Negri has spoken positively of Cellino’s admiration for the inner workings of football.
Translated by Sport Witness, the Italian striker said: “Cellino I remember with sympathy, one of the few presidents who could really play football, tactics and with an eye really special for young foreign talent to bring to the Italian league. A true connoisseur, hard to bluff with him, as well as a businessman.”
It is hard to deny that Cellino was heavily involved with the footballing side of Leeds prior to his ban on all activity in England.
He is generally considered as the reason for Brian McDermott’s sacking, as he involved himself in team selections and player recruitment at the tail end of last season, whilst this campaign saw him reportedly linked with forcing certain players to be included despite poor form.
He hired and fired two managers before settling on Neil Redfearn until the end of this campaign, and it looks as if the former academy boss will be out of the door in the summer, bringing more change to Elland Road.
Being involved with the footballing side of the game is important for owners, many of whom are interested in the financial gains of results, rather than how the team got those results.
However, Cellino takes this love for the game too far, and is involved in areas in which he may be knowledgeable, but is not up to the same level as the managers who are involved the game.
He hires people specifically to run the management side of the club, only to interfere, and it should come as no surprise that Leeds’ season has been a turbulent one with a man like that in control.