Neil Redfearn insists the controversial Massimo Cellino is the right man to oversee Leeds United’s return to the Premier League.
Cellino was again in the news this week after the Football League disqualified him due to a breach of their Owners and Directors Test, after they received further evidence of his March tax evasion conviction. The Italian has been given until 15 December to lodge his appeal, although he has made it perfectly clear that he has no intention of even considering placing the club up for sale.
It is largely thought that such off-field controversy would likely impact with matters on the pitch, with the Whites trying to climb away from the wrong half of the Championship table. They travel to second-placed Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon, with the aim of building on the impressive 2-0 win over leaders Derby County which lifted them to 15th in the standings and five points above the drop zone.
Of course, the real aim for the Elland Road club is to be back in the Premier League, a division they last graced in 2003-04 before they were relegated after spending 14 years amongst the elite. And Redfearn, their third manager of an already eventful campaign, insists Cellino is the right man to oversee their return to the big-time due to his dedication and love for the Yorkshire side.
“I know Massimo’s here for the long haul,” he said ahead of their trip to Portman Road. “He’s absolutely fantastic for this football club. I’m buying right into what he wants to do, right the way from when I was in charge of the academy and where he said he wanted to take the club and we’re still on that path. He’s got to take great credit for that. Whatever issues there are, I’m sure they’ll be sorted out.
“We’re in this process of building, he wants to build a side that can go and compete and play in the Premier League. He wants to take the club back to where it belongs and I’m pleased to be part of this process. He loves his football. He loves his club and he’s trying to take it in the right direction. Everything he’s done has been in the best interests of Leeds United Football Club, and long may it continue.”
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