It could only happen at Leeds. For the second time in recent history, the manager is sacked as the January transfer window closes. And, in a rare example of Murdoch’s tacky Sky Sports Transfer Deadline programme even recognising the existence of Leeds, the trashy satellite station were immediately all over Ross McCormack like a bad rash.
McCormack pronounced himself “happy to stay at Leeds and play for McDermott” only a couple of hours ago. Now, in the immediate aftermath of the brutal ending of The Strife of Brian, Ross was hauled onto the Sky airwaves, understandably gutted and shell-shocked. The presenters’ agenda was clear – could this transfer be revived? Could the knife be twisted in the Leeds United stab-in-the-back wound?
McCormack was badgered over whether McDermott’s dismissal changed things. He displayed enough ambivalence for the Sky hacks to scent blood. Cut down to Cardiff, where they collared a handy chav to plead for Ross to “come back”.
It was deeply un-classy stuff. It didn’t reflect too well on McCormack, but it showed Sky up for the tacky gutter station they are. At one point, McCormack’s distressed interview, full of shock and compassion for his ex-manager, was described as “the best thing for ages”. Such are the standards at the bottom of the journalism barrel.
I happen to believe that Brian’s dismissal means it’s more or less certain that Massimo Cellino is now calling the shots. There are strong rumours also of two players coming in on loan from Cagliari. It looks as though what amounts to more of a coup – and not a bloodless one – than a takeover is virtually done and dusted.
What next for Leeds? If we get to 11pm with our captain and top scorer still on the playing staff, I’ll be happily surprised. There’s not much else to be happy about. Leeds United are the laughing-stock of the football world tonight.
As for what might happen in the game against Huddersfield tomorrow, well who knows. The players’ state of mind can only be guessed at. As I write, Sky’s efforts to sell McCormack are redoubling. They report that his representatives have been contacted by SIX clubs since “our sensational interview”. They seem to be implicitly approving the tapping-up of our skipper. What a disgusting organisation they are.
Wake me up when it’s summer, someone – unless we’ve been relegated.