After Lucy Ward '˜fiasco', Cellino '˜must sell up and end this Leeds United farce now'

The protest group campaigning for the removal of Massimo Cellino as owner of Leeds United has called on the Italian to 'end this farce' after former employee Lucy Ward won her claim for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination against the club.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th April 2016, 8:34 am
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2016, 9:37 am
Neil Redfearn and Lucy Ward arrive at the tribunal. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Neil Redfearn and Lucy Ward arrive at the tribunal. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Former academy welfare officer Ward - an ex-player herself and the partner of former Leeds head coach Neil Redfearn - left the club last summer.

Ward’s QC called the situation “an utter, total shambles” and asked why Cellino had not spoken in court.

In the wake of the verdict, the Time To Go Massimo group, which has mounted a sustained campaign to oust Cellino from Elland Road, once again called on the 59-year-old to leave.

A statement read: “We are disappointed that because the club failed to follow a correct and fair procedure in dismissing Lucy Ward, a substantial amount of the club’s money will be essentially wasted on paying further legal fees (as well as at least some of Ms Ward’s legal fees) and giving her the compensation she is entitled to.

“We consider Lucy to be ‘one of our own’ and wish to thank her for what we understand to be a wonderful 17 years of service at Leeds United (including her playing career), raising amazing talent like Fabian Delph, James Milner, Sam Byram and Lewis Cook to name but a few.

“We hope she would consider returning to Leeds United at a later date under different ownership and much improved practices.

“Today is yet another in a long line of events that drags the great name of Leeds United through the gutter. We implore Massimo Cellino to end this farce and sell the club to one of the more credible groups interested in purchasing Leeds United, and to sell it to them at market value.”

Cellino’s two-year reign in charge of Leeds has been littered with controversy and managerial sackings. The former Cagliari owner is currently on his sixth manager while also appealing a second Football League disqualification for tax evasion.

Last week his son and Leeds director Edoardo was charged by the Football Association after he called a supporter a “spastic” on social media.

Time To Go Massimo, funded by unhappy supporters, has carried out a number of protests over recent weeks including the staging of a mock funeral and the projection of several anti-Cellino messages onto the side of Elland Road.

There was no comment from Leeds United on Wednesday night.