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Keep faith with McDermott, say Leeds fans

4 February 2014 18:04

The Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) have pleaded with the prospective owners of the club to keep faith with manager Brian McDermott.

McDermott was told he was sacked on Friday as Italian Massimo Cellino prepared to take charge of Leeds, but a farcical 24 hours – which saw fan protests at Elland Road and multiple sponsors reportedly consider their future with the club – were capped off when the 52-year-old was informed he was still in charge.

Current owners GFH Capital announced they had agreed to sell a 75 per cent stake in the Championship club to Cellino's Eleonora Sport Ltd on Saturday, but his takeover is yet to be ratified by the Football League, meaning at least for now, GFH are still making the decisions at Elland Road.

McDermott was not in the dugout for Leeds' 5-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town on Saturday – their first win in nine matches – but returned to training on Monday and admitted he "could not walk away" from Leeds.

The ownership saga has taken another turn after it emerged that a consortium led by former Manchester United commercial executive Mike Farnan, called Together Leeds, were still hoping to pip Cellino and buy a large stake in the club.

Fears McDermott could still be removed if Cellino officially takes charge persist, but the chairman of LUST, Gary Cooper, has urged the new owners, whoever they might be, to stick with the popular manager.

"I'm really pleased Brian is back," Cooper told Perform.

"I think his behaviour has been exemplary. I think he has shown dignity, grace and humility. The fans clearly, in huge numbers, support Brian.

"And Brian clearly has affection for the fans and (he) was very, very appreciative of the actions the fans took at the weekend."

When asked if he had a message for the prospective owners, Cooper said: "Act carefully. Consider your decisions.

"Consider the implications, not just of Brian and the team, but in the response from the supporters.

"This is Leeds United. It's not Cellino United. It's not GFH United. It's not Together Leeds United. This is Leeds United.

"We, the supporters, are what makes this club great. Respect that and work with us. Don't challenge and work against us.

"What I think is beyond the willingness of Leeds United supporters to accept is the appalling treatment that was meted out to him last week.

"That was nothing short of disgraceful for all parties involved, for our current owners and for the potential future owners.

"To behave in such a manner…as far as our members are concerned, is not acceptable.

"Make no mistake, in this instance, supporter pressure made a difference (in McDermott being told he was still in charge).

"Decisions that were made at the weekend were contributed to by the actions and by the pressure applied by the supporters of Leeds United."

Cooper also said that LUST's membership, which numbers more than 9,000, were largely unsure about the Together Leeds consortium due to a lack of information.

"Our members would like to be in a position to make a considered decision. At the moment we are not," he added.

Leeds sit 11th in the Championship table, eight points off the play-offs.

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Championship table

# Team MP D P
14 43 -2 55
15 43 +2 53
16 43 -8 53
17 43 -9 47
18 42 -11 43

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