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Massimo Cellino: I'll buy Leeds United ground back
Prospective Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has vowed to “work together” with manager Brian McDermott and to buy back their Elland Road ground.
A lawyer acting on behalf of Cellino sacked McDermott on January 31, before he was reinstated two days later by the club.
The controversial Italian has since struck a deal to buy a 75 per cent stake in the Sky Bet Championship outfit, subject to Football League approval. The convicted fraudster, who is also fighting allegations of embezzlement, must pass the League’s ‘owners and directors test’ before his stake is rubber-stamped.
He is convinced he will be accepted by the League, and appears to now see a future working alongside McDermott.
He said: “I want to get to know the manager and help him. I hope he can help me as well. We are going to work together.
“When I am approved by the Football League I will go to the bank the next day and buy Elland Road.”
According to reports, the ground is currently owned by Teak Commercial Limited – a company based in the British Virgin Islands. The club is reported to pay £2million a year to lease the stadium.
Cellino owns Italian club Cagliari but says he intends to sell the Sardinian team in order to focus his energies on Leeds.
“If I was running a Fiat 500 in Italy, now I have the chance to run a Ferrari,” he added.
“I want to forget about Cagliari now. My heart is with Leeds.”
Since McDermott’s ‘sacking’, Leeds have won two Championship matches, following a 5-1 home win over Huddersfield with a 2-1 victory at Yeovil on Saturday.
McDermott is just desperate for some peace and quiet.
He said after Saturday’s match: “What we want to avoid now is drama off the pitch.
“On the pitch we want drama, but if we can avoid that for the last 17 games I’ll be very happy.”