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Stability? Not for Leeds’ trigger-happy owner Massimo Cellino

21 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Stability? Not for Leeds’ trigger-happy owner Massimo Cellino

The ‘manager eater’ has had 41 coaches in 23 years, so has he finally found his dream man in Uwe Rosler?

Stability. The word is quoted time and again by people in football as being the key to success.
Many club owners, CEOs, chairman and managers preach from the stability gospel, citing examples like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal reign.
Massimo Cellino says it too. “My dream is to keep a coach 20 years,” the brash Italian owner of Leeds United claims.
It’s fair to say he is about as close to realising that dream as Leeds are now from Cellino’s stated aim of playing in the Champions League.
This is a man who is known as Il mangia-allenatori – or ‘the manager eater’ in Italy for going through a staggering 36 coaches in 22 years of ownership at Cagliari.

More a man of the Roman Abramovich school of hiring and firing, than, say, the Arsenal board.
“I won’t repeat the mistake that I’ve made in 25 years,” he now insists. “With managers I fall in love. And when I fall in love I give love. And then they try to take advantage. It’s much better if you don’t fall in love with your coach.”
Well there’s no danger of that happening judging by his first 18 months at the club. In that time, Leeds have had five managers. That works out at one boss every three and a half months.
After the farce of trying to sack Brian McDermott before he even had control of the club did eventually result in the former Reading chief leaving, Cellino’s first appointment was former Forest Green Rovers boss David Hockaday.
A man widely written off as way out of his depth, he lasted just 70 days in charge. Cellino changed his mind twice about sacking Hockaday, then replaced him with Darko Milanic.
He lasted just 32 days – making Brian Clough’s famous 44 days in charge look like a period of Fergie-esque longevity.

12/1 – Leeds to get promoted to the Premier League
Next through the revolving door was Neil Redfearn, the club’s highly respected youth coach who had already stepped up as caretaker boss several times.
Redfearn set about steadying the ship and got Leeds playing again, and climbing up the table.
Cellino’s response? To call Redfearn “weak” and “like a baby” in an interview with the Sunday Mirror.
“He tried to play the fans against me to keep his place. Do you think that Neil Redfearn loves Leeds more than me?” the Italian said.
Bizarrely, Cellino seemed to resent the fact the supporters had taken to the coach after he had started getting results – in effect he was angry at his own man for winning matches.
Redfearn eventually went the way of McDermott, Hockaday and Milanic before him, with Uwe Rosler now in the top job.
He has so far survived a creditable three months in football’s hottest hot seat – though admittedly most of that time has been the off-season.
Rosler and the Elland Road faithful will certainly be hoping that Cellino has finally found his dream coach, but the clock is already ticking.

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