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Leeds: The Damned United
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Author:  JSP [ Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Leeds United are "not for sale" despite actor Russell Crowe suggesting he may be interested in buying the club.

BBC Sport had learned that New Zealand-born Crowe, a Leeds supporter, would consider buying the club only if approached and with the fans' backing.

Leeds are owned by Eleonora Sport Limited but banned president Massimo Cellino has sold his personal stake in both the company and the club.

Chairman Andrew Umbers said there have been no approaches.

"The club is not for sale nor do the Cellino family wish to sell and nor have we received any approaches contrary to reports in the press today," said Umbers.

"The ongoing legal discussions between Massimo Cellino and the Football League are being completely misinterpreted.

"Leeds United is currently being successfully restructured, rebuilt, significantly invested in, with care and planning for the longer term with the Cellino family at its heart, for the benefit of its long-suffering and passionate fans, the city and its players and staff."

Oscar-winning Crowe, 50, had asked his 1.67m Twitter followers whether it would be a good idea to buy the Championship club.

He is already the co-owner of rugby league club South Sydney Rabbitohs, who play in Australia's National Rugby League.

Author:  JSP [ Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Massimo Cellino has been given permission by the Football League to attend Leeds United’s final game of the season at home to Rotherham United on Saturday.

Cellino’s ban from having any executive influence at Leeds does not expire until 3 May, the day after the Rotherham game, but the club’s request for the Italian to watch the match has been granted.

The Football League confirmed it had allowed Cellino to attend as long as he does so as a spectator and does not “fulfil any role that would lead to him being defined as a relevant person under League regulations”.

It is unclear whether Cellino will return to Elland Road for the first time since resigning as president on 23 January to watch the game or attend the club’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday night, for which he has also been given permission.

When asked if he would be at the game, Cellino told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I don’t know. I haven’t decided. The Football League says I’m allowed to go but I don’t know what I’ll do. I need a clear head and I need to start again with everything next week. I’m not decided.”

Cellino lost his appeal against the League’s decision to disqualify him as the club’s owner in January following his conviction for tax evasion in Italy. The League ruled Cellino had failed its owners’ and directors’ test after he had been found guilty of failing to pay import tax on his yacht.

Cellino’s ban was initially until 10 April but was extended until 3 May, the day after the current season ends, after the League ruled he had also failed to disclose the Italian court’s judgment on his tax case.

He is appealing against the League’s decision to ban him via Rule K of the Football Association’s arbitration process.

Meanwhile, Cellino has dismissed reports the former Leeds striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has been approached to become head coach. Hasselbaink has steered Burton Albion to promotion from League Two this season and his agent Humphrey Nijman has said there had been interest from Elland Road. Cellino said: “It’s just more talk. Forget it.”

Neil Redfearn is in charge but Saturday’s game looks increasingly like being his last. The 49-year-old has guided Leeds to safety under testing circumstances but his contract has only days to run and he has been given no assurances by Cellino or the chairman, Andrew Umbers, about a new deal.

When Cellino returns to office on Sunday, Redfearn’s future is set to be the first thing on his agenda. Redfearn has the support of the vast majority of Leeds fans having worked under challenging conditions.

His assistant Steve Thompson was sacked without explanation earlier this month after a run of eight wins in 13, while the sudden injuries suffered by six of the club’s foreign players on the eve of their recent trip to Charlton sparked loud and persistent protests against Cellino by Leeds fans at that game.

Author:  JSP [ Wed May 20, 2015 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Uwe Rosler: Leeds United appoint fifth head coach in less than a year
Leeds United have appointed Uwe Rosler as their fifth head coach in less than a year.

Was there anything wrong with Redfearn?

Author:  JSP [ Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

The Leeds United owner, Massimo Cellino, has been found guilty of tax evasion and fined €40,000 (£28,400) in an Italian court, according to reports in Sardinia.

Cellino has been convicted for failing to pay VAT on an imported Range Rover in a court in Cagliari, according to Italian news website L’Union

The 58-year-old, who recently served a four-month ban by the Football League for failing to pay tax on a yacht, was acquitted of customs offences on the Range Rover, which had been imported from the United States.

Cellino may now face investigation by the Football League to establish whether this latest conviction was confirmed by the court judge to be a dishonest act.

The same judge in Cagliari, Dr Sandra Lepore, convicted Cellino of tax evasion in relation to his yacht, Nelie, last year and fined him €600,000.

That conviction led to the former Cagliari owner being disqualified from having any executive influence at Leeds for four months by the Football League.

The League ruled that because the tax offence involving the yacht Nelie had been confirmed by the Italian judge to have been a dishonest act, Cellino failed its owners and directors test.

Cellino was banned in December and failed to have his disqualification overturned at a Football League hearing in January. The ban was extended until the end of the season as a result of Cellino’s failure to disclose court documents, which confirmed non-payment of tax on Nelie had been a dishonest act.

Cellino returned to office at Leeds following the expiry of his ban on 3 May and has since had his Leeds ownership status approved by the League.

He is currently appealing against his disqualification through the Football Association’s arbitration process.

Cellino’s legal team claimed the guilty verdict against him in Italy over his yacht Nelie should not be classed as a formal conviction until it has passed through three stages of appeal, an argument which was turned down when he challenged his League disqualification earlier this year.

The former Cagliari owner also faces a separate court hearing in Italy for tax evasion in relation to a second yacht, Lucky 23, in October. That case was adjourned until 16 October earlier this month.

The news website Cagliaripad reported the yacht Lucky 23 had been imported from the US to Italy in a container in May 2011 and that Cellino had been charged with failing to pay €84,122 on tax duty.

Author:  JSP [ Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Neil Redfearn resigns from Leeds academy over ‘untenable’ situation

Neil Redfearn has resigned from his role as the Leeds United academy manager claiming his position had been made untenable by the club.

Redfearn was officially offered to return to his previous job with the academy in May following his six-month stint as first-team head coach last season, but has accused the club of not letting him return to his post.

The 50-year-old was involved in a bitter fallout with the Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, who opted not to extend Redfearn’s spell as head coach.

Leeds appointed Uwe Rösler in May and Redfearn has claimed the offer to return to his academy role was “not genuine”.

Redfearn said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that I am resigning from my employment at Leeds United with immediate effect.

“I am desperately disappointed that [executive director] Adam Pearson’s ‘offer’ of a return to my old position as academy manager was not genuine and the club have since made my position untenable by refusing to let me take up my post at Thorp Arch.

“I would, however, like to place on record my thanks to everyone connected with the first team, including the fans, for making last season both productive and beneficial after a difficult start. Very importantly I would like to pay a special tribute to the academy where I proudly worked along with others for the best part of six years.

“The LUFC academy is now regarded as one of the most productive in the country and last season proved testament to that with the continued development of Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor, Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Walters and Chris Dawson amongst a crop of outstanding young players to wear the Leeds badge of honour and to don the famous white shirt.

“The Academy Philosophy and Coaching programme that I wrote and developed will be part of my legacy to this great club and hopefully will help shape more top young professional footballers moving forward.

“I would like to wish Uwe Rösler and his staff and players every success for next season and beyond so that Leeds can (get) back to the Premier League very soon. Last, but not least, I wish to thank the fans for their unstinting support both during my time at the Academy and whilst in charge of the first team. It has truly been an honour to represent and serve this great club.”

Redfearn handed in his resignation on Thursday morning after he and Leeds failed to agree a settlement deal to sever his employment.

The former Barnsley and Charlton midfielder, placed in charge of the Leeds academy in 2012 after joining in 2009, took on the head coach’s role last November after Darko Milanic’s sacking.

Redfearn had been appointed until June and had the option of returning to his role as academy boss if Leeds opted not to extend his role as head coach.

Redfearn introduced several young players he had nurtured through the academy into the first team and guided Leeds clear of relegation trouble last season.

But his future became increasingly uncertain after Cellino returned to office in early May following his Football League ban and when the Italian launched a scathing attack on Redfearn at a controversial post-season press conference, an acrimonious departure appeared inevitable.

Cellino later accused Redfearn of being “weak” and “behaving like a baby”, but the club insisted several days later a formal offer for him to return to his role as academy manager had been made.

Redfearn’s assistant Steve Thompson was sacked without explanation in April and Redfearn was also rocked by the withdrawal of six overseas players through injury on the eve of Leeds’ game at Charlton later that month.

Leeds were not immediately available for comment but are expected to respond to Redfearn’s claims with a statement in due course.

Author:  JSP [ Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino has agreed in principle to sell his share in the club to supporters' group Leeds Fans United.

The Italian, who is currently appealing against a Football League ban, met with fans on Friday.

He said he would sell his majority share, without making a profit.

"100% I will sell to the fans, if they want to buy it and look after the club. The fans are the only asset the club has," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"I'm sad and embarrassed. My dream was to do my best but I've achieved nothing and family aren't even with me.

"I'm trying to protect the club but at the same time it means I have exposed myself. The result is that the fans say 'Massimo it's time to go'."

Leeds Fans United launched in April with the aim of buying a minority stake in the club and securing representation on the board.

They tweeted: "Leeds Fans Utd has today reached agreement in principle with Massimo Cellino to purchase a majority stake in Leeds United Football Club."

Many supporters called on Cellino - who has been banned from running the club twice since his 2014 arrival - to leave Elland Road after a 2-0 home defeat by Blackburn on Thursday left them 18th in the Championship.

United would be the highest placed English club to be owned by their fans.

Analysis: Adam Pope, BBC Radio Leeds

"This is coming at the same time that he is facing another ban from the Football League.

"There has been a lot of pressure on him from the fans and the national media this week. I think it is the fans chanting against him at Thursday's game that has made up his mind. He sounded genuinely distraught.

"There is a real malcontent around the club at the moment. He's done some good in his time there but I believe the time is right for a change.

"I've spoken to Leeds Fans United and I don't know how much money there is there now but I know that there are people willing to back their initiative."

Cellino's biggest controversies: a timeline

•April 2014: After initially being prevented from buying the club he successfully appeals and becomes the majority owner.
•May 2014: Manager Brian McDermott leaves the club after the end of the season.
•August 2014: His surprise replacement David Hockaday is sacked after just six matches.
•October 2014: Slovenian Darko Milanic is sacked after six games and just 32 days in charge.
•December 2014: Cellino is banned from running the club by the Football League after an Italian court finds him guilty of tax evasion. He appeals against the decision but is unsuccessful.
•March 2015: Cellino's ban is extended from March to the end of the 2014-15 season.
•May 2015: Replaces Neil Redfearn as head coach with former Brentford and Wigan boss Uwe Rosler.
•October 2015: On the same day he sacks Rosler and replaces him with Steve Evans the Italian is banned from running the club by the Football League for a second time. He has submitted his appeal against this decision. It is understood he faces further legal cases in his home country.

Author:  JSP [ Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has reneged on plans to sell the club to supporters, Leeds Fans Utd has announced.

The Italian purchased his 75 per cent controlling interest in the Elland Road club from Gulf Finance House in April 2014.

Protests against him by Leeds fans during the defeat against Blackburn led to him telling LFU on Friday that he was willing to sell them his controlling interest.

LFU was due to meet with Cellino's lawyers on Wednesday in a bid to gain an exclusivity period, but its plans have been thrown off track by his apparent change of heart.

"Leeds Fans Utd has just been informed by the lawyers of Massimo Cellino that he no longer wishes to sell to Leeds fans," the statement read.

"Our insistence on him confirming his verbal offer of exclusivity in a legally binding agreement has forced transparency on his motives.

"It is much better that we identify this insincerity now before we spend our shareholder's money.

"This exercise has proved our capacity to adapt to any acquisition scenario very quickly.

"We now know we have the capacity to do both a minority and majority deal, and it has shown that Leeds fans have a desire for fan ownership.

"We hope that Massimo will treat the club and fans with respect and honour."

The development certainly takes the gloss off Tuesday's 1-0 win against Cardiff - United's first home win since March, which lifted Steve Evans' side to 17th in the Sky Bet Championship.

Six managers have come and gone through Cellino's reign, which has seen him twice banned by the Football League. He faces three further criminal cases in his native Italy.

It's almost like he might have something to hide in the finances of the club.

Author:  JSP [ Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Leeds United fans have criticised a "pie tax" which has been introduced on some match-day tickets at Elland Road.

The Championship club is set to raise the price of adult tickets in the South Stand by £5, but a 'meal deal' voucher will be included in the price.

A spokesman told the Yorkshire Post the club was "looking at ways to encourage supporters to use the catering".

Leeds Supporters' Trust chairman Michael Green said it showed the club was "out of touch with its supporters".

"It may not be on the same scale as some of the bigger issues the club has had to deal with since [chairman] Massimo Cellino arrived, but it is one of those things we could have done without," he added.

Cellino was banned by the Football League in October, having been found guilty of an offence under Italian tax legislation, but his ban has been deferred pending the outcome of his appeal.

In early November the Italian had a change of heart after announcing he was willing to sell his majority stake in the club to supporters.

Leeds are 17th in English football's second tier, having taken 19 points from the first 18 games of the season.

Author:  JSP [ Tue May 31, 2016 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Leeds United have confirmed that the head coach, Steve Evans, has left the club. Evans, along with his assistant Paul Raynor, departs Elland Road after a seven-month stay.

The former Swansea City manager Garry Monk is the early frontrunner with the bookies to become the new head coach.

Evans’ exit had been on the cards for some weeks, with the 53-year-old publicly calling for clarity on his future while the owner, Massimo Cellino, looked at other candidates for his job. Evans was told he would be given a new deal beyond the end of the season if he kept Leeds in the Championship but he was then left in limbo by Cellino, who went weeks without contacting the former Rotherham United manager.

While Evans – whose contract expired at the end of June – waited for news, Cellino reportedly spoke to the MK Dons manager Karl Robinson and made an unsuccessful approach for Bristol Rovers’ Darrell Clarke, making it all the more clear that he would not be retaining Evans.

Cellino said: “I would like to thank Steve Evans for his efforts as the head coach of Leeds United. Steve completed the job he was brought in to carry out – to keep the team in the Championship – and his hard work here has been greatly appreciated. I wish him and Paul Raynor the very best for the future.

“We have, however, decided that a different approach is required in order to achieve our targets for the new season.

“The club is now looking to appoint a new head coach to build on the good work of Steve and Paul and deliver the special season which our supporters deserve.”

Despite losing his job, Evans was not looking to point the finger.

“First and foremost I have always believed that, if you’re an owner and have the final say, you’re duty bound to put the best man in the chair for the job,” said Evans.

“If Mr Cellino has an option on me to extend my contract and sees fit to speak to other people, I had to ask myself, ‘One, was he doing it because he doubted me or, two, he wanted to see if there was something better in the market?’

“For a time I believed it was the second of those two, but the last week I saw there were other people in for the job and I took the opinion it was not going to be me.”

As a consequence, Evans requested a meeting where the club secretary Stuart Hayton delivered the news on Cellino’s behalf. The Italian has not told any of the six coaches – he has sacked in two years – of the news himself.

“I got the news from the club secretary late this afternoon,” Evans added on Sky Sports News.

“I went up to Elland Road, it fell upon me given recent events to be asking the question whether my contract was going to be extended and, following a meeting with the board and Mr Cellino, Stuart was asked to convey to me that it would not be renewed.

“It was hard to sit there and accept. When you work for Leeds United, the first think you realise is the size and the fans are simply stunning and wonderful people and you realise you have to keep your dignity and respect. If you come out of that club it’s a sad day. I will move on, but it’s been a wonderful experience.”

Author:  JSP [ Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani is in talks to buy a major stake in Championship side Leeds United, BBC Sport editor Dan Roan reports.

In May, Leeds owner Massimo Cellino said he regretted buying the club, and that he wanted to sell his 80% stake.

A proposed sale to a Leeds fans' group collapsed in October 2015, despite a deal being agreed in principle.

Previous talks over a sale to Red Bull also fell through with the deal reportedly close to completion.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that a sale of the club to Radrizzani is not close, with talks at an early stage.

Cellino bought Leeds in April 2014, but his ownership of the club has been the subject of regular protests by supporters since then.

The Italian was banned from running the club in December 2014 until the end of the 2014-15 season after being found guilty of tax evasion by an Italian court, but later had his suspension quashed when his conviction was overturned.

He has sacked six managers and head coaches since taking over at Elland Road, with Garry Monk appointed as his latest head coach in June.

Author:  pakrooney [ Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Leeds: The Damned United

Miss leeds kun8ism in premier league

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