Saturday, June 28, 2014

Leeds United: We will be lean and mean, says Hockaday

Yorkshire Evening Post 27/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
HEAD COACH David Hockaday has promised that Leeds United will be a ‘leaner and meaner’ club in 2014-15 – and expects more departures of personnel in the coming weeks.
Hockaday ran the rule over his first-team squad for the first time yesterday on their return to pre-season training at Thorp Arch and has pledged that his squad and backroom staff will be a ‘tight-knit’ group by the time the season begins.
United are confident their transfer embargo will be lifted soon, with their bank accounts now unfrozen and while Hockaday expects some inward transfer activity shortly, he also believes that the retrenchment across all departments at the club will continue.
While Thorp Arch re-opened yesterday after being closed during the off-season to save costs at the behest of United owner Massimo Cellino, the kitchen remained closed, with players bringing in their own packed lunches.
Hockaday, who files out with his first-team squad and staff to a two-week training camp in northern Italy on Monday, said: “The basic thing about everything that is going to happen from the president downwards is that we are going to be leaner and will have to be meaner.
“We are going to have to get rid of all the excess baggage; there’s too much excess baggage at Leeds – in every department. We need to pare things back, get it right back to the bones and start fleshing it out as we want.
“It will be ongoing and from a business point of view, that’s Mr Cellino’s business. It’s just too much, we are haemorrhaging in every department. I am sure there will be people unfortunately going out and that’s life, not just football, on and off the pitch.
“Off the pitch, that’s nothing to do with me. On it, it’s my business to look at my staff and playing staff and I will make decisions accordingly.
“We aren’t going to be taking an entourage out to Italy for our training camp and taking two planes. We will be going in a tight-knit group. My idea is to get my staff really tight and everybody looking after each other’s backs and it will be the same with the team.”
Hockaday and assistant Junior Lewis worked with the first-team yesterday, with Brian McDermott’s former number two Nigel Gibbs not in attendance.
Another not present at Thorp Arch was winger Cameron Stewart, with Leeds understood to be working behind the scenes in an attempt to annul the deal, brokered by former owners GFH, to sign him on a permanent basis when his Hull City contract ends on Monday. Asked whether he is confident that the new signings will be imminent, Hockaday said: “Yes. But until people sign on the dotted line, it doesn’t matter.
“(But) I am very hopeful that we will have a number of players coming with us and fresh faces coming to Italy.”
One man that United will be desperate to be part of the entourage which goes to Italy is prize asset Ross McCormack, subject of intense transfer speculation this summer.
Hockaday admits he is adopting a philosophical stance regarding the future of McCormack, with the decisions regarding the future of players who are the subject of interest effectively being a matter for owner Cellino solely.
Speaking yesterday morning, Hockaday added: “I talked to Ross, he was here today; that’s a good start.
“(But) Anything that happens out of my control, happens. He’s here today, he trains today and if he’s in tomorrow, he will train tomorrow.
“I am not just saying that about Ross, but everybody.
“Will there be changes? With everybody, I am sure that there are going to be changes. We will just have to get on with it.
“Everyone I want to be here to my knowledge is here. I have been in the last four days and met some of the players who have come in and had a bit of head tennis and a feel of the ball and I am breathing it in, getting into the vibe.
“All I want to do is impress upon everybody, not just the players and the staff but everybody out there that we are here to work hard and form a team everybody is going to proud of.
“That’s my job and what we are going to do."

Leeds United set to move for 22-year-old Italian midfielder

Football League World 27/6/14
BY SAM ROURKE
The 22-year-old midfielder plys his trade at Serie B side Latina Calcio, and the Italian was an instrumental figure in the club's promotion push to Serie A which failed in the end.
Viviani has a number of sides interested in signing him, with Sky Bet Championship side Leeds United one of the clubs vying for his signature.
Viviani’s agent has revealed that the Yorkshire club are one of the teams interested in signing the young midfielder.
“Now Federico is resting, but when he returns from holiday we need to decide [his future] together”, Giovanni Ferro told LaRoma24.
“Leeds and other English teams have shown interest in him”, Viviani’s agent added.
Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is a fan of the young Italian midfielder, after trying to sign him for Cagliari during his time as owner of the Serie A club.

Leeds' transfer embargo to 'hopefully' be lifted on Monday - report

Here is the City 26/6/14
Stephen Pickering
BBC Leeds sports broadcaster Adam Pope confirmed that Leeds United are still transfer embargoed but hope to have it lifted on Monday in time for the opening of the transfer window.
Leeds United supporters were left confused this morning when BBC Leeds sports broadcaster confirmed that Leeds United were still under a transfer embargo with the Football League, despite having their bank account unfrozen.
The news, whilst disconcerting in the short-term, will hopefully have no affect on their ability to attract and sign players once the transfer window opens as Cellino and co work hard to have the transfer ban lifted before the 1st July, next Tuesday.
Leeds, who have already released Lee Peltier, have indicated that there could be a squad overhaul this summer as they attempt to improve quality and cut down on quantity.
''The new structure is that Leeds need to be leaner. There's excess baggage in every department,'' said new manager Dave Hockaday.
''We're going to strip back to the bones and then start fleshing things out. I was use to have a tight-knit group where everyone has each other's back.''
''It's my job to find what makes each player tick, asses where to strengthen and form a team that'll work hard and make everyone proud.''
The upcoming pre-season camp in Italy could prove to play a major part in how the summer plays out in Yorkshire as certain players who may be considered surplus, at this moment in time, could impress and look to win a place in the Leeds United team next season.
Nevertheless, if the transfer embargo is lifted on Monday, all eyes will be on who Leeds United bring in on Tuesday when the transfer window officially opens.

Time for talking is over - Leeds United head coach David Hockaday

leedsunited.com 26/6/14
United head coach David Hockaday has stated that the time for talking is over now that the players have returned to pre-season training.
The United players will remain at Thorp Arch for the rest of the week before heading out to Italy on Monday and the head coach says they are all ready for the “hard work” to begin.
“The players have now been told the itinerary for the next couple of weeks and we are now ready to crack on,” said David. “The time for talking is now over, it is a time to work.
“We need to work hard and we need to work as a team . Last season wasn’t good enough for Leeds United Football Club.
“These players are here because they are talented and my job is to help them help themselves. We’ll be moulding them into a hard working honest team unit, it is as simple as that.
With United heading to Italy on Monday the head coach will be looking to use the time to get to know his players.
“We are going to be taking the majority of the team to Italy,” added the head coach. “That is going to give me two weeks away where I can really get to know them.
“There will be lots of one-to-one sessions with the players.
“It isn’t just about what they do on the field, it is also about what makes them tick off the field. I will have a better idea once we are back from Italy.”

Leeds training camp: Mowatt and Wootton stay home as Leeds squad head for Italy

Yorkshire Post 26/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED head coach Dave Hockaday has urged his players to rise to the challenge of embracing their new start at the club - after the first-team squad returned to training at Thorp Arch.
The players will undergo two rigorous days of fitness training ahead of flying out to northern Italy on Monday for a two-week training camp in the Santa Cristini region of Val Gardena.
Hockaday confirmed that Alex Mowatt and Scott Wootton will stay back in the UK, with the pair picking up injuries in the close season.
The duo are ‘well on the way to recovery’ according to Hockaday, who expects them to be fine when United return from Italy.
Hockaday confirmed that he expects that by the end of play today that all the club’s pre-season fixtures will be finalised.
Speaking ahead of the start of his first pre-season session in charge, he said: “It’s a new start for everyone; it has to be. What is gone is gone. I can’t control that; I can control the future, today.
“It’s up to them now. Although I write the names on the sheet, their form in training and in games picked and dictates the team. They now take control of the situation and ownership of their own performances.
“No excuses, they step over the line and perform on demand.”
Hockaday says the club are working hard on bringing in some new faces and is confident signings will be made in time for the pre-season camp in Italy.
He said: “I am very hopeful we will have fresh faces going to Italy.”

Slate is wiped clean as Hockaday starts work on Leeds squad

Yorkshire Post 26/6/14
DAVID HOCKADAY insists there will be a clean slate for every Leeds United player this pre-season – with the door open for all of his squad to impress.
United players returned from their breaks to start training at Thorp Arch today and will be assessed before heading out to Italy for a two-week training camp next week.
The players will undergo fitness training, speed agility and technical work ahead of jetting out to the continent where United will be based in Santa Cristina in the Val Gardena region of northern Italy.
Hockaday has warned his players that they can expect plenty of hard work in the coming days and weeks, having already spent long hours co-ordinating the pre-season training itinerary after being appointed as head coach a week ago.
The former Watford first-team coach and Forest Green manager says he has no preconceptions regarding his new charges and will hand them all a fair crack at proving themselves ahead of the big Championship kick-off at Millwall on August 9.
On what players can expect now and over the course of pre-season, Hockaday said: “The idea is to first check their fitness levels and to get them match fit and get all the work in them now so it will last them the entire season.
“It’s just going to be hard work, it’s as simple as that. They are going to come in and work hard.
“One or two have been in already. Some players I know more than others, but I have watched plenty of games and it’s clean sheet time for them all.
“What has been done is done and what is gone is gone. The king is dead, long live the king and now the players have a new head coach to work for and impress because now the fight is on to get the jersey.
“The hard bit is not getting the jersey, but keeping it.”
Hockaday made great play in his unveiling of his desire for Leeds to be the hardest working side in the league and sees that as something which is achievable.
Just as he has thrown himself into the task in hand since arriving in Leeds, so he is expecting the players to follow suit with a similar work ethic, which he is confident will yield the rewards when the serious stuff begins at the New Den in just under six weeks’ time.
Hockaday said: “It’s been long days, but it is what it is. There’s no bleating and we get on with it. It’s long days, but that’s how it should be.
“There’s a lot of work to do and catching up and we will catch up and we will get it all done.
“We will be ready for August 9.It’s a case of getting the message out that the club is about hunger, working hard and working harder than anyone else.
“The culture here will be one of hard work.
“We will be honest and have humility, but work hard with hunger with a capital H.”

Leeds United: Boss is eager to work with Mac

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
DAVE HOCKADAY admits he is relishing working with Leeds United talisman Ross McCormack and getting the best out of him again in 2014-15.
The new United head coach starts work with first-team players tomorrow when pre-season training gets underway at Thorp Arch, with club owner Massimo Cellino having already pledged that prize asset McCormack is staying put, with keeping the striker a “matter of principle, not money”.
McCormack – subject of plenty of transfer speculation so far this summer – and his United team-mates start preparations for the new campaign tomorrow, with the Scot likely to be pivotal to Leeds aspirations next term.
And Hockaday is hoping the Championship top scorer of 2013-14 will carry on where he left off last term under his watch.
Hockaday said: “Ross is a Leeds United player who signed a four-year deal and has put it out that he is really happy here. The chemistry is right and when that is right for a player and he gets on well at the club and the club get on well with him, that’s great.
“He’s obviously an important Leeds player. But they are all important Leeds players and I am looking forward to coaching Ross and working with him.”
Hockaday has also revealing the club are busy working hard behind the scenes to bring in some new recruits to bolster their squad, with United yet to make a close-season signing.
Non-league left-back Andre Blackman, who played for Maidenhead United last season, has been tipped to join Leeds along with several Italian players and reports yesterday linked United with a possible move for Leyton Orient midfielder Romain Vincelot.
Meanwhile, former Cagliari sporting director Nicola Salerno has again fuelled speculation he will link up again with Cellino by hinting he is planning to head to England as Leeds attempt to fine-tune their transfer plans for the coming season.
On his hopes of the club making squad additions shortly, Hockaday added: “We are working very hard and as soon as we can make announcements, we will let the fans know as soon as possible. But we will be adding to the squad.”
Hockaday met with the club’s coaching staff yesterday and confirmed that clarity will soon be provided in terms of defined roles among the club’s coaching team following the recent addition of both himself and his assistant Junior Lewis.
He said: “We are sorting all the staffing stuff out.
“We are speaking about that and working on that over time, so that each person knows their role.
“What is important is that my staff are a team and we all work together and cover each other’s back.
“We set the pace for the players and if we are all together and the players are all together, we have got a chance.”
The former Forest Green manager admits the wheels were set in motion regarding sorting out the future of Lee Peltier before he arrived at the club and he has wished the former United captain well for the future.
He added: “To be fair, some things were happening before I came here. Lee has obviously been a Leeds player and he’s given his all and moved on and we wish him well. That’s really all I can say.”

Salerno drops big Leeds United hint

Yorkshire Post 24/6/14
FORMER Cagliari sporting director Nicola Salerno has given the clearest indication he is set to once again link up with Leeds president Massimo Cellino at Elland Road.
Salerno, who worked with Cellino during the pair’s time at Serie A club Cagliari, turned down an offer to join Palermo following talks with the newly-promoted club last week.
“Leeds? It’s a life choice, my first experience abroad but with an Italian owner,” Salerno told Italian football website Tuttomercatoweb.
“The no to Palermo? There was some contact considering I have an excellent rapport with (Palermo owner Maurizio) Zamparini. I needed time and then I made my decision. But the rapport remains a good one.”
Salerno’s potential reunion with Cellino has been no secret since the latter completed his takeover of Leeds in early April.
Cellino ended his 22-year association with Cagliari when agreeing a deal to sell the club to the Giulini family on June 11 and said he had officially severed ties with them last Thursday when unveiling David Hockaday as Leeds’ new head coach.
Hockaday was installed alongside new assistant Junior Lewis, while Cellino appointed former Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa striker Benito Carbone as a consultant responsible for all technical and football operations at Elland Road in May.
Salerno said the offer of a sporting director’s role at Palermo had initially interested him, but when speaking to the Italian press last week he said: “I do not have the heart.
“I can confirm that I have not accepted the proposal of Palermo. The club needed an immediate response, while I did not have sufficient certainty.”

Leeds United: Outgoing chief Gary Cooper hails the achievements of LUST

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/6/14
DEPARTING Leeds United Supporters’ Trust chairman Gary Cooper admits that the trust’s achievements during his time in charge have surpassed all his expectations following the organisation’s formation in October 2009.
Cooper has decided to step down to spend more time with his family and also pursue his next challenge helping Leeds United Ladies and insists LUST’s future is in safe hands.
The work of Cooper and countless others have given thousands of United fans an independent voice, with LUST’s membership having swelled to around 9,400 after starting with just 224 members in 2009.
He is confident LUST’s profile will continue to grow and have an active say in the future of United.
Cooper said: “I made a decision some weeks ago. We set ourselves some targets back in 2009 and quite honestly, we have surpassed them a long time ago in terms of membership levels and a decent line of communication both with local authorities, local MP’s and central government.
“When I came to the chair and joined a refreshed board, we set ourselves a target of 500 members and said that 1,000 would be incredible. To achieve what we have in terms of membership is unbelievable.
“But rather than crediting myself or the trust board, I think it’s more testament to Leeds fans in general who believe that supporters should have a voice and right to have a say in the governance of their club.
“It’s testament to them and they deserve the credit.”
On the timing of his decision, he added: “When Mr Cellino took control, I sat and thought about things. I do like this guy as a person, you can’t help but like him, but I have said it’s going to be a roller-coaster and there will be hurdles to cross.
“I thought to myself: ‘Am I the person to deal with the rollercoaster ride and the hurdles?’ We have some really good board members and trust members and perhaps now is the right time. The trust is in a good place, it’s strong and credible and it’s integrity is completely intact.
“I have other things in the pipeline and will be doing an awful lot with Leeds United Ladies and do the same for them with what I have done for the trust.
“I feel it’s right to support my wife and family now. I have done my best for the bigger Leeds United family and can’t do a lot more. I will do my very best to find the right person to take it to the next level.”
While LUST have overcome many hurdles and raised their profile immeasurably to become a fully respected voice for United fans, Cooper feels that the challenges facing owner Massimo Cellino are colossal and that it will take some time to truly turn around the fortunes of the club, which remains in a chaotic state behind the scenes.
He said: “I have met with Mr Cellino twice. Once before he officially took over along with Ray Fell and then about a month ago. I genuinely like the man and ‘get’ his passion and enthusiasm and share that. If you are with him, he’s the life and soul of the party.
“Do I think he’s the right man? I don’t think there’s ever been the right man at any one given place.
“The club is in a mess and this bloke has a mess to deal with before he can start to go about the business I think he wants to do. It will take some time to right the wrongs from the previous owners of Leeds United and go right back to Peter Ridsdale with that. Where the club is now is all a knock-on effect from that.
“I think he (Cellino) has bitten off a lot more than he thought at the outset. Had he had his time again, I think he would have done things differently. But we are where we are and he’s the owner and he will make the decisions he feels are appropriate and he won’t be swayed by that.
“Supporters should not be surprised by anything. I know there was a lot of shock and disdain when Dave Hockaday was appointed, but it should not come as a shock. He (Cellino) will do things his way.
“There’s a lot of things to right and mess to clear before we can think of going back in the right direction.”

Leeds United winding-up order dismissed

Vital Leeds 23/6/14
Leeds United have had the winding-up order served against them by Sports Capital dismissed by the High Court.
Leeds were served with a winding up order by Sports Capital in May as they tried to reclaim a £950,000 loan made by them to the club after they failed to make a payment.
The decision saw the clubs bank account frozen, that saw them fail to pay the players wages for a second time in three months. The club were ordered to repay the money at a High Court ruling on June 10th, giving them until today to repay the loan.
It is believed that Leeds repaid the loan last week allowing the High Court to dismiss the case today.
The club's bank account can now been unfrozen, allowing the players to receive their wages as well as building a squad ahead of the new season.

Harrogate Town snap up Leeds United full-back Lewis Turner

Ripon Gazette 23/6/14
by Andrew Lawton
Harrogate Town have signed Leeds United right back Lewis Turner as they prepare for pre-season ahead of the new Conference North season.
Turner, 21, spent time on loan at the CNG Stadium during the 2012-13 season, but was unable to play a game before returning to his parent club.
Turner will be hoping to help Town improve on their ninth placed finish in Conference North last season and push for promotion in the new campaign.
He said: “I believe that it is a club on the up and I am looking forward to being part of a successful team this campaign.
“The manager and the chairman seem very driven and ambitious and I can’t wait to get started.”
The right back, who can also play across the back line or up in midfield, spent last year on a season-long loan with Chester FC scoring twice.
Despite the Blues finishing in the relegation zone, Turner won the club’s Player of the Year and picked up the fans’ and players’ Player of the Year awards with his impressive performances.
Manager Simon Weaver said: “Lewis excelled last season. He is young, talented and has a very professional outlook.
“We are very pleased that we now have him on board.”
Excluding loan spells, Turner has spent his entire career at Leeds representing the club at all levels, including the reserve team.

Leeds United: Lee Peltier quits Whites and signs for Huddersfield

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
LEE PELTIER has completed his move from Leeds United to West Yorkshire neighbours Huddersfield Town - just hours after leaving the Whites by mutual consent.
The former Whites captain had a year left on his deal, but following talks between himself and the club, agreement was reached for him to quit Elland Road following a difficult final season at the club.
He has now made his return to Huddersfield, around three years after leaving them for Leicester in a £1m move.
Peltier, 27, joined United two summers ago and was appointed captain by former boss Neil Warnock.
But his fortunes dipped last term and he ended on joining Nottingham Forest on loan after falling out of favour under Brian McDermott.
Peltier, who made 27 appearances for Leeds last term, tweeted: “I have now officially left Leeds United football club - just want to thank all the people at the club who have helped and supported me.
“All the fans that have supported me over the two years, and all the boys at the club, it has been a pleasure working with them - top lads. I wish them all the best for the season, now time for me to me on to the next chapter off my career and look forward to the future.”
Huddersfield beat off interest from the likes of Nottingham Forest to sign Peltier with Bolton and Blackburn having also been rumoured to have been in the hunt.
Commenting on the signing of Peltier, 27, Huddersfield boss Mark Robins said: “I don’t need to tell Huddersfield Town fans about the qualities that Lee Peltier brings to the squad, but what I will say is that he’s returning to the Club a far better, more experienced, seasoned Championship player.
“Lee had the option to go to some other high profile Championship clubs this summer, but he knows this club and particularly its people and certainly was attracted by the stability and ambition at the club. He wants to be a part of it as we continue to progress forward.
“I met Lee and he is a strong, mentally tough, determined character who will add to our squad on the pitch and in the dressing room. Lee has a versatility about his game and can play in various roles, being equally comfortable in a back five or a back four.
“I’m delighted that he has become our latest summer recruit.”

Salerno linked with Leeds as he rejects Italian job

Yorkshire Post 23/6/14
FORMER CAGLIARI sporting director Nicola Salerno is continuing to be linked with a reunion with Leeds United president Massimo Cellino at Elland Road.
Salerno, who worked alongside Cellino during his tenure at the Serie A club, was expected to link up with top-flight new boys Palermo, who were keen to recruit his services. But it now appears as if Salerno will not be linking up with Palermo following talks last week and analysing his position, potentially opening the door for him to come to Leeds.
On discussions regarding the Palermo post, Salerno, speaking to the Italian press, said: “I do not have the heart.
“I can confirm that I have not accepted the proposal of Palermo. The club needed an immediate response, while I did not have sufficient certainty.”
Meanwhile, reported Whites target Chuks Aneke has joined Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem on a three-year deal.
The former Arsenal midfielder, 20 – recently released by the Gunners – has spent most of the last two seasons on loan at League One side Crewe, with a number of Championship sides believed to have been interested in signing him.
He said: “This is a great opportunity for me and I will do my best to take it as soon as possible.
“I think Belgian football will suit my playing style.
“Zulte Waregem give opportunities to young players and this club, after some good conversations, was a logical choice for my future development.”

Salerno flies into England ready to reunite with Cellino - report

Here is the City 21/6/14
Stephen Pickering
According to reports Nicola Salerno has flown to England in anticipation of joining former president Massimo Cellino at Leeds United.
According to reports coming out of Italy, Massimo Cellino's go-to guy Nicola Salerno has flown into England in anticipation of taking up his former role under Cellino, however, this time at Leeds United.
Salerno was always expected to join up with Cellino at Leeds, but the Italian's talks with Palermo last week did throw doubt to whether that vision would become a reality. However, after considering the position, Salerno told reporters that his heart wasn't in it.
'I do not have the heart,' Salerno said.
'I can confirm that I have not accepted the proposal of Palermo. The club needed an immediate response, while I did not have sufficient certainty.'
Salerno's arrival at Elland Road could prompt Leeds United into making player acquisitions after a number of reports have linked Serie A and B players with moves to England when the transfer window officially opens.
Reports in Italy last week suggested that Salerno, if appointed by Leeds, would bring Inter Milan goalkeeper Raffaele Di Gennaro to Yorkshire with him which, given the goalkeeper situation at Leeds, would be a huge boost for the club.
Salerno and Cellino, alongside Carbone and Hockaday, will most likely work together in order to bring the right sort of player to Leeds this summer and help them push on for promotion. In fact, the signing of Salerno may well be the most important piece of business Leeds do this summer as he could be key to the vision set out by Cellino for the future of the club.

Leeds United: Old boss is backing Hockaday to succeed

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/6/14
Forest Green chairman Dale Vince believes David Hockaday deserves his chance after being controversially installed as the new head coach at Leeds.
Hockaday, 56, was Leeds president Massimo Cellino’s surprise choice to succeed Brian McDermott and the appointment has angered the majority of the club’s fans who demanded a bigger name to take on the new role.
But Vince, who worked closely with former Watford and Southampton coach Hockaday during his time in charge at Forest Green – his only managerial job – said he has all the right attributes to prove his critics wrong.
“I’m really pleased for David actually, I’m chuffed for him,” Vince said.
“He’s a great bloke. He’s a very hard-working, loyal and honest man with an unbelievable depth of footballing knowledge.
“I really want him to succeed, but would not dare to predict how it will work out for him.
“Massimo Cellino is a lot better qualified than me to make a judgement on whether David can be successful in the Championship, but he deserves his chance.”
Hockaday parted company with Forest Green by mutual consent last October following a run of seven defeats in eight games. Both parties bowed to fans’ pressure, but Vince maintains a close friendship with the former Blackpool and Swindon defender.
Vince added: “His experience in the game, at all levels, makes him an ideal candidate for anybody and he’s so determined to succeed. It’s interesting to see he has taken up a head coach role at Leeds rather than becoming the manager.
“Cellino will take all the pressure off him with regards to recruitment and other managerial duties and that lends itself to David’s strengths.
“We formed a friendship during his time at Forest Green and I’ve spoken to him to wish him luck. Cellino appears to be a very interesting character and he made a good point that everyone has to start somewhere.
“I’m not sure about his analogy about managers being like watermelons though.
“He said you can’t tell what they’re like until you open them, but you can tap a watermelon to find out exactly what they’re like before you do that!”

Leeds United: Return of Elland Road to Leeds still priority – Cellino

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/6/14
by Phil Hay
Massimo Cellino has reiterated his commitment to buying Leeds United’s stadium from its private owners and said he will use funds raised from the sale of Cagliari to repurchase Elland Road.
Speaking during the unveiling of David Hockaday as United’s new head coach, Cellino highlighted Elland Road as a priority among his aims at Leeds, saying he was “embarrassed to be a guest in my own house.”
The Italian, who has previously promised to buy back the ground before the end of 2014, would need more than £15m to regain ownership of Elland Road for the first time since its controversial sale 10 years ago.
The ex-Leeds board led by Gerald Krasner sold the stadium to property developer Jacob Adler in 2004, raising £8m at a time when United were under pressure to repay a substantial loan.
Adler negotiated a 25-year lease and also gave the club the right to buy back the ground for a set fee at any stage before 2029. Both the rent and the buy-back cost rise by three per cent annually, and Leeds currently pay £1.4m a year to use Elland Road.
Neither Ken Bates, who took control of the club from Krasner’s board, nor Gulf Finance House – the Bahraini bank which Cellino bought out in April – were able to repurchase the ground, but Cellino claimed the recent takeover of Serie A side Cagliari would help to provide the necessary finance.
“I’m going to buy back this stadium because I’m embarrassed to be a guest in my house,” he said. “That’s my dream and I’m going to do it.
“I sold Cagliari mostly to buy this stadium back for the people. It’s very important.”
Cellino agreed a deal to sell Cagliari – the club he bought back in 1992 – to the Giulini family on June 11 and is believed to have officially severed ties with the Sardinian team on Thursday morning.
The takeover cost the Giulinis around £36m, more than twice the price of repurchasing Elland Road.
Cellino told the YEP in May that any sale of Cagliari would not alter his financial strategy at Leeds but the deal with the Giulinis appears to have increased the likelihood of Elland Road coming back under United’s control.
The stadium’s deeds were transferred by Adler to Teak Commercial Limited, an offshore firm in the British Virgin Islands, in early 2005 and have remained in Teak’s hands ever since.
The shareholders and beneficiaries of the company are anonymous, but Adler is still thought to retain ownership of Elland Road.
The Manchester businessman also owns United’s training ground at Thorp Arch having bought it around the same time as the sale of Elland Road.
Cellino closed Thorp Arch temporarily this summer to save on running costs and spoke again on Thursday about leaving the complex completely when next season ends.
Leeds have a lease on Thorp Arch running for another 15 years and pay an annual rent of around £600,000.
“For this year, yes (the players will train there) but we are looking for land close by,” Cellino said. “My intention is to move the training centre close by Elland Road.
“You know that I’m very superstitious. Thorp Arch has been built in 2002. Since then we are down. I don’t think it’s a very lucky place. Something is wrong in that place. It’s too far away.”

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Coaching is my passion - Leeds United coach David Hockaday - New coach outlines his intentions…

leedsunited.com 20/6/14
New head coach David Hockaday says that coaching is his passion and that he can’t wait to start work at United after his role at the club was confirmed on Thursday.
The experienced coach put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract and admits to being given an “unbelievable opportunity” at United.
“I’m excited and ready to start work ,” said United’s new head coach. “I’m a very experienced coach and I spent over 20 years as a player.
“At the end of the day I have been given this unbelievable opportunity and I intend to take it with both hands.
“My remit is purely the players, everything that happens on the training pitch and everything that happens on the football pitch. That is it, it is as simple as that.
“That suits me because I am a coach. Coaching is my passion, it is my drive and it is what makes me tick.”
United’s new head coach says that improvement on the pitch is the main aim for him and club President Massimo Cellino.
“The President is here to take the pressure off my back, those are his words,” added David. “He is here to run everything and I am here to look after the players and the team.
“No pressure is going to be applied on me but I obviously want to win every game. That is inbred in me.
“No targets have been set other than we have to improve. We want to play a certain way. We want it to be attractive football but we want it to be winning football.”
United’s new coaching team have already spoken with the President about players arriving at the club and says the current squad will all have the opportunity to show their worth.
“I have already talked to the President about a number of players in a number of positions that we have identified we need to strengthen,” explained Hockaday. “Everybody at the club will be given their opportunity.
“I am looking forward to meeting the players and I am looking forward to seeing the hunger in their eyes.
“Everything I believe in and everything the President believe in is having people at the club who are hungry and have a great work ethic. If they haven’t got that this is the wrong place for them.
“The fans need to get behind the team. We will give them everything. The team will be hungry and will have a great work ethic.
“I don’t want any opposing team to out work us, I don’t want any team to be hungrier than us and I don’t want any team to come to Elland Road wanting to win more than us.”

Leeds United: Door remains open to everyone - Hockaday

Yorkshire Evening Post 20/6/14
David Hockaday says he expects to find hidden gems in Leeds United’s squad, despite the club’s fraught finish to the last Championship season.
United’s new head coach plans to open the door to players who have struggled to make an impact at Leeds – including striker Steve Morison.
Morison was signed by Leeds as part of a swap deal for Luciano Becchio in January 2013 but he went loan to Millwall last season, moved out of Elland Road by former boss Brian McDermott.
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino revealed that Morison would be fully involved next term, saying: “He needs to show if he’s still a good player because he used to be.”
And Hockaday said: “When I was playing at Swindon, we got two promotions playing a direct style under Lou Macari. Then Ossie Ardiles came and played a diamond with pretty much the same players.
“Don’t be surprised if some of the players pleasantly surprise you and if they are better than they showed last year.”

Leeds United: Hockaday sure he’ll cope with pressure

Yorkshire Evening Post 20/6/14
David Hockaday’s appointment has been heavily criticised by fans but he insists he is the right man for Leeds United. Phil Hay reports.
When the obvious question came, asking David Hockaday whether he could live with the strain of managing Leeds United’s senior squad, he answered with one word. “Yeah.”
The club’s new head coach did not need telling that public opinion was against his appointment but at his unveiling yesterday he refused to be bullied – resistant to attempts to elicit an admission that he was punching above his weight at Elland Road.
Would players as recognised as Ross McCormack respect a coach whose last job was in non-league? “Ask them after the first day of training,” he said. “Ask them after they’ve seen me coach.” Did the offer of the job at Leeds surprise him? “It wasn’t surprising.” And what could he say to justify his selection? “I’ll say I got promotion as a player five times,” he said. “I got promoted from the Championship as a coach with Watford. You can draw whatever conclusions you like but I’m the sum of everything I’ve done, the sum of all my experiences. That’s what I’ll bring to the table.”
Appointed on a two-year contract, Hockaday came safely through his first examination – or his first since he convinced Massimo Cellino to name him as United’s head coach. Junior Lewis, his new assistant at Leeds, sat quietly in thought as Hockaday and Cellino outlined their blueprint but Hockaday was unwilling to yield to suggestions that he might be straying out of his depth.
Forest Green Rovers was his last job, a job he lost back in October. On that basis alone but combined with Hockaday’s low profile, Cellino’s choice of replacement for Brian McDermott is causing much consternation. The 56-year-old did not deny that this role is his biggest to date – “of course it is, by far” – but he returned repeatedly to his career history, a footballing resume of almost 40 years.
“I played for 20 years, over 650 senior games,” he said. “I’ve coached at every level, in every league from the Premier League to the Conference. That’s what I’m about. All of that has relevance.
“I didn’t just take the job here because it was Leeds United. I took it because with the president (Cellino’s) help I believe that this is the right job for me.
“For all the rhetoric, for everything I could say and all the talk there might be about what system I’m going to play, I’ve got a great work ethic and I’m going to work hard. The evidence of that will be seen on the pitch.”
Hockaday visited Thorp Arch yesterday morning with United’s dormant training ground about to reopen again but he will not meet his squad until pre-season starts next Thursday. A couple of days of fitness work will be followed by a two-week training camp in Italy. Hockaday has exactly 49 days until the new Championship season starts away at Millwall on August 9.
The former Watford assistant was asked about Nigel Gibbs – McDermott’s number two – and said Gibbs would be part of the coaching staff next season. The pair know each other from several years together at Vicarage Road. Leeds have other backroom members besides Gibbs – development squad coach Neil Redfearn, Under-18s coach Richard Naylor and Benito Carbone, their technical advisor who has already indicated his desire to run the Under-21s at Thorp Arch.
“I’ve got to determine with the president as to who slots in where,” Hockaday said. “But we’ll all work together and we want a really tight unit. We won’t have massive numbers of staff but we’ll be very tight, watch each other’s backs and work hard. We’ll show the same hunger if not more than we expect from our players.”
Lewis, the former Hull City midfielder, was coaching at non-league Hendon until his summons to Elland Road. Now 40, he has been pursuing a coaching career for four or five years. “What I want from an assistant, Junior gives me 10 times over,” Hockaday said.
Early on in yesterday’s press conference, Hockaday made a point of saying that he would choose his own teams, pick his own tactics and play his own way.
How far Cellino’s influence will extend when the season is in motion remains to be seen. Cellino said that “my way to work is to be very close with whoever coaches the team. We have a lot of problems at this club but the most important thing for us is playing football.”
“I’ll pick the team,” Hockaday said when the subject arose. “All the footballing matters are with me, all the financial stuff is with the president.
“We’re going to play good football and anybody who has seen any of my teams will know we get the ball down and pass.”
Hockaday claimed Cellino’s preference “in an ideal world” would be to recruit British players alone but the Italian’s lack of experience in England and the cheaper price of foreign footballers was leading the club to look to the continent.
“We’ve talked about identifying key areas where we need to improve,” Hockaday said.
“Between us – and it will be between us – we’ll bring players in.
“But if you’ve done your homework, you’ll know that the president has a fabulous record (at Cagliari) of picking players and getting them to play for him and be loyal to him.”
Employment at Leeds began for Hockaday yesterday but the critical work starts next week with the resumption of training. Cellino made no public demands of Hockaday yesterday but is not known for tolerating under-performance.
“My job will be to re-educate a lot of the players,” Hockaday said. “What we do is going to be about hard work.
“My challenge to them is that I don’t want to play any team that works harder than us or wants or needs to win more than us. We’re going to have the best work and team ethic in the league. That’s doable and it’s my first challenge.”

Leeds United: The moment was Hockaday’s but the show belonged to Cellino

Yorkshire Evening Post 19/6/14
by Phil Hay
Even before today’s press conference began, Leeds United’s president appeared five minutes before his new head coach, strolling in without Hockaday behind him.
“He’s gone already,” Cellino quipped, an owner schooled in the art of firing managers, coaches or anyone fitting that description. The Italian touched on the debate about Hockaday’s position and authority in his opening gambit, saying: “I’m here to present the new coach, manager or super manager, whatever. What’s the difference?”
The achievements and qualifications distinguishing one coach from another are usually found on their CVs but in Cellino’s company, most are the same. The focus at the start was on Hockaday - how he came to take the job at Elland Road, whether he thought he was good enough to thrive as head coach, what he made of the dubious public reaction to him - but Cellino promptly became the focal point, speaking for all but fractions of a gathering which lasted for almost an hour.
He branched out, as he always does, into every aspect of the club as Hockaday listened, sat to his right. Ross McCormack, United’s captain, would not be sold this summer unless Cellino felt he was depriving McCormack of a career-changing transfer. Thorp Arch training ground - mothballed in May to save money - was reopening for next season but could yet close in the interests of finding a base closer to Elland Road and cheaper to run.
Players would be signed, Cellino promised, and the squad would improve. But with all that said, the attention this afternoon clung to Hockaday’s appointment. How was it that a coach whose last job was at Forest Green Rovers eight months ago - a man virtually unheard of in Leeds - had emerged as Cellino’s choice as first-team boss for the Italian’s first season as owner of Leeds?
“Someone told me about him and we met in a hotel in London one month ago,” Cellino said. “We talked for five hours about football. Five hours talking, I didn’t realise the time.
“We talked about position, players, what we like - talked about football, not money, not bulls**t. I found a man who talked about football. I arrived here six months ago and I just hear a lot of s**t. Nobody talks about football.
“I got the impression that he knows what he’s talking about. I was looking for someone that can teach the players how to play better and to work on the field. More specialised - to work with the players, not speak with journalists.
“Today, coaches worry more about the journalists than about playing soccer. It’s public relations. A very important thing in football is showbusiness, we all know that. But at Leeds at the moment, to bulls**t and show off too much is not right.
“Here I was looking for someone who can help the players because our players need to be helped. They need to improve and they’re hungry to learn. Even the players at 32, 33 - they need to work every day. I was looking for a coach with that characteristic and I think David has got it.”
Hockaday himself was clear on his remit. “He asked me to be his coach - to coach the players, to get them fit, to teach them, to improve them,” Hockaday said. “To pick the team and manage the team on a match day. That’s it - players, coaching, end of story. It’s what I do, it’s my passion. Hand in a glove.”
Cellino bristled only once, when the bemused and mutinous reaction of United’s support to Hockaday’s arrival was discussed.
Cellino had considered taking Eamonn Dolan from Reading - scared off by the compensation involved - and had been heavily linked with Gary McAllister. He said he seriously considered seven options in all. The bookmakers odds were flooded with names more familiar and high-profile than Hockaday’s, albeit at much longer odds.
“Explain this because I don’t see the Internet or the newspapers,” Cellino said “What are Leeds’ fans expectations? Give me an example, tell me one. McAllister? Where is he working? Is he working with some other team or is he free?”
Coaches are like watermelons, Cellino said - you never know how good they are until you open them up. “I follow my feelings and my instinct, and my feeling is that David is the right man. If he is what he looks like, I’m going to help him.”
Just as quickly, that comment was followed by a caveat in keeping with Cellino’s record of employing 30-odd coaches in 20-odd years in charge of Cagliari.
“I can be wrong,” he said. “Who knows? Sometimes you choose a coach and it’s wrong.
“Sometimes you don’t want to fire a coach because you try to pretend that you didn’t make a mistake. That’s a dangerous thing. I can’t do that because I have to look after the interests of my club, not the pride of my choice.”
It left Hockaday in no doubt about who he’s working for, even if United’s supporters aren’t quite au fait with the coach who is stepping out of the shadows to work for them. “For David, it is a big challenge,” Cellino said. And then some.

Leeds owners taking fans to Elland back. Hockaday appointment will end in tears

Here is the City 19/6/14
Josh McLoughlin
Leeds United have today made the surprising appointment of Dave Hockaday, the former Forest Green Rovers manager.
Brian McDermott had to be sacked twice before he actually left Leeds United, but it was still incredibly harsh given the circumstances that he had to work under in the second half of the season.
The club's future was up in the air and the team were struggling on the pitch due to the uncertainty. Eventually when Massimo Cellino completed his takeover of the club it wasn't a surprise to see McDermott leave the club. What was a surprise however, was seeing the three names in contention for the job.
Eammon Dolan, former Leeds manager Gary McAlllister and the man to eventually get the job Dave Hockaday. Out of the three the general consensus from fans was that they wouldn't mind McAllister returning to the club. Between the three of them there is only around seven years of managerial experience and to take on a job with the magnitude of this one would be a big ask.
Cellino made it clear from the start that he was looking for a head coach rather than a manager and one that would work under the Director of football. Hockaday's role has been underlined as "assuming overall responsibility for the coaching staff and first-team playing squad."
The former Blackpool and Swindon Town player has been given a two-year-contract and Junior Lewis has joined him as his assistant.
It seems unlikely that Hockaday will have too much of a say in the club's transfer dealings but given the fact he was sacked as Forest Green Rovers manager in October, if the Leeds United job was offered, surely he would take it in any circumstances?
Whilst the appointment is surprising too many, Hockaday isn't one of those. "It isn't a surprise because of my background and the fact I'm a very experienced coach and obviously 20 years a player, and the fact that the president wants a very experienced British coach, then I seem to tick all the boxes,"
Foreign owners often like to have quite a large say in the running of the whole club, and almost act as the manager in some cases. Is Dave Hockaday a yes man? Probably not in most cases as he is very experienced within the game and has great respect from his peers. However in this case he may settle for a yes man role when working for one of the biggest clubs in the Championship.
He created the first football academy in the country in Cirencester, and his approach to it has since been adopted by many clubs.
His biggest impact as a coach came at Watford after he was appointed Under 18's manager by Graham Taylor. He is credited with helping the development of players such as Ashley Young, Al Bangura, Paul Robinson and Tommy Smith.
He also had coaching spells at Leicester City, Southampton and Milton Keynes Dons before taking up his first managerial role at Forest Green in 2009. In his first two seasons with the club he narrowly avoided relegation. Firstly they finished in the relegation places but were reinstated following Salisbury demotion due to financial irregularities. In the second season they stayed up on goal difference.
Two 10th place finishes followed before a run of seven defeats in eight games at the start of last season saw Hockaday get the sack.
Probably doesn't fill Leeds fans with confidence but not much has in the last decade or so. When they were relegated from the Premier League in 2004 not many would have thought they had still not returned ten years later. Hockaday is the seventh permanent manager since that fateful day and probably arrives with the least expectations.
That may help him, but what no one will know is exactly how much impact Cellino and Benito Carbone will have. Hockaday could be set up to fail before Carbone eventually takes over. The combination may well indeed work out at Elland Road, but it is a step into the unknown.
Hockaday and Carbone strike me as having different personalities but both with strong ego's which could cause problems at the club. Cellino has said he is targeting promotion in 2016 but will want to see encouraging signs early on. Significant investment in the transfer market will now probably follow, and it will be down to Hockaday to get the best out of them.

I’ll keep McCormack and win over sceptical Leeds fans, vows Hockaday

Yorkshire Post 19/6/14
Leeds United’s new head coach Dave Hockaday has vowed to win over the club’s fans following his surprise appointment at Elland Road today.
Hockaday’s only previous managerial experience was at Conference side Forest Green Rovers, who he left by mutual consent after a run of seven defeats in eight matches last October.
But the 56-year-old former Watford coach, who has signed a two-year contract before being unveiled alongside new assistant Junior Lewis at Elland Road, appeared undaunted by the task that lies ahead.
“I wasn’t surprised to get the call because I’d spoken to lots of people and when I met the president (Massimo Cellino) and he talked it was very obvious he knew what he was talking about,” Hockaday said.
“It happened and it seemed right and he offered me the job and I accepted.”
Hockaday, who said the club had players lined up to strengthen the squad and that Ross McCormack would not be sold, added: “I can eulogise as long as I want about a club the size of Leeds, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
“I’ve been given a great opportunity and I’m going to take this opportunity with both hands and one thing nobody can ever accuse me of is a lack of hard work and I believe I’m a good coach.
“The president believes I’m a good coach and people out there who have obviously recommended me believe I’m a good coach and I’m going to prove that.”
Hockaday said the club had yet to decide on a specific coaching structure, but Nigel Gibbs, who worked as former boss Brian McDermott’s assistant, would be part of the team.
Hockaday said he had turned down several job offers since leaving Forest Green and added: “I didn’t just take this because it’s Leeds, I took it because I believe with the president’s help and with the welcome I’ve received here from everybody at Leeds this is the right job for me.”
When asked how daunted he was by the challenge, Hockaday said: “It’s football. I’ve worked in the Premier League and the Championship. I’ve worked in every league.
“We go out and we sweat blood, we’re honest, we’re hard-working, we are hungry and we are honest. That’s what the Leeds fans want - (that goes for) any league you’re in.
“So we will go out there and give everything and more for the cause and people will applaud that and they’ll be happy with that because we’re going to give them everything we’ve got.”
McCormack, the Sky Bet Championship’s leading goalscorer last season, was the subject of a serious offer from West Ham in January and has since been linked with Norwich, Newcastle and Celtic, while Fulham made a reported bid of £5million last week.
Cellino insisted Leeds had no intention of selling their best player and Hockaday said: “We’ve talked about it and obviously I want to keep Ross, but you want to keep your best players and we’ve got some good players, not just Ross.
“I think we’ve also got some players who are going to pleasantly surprise people. Given the way they’re going to be coached, they’re going to be given a greater work ethic and be given a greater responsibility.
“We’ve got some talent here and, yes, we need to add to that. And we will do in the right areas and we’re looking to be very competitive in this division.”
Shockwaves reverberated around the Leeds fanbase when Hockaday became a leading candidate for the job with bookmakers 24 hours after McDermott had left the club by mutual consent on May 30.
The appointment of the former Blackpool and Swindon defender is sure to spark a fresh wave of indignation on social media websites among Leeds supporters who had been hoping for a bigger name to lead the club’s promotion challenge in the Sky Bet Championship next season.
Cellino had made public his determination not to go overseas for a coach, whose remit would stretch no further than preparing the first-team squad, soon after he had completed his takeover.
Hockaday parted company with Forest Green after a run of seven defeats in eight games, while the Gloucestershire club failed to finish higher than 10th in the Blue Square Premier during his four years in charge.
Hockaday had previously worked as coach at Watford, having initially been placed in charge of the under-18s by Graham Taylor in 2000. He was promoted to first-team coach at Vicarage Road in 2005 and worked under former manager Aidy Boothroyd when the club won promotion from the Championship in 2006.
Hockaday was defiant when quizzed whether the players will have been shocked by his appointment.
“Ask them after the first day after they’ve seen me coach,” he said. “That’s what I do and I’m comfortable with that.”
Former Cagliari owner Cellino, who completed his takeover of Leeds on April 7, said he had not seen any of the negative comments. “I have not seen the internet and the papers,” said the 57-year-old Italian.
“I can be wrong. Coaches are like water melons. You don’t know what you’ve got until you open them up.
“I was looking for someone to improve the players and David will do that.”
Cellino said that he was excited about working with Hockaday and Lewis, a former player with Leicester and Hull and who had worked as coach at non-league Hendon.
“I didn’t buy a player without choosing a coach and with him we will make it easier,” Cellino added.
“It is a team job. He asks what he needs, we know how he will play, we know what we can afford.
“Sometimes I told him to be careful because I like to buy players. I love to help the coach, I want to.
“You can take the best coach in the world, but with no good players, we can do nothing.”

Leeds United confirm appointment of Hockaday as head coach

Yorkshire Evening Post 19/6/14
by Phil Hay
Leeds United have confirmed the appointment of David Hockaday as their new head coach.
The 56-year-old has signed a two-year deal at Elland Road and will be assisted by former Hull City player Junior Lewis.
Lewis was coaching at non-league Hendon but quit that job to join the backroom team at Leeds.
Little-known Hockaday, meanwhile, is back in football for the first time since he left his role as manager at Forest Green Rovers last October.
The former Watford assistant is a surprising and unpredictable choice by United owner Massimo Cellino, who launched his search for a new first-team boss after ending Brian McDermott’s reign on May 30.
Hockaday has coached with a number of prominent sides, including Leicester City and MK Dons, but he is taking full control of a Football League squad for the first time.
The club have made no comment at this stage on the future of coach Nigel Gibbs, who had been assistant to McDermott.
A brief Leeds statement read: “Leeds United are pleased to announce that David Hockaday has been appointed to the position of head coach.
“The 56-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will assume overall responsibility for the coaching staff and first-team playing squad with immediate effect.
“David arrives at Elland Road with a vast amount of coaching experience and was integral to the management team at Watford that gained promotion to the Premier League in 2006.”
The statement added: “Leeds United’s new head coach will be joined by former Leicester City midfielder Junior Lewis.”
Shockwaves reverberated around the Leeds fanbase when Hockaday became a leading candidate for the job with bookmakers 24 hours after McDermott had left the club.
The appointment of the former Blackpool and Swindon defender is sure to spark a fresh wave of indignation on social media websites among Leeds supporters who had been hoping for a bigger name to lead the club’s promotion challenge in the Sky Bet Championship next season.
Reading’s academy manager Eamonn Dolan is understood to have been at the top of Cellino’s wish-list, but the Italian baulked at the Berkshire club’s reported £500,000 compensation fee.
Cellino had made public his determination not to go overseas for a coach, whose remit would stretch no further than preparing the first-team squad, soon after he had completed his takeover.
Former Leeds manager Gary McAllister was the third candidate understood to have held talks with the Italian.
Hockaday parted company with Forest Green after a run of seven defeats in eight games, while the Gloucestershire club failed to finish higher than 10th in the Blue Square Premier during his four years in charge.
Hockaday had previously worked as coach at Watford having initially been placed in charge of the under-18s by Graham Taylor in 2000. He was promoted to first-team coach at Vicarage Road in 2005 and worked under former manager Aidy Boothroyd when the club won promotion from the Championship in 2006.
Hockaday did not share in any surprise about his appointment.
When asked, he said: “Is it a surprise? No, it isn’t, because of my background and the fact that I’m a very experienced coach and the president wanted an experienced British coach. I tick all the boxes and intend to take it with both hands.”
It was widely assumed that Hockaday would have little to no input in who Leeds will be signing, but he added: “I have spoken to the president about a number of players. There will be changes.”

David Hockaday named as new Leeds United head coach

leedsunited.com 19/6/14
Leeds United are pleased to announce that David Hockaday has been appointed to the position of head coach.
The 56-year-old has signed a two-year contract and will assume overall responsibility for the coaching staff and first team playing squad with immediate effect.
David arrives at Elland Road with a vast amount of coaching experience and was integral to the management team at Watford that gained promotion to the Premier League in 2006.
As well as his time at Watford, the former Forest Green manager enjoyed success at Southampton and MK Dons.
Hockaday had a long playing career with over 500 league appearances to his name. He started his playing career at Blackpool where he remained for eight years until he moved onto Swindon Town. The former right-back made over 200 appearances for Swindon and was also part of the side that gained promotion twice in his time at the club. His other clubs include Hull City, Stoke City and Shrewsbury Town.
Leeds United’s new head coach will be joined by former Leicester City midfielder Junior Lewis,

Leeds United: £950,000 loan repaid to Sport Capital

Yorkshire Evening Post 19/6/14
by Phil Hay
Leeds United have repaid a loan of £950,000 to Sport Capital, clearing the way for the High Court in London to lift Sport Capital’s winding-up petition next week.
The YEP understands that the debt owed to Sport Capital - an offshore firm based in Guernsey - was repaid yesterday, a day after Sport Capital had its assets frozen by a court in Dubai.
Sport Capital lent money to Leeds in November of last year but moved to call in a £950,000 loan at the start of April, shortly before Massimo Cellino’s takeover of United.
Cellino refused to settle the debt before a deadline of April 24 and Leeds were served with a winding-up petition the following day.
The Championship club opted to contest the petition but were ordered by the High Court in London last week to paid back the money before this Monday, June 23.
United’s main bank account has been frozen in the meantime, preventing the club from meeting the players’ wage bill for May on time.
But that money is understood to have been transferred in the past 24 hours, despite FA rules preventing clubs from paying players via individual or third-party bank accounts.
Leeds’ bank account remains frozen but the club have been working in the past fortnight to find a way to pay the wage bill.
Money was also owed to casual staff at Elland Road, many of whom have gone without salaries due to the legal fight between Leeds and Sport Capital.
United are due to return to court in London on Monday where it is anticipated that the winding-up petition will be withdrawn. Their bank account is then expected to be unfrozen.
Sport Capital, however, is unlikely to have access to any of the £950,000 repaid by Leeds after a court in Dubai ruled on Tuesday that the company’s assets and shares should be frozen.
The ruling was part of a civil case brought by former Leeds owner Gulf Finance House against ex-United managing director David Haigh, a man with close links to Sport Capital.
Haigh is under arrest in Dubai and has been in custody for more than five weeks without charge, accused of financial irregularities by GFH.
The 36-year-old denies all the allegations against him.

Hockaday talks continue as Leeds contend with disgruntled support

Yorkshire Post 19/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
TALKS were continuing last night between David Hockaday and Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino over the vacant head coach position at the Elland Road club.
The former Forest Green Rovers manager travelled up to West Yorkshire for discussions yesterday with Cellino, who is expected to hand him a dramatic return to football at United after being put off by the compensation fee involved in taking Reading academy boss Eamonn Dolan.
The impending appointment of Hockaday, 56, a little known name in the football world and someone whose only experience of management ended inauspiciously at Rovers, has been met with derision by many Leeds supporters.
But while significant sections of the Whites fanbase have not been enamoured at news of his likely arrival, the north-easterner – recommended to Cellino by an agent who is advising him – quickly emerged as a serious option for the Italian following the departure of Brian McDermott.
Cellino has made great play about appointing a head coach specifically looking after the first team as opposed to a traditional manager, with Hockaday working through the ranks atWatford before becoming first-team coach in 2005.
Hockaday’s taste of management at Forest Green between 2009 and 2013 saw the Gloucestershire-based outfit finishing no higher than 10th, despite having one of the biggest budgets in the Conference.
Rovers were relegated in 2010 but later reinstated after Salisbury City’s demotion for breaching Conference rules.
Last October, Hockaday and Forest Green parted company after seven defeats from eight games with his time there ending on a sour note.
Despite the chorus of disapproval from United supporters regarding his imminent arrival, Hockaday has been handed one vote of support by his former chairman at Forest Green, Dale Vince.
Speaking ahead of his likely appointment, Vince, who parted company with Hockaday by mutual consent last autumn said: “I’m absolutely chuffed for David, he’s a top bloke and worked his socks off for FGR, it’s brilliant to see him get this opportunity.”
Former Hull City midfielder Junior Lewis, currently coaching at non-league Hendon, is expected to join Leeds’s backroom staff if Hockaday is appointed.
United start next season with an opening-day trip to Millwall on August 9.

Leeds United: Dave Who? The most obscure of candidates

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/6/14
by Phil Hay
The manager behind Watford’s promotion from the Championship in 2006 was known for a while as ‘Aidy Who?’ The sound of head-scratching accompanied Aidy Boothroyd’s appointment at Vicarage Road but Watford’s punt was vindicated in the end.
Dave Hockaday worked with Boothroyd in that same season, a year when Leeds United were beaten by Watford in the play-off final, and any lessons he learned from Boothroyd’s capacity to surprise will be coming back to him. For the past two weeks, the 56-year-old has been ‘Dave Who?’ - the most obscure candidate for the job of running the senior squad at Leeds.
Hockaday is travelling to Yorkshire by train today with the expectation of becoming Massimo Cellino’s first head coach, or the first to be employed at Elland Road with the Italian’s blessing. United’s owner never warmed to Brian McDermott - too expensive, too tied up in matters away from the training ground, unsuited to Cellino’s model of ownership - but Hockaday is Cellino’s man; albeit his second choice.
Associates of Cellino says his tendency to change his mind overnight is a fundamental trait of the man but all around him were as convinced as they could be yesterday that Hockaday’s appointment would be confirmed this afternoon.
He was recommended to Cellino by one of several agents advising United’s president but the decision asks questions of Cellino’s own rationale. Confusion abounds about Hockaday’s pedigree, his qualifications and his suitability for a post which has eaten far bigger names than him.
When Cellino began looking for McDermott’s replacement, his specification was a coach rather than a manager. At a stroke, that distinction ruled out anyone who saw management as a role overseeing every aspect of a club. Cellino wanted someone to look after his squad, train them and stop at that. The fact that United have been assessing potential signings all summer is adequate evidence that Cellino is adverse to the employment of a coach who needs or demands full control over the transfer policy at Elland Road.
Eamonn Dolan is a coach - the long-serving academy manager at Reading - which is why he came to Cellino’s attention earlier this month. Cellino warmed to Dolan’s credentials and spoke with his brother Pat, the agent who negotiated McDermott’s severance from Leeds. Contact was also made with Reading but Reading’s board were resistant to the idea of losing Dolan. In the view of one of Cellino’s inner circle, the Berkshire club “overplayed their hand” by setting the level of compensation too high and scaring Cellino off at a stroke. Dolan would have cost around £500,000.
Amid those manoeuvres Hockaday was never forgotten. He was a serious option in Cellino’s eyes from the day McDermott left, though Cellino was annoyed to hear of heavy betting on Hockaday in the 24 hours after McDermott’s departure. It was only because of those wagers that Hockaday’s name appeared among the odds and slipped into the press. Google became the media’s friend and his Wikipedia page took a hammering.
As a right-back, Hockaday spent most of his playing career at Blackpool and Swindon. As a coach, he applied himself initially to youth development. Graham Taylor appointed him as Watford’s Under-18s coach in 2000 and Hockaday was promoted to the position of first-team coach in 2005, one of Boothroyd’s right-hand men.
Nigel Gibbs, Leeds’ existing assistant boss, was also part of that coaching team but did not survive for long under Boothroyd, or not as long as Hockaday. Gibbs’ association with Watfordhad spanned 24 years and his sacking was a deeply unpopular move. Gibbs is still employed by United, despite McDermott’s exit, but he was not responsible for recommending of Hockaday to Cellino. Much as Cellino wants Gibbs to remain at Elland Road, it is less than certain that he and Hockaday would be a compatible partnership.
The YEP was told yesterday that Junior Lewis, a coach at non-league Hendon, is a likely addition to United’s backroom team if Hockaday becomes head coach. Both appointments would be as unpredictable as each other, gambles by a club who are used to piling everything on black and losing.
Hockaday’s last job was as manager of Forest Green Rovers, the Conference club based in Gloucestershire. He was rumoured to have one of the biggest budgets in the division but between 2009 and 2013, his squad finished no higher than 10th. They were relegated in 2010 but later reinstated after Salisbury City’s demotion for breaching Conference rules. Last October, Hockaday and Forest Green parted company after seven defeats from eight games. It would not have occurred to him then that Leeds might pick up his CV and run with it.
Hockaday is said to be an ambitious and self-confident man. It takes a certain level of self-confidence to step into the job Cellino is offering him. The social media implosion yesterday was much as it might have been had Twitter existed when Watford took the plunge with Boothroyd. Presenters on Sky Sports News chuckled as the story broke. Hockaday is not an expensive choice but Cellino’s credibility will be heavily invested in him.
For United’s owner, appointing Hockaday ticks a box. That might come as a relief to him when he considers that at the start of this week, Leeds had no head coach, no new signings announced, no pre-season games confirmed and their bank account frozen. But any willingness among the club’s support to be patient with Hockaday and let him crack on is being tempered by the question of why he of all people is coming here; why Cellino sees in Hockaday the top-level potential that few other Football League clubs have identified.
“I won’t make the wrong choice,” Cellino told the YEP last week. “We need to start playing soccer, proper soccer, and we need a coach to make that happen.” If Hockaday does the trick, you can only conclude that Cellino knows far more about this game than any of us.

Leeds United: Freeze on Haigh’s assets extended by Dubai court

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/6/14
An order freezing the global assets of ex-Leeds United director David Haigh was extended by a court in Dubai last night as the 36-year-old neared the end of his fifth week in custody without charge.
Haigh, who is accused of a catalogue of financial irregularities by former Leeds owner Gulf Finance House, saw an interim freezing order put in place for an indefinite period while prosecutors in Dubai decide whether to bring charges against him.
In a separate move Deputy Chief Justice Sir John Chadwick granted a request that shares and assets of Sport Capital – the offshore firm with links to Haigh and which United owe more than £950,000 – should also be frozen.
Last week, the High Court in London ordered Leeds to repay a loan of almost £1m given to the club by Sport Capital in November 2013. United and their Italian owner, Massimo Cellino, disputed the loan but lost their case and were given until next Monday – June 23 – to return Sport Capital’s money.
Leeds are yet to complete payment but are planning to do so before Monday, a day on which the club will seek to have a winding-up petition issued by Sport Capital withdrawn.
GFH is currently attempting to reclaim almost £3m which it accuses Haigh of taking fraudulently through fake invoices created by him during his time as deputy chief executive of GFH Capital, the private equity arm of GFH.
Haigh denies any wrongdoing and planned to file a counter-claim for money he says he is owed by GFH – a sum he claims exceeds the £3m sought by GFH through the civil courts.
Haigh’s lawyer, Bushra Ahmed, was quoted by Arabian Business as saying: “He has no access to his records, he’s under medication at present, the conditions in the prison are – he has no access to pens, he has no access to papers, he is not someone who is concentrating, he is not focused.”
In a statement, GFH Capital said the freezing order against him and Sport Capital had been granted “as a result of allegations of serious fraud and embezzlement and the weight of the supporting (evidence) against Mr Haigh.”
Friends of Haigh say he “vigorously contests” all of GFH’s allegations, some of which relate to the bank’s ownership of Leeds.

Fulham to make an improved £6million bid for Leeds United striker Ross McCormack

Mail 17/6/14
By SIMON JONES
Fulham are poised to make an improved £6million bid for Leeds United striker Ross McCormack.
They previously had a £5m bid rejected on Monday.
Having been relegated from the Premier League at the end of last season, the West London club are hoping to bring in some fresh blood in hope of escape from the Championship at the first time of asking.
Fulham's strikers struggled badly last season, with Dimitar Berbatov leaving in January, and £12million signing Kostas Mitroglou failing to score after being signed as his replacement.
They have now targeted the Scottish international who scored 28 goals in 43 Championship games for Leeds United.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hockaday still favourite to take over at Leeds

Yorkshire Post 17/6/14
Dave Hockaday remains the short-priced favourite to be named as Leeds United’s new head coach, with the club having suffered a fresh blow in their pursuit of Eamonn Dolan.
An unnamed Thai investor is closing in on acquiring Reading and it is expected that Royals academy manager and United target Dolan will be offered a new deal in a bid to keep him in Berkshire.
Reading have been forthright in their desire to keep highly-rated coach Dolan, 46, with director of football Nicky Hammond stating the club’s determination to keep hold of the Irishman in a statement seven days ago in what effectively amounted to a ‘hands-off’ warning.
Dolan has three seasons remaining on his Royals deal and he is now likely to be offered fresh terms by the Berkshire club in a further bid to repel any further potential advances from Leeds. Securing the services of a new head coach is at the top of a lengthy list of priorities for Cellino, now fully concentrating on United business after completing his sale of Cagliari.
Cellino has enquired about Dolan and is also believed to have spoken to Hockaday, 56, who has formerly held coaching roles at the likes of Watford, MK Dons, Southampton and Leicester City.
The Italian has previously confirmed that he will appoint a British coach and not an overseas one, while vowing not to make a ‘wrong choice’ in his appointment.
With Leeds first-team players due to reconvene for the start of pre-season training on June 26, time is of the essence for Cellino in his successful search for a new head coach, with the club also yet to enter the transfer market so far this close season.
Meanwhile, the interim freezing order on all of former United managing director David Haigh’s global assets expires today when the matter is expected to return to court in Dubai.
Earlier this month, a judge granted an interim worldwide freezing order on the assets of the former GFH Capital (GFHC) executive following a hearing at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts.
In the civil case hearing before Deputy Chief Justice Sir John Chadwick, who was presiding via video link from London, lawyers for GFHC also applied for an interim search order on his assets, which was also granted.
GFH is accusing Haigh of creating almost £3m of false invoices during his final 19 months as deputy chief executive of the bank’s private equity arm, GFH Capital.
GFH alleges that Haigh, 36, falsified payments to four separate parties for a range of services, some of them related to his time as managing director at Leeds and GFH’s reign as owner of the club.
Sources close to Haigh have repeatedly stated that he would “vigorously contest every one” of GFH’s claims.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Leeds United braced for fresh offers for talisman skipper Ross

Yorkshire Evening Post 17/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
Leeds United are remaining resolute in their desire to keep star striker and captain Ross McCormack in the wake of stiff interest from Fulham.
United owner Massimo Cellino has reportedly rebuffed a £5m offer for the Scot’s services, although the club did not comment on the reports which surfaced yesterday.
Fulham are expected to maintain their interest in McCormack and are being tipped come back in with an improved offer, with several other clubs watching developments regarding United’s talisman.
Derby County and Norwich City are monitoring the situation, with both in the market for a new striker.
The Rams remain fans of McCormack, but it is unlikely that they will have the financial wherewithal to fund a successful move.
Finance would not be so much of a problem to Norwich, armed with parachute payments, following relegation to the Championship.
Despite signing one forward already this summer already in Bournemouth’s Lewis Grabban, Canaries manager Neil Adams is intent on bringing in another frontman, with the futures of both Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper appearing uncertain.
Meanwhile, released United midfielder Paul Green admits he is in the dark over whether Ipswich Town will make a move for him on a full-time basis – after his loan spell at Portman Road in the second half of last season.
Pontefract-born Green was one of seven senior players released last month along with El-Hadji Diouf, Danny Pugh, Luke Varney, Michael Brown, Adam Drury and Jamie Ashdown.
Green, who recently returned to the UK following international commitments with the Republic of Ireland, is now turning his attentions towards his next move – and has revealed he has already spoken to several clubs, while also disclosing that Ipswich have yet to offer him a permanent deal.
Green impressed at Portman Road during his loan spell, scoring twice in 14 appearances for the club and admits that if Ipswich offered him a contract, it would be represent a considerable attraction with the 31-year-old thoroughly enjoying his time in Suffolk.
He said: “My agent has spoken to Mick (McCarthy), but no offer has been made yet.
“I really enjoyed it at Ipswich and I could see me moving down there, but you never know what is going to happen.
“I have spoken to a couple of other teams, but nothing is certain yet. It’s a case of wait and see, but Ipswich would definitely be at the top of my list.
“Mick (McCarthy) was brilliant and was a big attraction in me going down there, he knows how to get teams out of this division.
“He also creates a great team spirit and I didn’t want the season to end.”
Most clubs return to training early next month and Green admits that getting fixed up with a club prior to the start of pre-season would be his ideal scenario.
He added: “You don’t want to be missing much of pre-season as it’s such an important part of the build-up to the season.
“I remember missing one and you are playing catch-up all the time.
“It would be nice to get something sorted in the next couple of weeks.”

Moritz insists that no deal has been done with Leeds United

Bolton News 16/6/14
ANDRE Moritz has not yet made a decision on his Wanderers future and could still join up with Dougie Freedman’s side at the end of this month for pre-season training.
The Brazilian playmaker has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds United but the player insisted on his official Twitter account tonight that it was not the case.
“For all the people who are asking me, all I can say is that I haven't signed anything yet. Do have a few offers but nothing signed. Thanks,” he wrote.
Sources close to the player also claim he has not turned down the offer tabled by the Whites back in May.
Moritz, who scored seven goals last term, is currently back home with his family mulling over the offer to stay on with Bolton for another year on similar terms to those offered last season.
But while the former Crystal Palace man is understood to be keen on staying in the North West, he would ideally like to find a longer deal and has put the feelers out for other English clubs.
Little is known about the extent of Leeds’ interest – although the West Yorkshire side are likely to have bigger fish to fry as they look to juggle the search for a new manager with their continuing financial issues.
They may soon be in the market for a front man, however, with Fulham, Cardiff and Norwich City said to be keen on last season’s Championship top scorer Ross McCormack.
Freedman has given his blessing to Moritz to take his time on the matter but with a fortnight remaining until his squad assemble again at Euxton for pre-season duties, he will press for a decision soon so he can sign a replacement.
Moritz has spent the last two years in England, having previously played in Turkey and Brazil.
On signing for Wanderers last summer he turned down offers from clubs in China and the USA.

Cardiff plot £9m Ross McCormack transfer after selling him to Leeds for £350k in 2010

Mirror 16/6/14
By Bill Cooper
The Yorkshiremen have rejected £5m bids for their top striker from two Championship rivals but now Bluebirds plan to nearly double that sum.
Cardiff are ready to pay £9million to re-sign striker Ross McCormack - four years after off-loading him to Leeds for just £350,000.
The Bluebirds' boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants McCormack to fire his relegated team back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
And he is set to succeed where Derby and Fulham have failed by making the Elland Road outfit an offer they can’t refuse for their unsettled skipper.
Solskjaer has already made five summer signings - including three strikers in Federico Macheda, Adam Le Fondre and Javi Guerra - as he sets about digging into the £23m parachute payment City are receiving after tumbling out of the top flight.
The Cottagers, who took the drop alongside City, and beaten Championship play-off finalists Derby have both had £5million bids for the 27-year-old rejected by Leeds' new owner Massimo Cellino.
The Italian millionaire will find it tougher to turn down Cardiff’s planned offer for Scotland international McCormack, who bagged 29 goals last season.
The former Rangers marksman, for whom the Bluebirds had a £4m bid turned down in the January transfer window, has notched 58 times in 154 outings for the Yorkshire side overall.
He signed a new £20,000-a-week four-year deal only 10 months ago, but has become restless following the sacking of manager Brian McDermott last month.
Now he is set to join the Solskjaer revolution in Wales, with Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman admitting:”One of the criticisms we had last season was the fact we didn’t have enough firepower up front.
“Our owner, Vincent Tan, is prepared to pull his chequebook out and support these things. That shows the determination we have to come back from last year’s disappointment.”
Macheda and Guerra have arrived on free transfers from Manchester United and Spanish side Real Valladolid respectively, while Le Fondre cost £1million from Championship rivals Reading.

Leeds United face uphill battle in quest to appoint Dolan

Yorkshire Evening Post 16/6/14
by Leon Wobschall
LEEDS UNITED face an uphill battle in their quest to appoint Eamonn Dolan as head coach, with Reading’s prospective new owner expected to offer him a new deal.
An unnamed Thai investor is believed to be close to acquiring the Berkshire club, who have been attempting to find a new buyer since last October with their majority shareholder Anton Zingarevich standing down from the Royals board earlier this month.
Last week, Reading issued a hands-off warning to Leeds regarding Dolan following an enquiry from United owner Massimo Cellino, now back in the UK after completing the sale of Cagliari.
Dolan, 46, is the twin brother of Pat Dolan, the agent of former United boss Brian McDermott who helped to negotiate his severance with Leeds.
He is believed to be contracted at Reading until 2017, but it now appears likely that he will be offered fresh terms by the Royals, whose advisors Begbies Traynor and Vibrac have agreed an exclusivity arrangement with the Thai individual.
A deal to purchase the club could be finalised within a week.
Former Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday remains the short-priced bookies favourite to become the new head coach at United.
Cellino had also gone on record to state that he wants Nigel Gibbs – United’s assistant manager under McDermott – to remain with the club next season and play a role within the coaching staff, but his future remains unclear.

Leeds United seek £2.5m from force over matchday policing

Yorkshire Post 16/6/14
LEEDS United are seeking more than £2.5 million from West Yorkshire Police after winning an Appeal Court fight over the costs of matchday policing.
The club, which objected to having to contribute to policing costs in an “extended footprint” around its Elland Road stadium, emerged victorious from a marathon court battle against the force last year.
Leeds secured a ruling that it was only liable for the costs of officers deployed inside the ground, having successfully argued that hundreds of officers involved in crowd control around the stadium were only doing their public duty.
Today, the club’s lawyers arrived at the High Court in London, seeking to claw back £2,520,294 from the force, saying that was the amount of the policing over-charge, including interest, between 2008 and last year.
However, the force’s legal team are fighting the case every inch of the way.
Michael Beloff QC, for the club, insisted that its calculations were based on sums that were “actually charged for actual policing deployed” before the force adopted a controversial new method of totting up matchday policing costs.
However, John Beggs QC, for the Chief Constable, was equally adamant that the right way to calculate the sum due was to work out the cost of policing land not owned by the club and refund that amount.
In the Appeal Court last year, The Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, handing victory to the club, said football supporters “do not lose their status as members of the public when they come to a match. They are entitled to police protection when they come to a match.”
“The police have a duty to maintain law and order and to protect them and their property when they approach and leave the stadium....the policing of the extended footprint on matchdays is provided in order to maintain law and order and protect life and property in a public place.”
The High Court hearing is set to last two days.

Leeds United Look Towards Young Inter Goalkeeper as Summer Addition

Inside Futbol 16/6/14
Leeds United are tracking young Inter goalkeeper Raffaele Di Gennaro, who may be Nicola Salerno's first present if he joins the Yorkshire giants.
Salerno is poised to leave Cagliari after Leeds owner Massimo Cellino sold the club to former Inter board member Tommaso Giulini.
The sporting director has two options: join his old boss Cellino at Leeds, or take up an offer from Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini to remain in Sicily.
Leeds are already looking at summer signings and young shot-stopper Di Gennaro is favoured by Salerno.

And the 20-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Cittadella, could well move to Leeds this summer, according to Sky Italia.
Di Gennaro is an Italy Under-20 international and highly-rated within his homeland.
The custodian clocked up valuable playing time in Serie B last season, making 39 appearances for Cittadella and conceding 47 goals, with 12 clean sheets earned.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fulham up the ante in bid to snatch McCormack from Leeds

Yorkshire Post 16/6/14
FULHAM ARE expected to step up their pursuit of Leeds United skipper Ross McCormack this week.
The Londoners are believed to have tabled a £5m bid for the Scottish international late last week, which is expected to be rebuffed by United.
But the Craven Cottage outfit, who are currently embarking on a major rehaul of their squad in the wake of relegation to the Championship after 13 seasons in the top-flight, are reportedly ready to return with another bid if, as expected, their initial offer is rejected.
Fulham boss Felix Magath has shown the door to a number of senior players including Steve Sidwell, John-Arne Riise and John Heitinga.
After getting a number of high-earners off their wage bill, Magath is now targetting some incoming activity ahead of the start of pre-season next month.
United owner Massimo Cellino, who returned to the UK last night, is now expected to address the issue regarding McCormack.
Newcastle United made an enquiry about the 27-year-old Scot a few weeks ago with Norwich City, Derby County, Cardiff City having also been linked with United’s talisman.
Also high on Cellino’s agenda is resolving his search for a new head coach, which has run into a third week.
Having sold Cagliari last week, the Italian is now keen to resolve the head coach issue, having previously pledged that the successful candidate will be British.
The names at the head of the list remain former Forest Green boss Dave Hockaday and Reading academy boss Eamonn Dolan.
Reading issued a hands-off warning to Leeds regarding Dolan last week and are keen to retain the Irishman.
Any compensation involved in potentially taking highly-regarded coach Dolan, under contract at the Madejski Stadium, to Elland Road, would run into six figures.
Meanwhile, reports in Italy have suggested that outgoing Cagliari sporting director Nicola Salerno – tipped to link up with Cellino at Elland Road – is likely to join Palermo.
Salerno’s contract at Cagliari expires on June 30 and Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini is confident he will be able to entice Salerno to the Serie A newcomers following their promotion from Serie B last term.

Leeds to reject Fulham's £5m offer for Ross McCormack as club gets set to talk further with possible boss David Hockaday

Mail 16/6/14
By SIMON JONES
Leeds United will reject Fulham's £5million bid for striker Ross McCormack but expect counter offers from Norwich and Derby on Monday.
Fulham, keen to boost their squad with proven Championship experience after relegation from the Premier League, made their bid on Thursday but Leeds value the Scotland forward at around £8m.
McCormack, 27, was the Championship's top scorer last season with 28 goals and has attracted interest from a number of clubs but Elland Road are refusing to give him up easily.
Meanwhile, Leeds are to hold further talks with Dave Hockaday about becoming manager.
The former boss of Conference Premier side Forest Green was considered a dark horse to replace Brian McDermott but has firmed as one of the favourites.
McDermott, who took over from Neil Warnock in 2013 after he was sacked by Reading, left by mutual consent manager after the arrival of new owner Massimo Cellino.
Hockaday was a right back for Blackpool, Hull City, Shrewsbury Town, Stoke City and Swindon Town.
His coaching credentials included working as Watford's assistant manager as a coach for Southampton and Leicester.

Cagliari newspaper: Six players could join Leeds United

Here is the City 14/6/14
Stephen Pickering
Reports from a local Sardinian newspaper indicates Leeds United could sign up to six Cagliari players.
According to Sardinian newspaper La Nuova Sardegna, Leeds United could sign up six Cagliari players this summer as an article, which involved questions put to the new Cagliari owner Tommasso Guilini, stated that a number of players could be leaving the club.
The report states: For the rest, we don't know the future of Pinilla [contract expiring in 2015] and Ibarbo. But even Murru, Avelar, Ibraimi, Nene, Del Fabro could be going, maybe in the direction of Leeds. Even Eriksson - who started yesterday at the Villa Stuart [Rome], physical therapy after surgery for reconstruction of the cruciate ligament, and will return to the field for mid-October - could end up in Yorkshire.
The six players indicated to be wanted by Leeds United will come as no surprise to supporters who were expecting Cellino to call on his Italian links to help rebuild the club for next season. However, apart from Del Fabro and Seb Eriksson, the names are relatively new links to the Yorkshire club.
So who are they?
Left back - Nicola Murru, 19, is an Italian youth international, like Del Fabro, and has played 23-times for Cagliari since 2011. In fact, his last international call-up was in April this year for the Italian U-21s, which indicates he would come in with a very good reputation.
Left back - Danilo Avelar, 25, is of Brazilian nationality and has played in Brazil, Ukraine, Germany and Italy since 2010, which includes a stint at Bundesliga side Schakle 04.
Winger - Agrim Ibraimi, 25, is a Macedonia international and one of the more experienced players out of the six listed. He, like Avelar, has played in a number of different countries and leagues including Slovenia and Austria.
Striker - Nene, 30, is a former Boca Junior player and is by far the most experienced player on the list. In five years at Cagliari, he has played 124-games and scored 23 goals.
Centre back - Dario Del Fabro, 19, is a highly-rated Italian youth international and a graduate through the Cagliari youth system. He has played a handful of games for the first-team, but has struggled to hold down a first-team place.
Centre midfielder - Sebastian Eriksson, 25, is a Swedish international with a very good pedigree, but faces a long injury lay-off. Although he would prove to be a big signing for Leeds, he may have to wait until January for his move.
The six players seem to blend between talented youth players, like Del Fabro and Murru, and proven experienced players, like Eriksson and Nene, which could prove a shrewd move by Cellino.
Daniele Cacia is expected to be the first player through the door with Italian links, but it looks likely more could follow. It has been well-documented that this could be the case following Cellino's takeover and next season could prove to be a mixed-bag for Leeds United fans.