Council leader wades into Leeds United takeover controversy

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THE LEADER of Leeds City Council today waded into the Leeds United takeover controversy as Whites manager Brian McDermott pledged his future to the club.

Coun Keith Wakefield has written to Football League chief operating officer Andy Williamson to voice his dismay at the “strange and bizarre” events that engulfed Elland Road over the weekend. He also called on the League to “properly assess” anyone looking to gain control of Leeds.

United’s prospective new owner, Italian businessman Massimo Cellino, has two previous convictions for fraud.

Cellino, 57, will need to pass the League’s ‘fit and proper person’ test if his takeover is to go through.

In his letter, Coun Wakefield wrote: “Like all Leeds United fans we want to ensure that any potential new owners invest for the right reasons and bring stability to the club upon which we can then hopefully build future success.

“I am sure the Football League want to achieve the same objective and I therefore implore you as governing body of the league to ensure that all necessary action is taken to properly assess and vet any potential new owner(s).

“It is critically important for the city and all fans of Leeds United that any new owners are robustly and thoroughly vetted to ensure that they pass, without doubt or exception, the fit and proper person test.”

Coun Wakefield’s letter goes on: “We look forward to your support in this endeavour and in ensuring that any new person(s) involved in our club provide a sound basis for achieving future sustainability and success.”

McDermott today (Feb 3) said he had no intention of walking away from Leeds, despite an apparent sacking on Friday followed 24 hours later by a club statement insisting he still had a job.

He said: “This is Leeds United, I am Leeds United manager and I want to be Leeds United manager.” McDermott added: “There’s no way I would leave the staff I’ve got here, the players and the supporters.”

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