David Prutton says Massimo Cellino must start showing more respect to the fans and staff at his former club Leeds United.
The headline-grabbing owner sacked David Hockaday – who he had plucked out of non-league to manage the club in the summer – this week, just six games into the new season.
Cellino was set to dismiss the former Forest Green boss after a 4-1 humbling to Watford last weekend, but opted to give Hockaday more time. However, defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup spelled the end for the 56-year-old, just 10 weeks after his shock appointment.
Cellino is known as the ‘manager eater’ in Italy after seeing off 36 bosses during a 20-year tenure at Cagliari but former Leeds midfielder Prutton told Soccer AM the Elland Road chief must show more respect to the people he appoints.
“Cellino is obviously a man who has a mind of his own and makes his decisions, rashly or not,” Prutton said.
“Once he came out after the Watford game and said ‘I was going to sack him but I delayed it’ it makes [Hockaday’s position] untenable.
“But there is a human aspect to it. No matter how rich you are, you can’t treat people like the way he’s treating people. You’ve got to have mutual respect.
“Even if you don’t rate someone as a coach you should say ‘thank you very much’ and move on. There’s got to be that mutual respect if you’re working with somebody.”
Prutton is concerned that while Cellino grabs the headlines and Leeds’ players struggle on the pitch – they have lost four of their first six this season – it is the Elland Road faithful who are suffering.
“It’s tough, really tough for the fans,” he said.
“The Leeds United fans, like fans at any club, are the emotional bricks and mortar of the place. They’re the people who need to be treated with respect.
“It’s obviously not quite happening at the moment and it will be interesting to see who he brings in next.”