NEIL REDFEARN promised business as usual at Ipswich Town tomorrow and gave his backing to “football daft” Massimo Cellino after a week in which the Italian was banned from owning Leeds United.
Redfearn claimed the effects of the Football League’s dramatic move to disqualify Cellino as a Leeds director had not stretched as far as his squad and said he expected a forthcoming legal battle with the League to end in Cellino’s favour.
On Monday, just 48 hours after United’s 2-0 victory over Championship leaders Derby County, the Football League ordered Cellino to cut his ties with Leeds until March, ruling that a conviction for tax evasion imposed on him in Italy earlier this year had breached its Owners and Directors Test.
Cellino, who bought a 75 per cent stake in Leeds in April, has 28 days to resign from the board at Elland Road but was also given 14 days to appeal.
The 58-year-old confirmed to the YEP on Tuesday that he would challenge the decision and also threatened to sue the Football League if his appeal proved unsuccessful.
The unprecedented situation has drawn attention away from a Championship season which has gathered pace since Redfearn’s appointment as Leeds head coach on November 1 but he gave vocal support to Cellino yesterday, saying United were “lucky to have a football man in charge of the club.”
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s visit to second-placed Ipswich, Redfearn said: “I know Massimo’s here for the long haul. The players are focused and there’s not a lot I can do about what’s happening.
“I’m pretty sure it’ll get sorted out, I’m positive about that, and we’re very fortunate to have an owner who’s football daft, who loves his football and loves this club. He’s trying to take the club forward.
“We’ve got a football man in charge and everything he’s done has been in the best interests of Leeds United. He’s trying to get the club on track and he wants us to do well. That’s all I’ve seen from him.”