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Cellino’s Italian job can mould Leeds into the Ferrari of English football

| 03.09.2014

Leeds United are 66/1 to win the Championship and, while it still remains mathematically possible, it isn’t beyond the realms of all realistic possibility.

Chairman Massimo Cellino is ‘ambitious’ personified. Hungry for success, he wants to bring Leeds back to the forefront of English football, and represents a breed of boss whose fighting spirit goes hand in hand with the tenacious, resilient foundations that the club once flourished on.

Suitably charismatic, he is already an icon in Leeds city centre, and his acts are stuff of legend. Playing his guitar at the end of season party was a great way to break the ice with players. Going for a drink in the Leeds United supporters’ pub upon officially taking over got the fans on side.

A recruitment policy, largely funded from selling star striker Ross McCormack to Fulham, for an over-inflated £11m, epitomises the level of his astute business instinct. All that is missing is a coach who can get the best out of the talent he has brought in.

Dave Hockaday tried and failed. He was given a chance to demonstrate his ability, and proved he wasn’t good enough. Ruthless, yes, back-stabbing, no. Every manager that comes into football knows it is a results-based business, and if you don’t deliver you’re out of the door.

Speaking about the dismissal of Hockaday, Cellino said: “After the cup game at Bradford I knew that I had to act and I did.

“We have to face our mistakes when we make them and I have done that.

“I want what is best for Leeds United and while I’m at the club I will always do my best.

“I will also select a new head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise it may not be a big name.”

That name, however, could well be Giuseppe Sannino who surprisingly left Watford recently, despite leading them to an automatic promotion spot, beating Leeds 4-1 at Vicarage Road in the process.

There is no doubt that his influence and experience would help to get the best out of new personnel, and compatriots at Leeds, Tommaso Bianchi, Marco Silvestri, Giuseppe Bellusci, and Mirko Antenucci.

It is an exciting project currently underway at Elland Road, and the club with it’s newly-formed Italian identity could be about to embark on a journey; the destination being the colossus-like environment that is the Premier League.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.