Former Elland Road defender Ian Harte launched an astonishing attack on Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino ahead of last night’s game at Dean Court.
Writing in Bournemouth’s matchday programme, Harte hit out at Cellino’s decision to appoint David Hockaday as head coach, criticised the spate of redundancies at Elland Road during the summer and accused the Italian of failing to invest in United’s squad.
Harte, who spent more than a decade on the books at Leeds before leaving in 2004, said: “Leeds United is a massive club with an amazing fan-base and it just needs to sort itself out and get back to the Premier League. Unfortunately they are a million miles away at the moment.
“When Mr Cellino brought in David Hockaday I just felt sorry for him. Coming from somewhere like Forest Green, if you are asked to manage Leeds United, who would ever say no?
“However, it felt like he was just a puppet on a string and it was clear who was pulling those strings.
“I think now they need to get a proven manager and a strong manager, who will be allowed to bring in his own players and be in control of the team.
“At the time of writing, there hasn’t been an appointment but I think someone like Steve Clark would be a fantastic person for Leeds.
“Unfortunately, someone of his calibre doesn’t come cheap and it doesn’t look like Mr Cellino wants to spend any money. He sold Ross McCormack for around £11m and it hasn’t really been reinvested yet.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to say hello to many people (before last night’s game) as most of those who were at the club when I was there were sacked over the summer.
“There were some people who had been there for many years, who had put their life and soul into the club, and then were told they weren’t required any more.
“I think it’s a lack of respect but I’m not the one funding the club so he will continue to do what he wants.”