FL72 Preview: Leeds 'soap opera' can't continue, says Peter Beagrie
Last Updated: 08/08/14 12:45pm
Leeds United must be judged on their footballing performances not the off-field 'soap opera' in the boardroom, says Peter Beagrie.
The club, and their eccentric Italian owner Massimo Cellino, have hit the headlines in recent months with Cellino initially failing the 'fit and proper person' test for ownership, dozens of redundancies being made and Brian McDermott being replaced as manager by the unknown David Hockaday.
Then, to add to the tension around Elland Road, Cellino told The Telegraph: “I am the sheriff of this city and I want the fans to be my deputies."
they want to be noted for the performances on the pitch not for the soap opera
Cellino also stated that former Forest Green Rovers manager Hockaday needed “babysitting” and was “like a baby, who is in a toy shop”.
Sky Sports expert Peter Beagrie, who joined a host of Football League names on the FL72 Season Preview, says it's time for Leeds to focus on the football and try and bring some joy to their thousands of loyal supporters.
"I feel sorry for the Leeds fans," said Beagrie.
"Every time somebody comes in as chairman or the club changes hands, it’s all for financial gain; they look at the short term not the long term because there’s 30-odd thousand [fans] turning up – so their strength is actually their weakness.
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"The guy [Cellino] has come in and secured the financial future for Leeds, so we’re thankful for that, but they want to be noted for the performances on the pitch not for the soap opera to continue and more lines and columns in the newspapers from the boardroom."
Brentford manager Mark Warburton, whose side will face Leeds in the Championship this season, hopes Hockaday is given the chance to prove himself at the helm, rather than be obstructed by boardroom antics.
Warburton, who coached with Hockaday at Watford's academy, said: "I think the football challenge is the least of David’s woes. It’s the off-the-field comments and support that he does or doesn’t get that’s the issue for him. If he’s allowed to focus on football I think David will be ok; it’s just everything else that could come into the mix."