In the latest twist to Massimo Cellino‘s Machiavellian tenure at Leeds United, Whites fan Scott Gutteridge has claimed that he was paid an average of £500 per month to talk up il Duce on social media. Specifically, the Facebook group Cellino In, later renamed In Massimo We Trust was a vehicle for pro-Cellino propaganda, bought and paid for by Leeds United, alleges Mr. Gutteridge. It’s a story that goes back to February, but it’s resurfacing now, with a vengeance. Names are being named and the whole thing begins to smell like a giant Italian rat.
The tragic part of the accusation is that, with many clubs, you’d laugh it off as nothing more than ludicrous fabrication. Even at Leeds, a club Gutteridge now describes as “rotten to the core”, it stretches the limits of credibility somewhat. But, in the end, if you’ve any more than a passing acquaintance with what’s gone on at Elland Road over the past few years, then yes. You can believe it. In fact, looking at the way our club has been mismanaged, with lack of proper investment and a ridiculous turnover of management staff, not to mention money wasted in various humiliating court cases – the notion that a club owner would actually pay for good press seems horribly likely.
The irony for me personally is that, in Cellino’s early days at Leeds, I was an enthusiastic supporter. I even had a selfie with him, for God’s sake. Many were the thousands of words I penned in his cause, and against what I saw as the persecution of our saviour by the Football League. And I did it all for free. Laugh? I almost feel like putting in for back pay.
The scales fell from my eyes in due course, and I’ve made myself deeply unpopular with many Cellino acolytes by relentlessly attacking their hero for his dragging down of the football club I love. To me, he’s an inept, dishonest, egomaniac who shouldn’t be allowed near a club like Leeds United, the focus of adoration for thousands of fans worldwide. I’ve long been convinced that United will only prosper once more when Cellino is nothing more than a particularly unpleasant memory.
Many will still support him. Leeds fans, after all, are stubborn folk. And I’ll get more stick for this and subsequent articles. But I care not a jot. Cellino is receipted and filed as a crook and a charlatan – and if he doesn’t like that, let him sue me. The classical libel defence of “the truth” would see me through.
Is it really possible that even a Music Hall act like Cellino would actually pay a fan to say nice things about him – and then get caught out doing so? This man who once famously and drunkenly said “You can buy a bitch for a night – but you can’t buy the love, my friend”. Could he really be hoist so royally with his own petard?
Knowing the man’s character as I’m confident I do, with the testimony of many wise people, who know him better than I do, ringing in my ears – I have to say, it’s not only possible, it’s more than probable, it’s entirely bloody likely.
Yes, I believe it. And it’s just one more reason why any Leeds United fan with his or her head screwed on should be saying long, loud and often:
Time to go, Massimo. Cellino must go!
What took you so long Rob? I smelled a gigantic Italian rat as soon as MC got involved. And, I shall not spend a single penny supporting the team I love, as long as Cellino, or any of his offspring, are involved. RIP LUFC.
After Bates, and GFH – I wanted to believe.
Totally agree! Ever since he arrived, I argued with friends and relatives that any owner who seems to be in the news as much as the club, cannot be the right owner for LUFC. The continual hiring and firing of managers…sorry coaches testifies to the EGO TRIP and not to competence. I also have never renewed my season ticket.
Rob, have you ever being to Italy? Ever been to Sardinia? I have been to both. They are by and large nice people Sardinians, but sophisticated is not a word I would associate with them. Except, if you happen across a Gramsci scholar, or some other academic intellectual. They are a bit like Cellino, a bit crude and coarse at times. In the south, it is the three Ms, Mamma, Manna and Madonna. Their Mother, food and the Catholic Church. So his remark about buying a bitch for a night is just talk. His mother would have beaten the living daylights out of him if she had found out.
Italy is dysfunctional, if you own a hotel for example and have the simplest religious shrine in a corner, usually a cheap statue of a saint in a corner you can claim exemption from paying tax on the business. The only thing organised in Italy is crime. They have a very different attitude to paying tax. So I am not surprise he has fallen foul of their tax laws.
In the north around Lake Como depending on the state of the varying economies of Switzerland and Italy at the time, the smuggling goes one way then another. In Rome the various police forces are known to come to blows between each other over who has jurisdiction of a crime.
In Rome, on my way back to the airport, my taxi driver made it out of his way to scare the life out of a nun trying to cross at a pedestrian crossing by nearly running her over. It gave another meaning to the term flying nun.
Having said what I have said you cannot meet nice people than the Italians.
You cannot judge Cellino by the standards of a Yorkshireman. He is Sardinian, not even an Italian.
Its going to get worse there mate now that there’s a Jesuit pope. Right evil baskets. Anyway back to Cellino,I cant forgive him for that hockaday debacle. Just think,it could have been anyone of us chatting away about football then suddenly “loony tunes” pops up and offers you the Leeds job after a master class in tactics with the cruet set? Just to further prove how poor his judgement is,he pays someone more than he offered to pay Sam Byram to support him when there’ll be thousands of man u “supporters” in London and Ireland who would have paid him for the pleasure of teeing us off. £500 quid and you could have the outside lav re-pointed in Barnsley and Sheffield plus a coat of varnish on the seat.
I believe it and agree with every word. I would go even further and hope to hell Cellino does not succeed at Leeds as I would just hate to see this man revelling in all his glory. Can you possibly imagine having him in the Premiere League. Just the thought of this complete amateur being associated with the legends of this club like Revie, Bremner and Strachan makes me feel sick.
Alas il duce is only the latest in a long line of incompetents running our club (into the ground ) . But worry not! Once gary monk is relieved of his duties ( my guess before the end of September) another coaching saviour will be primed to save us once again from relegation. Let us not forget Millwalls (ex) footballing maestro Kenny jacket is between jobs and is just the thick skinned stupid type il duce loves
really Rob this was news about 6 months ago when it broke Zzzzzzzz
If you read the article you’d see I acknowledge that.
I believe the payments may have happened, if only because Cellino’s massive ego and his needy personality almost demand loyalty and affection that are totally undeserved, and he has to get them somehow, through bullying or paying.
I don’t expect players and managers to spend their entire careers at Leeds – even Don, Billy and Jack didn’t – but longer than a few weeks would be nice. If a rapidly revolving door of players and coaches/managers is the way to go, I must have it all horribly wrong.