“Everything he’s done is in the best interests of the club. Hand on heart, I honestly believe it” said Neil Redfearn, back in December. He was, of course, speaking about Massimo Cellino, the same Massimo Cellino that told the press this week that Redfearn had turned the fans against him.
That bizarre comment came a few days after a shambles of a press conference that was, presumably, designed to allay the fears of an increasingly frustrated fanbase. Instead, Cellino somehow managed to confuse matters further.
Enough has been said about ‘that’ press conference, so delve into it I shall not, but there was something Cellino said that riled me, and I can’t let it go.
“I’m touching the breast”, he said, while half-heartedly doing the ‘Leeds salute’, before suggesting that if they love the club, fans should stop doing the salute and buy season tickets instead.
Now, whether the ‘Leeds salute’ is to everyone’s taste isn’t the argument here, as it can be a little bit of a marmite subject at times, but what it represents is a solidarity among the fans, if you see someone do it to you, you know they’re Leeds.
Yet there we were, being told by the man who claims to be madly in love with the club, to stop doing it.
What Cellino fails to understand is why fans do it. They do it because they’re actually proud to be Leeds, despite usually having absolutely no reason to be so. After another wasted year, full of yet more disappointment, shouldn’t it be looked upon with encouragement that the fans are still proud to support Leeds?
Where was the “beautiful” season we were promised, Massimo?
Why hasn’t our ground been bought back yet?
Why are you talking about making huge changes to the academy, the same academy that effectively just kept us in the Championship while you were banned?
Are these not the real issues here? After that season, do you really think you have the right to tell the fans to stop ‘touching the breast’ and to buy season tickets if they love the club?
It wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t about to remove the only ‘coach’ we’ve had in recent times that’s actually ‘got it’. How do you even have the audacity to point to the five games we lost in a row towards the end of the season, and use them to conclude that he’s a bad coach?
Why aren’t you singing his praises for keeping your club in the league with the run of form before his assistant, the only support he had, was removed for something petty?
While you were banned, the man kept your club from going under, defended you in the press while speaking honestly about his situation, yet you think that he’s the reason why the fans want you gone?
Your decisions are the reason why you’re unpopular, they’re so consistently detrimental to the club that it’s got to breaking point already. Even Ken Bates managed to keep fans on side for a while.
Frustratingly, it doesn’t have to be like this. Giving Redfearn the contract he deserves would help to start rebuilding the bridges your insanity has so far demolished, because you have a coach that the fans believe in, and that the players believe in too.
We get that you think you’re an expert on football, but us fans are experts on Leeds, and we’re a little tired of being told how to think. You crave popularity, but every decision you make seems to make it even more impossible, yet if you could just leave Redfearn to do his job and treat him with the respect he deserves, let him buy the players needed to get out of this division, and just generally stop trying to be the centre of attention, you’d actually have half a chance.
Last month, Redfearn said: “For the first time in a long time, this club is together on the pitch and in the stands.”
Undo all that if you must, it’s your right as owner after all, but you won’t ever be forgiven.