The Game's Gone Crazier

For all the latest on the exploits of Uncle Festa, Godfather Cellino, Friar Brian, Old Big Gob, GianFredo Zola, Butterfingers Green, 'Arry the Albatross, The Grand Puppet Master, Il Duce Di Canio, Timmy Sherwood and a cast of thousands!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

It's Massimo to the rescue at Leeds United!

With the Andrew Flowers consortium dead headed, the only hope for Leeds now is Massimo Cellino. The fans don't want him, the manager doesn't want him and the Football League would probably like to hire a Sicilian hit-man to be rid of him, but with GFH Capital intent on selling, the Italian now appears to be the only hope. And if he doesn't pass the Fit and Proper Crook test, administration appears the most likely outcome.

So Leeds fans had better buckle up for the Massimo ride. It will be bumpy for sure and McDermott will be jettisoned at the first opportunity, but a roller coaster ride has to be better than a slow boat to administration surely?

Massimo has money and a pool of Italian players who could be drafted on to the present squad - and that has to make him a better bet than the Bahrain Bank Built on Sand or either of the home grown consortiums, both of which are big on best wishes and small on financial commitment. At the end of the day, it all comes down to "Show me the money!"; and who cares if it is dirty?

Mind you, things now have to move on apace because that winding up petition is a worry.

With Leeds "supporters" like Andrew Flowers, who needs vile animals eh?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Leeds United playing in the last chance saloon

Another day, another mess. With Flowers issuing his winding up petition, GFH Capital have pledged to employ lawyers to "vigorously" contest it. This is whilst Managing Director David Haigh, an employee of GFH Capital, continues to front up a consortium to take over the club with Flowers.

Now some argue that Flowers is just trying to delay Massimo's takeover, but it's a bloody weird way of endearing himself to the present owners and to the fans. First off, the defence of the petition will not come cheap - and Leeds haven't got money to chuck around at the moment - and secondly it will trigger feeding time in the debtors zoo. Now anybody and everybody who is owed money will ask for his share, for fear of finding himself so far down the queue that there won't be any left by the time the piss pot itself is broken up and shared out.

Suddenly Massimo takes on the status of a White Knight, because if his deal doesn't go through, Leeds look to be in deep shit. Should he fail the Fit and Proper Crook test, he will surely issue a winding up petition too to recover his £1.5m loan, and then the wolves really will be tearing at the corpse.

And what about Together Leeds? Well they may now spy an opportunity to buy Leeds on the cheap. Let the club go into administration, take the 15 point deduction and then, like Bates, set about building the club from the ground up.

But talking of Bates, isn't this exactly the scenario he said his strategy was designed to avoid? Wasn't the White Pig sailing through relatively becalmed waters when he was in charge? And are any of the current chancers any better than him?

Who knows, he might fancy a little flutter if the club is available in the Pound Shop again!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Swansea's sacking of Laudrup is sheer madness

Well we have seen some mad sackings down the years, but the dismissal of Michael Laudrup has to rank as one of the craziest of all time. What's his crime exactly? Winning a domestic cup and so saddling the club with a campaign in the Your Ropey League? Or doing so well after taking the reins from Brendan Rodgers that sitting twelfth in the Premiership at the beginning of February isn't good enough?

Dear God, surely some context is needed! Yes Swansea are on a bad run and they were truly dire at Upton Park, even after Carroll had been dismissed, but most Swansea fans would have given their right arms to be in twelfth place at this stage of the campaign when the season kicked off back in August.

Yes the margins are desperately tight, with Stoke leap frogging up to eleventh for eighteenth on the back of one home win, but that cuts both ways. Swansea are two points above the drop zone after an away game; that could easily be back up to five after Swansea host Cardiff on Saturday. And five points is a decent buffer!

I would gladly have Laudrup at West Ham. He has a great eye for a player and encourages his team to play the game in the right way - and one day he will manage a top, top team. The Swansea board have over reacted and hit the panic button and personally I hope they get what they now deserve - relegation!

Flowers shows the extent of his love for Leeds United and the fans

It goes from bad to worse! With Massimo looking more and more likely to pass the Fit & Proper Crook test, news has now broken of a winding up order for non payment of debt, issued by Andrew Flowers no less. You know, that guy who is trying to block Cellino's bid because it's not in the best interests of the club. Interesting. So how exactly does an application to wind up the club help exactly?

This is, of course, the same Andrew Flowers who is heading up a consortium with David Haigh, the Managing Director appointed by present owners GFH Capital who is presumably the very man responsible for not repaying the loan and the 7% interest! With consortium partners like that, the future would look very interesting indeed should Sport Capita wrestle control of the club away from Massimo!

What a bloody mess. Poor Leeds fans don't know which way to turn. In the Reds corner is a former director of the hated Manchester United; in the blue corner, an Italian fraudster; and in the Whites corner, an employee of GFH Capital and a guy seeking to enforce payment of a debt by threatening to force the club into administration.

Talk about Hobson's choice!

Lawyers circling Leeds United and Football League like hungry vultures

Here we go, read all the latest today and you find the first mention of legal action, with Flowers preparing a case against the Football League should they approve Massimo as a fit and proper crook to take over a football club, on the basis that his convictions for fraud are "spent". And that's surely only the start.

Massimo clearly felt a deal had been struck at the end of last week, otherwise he wouldn't have been so stupid as to sack McDermott surely? The assurances must, therefore, have been pretty damn categorical, so should GFH Capital try to wriggle off the hook now, it would be amazing if a legal action didn't follow. We are now hearing that contracts were not exchanged, but Massimo would appear to have a pretty strong case given the public statement made by GFH Capital on the Official Site on Saturday which read:

"Following recent media reports and speculation, GFH Capital would like to confirm that it has agreed to sell a 75 per cent stake in the club to Eleonora Sport Ltd, a company owned by the Cellino family who have many years experience in football and who plan to invest substantially in the club including the re acquisition of Elland Road. Eleonora will be working on completing the required Football League approval."

Indeed, it would be no surprise if a legal challenge to any conversation between GFH Capital and Together Leeds & Sports Capita were to be issued sometime today. The waters have, of course, been muddied by the dual role of Haigh as Managing Director of Leeds United AFC and frontman for the Sports Capita bid. He is hardly neutral, and of course he is also an employee of GFH Capital into the bargain. Should Massimo miss out, there seems to be plenty of scope here for a legal challenge.

And then there's the matter of the Fit and Proper Person Test because should Massimo fail here, he can also allege bias because of the position of former Leeds C.E.O. Shaun Harvey at the Football League.

The last thing the club needs is a legal dispute over ownership as this could result in absolute turmoil and total inertia. How can you sign contracts if nobody knows who owns the club? But it's looking more and more likely that this is heading for the courts one way or another, because when the legal vultures spot a bleeding corpse, they circle and wait for the opportunity to feed their full.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Latest crazy twist in Leeds take over soap opera

So now the shark has been bitten, with Cellino's legal representative marched off the premises by David Haigh, who just happens to be heading up a rival bid to buy the club. Whether or not that was with the authorisation of the present owners, GFH Capital, is unclear but what does that matter? Perhaps anything Cellino can do, Haigh can do better!

Leeds fans are now pinning their hopes on a combined Pearson - Haigh bid, or to put it another way, a Together Leeds Sports Capita bid. Of course, Haigh, in his role as an employee of GFH Capital, dismissed a bid from Pearson's group as "derisory" not so long ago, so this is hardly a marriage made in heaven, but beggars can't be choosers, and what is happening at Leeds beggars belief!

One thing seems certain, if this marriage of consortiums goes ahead, there will be no massive injection of funds into the club. Sports Capita couldn't stump up the necessary funds to buy the club less than a month ago, and 75% of the entire business was being sold to Cellino on Friday for two thirds of what Moyeschester United paid for Matta. And meanwhile, Pearson was rumoured to have offered half that figure when trying to cash in on GFH Capital's financial miscalculations when they bought a financial drain thinking they were buying a gold mine.

The club is haemorrhaging cash and credibility by the day and with all the consortiums bidding so late, any expenditure in the January window has been conveniently avoided - just as I predicted one week into January when I blogged that somebody should buy Flowers a diary. Of course, Pearson and Haigh will make all the right noises about wanting what is best for the club, but if this is true, they would have got their fingers out and completed a deal before the window slammed shut. But that would have been expensive wouldn't it?

And ironically, that's where Cellino might be the better option, because should his bid succeed, Leeds might suddenly be bolstered, Watford style, by an influx of loan signings - albeit the rules on this have been tightened since the Pozzos exploited a ridiculous loop hole last season.

But let's assume for a moment that Haigh and Pearson prevail, then surely the broth will be in danger of being ruined by so many cooks as Flowers, Haigh, Pearson & his band of merry Yorkshiremen, Patel, Noruddychance et all do battle to exert ultimate control.

The plot thickens like the thighs and waistband of the average Yorkshire lass. McDermott is back in the engine room but God knows where the train is heading. Tomorrow will probably bring another twist, and should Leeds lose at Yeovil on Saturday, the wolves could turn on each other and start ripping the club apart.

And who is that smiling from ear to ear? Revenge is sweet for Master Bates who may be tempted to send pens to all the members of LUST who campaigned so hard to get him out of the club, inviting them to explain exactly how Leeds United has benefitted from the GFH Capital take over.

Leeds United "doesn’t belong to anyone but the fans" claims McDermott as he stands up to Cellino and GFH Capital

Well had he been standing in an election, it would have been the perfect speech. McDermott has done everything he can to make his sacking impossible by allying himself absolutely with the "class act"  that support the club - and effectively saying to whoever owns the shares of the business, 'Sack me if you dare'!

Short term, it's a bloody clever move, but there's one major flaw in the McDermott Self Preservation Strategy, and that's the fickle nature of the "class act" fans on whose total support he now depends. The 'vile animals' element were getting restless before Cellino didn't sack him, and if results don't pick up quickly, the self same mob that demanded McDermott's reinstatement on Saturday will quickly turn their backs on him and demand his removal.

Just imagine if Yeovil were to beat Leeds on Saturday, a result that would be comparable to Colchester's victory over Revie's team when you consider the Somerset side's average gate and limited resources. Suddenly fans will start wondering why Leeds can score five when McDermott isn't in charge of the team, yet they can't buy a win when he is at the helm. Because Gibbs can say as often as he likes that it was McDermott's team that beat Huddersfield, but McDermott wasn't in the dressing room to deliver the half time speech that turned the game around was he?

So actually, Cellino now holds the aces in the longer game. If results are good, then great, his investment grows in value; but if results are poor, the very fans on whom McDermott depends will be calling for his head, enabling Cellino to use McDermott's own words to justify his dismissal - 'the fans want you out and according to you, the fans own the club!'

It was always going to be a Cup Final for Yeovil on Saturday; now it promises to be a Cup Final for Brian McDermott too!

Anxious times for QPR as Leicester pull 10 points clear and Nottingham Forest and Derby County edge closer

Oh dear. A 3-3 draw at home to Burnley can't be called a disastrous result, but the gap that Leicester have now opened over QPR is very worrying indeed. Nine wins on the bounce mean that the Foxes already have one paw in the Premiership, and 'Arry will have to work a minor miracle to hunt them down. All of which means that the Hula Hoops are now probably playing for only one automatic promotion place.

In fact, Rangers' position is remarkably similar to West Ham's a couple of season's back, where for a long time Allardyce's men and Southampton seemed to have the two top spots there for the taking - and then along came Reading on an amazing charge to take the title and force West Ham into the playoffs. And for Reading this season, read either Nottingham Forest or Derby.

Forest look a very decent team indeed - except when they play Yeovil. And even after a stuttering performance against the Glovers, they still scored three times and came away with maximum points. In contrast to QPR, who leaked three against a declining Burnley side. Redknapp was receiving praise for his deadline day wheeler dealing but, despite his goal, it will be a bloody stupid question if Maiga proves to be the long term answer, although Doyle will probably prove a better investment.

The big worry, of course, is Financial Fair Play if QPR do miss out on promotion. As we move in to the nitty gritty part of the season, the tension will inevitably increase, and the pressure on QPR will be immense. It really will be a case of shit or bust, and that pressure will be pretty near to unbearable should 'Arry's men find themselves in the play off lottery.

Meanwhile, Derby and Forest can just get on with the job of playing. Yes promotion is the target, but it isn't essential this season - indeed, arguably, both teams might benefit from another season of team development in the lower tier, as Leicester seem to be proving this season.

Aside from who will finish in the top two, three of the playoff places appear to be close to resolved as, with the gap opened, one of QPR, Derby, Forest and Burnley would have to suffer a terrible collapse in form to miss out. But the sixth place is looking interesting, and should Wigan or Reading finally claim that place, they will prove no pushovers for the team finishing in third place.

Worrying times indeed for Fernandez - especially with a game away to Derby next week!

Have Leeds stumbled on the perfect managerial blue print?

Simples. Let McDermott oversee training and pick the team, then hand control over to Gibbs on match day. It worked brilliantly on Saturday so why shouldn't it work again?

In a strange way, all this chaos may have kick started a promotion charge for Leeds. Things appeared to be falling apart in the run up to McDermott's sacking and the new signings were struggling to bed down and have an impact. In fact, the situation was so desperate that the Bald Controller reverted to Old Big Gob's players. The manager seemed to have run out of ideas and Leeds were going nowhere fast.

But Cellino then threw a hand-grenade into the dressing room, and the anger at McDermott's dismissal was palpable. That second half performance showed what this team can do when they are fired up, and with Yeovil up next, there is a real opportunity to record back to back wins and begin a second push for the playoffs.

Somehow, McDermott has to exploit the sense of injustice without allowing the uncertainty surrounding the club's ownership to get to the players. The message should be, "Fcuk the Board, Fcuk Cellino, Fcuk all the bullshit, let's go out there and do it for the fans!"

The Bald Controller must now blow the whistle and order everybody on board the Leeds United McFeel Angry Raging Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond!

Mussolini got the trains to run on time, perhaps Cellino will have the same effect!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sherwood should end the humiliation and walk out on Spurs now!

Poor Timmy. It seems as if the briefing against him has started already. The red tops are running stories today about Van Gaal joining after the World Cup, and there are suggestions that Levy is unhappy with Sherwood's "abrasive" style and his team selection.

None of this is a surprise, of course. Timmy and a few blinkered Spurs fans seem to be the only ones who can't see what is going on. With Spurs on the shoulder of Liverpool as we enter the final lap of the season, it was nothing short of incredible that Tottenham banked rather than spent money in the transfer window, with the decision not to replace Defoe bordering on the criminally incompetent.

Yes Adebayor is playing well at the moment, but how long will that last? The guy is moody and prone to idling when things go against him. Thus far, he has responded well to lippy Timmy, but that's because he was rotting in the stiffs until AVB was shown the door. But sooner or later, Sherwood will say something that Emmanuel does not like, and then all the commitment currently in his play will evaporate.

And meanwhile, asides from the penalty spot, Soldado looks as deadly in front of goal as Carlton Cole!

And Timmy's option? Young Kane.

As I blogged yesterday, this is not a squad capable of challenging for a top four finish and campaigning in the Your Ropey League - and Levy knows that. So the only explanation for Tottenham's inactivity in the window is that Sherwood is a caretaker with no access to the bank vault.

And the articles this morning confirm that. How else can you explain Van Gaal's comments when pressed on the matter of Tottenham? He as good as confirms that he is on his way when he says:

"Am I still in contact with Spurs? There will come a moment that I can talk about that. Look at my CV. I have won a trophy every season during my club career. I am a winner and craving a trophy. This is why I am sick of being a national coach. I only see the players eight times a year. I am not enjoying the job of national coach at all. After the World Cup I want to coach a big club again and win trophies. Otherwise I will retire."

Now his arrival will probably be very good news for Spurs fans, but where does this leave Timmy? Capoue has already slated him in the French media and claimed that the "English" don't understand European players. This should have triggered the Frenchman's exit in the January window - £8.5m was on offer - but Van Gaal probably rates him and has his own shortlist of players to be brought in this summer - including his preferred strikers.

So Timmy Time is ticking down and the poor sod is just minding the baby until Levy demotes him or shows him the door. What hope has the poor sod got if things start to go badly? The players will know what's going on. Bloody hell, you wouldn't put it past Levy to have a word with Capoue and say, "Just hang on in their son, Van Gaal rates you even though this clown doesn't".

It is all so undignified and if Timmy has any pride he should storm into Levy's office and tell him where to shove the caretaker's mop and broom!

Latest amazing twist on McDermott's sacking at Leeds

Well we all thought Cellino was behind the sacking of Friar Brian, a reasonable assumption given he told the press that he had no other choice other than to remove the Bald Controller because he had done everything possible to get himself the sack. But no, we were all wrong. Cellino, apparently, was only removing him because GFH Capital wanted him out!

Too incredible to believe? Not if you live in Cellino's world! Because that is his latest madcap claim as he tries to cover his arse and, no doubt, avoid legal action. Just how brazen is this guy? In a complete volte face, he now claims "GFH are still running Leeds United. They did not want Brian as manager but didn’t have the courage to sack him."

Wow. So now the joint owners of the club are at one another's throats, hurling allegations at each other! I bet the Bahrain Bank Built on Sand are chuffed to bits at this slur - being an investment bank, a suggestion that they lack the courage of their convictions is pretty bloody damaging. How long before the owners currently running the club are suing the guy who, if all goes to plan, will soon be running the club, one wonders?

How Master Bates must be loving this!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Leeds United exemplify football’s culture of amorality, duplicity and incompetence.

Don't blame me for the headline, it wasn't written by me, but by The Independent, not generally known as a scurrilous rag! The article by Michael Calvin is quite a read as he lays into GFH Capital, Bates, Haigh, Cellino and Shaun Harvey - everybody indeed except Friar Brian who, on the basis of this article, should be canonised sometime soon. Saint Brian, the patron saint of gross injustice or of the Feel Good Factor perhaps.

If the headline taken from the article isn't tasty enough, try "If a man of Cellino’s character and reputation can pass the League’s so-called Owners and Directors Test, its 96 sections, countless  sub-clauses and 10 reasons for disqualification are not worth the paper on which they are written."

Or how about, "Let’s call it the Curse of Ridsdale’s Goldfish. The myth of a club which trades on their former prominence was exposed by the wasteland which confronted McDermott when he arrived late last April with a supposedly strategic brief to rebuild Leeds from the bottom up over three years."?

Mind you, this bit is spot on too: "Management has always been a charnel house, and had McDermott been sacked after punishing defeats by Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, the football world would have shrugged and moved on. But the callous and cowardly nature of his dismissal, enacted without the knowledge of existing board members, demands scrutiny."

And I love this bit: "Rarely has regime change been so shameless and shambolic. McDermott’s human touches, such as allowing staff to bring children into offices during school holidays, will be much missed. A climate of fear and confusion has returned."

I like the cut of this Calvin's jib! He even dismisses the thumping of Huddersfield as "a suitably perverse 5-1 win."

Earlier this week I predicted that Cellino would turn Leeds into a comedy horror show, but I didn't expect it to happen overnight! There's even a dispute over who picked the team, with Gibbs claiming it was McDermott and suggestions elsewhere that Uncle Festa made a couple of changes.

What a mess. Marching on Together? The club is tearing itself apart!

Sherwood's Tottenham Hotspur Come Up Short at Hull City

How much did Soldado cost? What is Adebayor being paid in wages? And between them, they couldn't muster a single goal at Hull City, with Tottenham rescued from embarrassing defeat by a Paulinho goal.

And what is the only alternative to penalty king Soldado and the moody Adebayor? That would be young Kane, a promising but very raw talent. Now you are not telling me that this is a squad equipped to challenge for a top four spot and press on in the Your Ropey League!

But according to Timmy, he didn't need any new players in January, despite agreeing to allow Defoe to move to Canada. Really?

So what happens if Soldado and Adebayor get injured exactly, or with his place in the team now almost guaranteed, Adebayor chooses to idle. Surely Tottenham needed at least one more striker during this window, especially if Timmy persists with two up top?

Look at the facts rather than what Timmy claims and surely it is obvious that Levy wasn't willing to trust his caretaker with a transfer budget. Long's goal today showed that you don't have to spend megabucks to pick up a decent understudy, although with Soldado virtually goal less other than from the penalty spot, it may not be an understudy that's needed.

Despite Moyeschester United's on going struggles, Spurs slipped further behind in the race for the Champions League today and it's not difficult to see why: compare Tottenham's 31 goals scored in 24 games with fourth placed Liverpool's 57 from 23 and it's amazing that the points gap is as narrow as it is!

No need for new signings? Pull the other one Timmy!

Leeds 5 Huddersfield 1 - Decision to sack the unsacked McDermott vindicated?

Football's a funny old game isn't it? With Leeds fans up in arms about Crookillino taking over the club and showing their support for sacked boss Brian McDermott both before and during the game with Huddersfield, one vital detail seems to have passed unnoticed: Cardiff bid somewhere between £4m and £6m for McCormack yesterday, and the offer was turned down.

Now, would GFH Capital have turned that bid down? They grabbed less than 50% of that for Becchio and accepted the hopeless Morison as part of the deal this time last season, so its probably pretty safe to say no. In fact, quite a few Leeds fans might have said yes to that kind of money!

But with Crookillino promising to pump money into the club, Cardiff were told to take a running jump. And with McCormack smashing home another three goals today, that is looking a pretty good decision at the moment.

McCormack will, of course, come out and say something like, "That was for Brian" but it's a bit late for the Leeds players to be playing for Nice Guy Brian now - unless, in the mad mad world of Leeds United, the decision to dismiss McDermott is overturned.

What's even stranger is that this was a return to the McDermott blue print. Whereas the last two teams were packed with Warnock's yard dogs, today's team featured Mowatt, Murphy, Kebe and Stewart. Did McDermott pick the team before he was sacked? Probably.

But he wasn't in the dressing room at half time was he? And it was presumably what was said in the break that turned a faltering performance into a rampant runaway victory.

So a new era has started with a 5-1 win and those in the McDermott lobby now have a few awkward questions to answer - and victory at bottom of the table Yeovil next week wouldn't make it any easier for them to defend their man. McDermott staked everything on the Feel Good Factor, but there was no Feel Good Factor inside Elland Road at kick off, and look what happened! Maybe angering these players is the way forward!

Unfortunately for Leeds, today's result hasn't really done a lot for the club's chances of being in the Prem next season, courtesy of wins for Blackburn, Ipswich and Reading. The gap to the playoffs is still eight points and Leeds are still only in tenth place in the table. But then that is the McDermott legacy after 9 months in control - 9 months of standing still given Leeds were still in the hunt - just - at this stage of last season with Warnock in charge.

What would be really funny, of course, would be for McDermott to come back and for Leeds to lose at Yeovil next week. Stranger things have happened at Elland Road!

Sherwood denied key to Tottenham Hotspur transfer war chest

Timmy is putting a brave face on things, but the failure of Spurs to buy anybody in the window tells you everything you need to know about the probable length of his tenure. I posted yesterday that Timmy Time ticked down several heartbeats as Manchester City completed their 11-1 aggregate win over Spurs; well his departure in the summer was all but announced when the key to the vault was kept hidden from him throughout the month of January.

In fact, Tottenham's squad has actually been weakened, with Defoe heading off to the footballing Mecca that is Toronto and Holtby joining the footballing bingo hall that is Fulham.

Timmy, of course, maintains that he didn't want anybody and even suggests that had players been forced upon him, he would have refused to pick them. You can hear him even now. "Messi? He aint a forward as such and he aint a midfielder either. Wouldn't get in my team. No way. Ronaldo? He aint a centre forward as such and he aint an out and out winger either is he? Real Madrid can keep him."

So Timmy has set his stall out. He wants defenders what defend, forwards what attack, wingers what cross and midfielders what do a bit of everfink except keep goal. So, jumpers on the ground for goal posts guys, let's pick sides, no offside for now, and off we go!

Managing a football team in the C21st aint rocket science; just ask Timmy!

Shame on Leeds. New era begins disgracefully.

Well, welcome to the new Cellino era! Even before he has his foot officially through the door, he's sacked his first manager - the affable, thoroughly decent, honest, dedicated, hard working Brian McDermott; and replaced him, for the time being, with Uncle Festa.

And on what basis? Because McDermott is not a lap dog and refused to fetch the stick when Cellino threw it! Leeds fans hated the overbearing style of Bates, well believe you me, they haven't seen anything yet!

Remember, Cellino hasn't even been ratified and sanctioned as the new owner but the only reason he has given for McDermott's dismissal is that he refused to follow unacceptable orders and had the audacity to speak to the press. Well, he probably breached his contract when he did that but look at the level of provocation. He knew he was on the way out as soon as the sale of Reg Varney was cancelled. How could he manage a player he so obviously wanted to sell?

And on what basis has Festa been appointed? He's a mate of Cellino's! Has he guided a team to promotion from the Championship? No.  So what are his qualifications exactly? Assistant manager at Cagliari for two seasons and head coach at Lumezzani - and in case you have never heard of them, Lumezzani are the Italian equivalent of Port Vale! Just perfect.

So the man who has sacked 36 managers has started as he means to go on. McDermott has gone already and Festa will follow within the next 9 months - because he's a consiglieri not a son of the Sicilian Godfather.

It's going to be a rocky ride on the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond from here on in.

And poor Brian? Not so long ago he could walk on water, now he sleeps with the fishes!