Cellino's Lopez sacking is warning to Leeds fans

Leeds United East Stand

Prospective Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has shown his true colours with the ill-timed sacking of Cagliari boss Diego Lopez.

Massimo Cellino is back on track to take over Leeds United after his successful appeal against being barred by the Football League, but his record at Cagliari should set some alarm bells ringing.

The fiery entrepreneur still faces a battle to be allowed to buy the club and could be stopped if a court in Sardinia rules that he was dishonest when he was found guilty of tax evasion on his purchase of a yacht.

But Leeds fans have cause for concern over the way Cellino would manage the club if he is allowed to take the reins.

By now it's no secret that current Cagliari owner Cellino likes to sack managers, but his latest decision to axe Diego Lopez has met with widespread disapproval in Italy and for good reason.

Cellino pulled the plug after a 3-1 defeat against second-placed Roma with Cagliari still seven points above the relegation zone.

It was an odd time to sack a man who was brought in with the task of delivering survival and looked almost certain to do so.

With six games left, Cellino brought back Ivo Pulga, who he sacked as Lopez's assistant two months ago.

The 'new' man must now get things in order quickly ahead of Cagliari's crucial game against fellow strugglers Sassuolo this weekend and win over the fans who are understandably upset to see Lopez, who played over 400 games for Cagliari, whisked away.

Sacking 37 coaches in 22 years is the sign of a control freak and Cellino's hands on approach, his public criticisms of his staff and his willingness to upset the balance of a team ahead of a crucial game will make him a very tough man for any Leeds manager to work with.

In Italy there is an acceptance that coaches come and go quickly. Since the start of the season there have been 14 managerial changes in Serie A compared to nine in the Premier League. 

Leeds' potential new owner must understand that English fans have a more acute sensibility to axe wielding and prefer their chairmen to show patience. Sadly that's one thing that has always been in short supply when it comes to Cellino.

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