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How Cellino contradicted himself with his Steve Thompson comments

The Leeds owner advocated two very different approaches with the suspended assistant and head coach Neil Redfearn.

Amid all the confusion during Massimo Cellino's hour-long press conference, the Leeds United owner appeared to contradict himself with his comments on head coach Neil Redfearn and suspended assistant Steve Thompson.

Indeed, he told reporters during Thursday afternoon's press conference: “I do not fire a manager just because I have a personal problem with him. Because, if I have a personal problem with him and he’s good for the club, I do not do that mistake.

“I’m reading a book. When I finish the book, I go to the exam. I have to take a decision. It cannot be easy for me to take. Last year I was rushing, now I have time. A decision for the short-term is dangerous.”

Executive director Adam Pearson added: “We need a proper structured process, not knee-jerk decisions.”

Meanwhile, on the suspension of no.2 Thompson, the Yorkshire side's owner said: 

“As a man, I told him I’m sorry, I like him. In the club, you have to take decisions. If you think too much, the season is finished. If you don’t take a decision, you never face what’s going on.”

It may be a little unfair to single out anything Cellino said, of course. The Leeds owner warned that his English is 'rusty,' while the majority of the press conference was so bizarre and incoherent that most attending wouldn't have remembered what was said five minutes prior.

The circumstances, meanwhile, are certainly different. The choice before Cellino now is an important, long-term decision, while the need to 'deal with' Thompson was a short-term one - as well as the fact the owner himself claims he wasn't involved in the incident.

But there is certainly an argument to suggest the Italian has contradicted himself: on two counts.

Firstly, regardless of the context, he has still firmly advocated a patient and structured decision-making process when it comes to hiring a manager. Why wouldn't the same apply when it comes to the suspension of a high-profile staff member?

Moreover, Cellino has made it clear any of his decisions should be for the benefit of Leeds as a club rather than his personal feelings. And yet he has defended the Thompson suspension - one he himself claimed was done because of a personal fall-out between Thompson and then sporting director Nicola Salerno.

A pretty definitive contradiction, no?

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