Cellino: Players must live in Leeds

Cellino: Players must live in Leeds

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has told his players it is “mandatory” they live in the city.

The 57-year-old took control in April after successfully winning his appeal against the Football League’s decision to block his takeover and he quickly set about changing the club from top to bottom.

Brian McDermott, who was sacked in January only to be reinstated, left the club by mutual consent and was replaced by little-known former Forest Green manager Dave Hockaday.

Cellino also closed Leeds’ training complex at Thorp Arch down for six weeks to cut costs and asked the players to bring their own lunches once the site was reopened.

Now, in an attempt to ensure the squad is close-knit and prevent tardiness, the Italian plans to introduce a rule that will dictate where the players can live.

“Next season I do not want one single player who lives outside of Leeds, no way. That is mandatory,” Cellino told BBC Radio Leeds.

“Last year there were players who were coming late to games.

“Next year before a home game the players will stay together, have dinner together and go to the game together.

“I found out that most of the games that are close to Leeds we go to by bus, but we don’t have our own. Why not? I would love to have a Leeds bus and I am going to buy one.”

In the same interview, Cellino claimed the Whites were debt-free and that he has done a deal with previous owners GFH Capital, who still have a 25 per cent share in the club, which will help release cash to buy Elland Road back.

“There is no debt any more and we have found a deal with GFH and I am glad for that,” he added.

“We are close to raising £30million of capital and that is without the money we got for (Ross) McCormack. We did not budget for his sale because we did not want him to go.

“The decision to buy back the stadium had been made before Ross was sold but now we can use that money for the deal. We want to take back our house.”

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