Massimo Cellino delaying Redfearn decision threatens to undermine Leeds' whole summer

Leeds United

Massimo Cellino may only have been back in office for seven days, but many Leeds fans are wondering why the head coach's position hasn't yet been sorted.

True, there is an awful lot to address at Elland Road, even if you ignore the most conspicuous outstanding items from a football point of view, and we are only one week into what will be a busy summer at the club.

But the future of Neil Refearn and the head coach position at Leeds United will tell fans a lot more about the short and long term future of the fallen Yorkshire giants.

Season ticket renewal forms have been sent out to the club's loyal supporters and a May 30th deadline is in place for fans to renew before they lose their current seat and the option of a cheaper renewal price. Before that date fans have a decision to make, after that date, if they haven't renewed then the decision may have already been made.

Massimo Cellino has a great opportunity in the next seven days to make a statement on how the next 12 months at Leeds United are likely to go, and if the right decisions are made, those with vision can see even further ahead.

Retained lists for out of contract players have to be addressed before this weekend, and while many Leeds fans are rightly concerned about securing and extending the future of star youngsters Lewis Cook, Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor, it has slipped under the radar that the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Lewis Walters are out of contract altogether in June.

The future of popular midfielder Rodolph Austin and standout performer Sol Bamba - who arrived on a half-season loan from Palermo - also need to be addressed before they start to consider offers from elsewhere.

Notwithstanding the work required in assessing player budgets and drafting up contract offers, the situation with Redfearn is the most pressing issue for most Leeds fans. With the fair wind of his assistant Steve Thompson with him in the dugout and a lack of interference from behind the scenes, Redfearn's record was outstanding with Leeds in the 2014-15 Sky Bet Championship season. Furthermore, Leeds fans are convinced that Redfearn has the personality and understands the club and what the expectations are, plus he has been intimately involved in the progress of the club's dazzling youngsters.

Regardless of all that, Redfearn, as an honourable man with integrity - whom Cellino himself stated last week that he "loved" - is deserving of the respect that comes with addressing his status at the club at the soonest opportunity.

Cellino spoke of working 20 hour days since his return to the club last Monday, but in approaching 140 man-hours since this time, the Italian has yet to even speak to Redfearn about the position. Presumably the 48-year-old has not therefore been approached for his opinion on the players that should be retained, and with sporting director Nicola Salerno no longer at the club, you have to wonder who - on the football side - is offering any advice to Cellino as he draws up the list of players who merit a new or extended contract? The skeleton staff structure in all departments at Leeds United compels you to believe that Cellino is indeed the only person making both key and routine decisions at the club.

So far Cellino's return to the club has brought only more bad news for Leeds fans, in the shape of new FA investigations into the transfers of Brazilian Adryan and the £11 million sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham.

With Leeds United potentially in great shape to move forward, fans can only see the club going backwards and as each day passes with Redfearn left hanging, the fear is that Cellino has learnt nothing from past mistakes, particularly 12 months ago when Dave Hockaday was appointed one week before pre-season started, and notwithstanding the 'quality' of that appointment, the situation was chaotic from that point onwards.

As if typifying his diligent and responsible approach, Redfearn has prepared a pre-season programme for all his individual players, including a series of games in preparation for the 2015-16 season. Everything is in place to finally see Leeds United progress as a football club, if only you could predict what will happen next.

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