YEP Says: Just another extraordinary day at Leeds United

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Even if you’re not a follower or a fan of Leeds United you can’t fail to have been gripped by the latest extraordinary chain of events.

And if you are a fan? You’d be forgiven for needing to lie down in a darkened room with a wet towel across your fevered forehead.

And if you are a fan? You’d be forgiven for needing to lie down in a darkened room with a wet towel across your fevered forehead.

What extraordinary times. But then, we’re used to the extraordinary when it comes to Elland Road.

It started on Saturday when the club broke a dismal record by making it 11 home defeats in a row; then yesterday morning Massimo Cellino sacked head coach Uwe Rosler. Hours later the Football League banned Cellino for tax evasion and, just two minutes later, Cellino confirmed Steve Evans as manager (the club’s sixth manager in 18 months).

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Outsiders might consider this a laughable chain of events. But for Leeds United fans it is deadly serious. The events of the past couple of days have confirmed Leeds United’s situation is beyond joke or parody. If there is an object lesson in how not to run a successful business, it is provided by the latest managerial off-pitch shenanigans at Elland Road.

Whereas yesterday we speculated that Rosler was living on borrowed time at the club, surely now the same must be said of Cellino’s future. Fans yesterday responded with mixed reactions - from despair and frustration at the continuing ‘couldn’t-make-it-up’ nature of events, to elation at Cellino’s disqualification.

‘Any genuine buyers out there with big ambitions and can run a football club without any controversy, this could be your chance,’ one commentator said yesterday.

He could be right. With a ban that keeps Cellino off the scene until June 2016, for him to try to maintain a hold on the reigns would be nigh on ridiculous.

And as for Steve Evans? Good luck to him. A job once associated with many of the game’s greatest names is now the least secure in football and the revolving door policy is indicative of the club’s sorry decline from European Cup contenders to Championship also-rans.

No credible private sector enterprise is run like this – with more dramatic twists, turns and left-field plotlines than your average soap opera.

It would be remiss also not to highlight the wider ramifications: a strong-performing football club is integral to the success, and dynamism, of a local economy.

Quite what the latest chain of events means for Leeds as a whole we can only grimly ponder.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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