PETER LORIMER feels that Leeds United’s fans and players will be grateful for the clarity provided by Friday’s parting of the ways with Brian McDermott after intense speculation since the end of January
McDermott’s position was undermined by the choatic events of January 31, when he received notification of his ‘sacking’ by representatives of Massimo Cellino – only to be subsequently reinstated by United’s board with the decision of the Italian deemed illegal as he didn’t own the club at the time.
Despite McDermott’s return to the managerial helm, massive doubts refused to go away regarding his position.
Over the last month, tellingly, the relationship between the pair grew strained again, with their only communication being by formal letter.
While the timing of McDermott’s departure may have been sudden, late on Friday night, to many it was ultimately an inevitable development with the former Reading manager fundamentally weakened by the events of late January, something Lorimer acknowledges.
Lorimer said: “The doubt was cast then and the question asked. From that point, the issue has been hanging around the ground: ‘Will Brian be here next year?’ I think a decision had to be made one way or the other before next season starts and it would appear things were difficult.
“I do think it was the best thing for everybody that it was cleared up and now we can start making plans for next season and the players will know exactly what is happening.”
With Cellino finally taking the Elland Road reins in early April following a will-it-won’t-it-happen saga lasting over two months, Lorimer believes that the natural cycle of football was such that the Miami-based businessman would then look towards bringing in his own man into the United dug-out – despite a brief rapprochment with McDermott.
Lorimer added: “It’s a shame for Brian as he was a nice man and he tried hard. But it’s the same old situation you get in football; when new people come into a club, invariably these things happen. It happens quite regularly. When you own a club, you are entitled to make your decisions and he (Cellino) has his plans. Hopefully, Brian can move on and now find himself another job. I am sure he will.
“As for Leeds United, it’s a never-ending challenge in a city which is desperate for footballing success. It’s a job where automatically whoever takes it is under that pressure to take the club forward.”