Phil Hay: Quiet Cellino suggests Leeds United sale

By Alex Miller

Yorkshire Evening Post chief football correspondent Phil Hay has questioned the motives behind Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino’s backseat approach this season.

The unpredictable Italian has received praise for a hands off approach that has helped his club reach their highest league position since he bought the club in January 2014.

Speaking ahead of his appearance at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week, Phil admitted he has suspicions over whether the unpredictable Italian is taking a back seat merely in an attempt to sell part of the Elland Road side.

He said: “There has been a lot of talk recently about the prospect of him selling some stake in the club, whether it be majority or minority.

“We know that he’s in talks with the Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani, the man who founded MP & Silva, the big global sports media company.

“As far as we can tell that is still on going and you do wonder to some extent whether Cellino is keeping quiet because the negotiations on that front are requiring him to.”

Phil reserved praise for head coach Garry Monk and admitted that whatever the reasons are behind Cellino keeping his council, it is helping the club progress.

“For the first time he’s taken a backseat in that he’s letting other people do their jobs.

“He’s appointed a head coach and pretty much given him autonomy to get on with it and do what he wants to do without interfering.

“When you look at it like it doesn’t come as a great surprise that they’re performing better than they have in the past.”

Phil, who has followed the Whites home and away since he became the paper’s chief football correspondent in 2006, said he was looking forward to speaking to students at the university on Friday 18 November, and admitted that whilst times are hard for new starters in the industry, getting a sound base of experience is the key to success.

Phil added: “The more you can do, the more you can build up your cuttings, the more you can work in that environment and get used to it, the more you have to show for yourself at interviews when you go to get into sports journalism.

“The Evening Post do week long work experience programmes right through the year and everybody is very welcome to apply for that.

“You need to make yourself competitive, you need to get plenty under your belt and the better you can do, the better you’ll be for it.

“Work experience is crucial, if you can do that you can get your foot in the door at a number of places and that really won’t hurt you.”

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