Lorimer Plea Shows Cellino May Be Bluffing Over Leeds United Sale   –   by Rob Atkinson


Cellino: thanks for the endorsement, Lash

Cellino: thanks for the endorsement, Lash

It’s been another up and down week on the crazy roller-coaster ride that is modern-day Leeds United. Down in the dumps last Thurday with an abject defeat live on Sky to a Blackburn Rovers side that had it all too humiliatingly easy. Then an upswing, with embarrassing owner Cellino indicating he’d had enough (you’ve had enough, Massimo? How do you think we feel?) and was prepared to sell. 

Then it was a gradual upswing of wonder and optimism, with talk of fan ownership and Gladiatorial involvement from a Leeds fan of Maximus commitment and credibility. The feel-good factor peaked with the end of an eight month winless run at Elland Road and, for the first time in 32 years, a home ground slaying of the Welsh Drags. It was only one little 1-0 win over nobody much, but young Alex Mowatt‘s goal was a snorter and, all of a sudden, we were all feeling unaccountably pleased with life in the Leeds United universe. 

And then – the inevitable plummet back towards confusion and disappointment as Cellino proved once again that he’s more towards the compulsive Billy Liar end of the scale than the heroic Billy Bremner end. Having confirmed last week that he would sell to the fans group – “Who else would I sell to?” – il Duce now feels that mere supporters are like kids in a sweetshop, not serous buyers. That’s a step up from “morons”, I suppose, but still not exactly the epitome of respect. Still, most of us know what Cellino is all about by now, and would doubt his word if he confided to us that night follows day. Which brings into question the integrity of his assurance that Leeds is now up for sale. On that front, there may be trouble – and deep, frustrating disappointment – ahead. 

Why else would long-standing Leeds United top-brass mouthpiece Peter Lorimer be ruminating in the press that Cellino can still succeed “if given time”? Lorimer is presumably closer to the inner workings of that Machiavellian mind than most of us mere fans – so why would he be talking up the prospects should Cellino retain control, when the owner publicly maintains he’s selling up for reasons of demoralisation and shrunken balls?

Could it be, fellow Leeds sufferers, that we are having our heads messed with once again? Is Cellino yet again saying x whilst plotting y – and is Lorimer the poor sap being used as a one man Ministry of Disinformation? It wouldn’t be a massive surprise – but after half a dozen abortive attempts to find a football man who can work with a mad Italian fraudster, a promised “beautiful season” turning hideously ugly before our horrified eyes – and the general, sickening, lurch up and more often down of that Damned United roller-coaster – the United support can be expected to be very, very cross if they find they’ve been casually manked about with yet again. 

And yet what can we do? The vision of fan ownership turns out to be the mirage some of us foresaw, the relentless hiring and firing has become a sickening pattern, our club is held as a laughing stock by fans of clubs who should be knuckling their foreheads and addressing us as “Sir”. If an end is in sight to all of that, then it would be a worthy outcome in itself. But I have this sneaking feeling that the Cellino ego-trip has a while to run yet. Sadly, he might not be finished with us any time soon. 

That all sounds distressingly cynical and I hope I’m wrong. But, when the pirate captain of the not-so-good ship Nélie is saying one thing, while on his shoulder, Peter the Parrot is squawking quite another, then I feel that there is good cause to be both alarmed and disbelieving. That long-overdue win over Cardiff might just have been interpreted by the owner as a green light to carry on – with Lorimer smoothing the path. 

Please, please – let me be back in a short while holding my hands up and admitting I read it all wrong. Let this nightmare be over soon – so that we can lurch wearily on to the next one.

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22 responses to “Lorimer Plea Shows Cellino May Be Bluffing Over Leeds United Sale   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. You may well be right, uncomfortable as it may have been for Cellino there is no actual reason to sell. It is still a business equally as profitable as it was last week.
    The man is all about business, its his to do with as he sees fit, all we can do is hope he progresses with it in a positive manner. If that means selling then that’s what he’ll do but he may stay for the foreseeable.
    This is the man who under pressure at his last club moved the “home” ground 500+ miles to mainland Italy.
    We can only hope, whatever he does , it turns out well for our Leeds united. Or maybe I’ll be seeing home games played near me in Cornwall!

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  2. You are more than likely right with your gut feeling. I keep wondering why Adam Pearson decided his time was up – well not really wondering – because it’s obvious. There are so many reasons Cellino should go but as soo as Due Dillifence comes up there is a problem. How can LUFC be worth £40m with no assets other than under performing players and it’s potentially massive fan base. That potential is diminishing by the day – Cellino should accept the LFU offer but he will not. His biggest regret must be his lack of Due Dilligence – so now he needs to save face. Megalomaniacs need to save face!

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    • LFU didn’t make an offer and would never be able to do so. You have answered your own argument. It’s worth the money because of the fan base and the name plus all the money Cellino has had to invest to clear up the mess left behind.
      Of course he is not perfect by a long way, but what has he actually done wrong apart from in his eyes tried to do the best for the success of the club?
      I can think of worse owners.

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      • I can too, at other clubs. But we are Leeds, and we had long enough of Bates. We deserve better!

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      • You’ve got to laugh. I’ve just been sent the following, from the Facebook group In Massimo We Trust (formerly the Cellino In Group).

        “To all members we would respectfully ask you to cease posting Rob Atkinson blogs in the group. Rob is highly confrontational to any fan who does not agree with him and his views do not represent those of our group or members.
        Suffice to say that any such postings will be removed.
        Thanks”

        Anyone’s free to censor or suppress my stuff if that’s how their minds work. Each to his own, and all that. They’d obviously rather pretend I don’t exist than risk “confrontation” (I never knew I was so scary).

        But there’s a stench of hypocrisy in this group’s statement of intent. They acknowledge that Cellino’s manager/coach turnover rate is a tad on the high side. But they ask, with no apparent sense of irony, if seeking to get rid of the Italian after eighteen MONTHS (as opposed to six weeks or so as is his wont) is giving him “a fair chance”.

        Clearly my thoughts will not be permitted to sully this closed group. And yet it evidently could do with some injection of opposing views – or it’ll remain a sterile talking shop of nodding dogs, won’t it?

        Each to his own – I just found this amusing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love it when people make statements as fact when they know absolutely nothing about the situation…………. TimS says it, so it must be!

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  3. I noticed the very large comments page on that article – 146 at the last count, so I was expecting a comment or two from you!
    My prediction is that if we go to QPR at the end of the month with two further wins under our belts all of this will have gone away and we can concentrate on what Steve Evans is achieving on the ‘grass’!
    However there is a small vocal minority of supporters who seem to always want something different to the status quo whatever that might be at any given time.
    Cellino is what he is but lets not forget the good things he has done and would anybody really want Rosler style football back?
    Interestingly I read that Dylan Thwaites of LFU did not attend THAT meeting with Cellino and it was actually a Sharon – don’t know the surname who saw Cellino and then broke the news. The reality is that LFU shot themselves in the foot and jumped the gun with talk of exclusivity and aggression against any other possible bidders etc etc and we don’t know exactly what was said in the meeting anyway.
    However, it was never going to work so best forgotten. Also don’t forget there is still GFH et al lurking in the background.
    It seems every top player in Spain is up for fraudulent tax evasion running into millions and Barca have got all sorts of cases coming up with dodgy deals – isn’t that the Barca owned by the supports no less!!? Poor old Cellino gets done for not paying the due tax on a Range Rover he bought in from Florida and never used. There is some irony here.
    Personally all I want is to see a successful winning team giving 100 per cent plus fighting and giving blood for the shirt. I believe we are now at last starting to see this under Steve Evans. Who knows we could all be on a high come Christmas . MOT

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    • I think we said that 4 or 5 times during Cellinos reign, we said “everythings starting to go well last year with Redfearn and Thommo, we said it again in the Summer where Pearson was here………but on each occaision the Lunatic did something to drive the train off the rails…………by all means carry on ignoring it and sticking your head in the sand, it works for many leeds fans right ?? “better to keep the club in the hands of an experienced and capable owner like Cellino (saying this with a straight face is hard) than let the fans run it ”

      Anyway for me Fan ownership was the last chance saloon, ive had it now…..im falling out of love with Leeds United finally, its been………..an experience. Best of luck to those that carry on

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  4. We'veAllHadEnough

    This was my exact thought upon reading the YEP article. I try not to be cynical, but the whole sorry episode of Leeds United in the previous decade has dented my spirits somewhat. Sorry to say, it’s the same old story – we’re treading water or barely breaking the surface. I’ve had it with Cellino and his broken promises – the most irritating of which, for me, remains the continuing saga of Elland Road and Thorp Arch ownership. Sorry, but I’m starting to lose hope, and I am not ready to sell whatever soul Leeds United has left by letting in those corporate devils, Red Bull. It’s all just a load of bollocks in the end, isn’t it?

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  5. Thinking the same myself Rob.I was behind Cellino when he came in but to many ups then downs has me wanting him gone.We can’t go on like this so much so my son was thinking giving up on Leeds he’s that fed up with it all.Thankfully I talked him round saying the next owner has to be better.well here’s hoping eh

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  6. David Smith

    For me and many other Leeds supporters, Peter Lorimer was our equivalent of Bobby Charlton on the 70’s, someone whose reputation for scoring the spectacular, put the fear of God up opponents and gave us a sense of pride that he was one of ours. Over the last five years or so, it has really hurt me to see him so vilified for his articles in the YEP, but I have to say I read his latest comments with a sense of disbelief myself, where he attempted to defend the indefensible and almost appeared to nominate Cellino for sainthood, with absolutely no mention his much publicised criminal tendencies ! Sorry Peter, you are still one of my heroes, but you are categorically wrong as far as Cellino is concerned and we as Leeds supporters have every right to demand he goes!

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  7. wetherby white

    PL was a true footballing legend at ER but his toadying to the dreadful rabble of recent owners has left him with little credibility. His support of the criminals Bates and Harvey seemed to be ground zero but on he trots with his latest YEP article. Theres no point listing here all MCs appalling decision making in the last few years though for me the cowardly sacking of Thompson last season was a special low point-even by his standards. God knows what the future holds but at least Evans managed to instill some pride into the team for the win over Cardiff – a match I managed to miss!

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  8. What is very depressing is the cringing subservience and ‘not for the likes of us’ mentality of those Leeds fans who sneer at fan ownership. It works alright in Germany and it’s worked at plenty of clubs here. Even in the 60s Leeds fans were known for their timidity and self-limiting horizons which, along with a string of provincial and myopic owners (including those who sacked Brian Clough), explains why the club never became a global giant. it was there for the taking but as a group, Leeds fans, guess what – we didn’t deserve it. Even Revie never got the crowds the team deserved.
    Would this situation be tolerated by the supporters of Liverpool or Bayern Munich? Of course not. they would riot. Little Leeds with the big mouth we are destined to remain, and i have been a fan for over 40 years.

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  9. mrbigwheels

    Am thinking there was quite a message in Peter Lorimer’s article that has been left out from the above. Wasn’t Peter trying to convey to the fans that a small minority were ‘bringing no good’ to Leeds for the majority, reference… the future of the Club and whoever may own it in the longer term.
    If one includes the missives from LUST, then LFU with their dreadful misconstrued approach to fan ownership of the Club, the minority of fans that bang on about Russell Crowe or a mystery Oily Russian flying in, plus too many blog sites to mention, Cellino perhaps has a point… Something needs saying akin to PL’s message…imo.
    Did Cellino warrant the chants in the game against Blackburn or the mouthy PR from LFU?… Not in my opinion and many others also.
    If I was the owner I would no doubt be heading for the hills and firing shots from a distance.
    I accept that Cellino is a maverick, a man with two skins who just happens to have bought the Club with in the time it takes to ‘check in’, paid many hidden bills that have saved the Club from administration, has an Italian passion which can blind his decision making process and finds it difficult to delegate… but what are the fans wanting?. It’s getting to the stage that a minority will moan about the length of Elland Road turf soon.
    There is no ordinary, uncomplicated, normal Mr Nice Guy prospective owner waiting round the corner to buy into this unordinary, quite complicated, unnatural Football Club. He cannot be seen on the horizon!.

    Surely we should calm down, remember money was spent in the summer to a greater degree than for many years, the youth of this Club has not been sold, we won on Tuesday, had the first home win since March, beat Cardiff first time in mega years and Alex Mowatt scored a screamer of a winning goal.
    Just concentrate ‘on the grass’ as Mr Evans keeps mentioning.

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  10. theoceanicfeeling

    The bigger problem we face is that no buyer will emerge BEFORE Cellino’s appeal is done. Why would you bid anything before a man is about to get exiled again. This leads us to a situation where the market bid and offer is so far apart that Massimo goes off to Miami and leaves Edoardo in charge. I would have no problem with this situation provided Evans is given considerable funds over January and left alone for the year. The reality is that Sam Byram will leave for the PL and either Cook or Taylor will also be poached. The Leeds carcass will be there for all to pick if Massimo is banned and no one is seriously at the helm. It’s one thing to have an owner that plays in the press about him selling up and sacks managers willy-nilly, but it’s the damage it does to the minds of our young guns that is the problem. They must all be thinking “F this place, it’s falling apart”. Good luck Mr Evans holding this shit-show together. Agree the Lorimer commentary is odd, but every company has an ass-kisser in it.

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  11. I don’t believe that are Italian lunatic is going nowhere there is far too much meat on the bone for are latest owner/saviour too leave behind i just can’t believe people actually think that bates/gfh/mc have ever done anything other than rinse are club the only people that have ever put anything in are the supporters and the sooner we get a honest owner the better mc out and you can take your second rate players and your fan club with you we don’t won’t or need any of ya

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  12. A couple of observations of the current situation at ER. I was at both Tuesday and last Thursday night’s matches. If people believe it was a vocal minority baying for Cellino to **** off home they are sadly mistaken. His behaviour both before and after the Blackburn match can at best be described as psychotic. It would suggest he has problems …..you only have to look at that video clip of him walking outside the ground to realise he is not well. What is further worrying is like Bates before him he is wracking up expensive legal cases against the club which may run into millions of pounds. The Macron shirt issue being possibly the most damaging. The sacking of 5 managers will also not have come cheap, plus no doubt all the backroom staff that went with each of them.We shall see but as a paying fan of 50 years standing I am really worried that the club is yet again in the hands of another maverick who will cause untold damage.

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  13. Cellino has multiple convictions for fraud with plenty more to come. How anyone can believe a word he says after all that has gone and his appalling treatment of various employees is beyond me. Unfortunately nothing will change until he goes and he will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from the club. He will shortly be banned as he has no chance of winning his appeal and by the sound of it there are further cases in the pipeline which will probably result in further and lengthier bans. This might force him to sell up , let’s hope so and also hope the team wins a few games in the mean time to stay in the division which I fear is the best we can hope for this season.

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  14. Just read a piece about MC demanding respect from Leeds fans, well Massimo, respect goes both ways. Stop lying to the supporters, stop reneging on your promises, buy the ground back, shut your gob, back a manager, any effing manager, get Pearson back, step out of the spotlight and stay there, if you don’t demand adulation you might just earn some. If you can’t do any of this then sell up and sod off, no respect from me, I’m a bloody Yorkshireman.
    MOT

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  15. Superbly balanced and reflective of the control over the agenda the truth and the gullible that those in power have in the wider world. Whether your a Leeds fan, Sam Burgess or anyone outside the economic elite, the establishment’s reality is different to yours.

    Like

  16. Peter no Balls😊

    Like

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