A lot of the players we have released were quite expected.
They were boys who were out of contract or who had moved on to other clubs on loan and there had to be some sort of cull of the playing staff to make space to bring good players in. You can’t keep bringing players in without players moving on.
Of the departures, El Hadji-Diouf was a bit of an enigma. Obviously, he was a top-class player but towards the end of his time at Leeds it never really happened. He’s probably better off moving on to pastures new whatever that might be for him. I also thought Michael Brown had a good finish to the season but the club have got to be realistic and look at the future. And you can only say about the players leaving the football club that you wish them all the best.
We’ve re-signed a few of the younger ones and Charlie Taylor has done quite well. It will be interesting to see how he progresses and the club must think a lot of him. He’s not had a lot of opportunities so far but hopefully that will happen in pre-season and next season as the club might have to go in a different direction with a mix of youth and experience.
The interesting thing with the retained list is I don’t know myself how much influence that Brian McDermott had with it. You get the impression that Massimo Cellino is making all the decisions but Brian has not come out and said anything yet and the president has not really said anything about the long-term situation of the football club. It’s a difficult time for the club as there still seems to be some big, huge, financial restraints and we need to get that sorted out and then we can move forward. There’s a lot of people at the football club, including myself, where you just don’t know what’s going to happen next season. I don’t know what’s happening with my own situation at the club and I will probably go and have a word with the president. But what annoys me is that you get someone, and I don’t know who it was, writing on some websites that I was on a hundred grand a year! I wish I was but that’s just ridiculous. But people put these things on these websites and people start to believe it.
I’m not talking about any figures but a hundred grand a year is what someone said and that’s garbage. I just don’t know where these people get their information from. I didn’t even know about this being written until my missus told me as she’s got an iPad but I don’t have one. But there’s people talking about it and you’re thinking ‘what’s all that about?!’
The club are losing money, no doubt about it and things have got to be sorted out but it’s not just Leeds United. You look at the money the champions lost last year.
And what will happen with QPR if they don’t go up? You even look at Derby County who haven’t spent any money whatsoever and they’re still in debt. Football has got to have a rain check and decide which way it’s going to go. It’s okay for teams that stay in that Premier League and maybe for a few seasons the teams that come down with the parachute payments but for the rest of the clubs that are trying to catch up it’s a bit of a nightmare.
We’ve also seen Benito Carbone come in this week and obviously Carbone was a top player. He played in England, he knows the English game and I think that’s why the president has got him in. It’s somebody who speaks his own language that played here and I think he will know what is expected here, a decent run at the Championship which we didn’t have last season. It was all pretty much doom and gloom. But there’s got to be leadership and it’s got to be sorted out what’s going to happen with the playing side, the management side and the coaching side.
The owner has come in and people have got to support him as he will run the club as he sees fit. And whether I am there or whoever else is gone from the football club, the football club is more important than any individuals.
I don’t know how the situation with Carbone will work and I don’t know if Brian had a say in it. I don’t know if he welcomed the move or if the president has just done it. The one thing you do know is that Brian is under contract. But whoever has the management job here, it’s going to be a hard one...