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Leeds crisis puts player pay in jeopardy

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Leeds United manager Brian McDermott. Picture credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott. Picture credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott. Picture credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

LEEDS manager Brian McDermott has not been given any assurances by owner Gulf Finance House Capital that his players will be paid this month.

McDermott told a press conference yesterday that he had not sought any either, but admitted after Tuesday night's 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth that "all the talk of who's going to be in (as owner), talk of who's going to be paid" had been distracting his players.

GFH Capital and prospective owner Massimo Cellino have been reported to be arguing over who will fund the wage bill for March after the English Football League blocked the Italian's £25million takeover bid this week.

When it was suggested his players would be unable to focus on tomorrow's home league game against Doncaster if they had not been paid, McDermott said: "That's a hypothetical question, I can't answer that.

"I expect my players to be thoroughly professional and ready to play, whatever the circumstances and get the right result."

McDermott added: "I'm not looking to get assurances. I've never had that at Reading or anywhere else I've worked.

"The answer to the question is do I need those assurances? And since I got here in April we've been paid every single month."

APPEALED

Football League sources confirmed yesterday that Cellino has formally appealed against the Football League's decision to block him from buying a majority stake in Leeds.

The appeal will be heard by an independent QC and is expected to take place within the next two weeks.

Cellino was disqualified under the League's owners' and directors' test this week after being convicted in a Sardinia court of failing to pay import duties on his luxury yacht.

He was fined £500,800 and had the vessel confiscated, but his legal team have confirmed they are appealing against the court's verdict and that, under Italian law, he is treated as innocent until proven guilty.

GFH Capital exchanged contracts to sell 75pc of the club's shares to Cellino's company, Eleonora Sport, in February.

Bahrain-based investment firm GFH Capital confirmed on Monday that it is still in talks with the Football League and Eleonora Sport in a bid "to find a solution that is suitable to all parties".


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