It is being claimed by elements of the south London press that Neil Redfearn’s wish to add Millwall winger Martyn Woolford to his squad has been denied by Massimo Cellino, currently barred from “significant involvement” at the club under the terms of his Football League temporary ban.
If true, this development raises serious questions, not only about who calls the transfer shots at Leeds (that has long been a thorny issue) – but also about the extent to which Cellino is still influencing policy at Leeds, despite the measures the League has taken against him.
It is common ground among the bulk of the United support that the squad is lacking in quality options in wide attacking areas. If the Woolford rumours are true – and Millwall manager Ian Holloway certainly appeared to think a move was likely, as recently as the weekend – then it is clear that Redders agrees with the fans, at least to the extent that he would prefer to recruit a winger for the rest of this season. The question now remains – if Leeds have to go through what remains of the campaign, and conducting a relegation fight at that, then who would carry the can if the unthinkable were to happen, and the Whites sank once more into League One? Answers on a postcard…
Nevertheless, I don’t think that a disastrous relegation is actually all that likely to happen – and, of course, there’s always the emergency loan window to plug any serious gaps in the squad, as we keep hearing year after year. But the reports from London allude to Cellino not wanting Woolford because he “didn’t know enough about him”. Redders clearly feels that he does know enough to back the signing of the lad – so we may still be in the situation of a stand-off between an owner who wants to remain “hands on” (whatever the League might say or do) and a football pro who understandably wants to exercise his own judgement in football matters.
This could well be yet another unwelcome can of worms, freshly opened at Elland Road.