed that the Scot had already accepted that that would be his last chance to show his gratitude towards the Leeds United faithful despite speaking of his desire to stay on at Leeds on multiple occasions. If Darrell Clarke is appointed he may just see this as another stepping stone as he moves his way up the Football League. 3. The fans want Evans to stay Who would have thought after Evans’ appointment in October that “One Steve Evans” would be ringing from the away end as we limp to a 1-1 draw at Preston on the last day of the season to finish in a measly 13th position? That alone speaks volumes about how much Steve Evans has won over the fans in such a short space of time. While there are still some fans who are not yet a part of “Team Evans”, it’s safe to say that 90% of fans would like to see him in the Elland Road dugout in August. 4. Evans can attract better players The days when simply a mention of the Leeds United name was enough to get some players to sign on the dotted line are sadly gone and these days we struggle to tempt top Championship players to sign. While the main reason for these players not signing is more often than not a certain Italian dictator, I believe we have a better chance of signing promotion quality players with Evans in charge. Evans’ two main signings last season, Liam Bridcutt on loan from Sunderland and Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford, were vital members of the Leeds midfield for the second half of the season. While he may be able to attract top quality lower league players, it’s unlikely that Clarke would be able to attract players of the quality of a Bridcutt or a Diagouraga. 5. Evans is better equipped to deal with Mr. Cellino If the last few years have shown us anything it’s that it’s almost impossible to work under Massimo Cellino at Leeds United. If Darrell Clarke is appointed as head coach, he will more than likely just become another one of Cellino’s yes men, get the blame for everything that goes wrong and be shown the door after a few months (just ask Hockaday, Milanic and Rosler!). Steve Evans has worked under Cellino for almost a year now, that’s a very long time in Cellinoland, and will know by know how the Italian works.


Darrel Clarke didn’t reject Leeds United – He rejected the idea of working for Massimo Cellino at Leeds United – there is a difference

Fri 27th of May Clarke rejects Leeds or more precsisely Cellino whilst Evans asks for closeure LEEDS UNITED managerial target Darrell Clarke has pledged his future to Bristol Rovers – thwarting the Whites hopes of bringing him in as Steve Evans’ successor. United had been locked in talks with the West Country outfit regarding compensation details – expected to be in the region of £250,000. But in a fresh development, the 38-year-old – who has led Rovers to back-to-back promotions from the National League and League Two – has decided to stay at the Memorial Stadium and has agreed fresh terms on a new three-year deal, dashing owner Massimo Cellino’s bid to bring him to West Yorkshire. A statement from Rovers said: “Bristol Rovers are delighted to announce that Darrell Clarke has agreed to remain at The Memorial Stadium as manager and has agreed a new, improved, three-year contract which will make him the highest paid manager in the club’s history. “There has been speculation all week that Darrell might be leaving following an approach by Leeds United to take him to Elland Road. “Darrell believes that the ambitions of Bristol Rovers match his own and is looking forward to the challenge of preparing the club for life back in Sky Bet League One for the 2016/17 campaign.” Professing delight at Clarke’s decision to stay at Rovers, chairman Steve Hamer said: “We’re delighted that Darrell will be staying with us. “We’ve recognised the work that Darrell has done for us and have rewarded him for that with the offer of a long-term contract. “It sees Darrell become the highest-paid manager in the history of Bristol Rovers and that shows how much faith we have in his ability to keep moving this club forward on the pitch. “It is completely understandable that Darrell took a few days to think things over in his head because it must be extremely flattering to even be considered by a club with the history and tradition of Leeds United. “That he has decided that his future with us is fantastic because what we have going forward is very exciting and he can be a part of that from the foundations upwards. “I think our fans will be delighted. You’d struggle to find a more popular manager with his own supporters.” Cellino, currently abroad in Italy, is now reassessing his options for the head coach post at Elland Road, which is still officially held by Steve Evans. The United owner has spoken in the national press about “a lot of good managers” queuing up for the head coach’s role, despite the rapid turnover of coaches under him. Cellino also met MK Dons boss Karl Robinson for talks in London last week, but nothing materialised from that meeting with Robinson expressing doubts about the working conditions at the club, with United switching their attentions to Clarke. Meanwhile, Evans – whose deal terminates at the end of June – is seeking clarity after being kept in the dark regarding his future. A statement issued by the Scot said: After lots of press calls and a further meeting with my advisors, it is very obvious the time has arrived for Mr Cellino to tell me I am not his head coach for next season. “Out of respect for this great football club’s history, and to the Leeds United supporters, I’ll take that decision with good grace. This is a special club. It should have standards of excellence in everything it does.”I now need to accept that I open my mind up to other options for my career. “Obviously I now need to know the direction of my career. In summary, I just need closure.”. Rumoured United head coach target John Sheridan has been appointed as manager at Notts County. The former Leeds midfielder, a cult hero in his playing days in the 1980s, has signed a three-year deal. Weds 25th of May 2016 Cellino goes for Clarke of Bristol Rovers Leeds United are continuing to push for talks with Darrell Clarke after lining up the Bristol Rovers manager as Steve Evans’ successor. United have been in negotiations with Bristol Rovers over compensation details and the Elland Road club are expected to bring Clarke to the table by meeting the demands of the newly-promoted League One side. Leeds and Rovers have been haggling over the structure of staggered payments which United will commit to if Clarke agrees to replace Evans as head coach. Compensation for Clarke is expected to be in the region of £250,000 and United’s sustained approach for the 38-year-old has marked him out as owner Massimo Cellino’s preferred option for the job. Rovers have attempted to fend Leeds off by offering Clarke, the boss who has led them to promotion from the National League and League Two in the past two seasons, an improved three-year deal at the Memorial Stadium. But Clarke is taking time to consider that extension having been informed of United’s bid for him. Cellino is abroad in Italy and said on Tuesday that he had been in touch with at least one alternative candidate. But staff at Elland Road believe Clarke is firmly at the front of the queue for a job which is still officially held by Evans. Evans turned up for work as planned yesterday after completing a short holiday, despite some around him advising him to quit his post in the wake of United’s approaches to Clarke and MK Dons boss Karl Robinson. Robinson and Cellino met for talks in London last week but Robinson had doubts about working for the Italian and Leeds reacted to that meeting by rapidly turning their attention to Clarke. Cellino’s contact with rival coaches has left little doubt about the Italian’s plan to remove Evans before United’s squad begin pre-season training around the start of July. Weds Thurs 25th. Juve coach grateful to Cellino for start Allegri credits Leeds owner Cellino as part of the reason he enjoyed his time at Cagliari earlier in his career. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has hailed Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, citing him as one of the reasons he remembers his time at Cagliari so fondly.Speaking to Goal Italy this week, Allegri spoke favourably of his time at the club despite being one of a staggering 36 coaches to be fired by Cellino during his ownership of Cagliari.He said: “I had a great relationship with the team, which I was very attached to, because it was the first great team, above all that gave me great results and thanks to them then I could start a major career. “”I am very attached to Sardinia and Cagliari. I will always be grateful to Cagliari, the president Cellino and these people. Here I feel at home.”Allegri was manager at Cagliari as recently as between 2008 and 2010, with his two seasons in charge a lengthy spell by Cellino standards, before he was fired and replaced with Gianluca Festa despite the team sitting 12th in Serie A.The 48-year-old was then hired by AC Milan and won the Serie A title the following year in 2010/11, and has now won the last two Scudettos with Juventus, also taking them to the Champions League final last season where they were narrowly beaten by Barcelona.While he still holds Cellino in high regard, his success should be a lesson for the controversial Leeds owner, that given time and the right support, managers can achieve greatness, and sacking him could be the Italian’s biggest mistake of all Monday May 23rd Evans still no closer to knowing his fate Steve Evans admitted today that he was no closer to knowing if Leeds United plan to replace him as head coach and said he was “hurting” at the delay in clarifying his position. Evans, who is little over a month away from the end of his contract, insisted he “respected the right” of Leeds and owner Massimo Cellino to take their time over a decision on his future but said he had a pre-season programme in place and was desperate to “attack the new season.” Cellino has left Evans to continue in his post since the 2015-16 Championship season ended on May 7 but United’s first-team boss has had little communication from the Italian in that time and is expected to lose his job before pre-season training starts at the end of next month. Leeds were strongly linked with Oldham Athletic manager John Sheridan, the former United midfielder, earlier this month but Oldham have not received an official approach to speak to the 51-year-old. MK Dons boss Karl Robinson is the current bookmakers’ favourite to replace Evans but the odds on Evans’ retaining his job have shortened again in the past seven days. Cellino held a meeting of United’s board last Wednesday, a discussion which was expected to lead to a swift decision on Evans’ future. Evans is currently abroad on a short break but plans to return to work at Thorp Arch on Wednesday and in a statement sent to the YEP he said: “I’m still waiting for the decision for next season from Mr Cellino and the board. I fully understand they are hectic with a number of things but I would expect to hear very soon. “I’ll be back to work on Wednesday. There’s still lots to be done because I’m employed by a great club and I must continue to work. “To deliver promotion you must plan. The Leeds United supporters deserve a promotion season and I’m ready, better than ever physically and mentally, to deliver that. “We need to help the squad by adding five or six quality players who will know the challenge when they arrive at Elland Road. I have a pre-season schedule ready to go and I have a list of players. Most I have discussed previously with Mr Cellino and he liked my vision. “I’m hurting at knowing my future but I’ve always respected the right of club owners to make the big decisions in a time and manner that suits them. I’ve been patient but inside me is a burning desire to attack the new season.”   Mon May 23rd It’s been one farce after another and the club has been run shambolically in my eyes, so please sell’ – Noel Whelan re Cellino THINGS are very difficult for Leeds United at the moment because you can’t make signings if you don’t know who the manager is going to be. Who the manager is going to be, what their thoughts are on the season, how hard they are going to push for promotion – all those things can determine which players want to sign for the club. But it’s very difficult and no-one seems to know what is going on. There has been no movement with contracts for Lewis Cook or Charlie Taylor and that’s not down to any kind of manager, that’s down to the club getting that sorted out in general. They are a commodity. They are two very, very excellent players which a lot of Premier League clubs are looking at and the chairman should be looking at that and saying ‘it doesn’t matter about having a manager, get them signed up as they are an investment for this club.’That is just as important as sorting out the manager, of course it is. Yes, you need to have a manager but you need good players and they are two excellent players.They are going through the England set up in the right way for their age and I’m pretty sure that both of them could possibly be full capped England players. Whoever the manager is, the club themselves and Mr Cellino need to get those two players signed up for next season because I am sure whoever the manager is, whether it’s Steve Evans or someone else, they will want quality players like that. Could we still not know what is going on this time next week? Probably. At the moment nobody knows any different, Steve Evans doesn’t know any different and nothing has been said.We hear rumours of looking at other managers from abroad but if that is the case then we need to make something happen quick.If not, leave it with Steve, let him crack on, he knows what he needs and, for me, he’s done enough to keep the job anyway. Is money going to be pumped in? We’ve heard nothing. We’ve not heard anything about players coming into the club and we know a lot of them have left now because they are out of contract. There’s spaces that need to be filled and there’s money there to be spent. Karl Robinson and John Sheridan are two names that have been mentioned for the head coach’s job but is there any point in getting them in? Probably not. The two of them have got experience in managerial positions but Steve has got a track record and has done well enough at the club. But there’s certain things about the club that need to change and that’s from the top downwards. We have got to get that right. We have got to show the players that the club is run the right way and is going in the right direction. It’s important that we can be proud of the club that we love, and we are proud of someone that is running it the right way. We’ve not had that. Aston Villa have been taken over by Dr Tony Xia and we can all dream of having somebody like that at our club and with those ambitions. I’m just hoping we can emulate that and it doesn’t look like happening with Mr Cellino, not if he isn’t going to come good on the promises he made when he first came to the club – which doesn’t look like happening. It’s been one farce after another and the club has been run shambolically in my eyes, so please sell. Get someone else in there that is going to get this club to where it belongs and back to a club that we can all be proud of again. Let’s start pushing forwards and getting into that Premiership where everyone wants to be but where Leeds United should be. We need to be up there playing against the Chelseas and the Man Uniteds and the Man Citys. We have got the fan base, home and away, and the club’s history is all there to be seen. We need to start making more history. If someone does come in to buy the club then they know they are getting a great club and they know they are getting the fan base. We just need the infrastructure put in place and we need somebody who is going to love the club like the fans love it. We need somebody that is going to take the club forward. History is great, but let’s make new history and let’s start pushing this club forward again and creating new history for young fans to see and enjoy. Mirco Antenucci and Scott Wootton have now both gone and that’s not surprising. For me, Antenucci did okay in bits but he wasn’t consistent enough and I’d like to see the money go to a younger player – money well spent. And somewhere along the lines, if they are really serious about going up into the Premier then this whole wage structure thing is going to have to change one way or the other. Unfortunately, certain players that make a difference do cost more money than others. Players that get you 20 goals a season or 25 cost money and get paid more than certain other players in other positions. Wootton’s career at Leeds has not been successful but I do feel a little bit sorry for him because he has not been playing in his original position and certain things have gone against him at crucial times. But I’m a little bit surprised that Lewis Walters has not been given another contract. I thought he was somebody that could be a serious contender to start so that’s something I am a little bit disappointed about. I don’t think he has been given enough time and he definitely has the attributes there to be a great player. It’s obviously not to be, so we’ll just have to take that one on the chin.

Friday 20th of May ‘Tough on Cellino to see so little appreciation on his investement’ – Peter Lorimer On one hand it surprised me to read last Friday that Massimo Cellino is considering selling Leeds United. But on the other it doesn’t come as much of a shock to realise that he’s thinking like that. In the past few weeks we’ve had the refund offer on season tickets and indications that he’s going to ‘go for it’ this summer. It wasn’t so long ago that he was talking about getting Leeds back into the Premier League and then into the Champions League. That doesn’t sound like a man who wants to give up and walk away.

But if I was him then I think I’d be feeling demoralised too. He’s in the same boat as Mike Ashley at Newcastle and Randy Lerner at Aston Villa. Say what you like about these guys but over time they’ve put plenty of their own personal wealth into the clubs they own. It’s gone wrong for them and when that happens you’re always going to cop for some flak, but it must be tough to see so little appreciation of the investment you’ve made. Personal investment at Leeds doesn’t come from anyone other than Cellino. No-one else on the board of directors is putting any money in and the accounts show that the cash spent by him so far is not inconsiderable. Far from it in fact. I very much doubt that he’s looking for adulation from the supporters but he doesn’t seem to get any credit for the fact that he’s trying. Over the past two years he’s got things wrong and he’s done things that he shouldn’t have done. Right back at the very start – and he’s admitted this himself – he totally misjudged the quality of the Championship by trying to flesh out the squad with Serie B players. That was a mistake. Serie B in Italy might be the same level as the Championship but it’s not the same standard. Our league is one of the toughest in the world, as we’re finding out season after season. I’d say that, in general, he’s found English football very unfamiliar. It doesn’t operate in the same way as the Italian game and for that reason his ways and his manner stand out like a sore thumb. Yes, he’s deserved some of the criticism that’s come his way. But I’ve felt for a while that there’s a desire among some to chase him out of the club at every turn. To me, Cellino is our best option in the circumstances. What is the alternative? I know people have this idea of finding better owners who are filthy rich or perfect in every way, but I don’t believe there’s a queue of people waiting to take Leeds off his hands. I don’t believe there’s a queue of people rich enough to do it. I go around the country every weekend, I speak to people from the Football League and other clubs and they all say the same thing to me – there are fewer and fewer individuals out there who want to buy a football club. The days when you could invest quite cheaply and get things going pretty quickly are long gone. Now you need mega money to buy in. You need serious personal wealth and a willingness to gamble a lot of money. Cellino seems willing to put his money in. From what I’ve been hearing around the club, I think he wants to put more money into the squad this summer to give us a fighting chance of the play-offs next season. If the pressure is getting to him, it worries me that he might have second thoughts about doing that. The concern from my point of view is purely the club. Leeds United have been part of my life for 50 years and I want what’s best for them. As it is, I really can’t see a better option than Massimo right now. But I accept that some people disagree. Deep down I do feel sorry for him. His family are spread far and wide and they’re no longer with him in Leeds. When he’s on his own in his flat, there must be times when he thinks ‘why did I bother doing this?’. It’s not that the past two years have been brilliant. In fact they’ve been quite the opposite, so I really wouldn’t expect anyone to be lauding him with praise. But I do think he’s trying his best and I think he’ll continue to try his best. I hope the suggestion that he wants to sell isn’t a sign that he’s given up. What a gobshite of a ‘Yes’ man The Lash Lorimer is. If you google Lorimer’s column in YEP on Hockaday it’s almost identical to this article on Clarke and I’ve resurrected it here from the June edition of Louth Branch SC website : Thursday 26th of June 2014 . 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 !

Mon May 23rd Antenucci takes a swipe at Leeds Mirco Antenucci has criticised Leeds United’s “corporate organisation” and the calibre of head coaches employed at Elland Road after leaving the club at the end of his contract. Antenucci paid tribute to United’s support and talked up the city of Leeds but he voiced frustration with Massimo Cellino’s rapid turnover of first-team bosses and what he claimedwas a lack of tactical work in training. The 31-year-old completed a two-year stint at Elland Road on Friday when Leeds announced that they would not be renewing the deal he signed when he joined from Italian side Ternana in 2014. Antenucci has returned to Italy and was present at the Italian cup final in Rome yesterday, watching Juventus beat AC Milan. Birmingham City are understood to have made an initial enquiry about him but Antenucci is likely to join a team in his homeland following his release from Elland Road. His time at Leeds saw him play 80 times and score 19 goals but he was troubled by off-field matters, including a goal-related clause in his contract which threatened his place in the first team towards the end of the 2014-15 term. United employed no fewer than five head coaches during his two years at Elland Road, beginning with David Hockaday and ending with the arrival of Steve Evans last October. Antenucci said he was “disappointed with the quality of coaches who came along” and appeared to hit out at owner Cellino’s running of the club. He told Italian website www.gianlucadimarzio.com: Me and my family had a great time in Leeds. “From the point of view of football, I discovered a new reality, different from ours (in Italy). “The playing facilities (stadiums) are beautiful and always full, there are great training facilities and they are modern. “But what disappointed me was the corporate organisation of Leeds, which has been lacking in the past two years.“ It’s a club which deserves to play in the Premier League. “To do that you should have the best conditions for the players, something which has not happened. “I was disappointed also with the quality of the coaches who came along.”Antenucci said he rarely crossed paths with Cellino and claimed support was lacking during his more difficult periods at Elland Road. He also criticised the food served up to United’s players, saying they were fed “so many things you don’t get in Italy.”“It had an impact on my performance,” he said. “Then we exercise less. There are two free days a week Sunday and Wednesday. The training takes place with almost no work on tactics.”Antenucci was one of two senior Leeds United players to be released last week, the other being centre-back Scott Wootton. He had come close to leaving Elland Road in January after attracting interest from Serie B side Ascoli but Leeds refused to let him move on amid a shortage of strikers.

Friday 21st of May The Whites are already being left behind revals – Andy Ritchie MIRCO ANTENUCCI is the main name on Leeds United’s released list and age will definitely have been against him, with the club no doubt looking for a bit more longevity out of the players that they keep. I don’t know whether his wages were high as well; that could have been an issue. But he will be wanting to basically get back to Italy, you’d feel and finish his career back home. He is one of those players who need to play regularly to get the best out of him and he probably hasn’t done that as much as he’d have liked towards the end of his time at Leeds. But he is someone capable of scoring a goal out of nothing on his day. I don’t like the ‘number ten’ expression, but I suppose he is that sort of player rather than an out-and-out striker you can knock the ball up to all of the time. He needs to be floating around the edge of the box, getting shots off and be creative and I thought he was quite a good link man. Looking at Leeds now, without Chris Wood, it leaves them without much up front and as we keep saying all the time, strikers cost money. If you want a player to score goals regularly, you have to pay your money for them.Obviously, there has been the news this week that Massimo Cellino and Leeds have been charged by the FA regarding breaching regulations with the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham. The club are just never out of the headlines, are they…?

It is ridiculous and then Cellino says he regrets buying the club. It just really needs sorting out, doesn’t it? The situation is so tough for Steve Evans. He will want to get going with planning for next season and as it stands, Leeds are losing a march on every single team in the division again. They are not in the transfer market; okay they have set out the released list now – but anybody can do that. Every team does that. Is there the work behind the scenes which has been done and sorted in regards to getting targets in? That should be done. It’s all about planning. Look at Brighton; the day after a big disappointment in losing in the play-offs, Chris Hughton signs a four-year deal. That’s forward planning. You can’t do anything like that at Leeds as you just don’t know what is going on. I have been watching the play-offs this week and being an ex-Brighton player as well, I was a bit disappointed they didn’t progress against Sheffield Wednesday. It’s one of those; they had been one of the best teams all the way through the season and then go and lose to the team who finished sixth. It often seems to happen that way. There will be always be an argument against the play-offs when a team like Brighton finishes so far in front of sixth. But I can’t see it changing. Fri 20th of May Whites release eight players LEEDS UNITED have confirmed their retained list – with eight players, including first-teamers Scott Wootton and Mirco Antenucci to leave the club.Also heading for pastures new alongside the two senior players are young keeper Eric Grimes, strikers Lewis Walters and Robbie McDaid, defenders Ross Killock and Jake Skelton and attacking midfielder Tom Lynam. Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that new deals have been offered to five young professionals and three scholars.Highly-rated goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, alongside forward Frank Mulhern, forward Eoghan Stokes, full-back Tyler Denton and midfielder Alex Purver have been offered fresh terms. First professional contracts have also been offered to three second-year scholars – defender Jack Vann, utility player Tom Pearce and Michael Taylor, with Ronaldo Vieira having already agreed professional terms with the club. Tom Adeyemi, Liam Bridcutt and Mustapha Carayol have returned to their parent clubs following loan spells at Elland Road.

Thurs 19th of May Evans still in dark after board meeting Steve Evans remained in the dark about his future last night after a board meeting called by Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino ended without confirmation of his head coach’s fate. Steve Evans remained in the dark about his future last night after a board meeting called by Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino ended without confirmation of


Steve Evans still doesn’t know his fate

his head coach’s fate. Evans travelled abroad yesterday for a short break over the weekend, but left England without an answer on his contract, despite the round of discussions between United’s directors. Cellino called a meeting of the club’s board to go over his strategy for the summer and next season, and Evans’ position as head coach was expected to be debated during those talks yesterday afternoon. The 53-year-old is 41 days away from the end of a deal which expires on June 30 and he was hopeful of learning whether his contract would be extended in the immediate aftermath of those talks. Evans, who has spent most of the past two weeks scouting players in the UK and France, is not believed to have received any contact from the club last night. He and Cellino last spoke at length on April 29, the day before Leeds’ last home game of the Championship term, and United’s chairman has refused to make a rapid call on his incumbent first-team boss. The first two weeks of the close season have instead been dominated by off-field issues concerning Italian court cases involving Cellino, a pending Football League ban which the 59-year-old appears to have avoided and misconduct charges brought against Cellino by the Football Association over Leeds’ sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham two years ago. United are still to publish an official retained list, confirming which of their out-of-contract players will be leaving Elland Road. Striker Mirco Antenucci has already announced on social media that he is moving on and centre-back Scott Wootton is also expected to part company with United after it emerged that Leeds never finalised an agreement in February 2015 to extend his contract beyond the end of the 2015-16 campaign. The future of young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, meanwhile, is still up in the air after he and the club failed to conclude talks about a contract extension last week. The 19-year-old, who has been offered a two-year deal, was due to give an answer before Sunday but he held off from putting pen to paper after asking the club for assurances about their plans for next season, including the identity of a replacement for outgoing goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis. The offer to Peacock-Farrell remains on the table, however, and Leeds will be entitled to compensation for him if he leaves for another club after his current contract expires at the end of next month. Amid the wait for clarity on the playing front, United announced yesterday that Clipper Logistics – the company run by local businessman Steve Parkin – has agreed a deal to be the club’s second shirt sponsor next season. Leeds have already negotiated a three-year contract with online casino firm 32Red to be the main sponsor on their first-team kit but Parkin’s latest investment follows on from Clipper’s deal to sponsor Elland Road’s East Stand. Parkin, who has been linked with several takeover bids at Leeds in the past decade, was rumoured to be in discussions with Cellino about a buy-out of the club before Christmas but the 50-year-old, a lifelong fan of United, has not purchased any shares. 

May 17th. Haigh hails Dubai cyber slandal appeal decision Former Leeds United managing director David Haigh said his “two-year nightmare” was at an end after a Dubai court rejected a bid to over-turn his acquittal on “cyber-slander” charges.Mr Haigh, who worked at Elland Road for just over a year in 2013-14, returned to the UK in March, nearly two years after being arrested on suspicion of fraud and embezzlement. He was later convicted of taking more than £3m from his former employers Gulf Finance House, and was sentenced to two years in prison, the majority of which he had already served. Shortly before he was due to be released last November, he was charged with a further offence of slander over comments made on Twitter while he was in jail. He was acquitted of ‘cyber-slander’ in March following an intervention by campaign group Human Rights Watch, and returned home to the UK shortly afterwards. Mr Haigh who led GFH Capital’s negotiations to acquire Leeds United from former owner Ken Bates, now says that an appeal against the acquittal, following a further complaint by GFH, has been rejected by a different court. The 38-year-old, from Cornwall, tweeted last night: “Innocent! After a two year nightmare. Now to dedicate my time to help others, and eat a pasty or two!” He says he now plans to appeal his existing conviction for ‘breach of trust’ and make a criminal complaint about GFH to the Dubai courts. Mr Haigh said: “For this alone I was in jail for six months. I was very lucky to get out, technically they should not have released someone from jail until [the complainant] has decided whether they want to appeal. “To me this is important, it is two courts that have found me innocent. I can now go to court and complain about GFH from a criminal perspective. “Cyber-slander is a serious thing because in that country it is up to three years in prison and it is a huge fine. “The country uses it as a way of controlling the people, it is an easy way to get someone arrested. “I want to highlight the dangers of this law, you can imagine how many people go to Dubai on holiday without knowing how dangerous this law can be.” A spokesman for GFH said: “Unlike Mr Haigh, GFH believes that these matters should be dealt with via the appropriate legal channels rather than social media. “Nevertheless, it is appropriate to clarify and correct the blatant misinformation being published by Mr Haigh on his Twitter feed. “We can confirm that the judgement of the criminal courts in the UAE convicting Mr Haigh of embezzlement still stands. Mr Haigh was properly convicted of this crime and spent two years in jail as a result of it. “Freezing orders issued by the DIFC Court and the English High Court also remain in place against Mr Haigh’s assets. This matter is still being dealt with by the DIFC Courts.”  


Cellino held in very low esteem by most Leeds fans at this stage

May 17thWe’ve had enough” – Leeds ad for Cellino out Leeds United fans opposed to owner Massimo Cellino’s running of the club have mounted another cheeky protest right on his footballing doorstep. The Time To Go Massimo group today parked a trailer carrying a large anti-Cellino sign directly outside the East Stand at United’s Elland Road ground. The move follows the Italian’s claim that he is ready to sell up at Leeds because he is “tired and hurt and lonely” after a controversial and turbulent two years in charge. Written in the style of a second hand car advert, the sign reads: “FOR SALE – URGENT. One football club, used to be a great runner but now a project in dire need of restoration after several careless owners. “Does not include stadium or training ground and may be liable to court cases. “Willing seller, loyal but very fed up fan base. Price negotiable, unlimited potential.”Time To Go Massimo’s previous protests include staging a mock funeral for the club and projecting anti-Cellino messages onto the side of the East Stand. Cellino was today due to take part in a United board meeting with a view to planning for the forthcoming 2016-17 season.   May 17th Cellino charged by FA over McCormack sale Leeds United and owner Massimo Cellino have been charged by the Football Association over an alleged illegal payment made by the club during the transfer of Ross McCormack to Fulham.Leeds and McCormack’s licensed agent, Derek Day, are accused of breaching the FA’s agent regulations during the Scotland international’s multi-million pound move from Elland Road in 2014. Cellino is alleged to have contravened FA rules with his involvement in the deal. The charges surround a payment of £185,000 which Leeds agreed to make to Day following the sale of McCormack two years ago. Day is alleged to have taken that money on behalf of McCormack’s advisor, Barry Hughes, who is not licensed by the FA. That deal is seen by the governing body as a breach of its rules governing football agents. McCormack was sold for a reported sum of almost £11m, one of the first transfers completed after Cellino’s takeover of Leeds in April 2014. The FA has been investigating allegations of an illegal payment for many months and brought charges against the three parties this afternoon. They have all been given until this Friday to submit a response. A statement from the governing body read: “Leeds United have been charged for breaching the FA’s football agent regulations.“The alleged misconduct relates to the transaction involving the transfer of Ross McCormack from Leeds to Fulham on July 8, 2014.“Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino and authorised agent Derek Day have also been charged for breaching FA Rules and the FA’s football agent regulations respectively, in relation to the same matter.“ All parties have until 20 May 2016 to reply to the charges.”McCormack is not accused of any wrongdoing by the FA.United have declined to comment but the charges from the FA come just days after the Football League was forced to back down from its attempt to impose a 223-day ownership ban on Cellino for a tax conviction in Italy. That penalty is set to be withdrawn after Cellino’s offence was quashed by Italy’s Court of Appeal. The FA has given no indication as to what punishment Leeds, Cellino or Day might face but sources familiar with charges of this nature have told the YEP that a fine is most likely for the club. The FA, however, has the power to impose suspensions on both Cellino and Day. Arsenal were fined £60,000 for a breach of agents’ rules after signing Calum Chambers from Southampton in 2014. The FA, meanwhile, is still believed to be investigating possible breaches of its rules on third-party ownership by Leeds and Cellino relating to the loan signing of Brazilian midfielder Adryan from Flamengo two years ago. Adryan was interviewed by FA officials at Thorp Arch shortly before his year-long loan expired at the end of the 2014-15 season.

May 13th “I’m ready to sell the club again” – Cellino Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino claims he is ready to sell the club – despite the likelihood of his 223-day Football League ban being overturned. Speaking to The Times, a despondent Cellino said he had “no happiness anymore” and described himself as “tired, hurt and lonely”, saying: “I’ve had enough. It’s better to walk out.” Cellino, who bought a majority share in Leeds in 2014, has talked about selling his shares at various stages of a turbulent reign as owner but his latest comments come less than 24 hours after the Football League announced that his pending 223-day ban was set to be withdrawn. The governing body imposed the suspension last October following Cellino’s conviction in a tax case in Italy. That conviction was quashed on appeal on Monday, however, and League said last night that it would cancel his ban once it received written confirmation of the verdict from Italy’s Court of Appeal. That development appeared to strengthen Cellino’s authority at Elland Road but the 59-year-old Italian reacted by telling The Times: “I’ve had enough. It’s better to walk out, not because I’m dishonest but because I’m tired and hurt and lonely. ‘Why did they disqualify me when they knew the truth? I don’t want to complain because I’m a foreigner but I’m lost. I have no happiness any more and don’t know if I have the enthusiasm for the next season. “I’ve never been so confused. I’m nearly 60 and would never have expected that from Leeds. I’m ashamed to say it. If someone wants to buy the club I will sell it. If somebody doesn’t come in I have no choice but to run it.” Cellino previously spoke about selling Leeds shortly after his Football League ban was first announced last October. He offered to make a deal with supporters group Leeds Fans United but reneged on that proposal within days, accusing LFU of telling “fairytales”. Local business Steve Parkin, whose firm Clipper Logistics recently agreed to sponsor Elland Road’s East Stand, was heavily linked with a buy-out before Christmas but Parkin has not purchased any shares. Cellino and his UK firm Eleonora Sport remain as majority shareholders with a stake in excess of 80 per cent. Former United owner Gulf Finance House controls the rest of the equity. Cellino’s 223-day disqualification has been pending since October after he appealed against the punishment to both the Football League and the Football Association’s arbitration department. The ban was imposed following a ruling in Italy which found him guilty of evading tax on a Range Rover imported by Cellino from the USA. To date he has not served a single day of it. The Football League’s board discussed his acquittal at a meeting yesterday and in a statement it said: “The board determined that Mr Cellino’s disqualification – under the Owners and Directors Test – will no longer apply if the written judgement of the court, which the League is yet to see, confirms that Mr Cellino has been acquitted of this offence following recent changes to Italian law which have decriminalised certain offences with retrospective effect.” Cellino’s latest claims of plans to sell United come less than a month after the club announced season ticket prices which included a partial refund to supporters if they fail to make the Championship play-offs next season. Leeds, meanwhile, have today announced a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with online casino firm 32Red. The club were without a shirt sponsor this season owing to a dispute with former backers Enterprise Insurance. Enterprise has taken legal action against United over alleged breach of contract and is claiming a sum in excess of £1million.That case will be heard in Manchester in September. 32Red has already established itself as sponsor of Swansea City and Aston Villa and Scottish club Rangers.

May 12th Football league lift ban on Cellino The Football League has confirmed that it will lift Massimo Cellino’s pending 223-day ban as owner of Leeds United once it receives written evidence of his acquittal in the court case which led to his suspension.

Cellino appears to have avoided a second disqualification as majority shareholder at Elland Road after Italy’s Court of Appeal cleared him on Monday of evading tax on a Range Rover imported by him from the USA. A judge in Cagliari originally found Cellino guilty of that charge last June but a change to Italian legislation, effectively decriminalising the offence, led to his acquittal this week. The Football League, which previously banned Cellino in 2015 for a different tax offence, used the Range Rover case to disqualify him for a period of 223 days last October. Cellino was fighting that penalty via an appeal to the League and also through the Football Association’s Rule K arbitration process and he has not served a day of it but the decision to clear him of tax evasion will prompt the League cancel his latest ban. The League only has the power to ban owners and directors of its 72 member clubs for ‘dishonest’ criminal offences. The governing body is still to receive written documentation from Italy’s Court of Appeal but Cellino’s acquittal was discussed at a meeting of the League’s board earlier today and in a statement it said it would withdraw his disqualification if the verdict confirmed his innocence. Cellino has had the Range Rover returned to him having seen it confiscated last June and he will no longer be asked to pay a fine of 40,000 Euros. The League’s statement read: “At its meeting today, the Football League board discussed matters relating to the pending disqualification of Leeds United president Massimo Cellino, in light of (this) week’s verdict in the Italian court. “The board determined that Mr Cellino’s disqualification – under the Owners and Directors Test – will no longer apply if the written judgement of the court, which the League is yet to see, confirms that Mr Cellino has been acquitted of this offence following recent changes to Italian law which have decriminalised certain offences with retrospective effect.” The development is a significant boost for Cellino who served his previous ban during the second half of last season and has been fighting pressure on several fronts this term. The 59-year-old continues to face charges of embezzlement in a different case in Italy, a case which is due to resume next week, but the threat of an immediate disqualification – potentially at the very start of the summer transfer window – looks to have been lifted. Neither Leeds nor Cellino have made any comment about his successful appeal. In January 2015, the Football League disqualified him until April of that year after he was found guilty in Cagliari of failing to pay more than £300,000 of tax owed on a private yacht called ‘Nelie’. That punishment was later extended to the end of the 2014-15 season after the League found that Cellino had failed to provide it with court documents from that case at the earliest opportunity. May 13th. The things we may(maybe) have learned from the 2015/16 season LEEDS UNITED’S 1-1 draw at Preston North End at the weekend brought down the curtain on another frustrating campaign. For some fans, the end of the season will always come too early – for others there was no doubt a sense of relief. As is often the case at Elland Road, it proved to be another season littered with controversy, a number of lows both on and off the pitch with the occasional glimmer of blue sky breaking through the grey clouds which often seemed to swirl around the club. But, as is to be expected with an owner/president like Massimo Cellino, there was rarely a dull moment.The future can still be bright … As has often been the case in recent seasons, the players coming through the Academy have been the real highlights of a generally frustrating campaign with the likes of Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt and, more recently, Ronaldo Vieira coming through the ranks and making an impact on the team. Keeping hold of these will be imperative next season following the departure of Sam Byram to West Ham in January. Just not on a par with promotion pack …Leeds United head coach Steve Evans.

‘A club the size of Leeds should be in the Premier League,’ is a phrase often linked with the club. However, football doesn’t work as simple as that and as Leicester City’s Premier League title win has proved anything is, well, possible. The Championship is one of the toughest leagues in Europe to get out of and this season Leeds simply haven’t been on a par with the likes of Burnley, Middlesbrough and those teams settling for the play-offs.

Investment in the playing squad urgently needed …

If Leeds are to reach the level of the teams in the upper reaches of the Championship and have any realistic chance of challenging for a play-off place or more, new, quality players are needed. Despite bringing in Toumani Diagouraga permanently and Liam Bridcutt on loan in January, little other business took place. With a number of players anticipated to be leaving this summer, it is imperative the head coach – whoever it may prove to be – brings in upgrades as their replacements. A lack of stability remains …   A 4-0 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion was one of the more forgettable nights of the season. When the season started Uwe Rosler was seen as the man to take the club up the Championship table. He was gone by October. To be replaced by former Rotherham United coach Steve Evans was initially a major shock but, ever since, the Glaswegian has proved many doubters wrong and done a solid, competent job. It seems unlikely, though, that he will get chance to build on that come the start of 2016-17. The Cellino circus rumbles on … Ever since Massimo Cellino took over the club in 2014 it has been a roller-coaster ride. As well as being in the headlines for numerous court cases and convictions, this season saw the 49-year-old former Cagliari owner attempting to ban Sky Sports from broadcasting their match against Derby. He later – albeit reluctantly – allowed the cameras in, although he had made his point in no uncertain terms. His numerous, outspoken comments made in several interviews throughout the season – sometimes about his manager Evans – did nothing to help instil any sense of calm back Elland Road.   An emotional Steve Evans leaves the pitch at the end of the 1-1 draw at Preston. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe. Defensive woes need to be addressed … Uncertainty hasn’t just been restrictedm to the boardroom it has spread on to the pitch at times, particularly when it comes to Leeds’ defence. Most recently, Scott Wootton’s error gifted Preston a late equalizer on the last day of the season, while more ‘memorable’ defensive disasters came in defeats at the Riverside where Leeds gifted Middlebrough a 3-0 win, while the less said about the 4-0 horror show at Brightonthe better. The need for a 20-goal striker … Obviously luxury in the modern day game and, let’s face it, they don’t grow on trees. Leeds’ top scorer this season was Chris Wood with 13, followed by Mirko Antenucci with nine goals. However, when you look at teams who gain promotion from this league in recent years they have had clinical partnerships up front, Watford had Ighalo and Deeney, while Burnley relied on the goals of Gray and Vokes. Scoring just 50 goals such as Leeds mustered this season is simply not enough. Lack of consistency … Another feature of the top sides who Leeds aspire to be like, was their ability to string together unbeaten runs. Brighton started the season with a 21-game unbeaten run with Burnley eclipsed this in the second half of the campaign. It’s no surprise that those two finished 1st and 3rd after 46 games. The fans deserve better for their support … Leeds still have the fifth highest average attendance in the Championship. If that impressive statistic could somehow be replicated on the pitch in some way, there would be little to stop the club from returning to the top flight. With a healthy contingent regularly heading to away games, Leeds are still one of the best supported sides in the country and, as a result, deserve better from the team and the people behind it. Sat May 7th PRESTON 1 (Hugill 90+1), UNITED 1 (Wood pen 78) United team: Silvestri, Coyle, Bamba, Cooper (Wootton 45), Taylor, Diagouraga, Murphy, Cook, Mowatt (Antenucci 67), Dallas (Vieira 89), Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Phillips, Botaka, Antenucci, Doukara. Referee: Andy Haines. Att: 18,473 (5,464)


Wood celebrates what he thought was the winner b4 he realised Wootton played with Preston NE

United’s final game of the 2015/16 season, a lunchtime trip to Preston North End, saw head coach Steve Evans make two changes from the previous weekend’s defeat to Charlton Athletic, with Toumani Diagouraga and Alex Mowatt returning to the starting line-up in place of Liam Bridcutt and Jordan Botaka. Elsewhere, young midfielder Ronaldo Vieira was named among the substitutes just two days after agreeing his first professional contract with the club. The early exchanges suggested a typical end-of-season affair would be on the cards at Deepdale, with both goalkeepers remaining untroubled during the opening 20 minutes as possession frequently swapped hands in the middle of the park. United had looked to threaten early on, Chris Wood dragging a low effort well wide from distance, but the first real chance of the game eventually fell to Preston’s Joe Garner midway through the half as he turned a deep cross wide from close-range. Marco Silvestri was called upon for the first time to get down sharply to block Adam Reach’s low cross at his near post, before United’s best opening of the afternoon so far came on the half-hour mark. A brilliant ball over the top from Lewie Coyle set Wood away down the right and, with Kirkland seemingly caught in two minds and off his goalline, the United striker attempted a lob but could only find the roof of the net with his first-time effort. Mowatt then headed a right-wing Stuart Dallas cross over the bar following some fine build-up play as United looked to be getting on top of their hosts. Garner did pass up another fine opportunity to open the scoring for Preston on the stroke of half-time, though, heading over Silvestri’s bar from inside the area after meeting Reach’s drilled cross from the left. United were forced into a change at the break, with Scott Wootton replacing the injured Liam Cooper in defence following a clash of heads with Garner seconds before the half-time whistle. The second half began in a lively fashion and Preston, who remained unchanged, were first to threaten as Calum Woods surged into the area before blazing over the bar from a wide angle. The hosts soon carved another good opening but Garner was wasteful from 10 yards out as Silvestri clutched his side-footed effort after Reach’s cutback had been deflected into his path. At the opposite end, Kirkland was forced into a fine, two-handed save to push away Wood’s header for United following a pint-point cross from Taylor. Evans was prompted into his second change of the afternoon as he urged his side forward, replacing Mowatt with Antenucci in an attack-minded move. Preston had half chances through Bailey Wright and substitute Callum Robinson, firing wide and over the bar respectively, but United eventually managed to break the deadlock with 12 minutes remaining. Wood, taking his tally to 13 for the season, hammered a penalty into the roof of the net after Kirkland had tripped Luke Murphy at the back post to spark pandemonium among the travelling United supporters. Preston threw everything forward in search of an equaliser during the closing stages, and Sol Bamba was well-placed to head Paul Gallagher’s effort off the line before Silvestri denied Woods with a superb flying save. The hosts were able to force an equaliser during the first minute of stoppage time, though, as substitute Jordan Hugill turned the ball home from close range to ensure United’s season ended with a point.   Thurs May 5th  Phil Hay season review 2015/16 Two years in England have opened the eyes of Leeds United’s owner. Back at the start, Massimo Cellino promised promotion by 2016; promotion, he said, “or you can tell me I’ve failed.”


Charlie Taylor was Leeds United player of the year 2016

Even last summer, when that target struck him as wholly unrealistic, he spoke of a “beautiful season” ahead. What transpired was another stretch in bedlam: two head coaches, another Football League ban, sporadic protests and an unprecedented run-in with the great and the good at Sky Sports. And then there was the football itself which, after 46 games, will leave Leeds halfway up the final table on Saturday, or halfway down depending on your point of view. Here is how the YEP saw it: Player of the Year Charlie Taylor. United’s most consistent, certainly, but to pick him out as player-of-the-year on that basis alone would do Taylor a disservice. He has been better than that: defensively disciplined against some high-calibre Championship wingers, end-to-end as modern full-backs are supposed to be and immune to fatigue despite his bout of glandular fever and the fact that he has started and finished 42 games. Only Stuart Dallas has more assists this season and Taylor added another to his own tally against Charlton last weekend by covering 11.4km. To put that figure in context, Dele Alli and James Milner – two of the Premier League’s hardest runners – cover an average of 11.8km a game. Taylor is, as Uwe Rosler said, a machine of a footballer and there has long been a view at Elland Road that among the club’s most prominent kids – including when Sam Byram was still on the books – Taylor would be most suited to stepping into a Premier League line-up tomorrow. Young Player of the Year Lewis Cook. To draw an easy comparison, Fabian Delph’s performances in the season when he won the Football League’s young-player-of-the-year award were more effective and electric than Cook’s but Delph was playing at a lower level of the pyramid and, by the standards of League One, had more ability around him. Cook himself seems less than thrilled with his form in the past nine months but to be virtually ever-present in the Championship at the age of 19 and to cope physically as he has done is no small feat. When his talent oozes he is brilliant to watch and even in the periods where United’s season creaked, it never felt as if dropping Cook was the answer. He can think of himself now as an established Championship midfielder. Signing of the season Liam Bridcutt. The big transfers last summer were Stuart Dallas and Chris Wood and both are demonstrably good players. Leeds will not regret those signings, though they need to make more of them next season. But Bridcutt was the player who brought order to the midfield. Bridcutt was the player who brought the season under control by contributing so heavily to Leeds’ unbeaten run over Christmas, at a time when relegation could easily have become an issue. His record as a defensive midfielder is nine defeats from 27 games. He would be well worth keeping next season if United can find a way to accommodate his salary. Most improved player Gaetano Berardi. Had it not been for his injury over Christmas, Berard might have won the YEP’s player-of-the-year poll. He was extremely close to Taylor in the voting, despite missing two months of the term, and as Championship full-backs go, Leeds appear to blessed with one of the better pairs in the division. Berardi was cast as a lunatic when he first moved to Yorkshire but he has come to be seen as a cold, calculated, aggressive defender – a potential candidate for the captaincy in the eyes of some. He has a lot of Taylor’s energy and the same willingness to get forward and the encouraging thing for Leeds is that the bones of a good defence is there. They simply need to get a grip of the two central positions. Goal of the season Lewis Cook v Fulham at Elland Road, February 23, 2016. You would call it a one-in-a-thousand strike had Fulham’s goalkeeper, Andy Lonergan, not been beaten on the same ground, in the same net and from the same range by Nottingham Forest’s Adlene Guedioura in 2011 but Cook’s goal was as sweet as they get. It was Cristiano Ronaldo-esque in the manner of striking cleanly through the centre of the ball and inviting pace and gravity to do the rest. At such a long distance out, Cook needed to put that finish on a postage stamp. He gave Lonergan no chance. Best performance Leeds United 1 Burnley 1, August 8, 2015. The first day of the season and easily forgotten now. Easily forgotten how Stuart Dallas hit the crossbar with virtually his first kick as a Leeds player, and easily forgotten how Leeds pressed a side who won automatic promotion last week, squeezing them until Mirco Antenucci produced a glorious goal on 83 minutes. The hard work done – only for Giuseppe Bellusci to lose Sam Vokes three minutes later and watch Vokes bury a header from six yards. The tone for the whole campaign, set right there. Quote of the season There are always so many to choose from. Cellino complimenting Steve Evans by calling him a “motherf*****” was a highlight. Evans, too, set the talking-in-the-third-person ball rolling in style after his first game at Fulham, responding to a question about whether the players might see a good performance as a corner turned by saying: “I think they see a corner turned when Steve Evans walks through the door.” But coaches who depart Leeds have a knack of going out in style. Darko Milanic departed with an icy “see you” in 2014 and last October it was Rosler’s turn after his final match, a 2-1 defeat to Brighton. “I’ll have a good drink tonight and be ready for work on Monday,” he said. Hmm. Story of the season The threatened black-out of Sky Sports ahead of United’s meeting with Derby County at Elland Road in December. Cellino away in Miami, Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey sat in a 4×4 in Fullarton Park, on his mobile and trying to break the deadlock, and Sky’s staff kicking their heels in the pot-holed car park, waiting to see if Leeds would open the gates in time for them to broadcast. Cellino duly did, less than five hours before kick-off, and a crisis was averted. You have never seen it all in football and you have never see it all at Leeds. Team of the year (from the rest of the Championship): 4-3-3: Dimi Konstantopoulos (Middlesbrough); Matt Lowton (Burnley), Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough), Michael Keane (Burnley), George Friend (Middlesbrough); Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough), Joey Barton (Burnley), Beram Kayal (Brighton); Ryan Fraser (Ipswich Town), Andre Gray (Burnley), Alan Judge (Brentford). May 4th Leeds agree settlement with Macron LEEDS UNITED today agreed to a secret settlement of its £5m-plus High Court battle with former kit-suppliers Macron SPA. The Italian company sued for damages after the Whites decided to end their shirt-making agreement in 2014. At the time it was signed in 2011, the six-year deal was the longest in English football history. But Bologna-based Macron said the club had no right to terminate the contract without paying a fee. It claimed £2.1m which it said it was owed under the contract and up to another £3.5m damages for future losses. The Championship club disputed the claim and was due to fight it in a trial at the High Court in London this week. However after last minute talks out of court, the parties agreed to a settlement which resulted in the trial being called off. In a ten-second hearing this morning, Mr Justice Hickinbottom was told the settlement would be kept confidential. Can anyone tell me what was the sense in h Weds 4th of May Rise of the Foxes A lesson for Leeds United – Phil Hay The second and final meeting between Leeds United and Leicester City as League One clubs had an element of the ridiculous about it. The game pulled in a crowd of more than 25,000, reminding the country of how far below their weight two one-city teams were punching. On April 13, 2009, Leicester inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Leeds through Steve Howard’s 90th-minute header, winning the title and consigning United to the play-offs. Leeds’ manager, Simon Grayson, took in the celebrations at what was the Walkers Stadium – now sponsored by King Power, the emblem of the owners who transformed City – and said: “We’ve got to use the final whistle as an inspiration. Leicester are celebrating and at the end of May, we want to be celebrating, too.” Leeds lost in the play-off semi-finals and were left behind as Leicester went up as champions. It was hard not to think of the clubs’ former parity, both in 2009 and in subsequent Championship seasons, when City as 5000-1 outsiders won the Premier League title on Monday. The hierarchy at Elland Road were once in the habit of using Leicester as an example of reckless expenditure and high-risk management but seven years later the risks have paid off handsomely. The club’s earnings from TV money alone this season will run to £93million, a windfall on top of improbable winners’ medals. Leeds can relate to something Nigel Pearson said after Howard’s late and decisive header. “From a financial standpoint it’s very difficult to continue to generate enough cash to effectively maintain a club like this,” said Pearson, the coach who took Leicester to the League One title in 2009 and the Championship title in 2014. “Your best opportunity (to get promoted from the Championship) is your first year back. I think the statistics will show that.”Leeds found his comments to be true. After their own promotion from League One in 2010, the following year was a sizeable opportunity missed: second at Christmas, in a play-off position with a handful of games to go but ultimately condemned to seventh place by a costly Easter weekend. It is still United’s highest finish in six years and still the only occasion when the club had a foot in the promotion race during the run-in. Given the potential of a high-scoring squad, questions are still asked about why the club and their chairman, Ken Bates, did not commit to spending more money in the January transfer window. Leeds argued at the time that cash was available to Grayson and Grayson chose not to spend it, for fear of unsettling an in-form dressing room. Grayson has always maintained that he did not have the cash he needed to sign the players he wanted. He is manager of Preston North End now, the side who Leeds will end their sixth successive season in the Championship against on Saturday. United go to Deepdale with little chance of finishing higher than 12th. At the end of the 2010-11 season, the club sold goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to Leicester for a fee of around £750,000 up front, rising to more than £1million. Schmeichel will collect a Premier League winners’ medal on Saturday. That deal was done in part because his contract was running down and in part to to help fund signings in a summer window which United’s chief executive, Shaun Harvey, famously described as looking ugly from the outside”. Leeds’ agreement with Leicester included a 10 per cent sell-on clause which might yet yield more money should Schmeichel move again. Where Leicester were concerned, Pearson’s prediction about life in the Championship was similarly accurate. The club made the play-offs at the end of their first season back in that division but lost to Cardiff City over two legs. The following year, in August, 2010, they were bought out by Asian Football Investments (AFI), a Thai consortium led by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a senior figure at retailers King Power. Sven Goran Eriksson was promptly appointed as manager and AFI threw money at him, signing Schmeichel, Jermaine Beckford and other players at considerable cost. Eriksson lasted for little over a year and left in October, 2011, having taken Leicester to 10th place at the end of the previous term. In the aftermath of Eriksson’s exit, Bates wrote about Leicester in United’s matchday programme, using City’s mediocre performance as a defence of his ownership and a defence of Leeds’ financial attitude – or prudence, as Bates liked to think of it. The sacking of Eriksson was not unexpected,” Bates said. “His reign was another demonstration that money does not necessarily buy success and should provide food for thought for those who were complaining that Leeds had not spent enough in the summer. “At Leeds, we don’t spend money we don’t have and football is a diminishing attraction to rich men who would like a football club as a rich man’s toy.” (BATES WAS WRONG – GC) Leicester’s owners, however, maintained their outlay, carrying losses of almost £30m in 2011-12, £34m in 2012-13 and £20.8m in 2013-14, the season when the club won the Championship title under Pearson. According to The Guardian, the Football League is still investigating whether the figures for the 2013-14 season complied with Financial Fair Play rules (FFP). City’s record signing is modest by Premier League standards, around £9m spent on Croatian striker Andrej Kramaric last year, but their extraordinary success this season was not founded on pennies. City’s owners are estimated to have ploughed over £100m in the club. That underlines the view that while money might not bring an instant return, consistent expenditure will get a team there eventually – even though Leicester have confounded the bookmakers this season, and even though much has been owed to the attitude and mentality of Claudio Ranieri’s under-rated squad. The last time Leeds and Leicester met in any competition, in January, 2014, there was little between them yet so much between them. Schmeichel dealt with Leeds’ best chances at Elland Road and David Nugent earned a barely-deserved victory with an 87th-minute goal. City, though, were top of the Championship and 22 points better off than United. AFI’s longer-term plan was gathering pace while Sport Capital’s proposed buy-out of Leeds owner Gulf Finance House (GFH) was falling apart. Three weeks later, GFH agreed to sell the club to Massimo Cellino. There were other contrasts, too. On January 11, Leicester picked up an unfamiliar forward by the name of Riyad Mahrez, recently chosen as the PFA’s Premier League player of the year. That same day, McDermott’s Leeds were thrashed 6-0 by Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough and officials at GFH spoke seriously about sacking him at half-time. Earlier in the week, the Bahraini bank had opposed McDermott’s attempt to sign Ashley Barnes from Brighton, saying the striker’s statistics on ‘Football Manager’ were worse than Luke Varney’s. Barnes went to Burnley instead and has twice been promoted to the Premier League. Grayson, for his part, did not anticipate any of this. In 2009, sat in Leicester on Easter Monday, it was his belief was that Leeds as a club should be able to match Leicester punch-for-punch. His side were unbeaten in 11 matches before Howard’s goal ruled them out of the running for automatic promotion. Grayson said. We had the better chances and were the better team over the course of the game,” Grayson said. “Full credit to Leicester because they’ve shown that they’re consistent. They deserve to go up but we have to make sure we do the same.” Like many people, he will struggle to comprehend the difference in the clubs’ trajectories since then. That was the season we should have backed Larry and kicked on instead of miserly decisions and threadbare signings. The rest is history – GC   Mon May 2nd Only big money will ignite promotion bid –Noel Whelan SATURDAY’S loss to Charlton just sums up the season really; a lot of inconsistency and poor performances against the lesser clubs, when we have raised our games against the likes of the top four and top six. It’s a difficult one to pinpoint and put your finger on. I think sometimes the level of performances against the big teams – maybe that comes down to a mental thing, when you know you are playing against better players. But you can’t take your foot off the gas against any teams in the Championship if you have got any aspirations of being in the top six. We have seen these nconsistencies all season, especially when it comes to playing the teams that have been lingering down at the bottom. You just can’t do it. Nothing is a given in the Championship. You’ve got to go out and earn it. I thought Luke Murphy had an excellent game before he was taken off and I think Charlie Taylor, once again, had an excellent game. He’s had an excellent season. Chris Wood did enough as a striker but he’ll have been disappointed he didn’t get on the scoresheet. But in saying that, the game could have been a completely different story if we’d have put the chance away that Luke Murphy had. That could have been the turning point in the game. Overall, I think we need to strengthen in the goalkeeping department and I think we definitely need to strengthen in the centre-half department, maybe even with two centre-halves to give you that strength in depth, depending on what happens with Giuseppe Bellusci and Sol Bamba over the summer. We definitely need a creative midfield player, a natural no 10, and a striker with lots of pace. We have seen a good level of performances and displays from Stuart Dallas which is promising. On the right hand side, on the other wing, for me, I felt Jordan Botaka was given an opportunity on Saturday but I just don’t think he went out and took it. For me, anybody can roll their foot over a ball and do a little Cruyff. But I want to see somebody get past a man. I want to see you do your job which is beating players down the wing and putting quality into the box and deliveries for Chris Wood. I’m not sure how many times and how many crosses he had on Saturday but I can’t remember too many, if any. There’s no point in having a winger on if he isn’t going to do that. I think Massimo Cellino is going to have spend some good money. And it’s proven – look at Jordan Rhodes, banging goals in. He’s a proven goalscorer and you have got to pay money for them. It’s okay looking down the lower leagues but can they cut it in the Championship? You’ve got to look at what is available in the Championship first and foremost and, yes, I think you do have to spend money. It’s proven that if you spend the money right and spend it big in certain areas then you get the dividends paid off. You can’t just keep thinking ‘well, I’ll buy average which will get us up’ because it won’t get you up. That’s just not the way it works and there are some areas of the field where you have got to spend bigger than others. I think we need to spend between 15 and 20 million, I’ll be honest. If you are talking about three or four quality players who are going to cost five million plus each then you have got to. And the wage structure has to go out of the window because certain players in the world get paid more per week because they are game changers and because they make the difference. You can’t keep the structure and if you win games, none of the players will be concerned about that. If they are getting you 25 or 30 goals a season, they are not going to complain because they will get the rewards at the end of it as well. Steve Evans waved goodbye to the fans on Saturday and is that goodbye for good? I hope not. I still feel, even after Saturday’s result, that he has done enough to be given a crack of the whip as head coach of Leeds United. But the only person that knows anything is Massimo Cellino and he is not letting anything out of the bag is he? We don’t know what’s happening with the spaces that need to be filled on the board. We don’t know what’s happening with Lewis Cook’s and Charlie Taylor’s contracts which should have been sorted a long time ago before now. Nobody has an idea of what is going to be happening in the summer which is shame. It just seems like nothing is organised.   Thursday May 5thWalter Zenga would be a disaster of a manger for Leed’s – To Ell and back Walter Zenga would be a disastrous appointment for Leeds United Wednesday, 4th May 2016 09:35 by Lucas Monk Former Italy international Walter Zenga enjoyed a glittering career with Internazionale as a goalkeeper, but his managerial career hasn’t gone so well. Walter Zenga is reportedly being lined up as Steve Evans’ replacement at Leeds United, according to Tutto Mercato. The 56-year-old obviously enjoyed a glittering playing career, and whilst his managerial career got off to a fairly good start, he has now been without success for quite a while. After minor managerial roles with New England and Brera, Zenga won league titles with Steaua Bucureşti of Romania (2004-05), and a league and cup double with Crvena zvezda in Serbia (2005-06). However, his managerial fortunes have declined greatly ever since. After a poor spell as manager of Gaziantepspor (2006) in Turkey, he joined United Arab Emirates moneybags Al-Ain (2007), only lasting five months before resigning. He joined Dinamo Bucureşti as new manager in September 2007, but again his reign was a short-lived one as he resigned after just two months in the role. He has since enjoyed short spells with Catania (2008-09), Palermo (2009-10), Al-Nassr (2010), Al-Nasr (2011-13), Al Jazira (2013-14), Sampdoria (2015), and most recently, this season with A-Shaab. He’d be a disastrous appointment if Leeds were to appoint him. He has failed to do anything of note apart from a respectable mid-table finish with Catania, and he has a track record of not lasting very long in the job. He was known for playing a boring, defensive style whilst managing Catania, focusing on set-pieces. He also doesn’t have any experience in English football, so it’d be a big gamble to sack a solid manager with knowledge of the English game in Evans and then have Zenga replace him. If he is appointed, I don’t even think he’d make it to October. It’d be a disastrous move to appoint a proven failure of a manager. If Leeds are going to replace Evans then they should, in my opinion, only look to appoint a manager with experience in English football. That probably won’t happen though when you take into account Cellino’s comments during that embarrassing interview with the Telegraph.


Bamba’s goal was not enough to earn anything against a side already relegated

Sat 30th of April Leeds 1 (Bamba 71), CHARLTON 2 (Gudmundsson 39, Lookman 49) United team: Silvestri, Coyle, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Bridcutt (Antenucci 66), Murphy (Diagouraga 75), Cook, Dallas (Mowatt 50), Botaka, Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Wootton, Phillips, Erwin. Referee: Keith Hill. Booked: Kashi, Diarra (Charlton) tt: 25,458 (363 Charlton) United’s final home game of the 2015/16 campaign, the visit of already relegated Charlton Athletic, saw head coach Steve Evans make three changes from the previous weekend’s 2-2 draw at Hull City, with Lewie Coyle, Luke Murphy and Jordan Botaka all returning to the starting line-up in place of Gaetano Berardi, Toumani Diagouraga and Lee Erwin. United, who entered the game looking to extend their four-match unbeaten run, started the brighter of the two sides and called Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope into action within the opening three minutes. Chris Wood seized upon a loose ball inside the Addicks half and slotted Murphy through to race free on goal, only for Pope to rush off his line and block with his legs. Charlton soon threatened at the opposite end as Ademola Lookman curled a free-kick just wide from 20 yards out after being tripped by Liam Bridcutt, but United were playing with an air of confidence and the Botaka-Dallas combination that had clinched a point at Hull seven days earlier opened it up for Dallas to drag a low effort wide. Dallas then had Pope back-pedalling desperately to tip his wicked free-kick over the crossbar as it looked to creep in, before Charlie Taylor fired high and wide after a surging run towards the edge of the Charlton penalty box. Despite being forced to soak up United’s early pressure, it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half as Johann Gudmundsson’s low strike cannoned back off Marco Silvestri’s post from 25 yards out. Leeds saw half chances fall for Lewis Cook and Wood, while Liam Bridcutt lashed over the crossbar from distance after Botaka’s side-footed volley had rebounded into his path, but it was Charlton who opened the scoring on 39 minutes through Gudmundsson. Morgan Fox burst down the left and delivered a low cross for the Icelandic midfielder to guide home with a simple close-range finish, giving the Addicks a slender lead to take into the interval. Both sides re-emerged unchanged from the break and Charlton were able to double their advantage within four minutes of the restart, Lookman firing into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after being found in space by Gudmundsson. Elland Road was stunned to silence as United’s deficit increased, but the hosts looked to mount a quick response and only the Charlton crossbar stood in the way of Wood from pulling one back after heading Taylor’s cross goalwards. It signalled the start of a decent spell of pressure from Evans’ side, with Liam Cooper heading Taylor’s corner over the bar before Botaka’s effort was deflected behind following a cutback from second-half substitute Alex Mowatt. The visitors remained a threat on the counter-attack, though, and issued United a timely reminder of their intent to add a third as Callum Harriot curled agonisingly wide from the edge of the area. Botaka then looped a header over the bar from a corner under pressure from Pope, before United did manage to pull one back on 71 minutes, captain Sol Bamba heading home his fourth of the season from six yards out after meeting Taylor’s inch-perfect cross. Mirco Antenucci had replaced Bridcutt moments earlier and the striker came close to a quick-fire equaliser after threading into the area by Wood, only for his strike to be blocked by Pope from a tight angle. nited’s attack pairing soon combined again, with Antenucci taking his turn to slot Wood through on goal, but Pope was there again to deny the New Zealander with his feet. United threw everything forward as the game entered six minutes of stoppage time, but there proved to be no way through despite late efforts on goal from Bamba, Cooper and Cook.