Leeds United: Cellino sent letter of apology and offered to reinstate Lucy Ward - tribunal

Ex Leeds United Education and Welfare Officer Lucy Ward and partner former Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn arrive at the tribunal.
Ex Leeds United Education and Welfare Officer Lucy Ward and partner former Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn arrive at the tribunal.
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A tribunal heard today how Cellino sent a letter of apology and offered to reinstate Lucy Ward to her role at the club after losing the case against her.

Ms Ward told the hearing she did not believe Cellino’s apology and offer was genuine.

She also said she felt she could no longer return to the “toxic environment” at the Elland Road Club.

When asked by the club’s barrister Lucy Bairstow about her reaction to receiving the letter of apology, Ms Ward replied: “Mr Cellino had ample opportunity to stop what happened to me, happening to me.

“When I thought I had been vindicated (at the tribunal) he put a statement on the club website not even referring to me by name.

“Please excuse me for not thinking that an apology from him at this stage is genuine.”

Ms Ward continued: “I know Massimo Cellino. No one switches a light on and off in the place without him knowing about it.

“What he has written there is not genuine. That is damage limitation to this case.

“He knows exactly what happened and what went on and what he got a number of his staff to do to get rid of me.”

Ms Ward said she felt Cellino should have instead issued a public apology to her over the way she had been treated.

She added: “I just think it is a response to the penny dropping as to how serious this case is for him.”

“Mr Cellino orchestrated people within the club to deliberately lie about me. Those people are still there and he genuinely thinks that if I went beck to work it would be OK.

“He made people behave in a way that they did not normally behave. He made people lie.

“It is a toxic environment in there at the moment. I do not think anyone in their right mind would expect me to go back into it after what had happened.”

Ms Ward said she had done some commentary work for BBC Radio Five Live and BT Sport since leaving the club but had been unable to find work as an education or welfare officer.

She said she believed the lack of job offers were due to her dismissal for gross misconduct.

When asked about the affect her sacking and the tribunal process has had on her, Ms Ward replied: “This has changed my life. If I thought about it all the time I would not go out.

“It has destroyed my confidence and it is completely unnecessary.

“I have not done anything wrong to be sat here now answering questions from you.

“The reasons why I let myself think about it occasionally is because it would destroy me if I thought about it all the time - it is that unfair”

The hearing continues.

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