In Depth

Banned Leeds United owner wants 'heavy rock' from Evans

Massimo Cellino banned by the FA as he explains that he fired Rosler for ruling out promotion and playing country-music football

Disqualified Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino says he wants controversial new boss Steve Evans to guide the fallen giants back to the Premier League by playing "heavy-rock" football – and without spending any money.

Evans was named as the sixth manager of Cellino's 20-month reign at Elland Road after Uwe Rosler was sacked and it emerged that the Football Association had banned the Italian from being an owner or director of the club for the rest of this season. The move follows a conviction for tax evasion in Italy, where he faces other charges.

Cellino has until 28 October to appeal against the ban that was imposed after he failed to pay VAT after importing a Range Rover to Sardinia. It is the second time he has been banned by the FA.

"Cellino faces further charges of failing to pay tax on a yacht, embezzlement in relation to the development of Cagliari's IS Arenas stadium and a tax case relating to former Cagliari players," notes The Guardian, which adds that the Leeds United Supporters Trust has urged him to consider selling up.

However, that seems unlikely. The Italian has revealed he dispensed with the services of Rosler after the German dared suggest that Leeds, 18th in the Championship, might not win promotion to the Premier League this season.

"The fans want to dream, so why did he say that?" said Cellino.

"I did my best to help Uwe, but in the end I could not see a patch of blue in the sky, just cloud, cloud and cloud," he told the Daily Mirror. "I wanted the team to play heavy-rock football, but instead it was like country music."

He added that he "wished" the Yorkshire club were in the Premier League. "If I could, I would go into the Premier League tomorrow. But what I won't do is run up lots of debts in the hope of winning promotion to the Premier League to pay them off."

The man tasked with marrying Cellino's vision of hard-rock football, promotion and parsimony is the eccentric figure of Steve Evans, who once said he could not work for a boss like Cellino.

The Italian, for his part, has claimed that he used to "hate" Evans, because of the way his teams played against Leeds.

Leeds United set to appoint Steve Evans as manager  

19 October

The once mighty Leeds United are set to appoint Steve Evans as manager after Uwe Rosler became the fifth head coach to lose his job at Elland Road since Italian owner Massimo Cellino took charge of the club in April 2014.

Leeds were beaten by Championship leaders Brighton at the weekend and lie 18th in the table without a home win so far this season.

News of Rosler's exit came on Monday morning along with reports that Evans was overseeing training ahead of his expected appointment.

Rosler "has become the latest manager to pay the price for Cellino's demanding standards", reports the Daily Telegraph. "The Italian's trigger-happy approach at Leeds has caused huge controversy. He has already fired Brian McDermott, David Hockaday, Darko Milanic and Neil Redfearn since completing his takeover.

"It follows a similar template to his time at Cagliari in Italy, where he went through 36 coaches in 22 years and earned the nickname of 'Il mangia allentori' – the manager eater."

Reaction to the possible appointment of Evans was swift and not entirely positive.

Evans, a former manager of Crawley Town and Rotherham, has a colourful past and was convicted of tax evasion while in charge of Boston United in 2006. His likely new boss Cellini has also been convicted of tax offences in Italy.

When his Rotherham side played Leeds last season, Evans arrived at Elland Road wearing a sombrero apparently to celebrate the fact that his side had avoided relegation.

Images of Evans were doing the rounds on social media on Monday morning, along with a Yorkshire Post story from 2014 in which Evans "revealed that Massimo Cellino's hands-on style of ownership at Leeds United is not for him – and admits he could never work for an owner who did not let him sign his own players".

Recommended

Messi vs. Ronaldo: football’s great rivalry
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Profile

Messi vs. Ronaldo: football’s great rivalry

Qatar’s tainted World Cup
Workers at the site of the Lusail Stadium in 2019
Why we’re talking about . . .

Qatar’s tainted World Cup

Ralf ‘professor’ Rangnick takes charge at Man Utd
Ralf Rangnick: a hatred of star players
Profile

Ralf ‘professor’ Rangnick takes charge at Man Utd

Solskjær saga and lack of strategy defines the Glazer era
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
View from the terraces

Solskjær saga and lack of strategy defines the Glazer era

Popular articles

Is Boris Johnson’s authority ‘evaporating’?
Boris Johnson
Behind the scenes

Is Boris Johnson’s authority ‘evaporating’?

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life
Vladimir Putin and his now ex-wife Lyudmila Putina
Profile

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life

19 advent calendars for adults
Selection of advent calendars
The wish list

19 advent calendars for adults

The Week Footer Banner