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SBD Global/February 4, 2014/Franchises

League Championship Side Leeds United Manager McDermott Vows Not To Walk Away

Reinstated League Championship side Leeds United Manager Brian McDermott "has vowed not to walk away from the club following a weekend of uncertainty over his future," according to the BBC. On Friday, prospective new Owner Massimo Cellino attempted to dismiss McDermott, only for the club to insist that "he would remain as boss." McDermott, 52, "reported for duty at the club's training ground on Monday." McDermott: "Some people in the game said to not go back, but there's no way I could leave the staff and supporters. This situation should never happen to a football manager and let's hope it never happens again." Cellino "has agreed to buy a 75% stake in Leeds but has yet to gain the approval of the Football League." McDermott: "As far as I'm concerned, I spoke to GFH, who are the owners of the football club, and I've had certain reassurances about my future. The running of the football club is down to me" (BBC, 2/3). In London, Nick Harris wrote "as his players blitzed Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town," the name of McDermott -- sacked on Friday but then "unsacked" on Saturday, as if it had never happened -- was sung all afternoon. Banners implored "Bring Back Brian" and "Cellino No!" and the club's current owners, GFH Capital, were vilified in chants. Fans took off their shoes and waved them in the air in response to the refrain "Shoes off if you hate GFH," and when play got under way a chorus of "You don't know what you're doing" echoed round the ground. Sources said that Cellino "was so stung by social media anger towards him on Friday that he subsequently made efforts to persuade McDermott to go back." The League Managers' Association released a statement saying that "McDermott had been told his sacking had been made without authority and was awaiting clarification." But McDermott "is understood to have no intention of staying at the club under Cellino, not least because the Italian, who owns Serie A club Cagliari, has already tried to impose his wishes, McDermott refusing to accept that a Cellino employee, former Middlesbrough and Portsmouth defender Gianluca Festa, could sit with him in the dugout" (DAILY MAIL, 2/1).
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