Cellino Deserves to be Judged on This Transfer Window – by Rob Atkinson


Sheriff Cellino – drinking in the Last Chance Saloon

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything initially supported the tenure of Massimo Cellino, despite understandable reservations arising out of his track record at Cagliari. But he’d straighten up and drive right now he was in charge of a Porsche instead of a Fiat 500, we assured ourselves. Surely his very purchase of a sleeping giant like Leeds United was evidence of a burning ambition that would be realised through his evident wealth. And, after all, he was going to buy the ground and other assets back, pronto. It was all good. Or so we thought.

Bitter experience has been a harsh teacher in the months that have passed since those early, optimistic days. Far from straightening up, the Italian has become ever more twisted and bent with each passing court case and every glib lie. He’s presided over a revolving-door policy on coaches, recruiting a succession of nobodies and then blaming them for inevitable failure. He’s declined to invest in the squad as a club the size and reputation of Leeds demands. For every half-decent buy, there’s been two or three real lemons – and the drip, drip sale of talent has been maintained. The re-purchase of Elland Road has not happened, and there is little if any sign that it will. Cellino has been, to put it kindly, a big fat disappointment of almost Tomas Brolin proportions. He’s single-handedly made of Leeds United a laughing-stock to rival the David Moyes tenure at man u.

Now, more by the law of averages than good judgement, we seem to have a manager who shows signs of being able to produce winning football in the (admittedly unlikely) event of being left to get on with the job. Steve Evans has made it abundantly clear that the squad needs an influx of quality, and that fact is self-evident to any even half-knowledgeable fan. Evans’ impact on the club has been considerable, given the circumstances he’s had to put up with. There is a noticeable improvement in match-day performances, despite the odd dreadful blip. Even in unfortunate defeat at Hillsborough on Saturday, Leeds were far from outclassed or outplayed. There is good cause for some hope that our current manager can succeed where so many have failed.

So far this window, Liam Bridcutt‘s loan has been extended, and there has been a loan move too for Mustapha Carayol from Middlesbrough. Both have acquitted themselves well, and this is evidence that Evans’ judgement of a player has not been found wanting. We’ve lost Sam Byram to Everton, a tragic event that can be traced back to Cellino’s pig-headed contract renegotiation tactics. Leeds are now at the crossroads of the season, maybe even last-chance saloon in terms of the prospects of this campaign being anything other than yet another dull anti-climax. Cellino has to act positively now, back his manager, invest in quality and trust to a proper football man to do a job when given the tools.

There is still time – not much, but some – for Cellino to reinvent himself as an owner with the interests of what is still a major club at heart. But the clock is ticking. If this month expires to the accompaniment of that old refrain (we’re happy to see what the loan market has to offer…), then many, not least this blog, will take that as a final confirmation that il Presidente is a chancer, a fly-by-night con-man who is leading Leeds United up the garden path to nowhere. If it turns out that, yet again, the supporters’ expectations are being crudely managed with honeyed words and cynically empty promises, Cellino will be exposed once and for all as a fraud in the football world just as in the courts of his native Italy. If he blows this chance, he should not – surely – be granted another.

Put your hands in your pockets, Massimo, and dig deep. Silence those of us who are convinced you’re a waster, if you can. Act now, or pack up and ship out. Leeds United expects. You’ve let us down time after time. Now, you have to stand up and be counted – or it will be the end of the road for you. Tick tock, Signor Cellino.

17 responses to “Cellino Deserves to be Judged on This Transfer Window – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Good article Rob. Let’s see what he does. At the very very least we need to invest in a goal poacher. If we had one we would of been two nil up at half-time against Wednesday, and probably would of gone on to win the game. If Cellino is serious about our team he must be able to see that. The money from Byram could buy a decent poacher.

    Cellino needs to step up now or step out. No more excuses.

    I know many people don’t, but I like Evans as a manager. I think he has great potential and with the right backing could do well for Leeds. Maybe Evans needs a new boss…..


  2. Belfast White

    Good article Rob, and exactly on point. If there have been no significant arrivals then Leeds fans should consistently let Il MESSimo know it is time to move on. It seems he was at the match on Saturday so may have forgotten how unpopular he is. It seems yet another dreadfully wasted season drifts achingly and hopelessly by. From the acidic virus that was Ken ‘Norman’ Bates, to the Arabs with no honesty or money, to the twisting Italian conman…enough is enough.


  3. Makes me weep to witness so many false dawns with Cellino at the helm. I wish Byram all the best, he’d still be with us if our cheapskate owner had any real knowledge and intent. I fear it will only be a matter of time before we lose our other academy gems. We don’t show any intent or ambition. We can’t attract real talent as Cellino won’t pay the going rate. I hope as you do Rob that somehow this egomaniac will realise the damage he has done and is doing but I’m not holding my breath. I don’t think he has it in him. He’s breathtakingly arrogant and mendacious. He will only do what’s right for him. If only he’d sold to LFU.


  4. Philip of Spain.

    It won’t happen now.The top six is out of our grasp.Let’s leave it this season and give it a real go syndrome will now kick in.


  5. I disagree Rob, we are so far from the play offs that spending millions on players would simply take us from 15th to possibly 9th , what is the point of that?


  6. Sorry Rob, but I’ll continue to judge him over the last 20 years (plus) at Cagliari and Leeds. A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots ( only it’s managers every 3x months)!!!


  7. The White Shirt

    Sorry Rob but that ship has sailed already. Strange how we hear so little from him during transfer windows but he likes to be centre stage all other times. I fully expect Cook or Taylor to be sold right at the death of the window to be replaced by nobodies and then we will be given a reasoned list why in early February. His treatment in forcing out one of our best prospects to Everton has been a disgrace.
    He promised so much and has delivered nowt. He needs to go now.


  8. i think if big money signings were due this window we would all be aware by now rob ,. we have missed the boat as far as the play-off’s and this team should keep us up , i’m not saying i’m happy with that but i can imagine that’s how cellino’s thinking… i will reserve my judgement ill the summer..


  9. Tim Campbell

    Agree entirely Rob, like yourself I have supported Cellino for as long as I humanly could, I still do.. JUST!! But like yourself I agree that key areas in the squad need an influx of quality and real money needs spending to accomplish this. i reckon a pacey tricky striker who has an eye for goal and is a bane of defences lives is needed as well as a tough as nails no nonsense centre half whose presence puts the fear of God into the opposition. Am I asking too much? For our level I think not. Yes money has to be spent and we’re not even talking mega bucks. But I have an overriding feeling that we have never quite gotten the quality into the club that we were capable of and alas the blame for that has to lie squarely at Massimos door – others tell me the seasons over but my reasoning for wanting the players in now is that they can bed in to the team over the rest of the season instead of just giving them a month or so in the Summer transfer window to do this So you say Rob get to it Massimo!!!


  10. Reality Cheque

    Lemons (poor signings), and watermelons, (head coaches)? Cellino has clearly not progressed from his agricultural background one iota Rob!

    An excellent post Rob with which I concur whole heartedly except in one respect because in my opinion Cellino passed through the last chance saloon many months and lies ago. We are in complete limbo since Cellino publicly announced his intention to sell our club (once he finds the right kind of mug who shares his tendency to be economical with the truth as well as the transfer budget).

    Its a toss up as to who has been worse for our club Cellino or GFH because as far as league position and negative goal difference stats go, nothing has improved since 2013.


  11. I am beginning to doubt Evans now as well.
    He talks too much, has slagged Redfearn off once too much for my liking and licks Celiinos rse too much.
    Keeping faith in Silvestri will be his downfall along with Wootton and Wood and why not give Becchio a chance….not exactly scoring for fun are we?
    When Evans compares himself to Ferguson and says that Erwin needs to loosen a couple of notches in his belt it shows how deluded the man really is.
    P$ssed off i am to say the least especially seeing the future of the club being sold and Cellino pocketing another multi million pound fee for Byram.


  12. Well said. I hate to say this, but the only way I can see Cellino leaving is either he is once and for all convicted in an Italian court and therefore barred from owning the club, or he is hounded out by you and me the fans. He is so childish and he has demonstrated he cannot take being abused by his so called beloved following.
    I fear for Steve Evans. He is a decent, passionate guy and knows his job, but you cannot work with second hand tools and it will only take a couple more bad results and the knives will be out. Who would come in then I just do not know. I have now got to the stage where I don’t care if a potential buyer painted the stadium sky blue pink, changed the name of the club and played in polka dot one-sis as long as we got stability, a top class team and good football.


  13. No one has died

    Thats right, lets pay Sam ‘moneybags’ Byram any amount he wants, thats surely that was holding him back for playing his beloved Leeds United wasnt it? Just money? Just that extra £10, or £100, or £10,000 a week.
    After all, theres nothing in our history that suggests paying people what they demand to play could in any way harm the club is there……


  14. A good summary of Cellino’s tenure. Now we need to know why he runs Leeds in pretty much the same way as Bates. Then, what can be done?
    Sorry for the late posting.


  15. Dreadful to see Byram wearing the West Ham shirt and looking so happy. Once again we have been let down by an owner who isn’t prepared to invest in development of the playing squad. Massimo time to go .


  16. Pingback: ‘Goals Pay the Rent’ and Leeds United Are Well in Arrears   –   by Rob Atkinson | Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything

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