Does Massimo Cellino deserve more credit than he gets? Leeds United fans have their say.
We believe that Mr Cellino doesn’t get the credit that he deserves through the media. We appreciate all the hard work that he has put into steadying the ship at Leeds despite the deluge of problems he inherited from financial mismanagement of our previous owners.
The fact that he was funding us before he even took us over as well as staving off numerous winding up petitions shows the absolute wreck that he inherited. I think it’s safe to say that the club that was haemorrhaging £1m a month when he came in was on the brink of another administration that many believe we would not have come out of.
Many groups were declaring their interest at the time, but the undeniable fact is that only Cellino came up with the money that was required for us to survive. This summer alone Mr Cellino invested our biggest financial outlay in a decade bringing in players to support the manager.
This is so far ahead of previous regimes that relied on freebie journeymen that nobody else wanted. Last summer he brought in numerous players too because of the upcoming transfer embargo. An embargo that he has successfullynegotiated us through.
Mr Cellino has worked tirelessly to secure the futures of our young talent, which was being coveted by Premier League clubs where once again previous owners would have sold these assets at a fraction of their value (Delph, Milner, Lennon, Schmeichel, Gradel and Howson to name a few). Had it not been for Cellino do people actually believe that we would have kept hold of the likes of Mowatt, Cook and Taylor?
The main criticism levelled at Massimo is usually the fact that he has gone through so many managers. Nobody here will attempt to defend the appointment of Dave Hockaday. He is a black mark on Cellino and Leeds. When he went, Neil Redfearn came in as caretaker and with the pressure off he achieved a few good victories. When the pressure of actually being manager was on, the outcome was different. My personal opinion of Darko Milanic is that he was treated very unfairly by Leeds fans who were still bitter about the fact that Redfearn wasn’t appointed on a permanent basis. Milanic is a proven coach at Champions League level and the fact that he was being doubted and in many areas castigated by our fans put tremendous pressure on him from the off, ultimately forcing Cellino’s hand to bow to pressure and appoint Neil Redfearn. When Neil came in, he had varying levels of success, but the fans were much divided.
As for Uwe Rosler he was backed very heavily (by our recent spending) and the team weren’t performing. In a league as tight as the Championship it’s not unfair to expect a better return on your investment. A sentiment that was also backed up by Peter Lorimer.
People are quick to forget that a great deal of Leeds fans were calling for Rosler’s head and then rounded on Cellino when he sacked him.
Another accusation levelled at Cellino is the fact that he has failed to buy back Elland Road. His reasons for this were touched upon in an interview with Phil Hay for the YEP on Tuesday, November 4. Mr Cellino was going to use the money from the sale of Ross McCormack plus a mortgage of £7.5 million to buy back the ground. Cellino said that all attempts to secure loans in the club’s name were rejected meaning he would have to pay the £7.5m out of his own personal money.
At the time relations were strained with GFH to the point that risking nearly £8m of his own money was deemed to be too dangerous. The same article also shows the wonders that Cellino has worked for our club financially. He has renegotiated a loan of £25m with GFH so that the interest is deferred until we reach the Premier League. That alone is saving the club millions.
On top of this Massimo is believed to have loaned the club more than £20m of his own money just to stay afloat. This is also the belief of Petter-Andre from LFU who confirmed this in a conversation with me (I have a screen shot if it’s in doubt).
Another thing that people don’t realise is the work that Cellino does in the community. In 2014 he personally bought 40 unsold tickets for a Motor Neurone Disease event so that the charity actually made money instead of a £1,500 loss. This is hardly the actions of a ruthless egomaniac.
Sections are so blinded by their hatred of the chairman they would rather see us into financial meltdown just to see the back of him. It’s nothing short of a witch hunt. This witch hunt is also being helped by the Football League. They were happy to sit back as Peter Ridsdale, Ken Bates and GFH ruined us, but Cellino is vilified by them because of unpaid tax on vehicles in a different country! This has no bearing on how Cellino runs the football club.
Cellino may not be the most orthodox and he may have his faults, but if it wasn’t for him, there is a real chance that we wouldn’t have a Leeds United to support. He could have sold to LFU, recouped as much money as possible and rode into the sunset, saddling the club with £40m+ of long-term loans yet he didn’t.
In Massimo we trust!
Jason Brown, Admin Team – In Massimo We Trust (Formerly Cellino IN)
Change in ownership at Whites would be best for all
I AM in the anti-Massimo Cellino group and would like to see a change of ownership as I do not see us progressing with him in charge. If when he’s barred we go on a winning run it will not change my opinion. However, respect has to be earned and Cellino could still earn that respect by installing a proven managing director (like Nicola Cortese) and investing further funds into the club to be spent on the playing side, then backing off and letting the profesionals do their job. Trouble is, he won’t, but if he did then he would have respect and my backing.
Chrisclee, via Yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk
Respect is earnt. You promised to buy Elland Road and it never happened. You promised Premiership football within two years but can’t keep a manager for more than 15 games average.
You scared off Adam Pearson who was settling the ship nicely. To be fair you’ve earnt no respect in my book.
petesumo, via Yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk