Everyone knows Massimo Cellino is a bit of a shady figure.
He's had two prior convictions for fraud - one of which, in 1996, tricked the Italian Ministry of Agriculutre out of £7.5 million. The other crime is far worse. At least to football fans.
While at Cagliari in 2001, he was convicted of false accounting in matters relating to the club. It's unclear what that exactly means, as it's a broad term. However, it's not good news. Steve Evans, now the manager of Rotherham United, was convicted of the same thing when managing non league Boston United - a scam which helped the club jump up the ladder and into the football league. It poses the question - how did Cellino manage to pass the fit and proper persons test?
The test is supposed to make sure that a person is suitable to actually be in charge of a football club. If tax evasion, serious fraud and then a football related scam isn't enough to fail the test, what is?
Well, how about getting rid of players because of the day they were born?
Cellino recently hired Dave Hockaday as the new manager of Leeds United. It's all but certain he just appointed a "yes man"; after all, Hockaday's only managerial role so far saw him at non-league Forest Green Rovers, and he left the club in October after Forest Green suffered seven defeats in eight games. Hardly Championship material. But it gets far worse for Leeds fans.
Cellino has now told Hockaday not to select Paddy Kenny, as he was born on the 17th of May.
Yes, you did read that right.
Cellino is looking to sell the teams starting goalkeeper because he was born on the 17th of May - Cellino thinks the number 17 is unlucky.
Paddy Kenny is the team's second highest earner on £10,000-per-week. When a goalkeeper earns that much, you know he's worth it. But Cellino is now seemingly prepared to let him leave the club for a transfer offer presumably well below his value because of his date of birth. He's now set to bring in as many free agents as he can to save costs at the club.
Well, that and closing the canteen. Cellino has also made all players bring their own food or get it themselves, as he thinks that the clubs canteen costs too much money to keep open.
This is really, really bad for Leeds. The division was not looking overly tough this year, and they could have had every chance at a successful campaign. Instead, they've given full control to someone who (just like their canteen now) is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
They're about to lose their star goalkeeper. Ross McCormack, the team's star striker has handed in a transfer request. Who knows, maybe Cellino will get a 42-year-old who's never played higher than sunday league football to replace him. There's not much chance of getting in any quality free agents - anyone who's at least half decent will garner interest from at least one other club - would anyone really pick Leeds in their current state over anyone? It might even be more beneficial to the player to drop down a division to avoid playing for Leeds.
Michael Brown wore the number 17 this season for Leeds, but the veteran midfielder is out of contract this summer. If he wants to resign for the club, he's been told he'll have to change his number.
If he wants my advice? Get out while there's still time. There might not be even be a "Leeds United" this time next year.
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