Sacked on Friday, back on Monday – Brian McDermott will continue as Leeds United manager.
It appeared on Friday evening that McDermott had been relieved of his tenure by new owner Massimo Cellino – before the Italian businessman’s takeover bid had been finalised and approved by the Football League.
McDermott received a call from Cellino’s lawyer to inform him of the news, and was told that he would receive a formal letter the next day.
But on Saturday morning he instead was called by GFH – the outgoing owner of Leeds United – to say that he was still in charge.
And by Monday morning, McDermott had completed a full-loop and faced the press – once again as manager of Leeds.
“As far as I’m concerned, I spoke to GFH, who are the owners of the football club, and I’ve had certain reassurances about my future,” said McDermott.
“The running of the football club is down to me.”
When asked if he still wanted to remain at the club – after the attempted sacking – McDermott was adamant that Elland Road was where he belonged.
“This is Leeds United. I’m Leeds United manager, and I want to be Leeds United manager,” he said.
“A lot of really important people in the game have said ‘you shouldn’t go back.’”
The reaction from the club on Saturday – when Leeds thumped Huddersfield 5-1 – sent a strong message of unity to the embattled McDermott.
“I was completely proud of all the players, the staff and the fans. They all pulled together on Saturday … that’s why I’m back,” continued the 52-year-old.
“The fans are a class act – it’s their football club, it doesn’t belong to anyone but them. Whoever takes this club on has to have them first and foremost in their minds. Nothing else matters.”
According to Cellino, McDermott was never sacked, and the whole thing was the fault of GFH.
“I want the coach back and have been trying to call him. I don’t mind this coach. How can I sack anyone anyway? I need the approval of the Football League before I own the club,” he said on Monday morning.
“GFH are still running Leeds United. They did not want Brian as manager but didn’t have the courage to sack him.”
And to further divert the blame, GFH had nothing to do with McDermott’s dismissal, according to GFH Capital executive Salem Patel.
“I was at home on Friday night and my wife started reading Twitter reports that Brian had been sacked,” said Patel.
“To be honest, I was shocked. I thought at least I would be privy to that information if it was going to happen. I called the chairman and he was equally surprised by the news.
“I called Brian and told him it was not something that was authorised by us. As soon as we found out, we reacted.”
Regardless of who tried to get rid of him, McDermott won’t be holding any grudges, but rather focusing on reaching the play-offs with his eleventh-placed Leeds .
“I don’t hold grudges and I don’t go around being disappointed,” he said.
“It would have been very, very easy for me to walk away and that would have been the advice of an awful lot of people but in my mind there was no way I was ever going to be walking away from this job.
“Why would you walk away from being Leeds United manager? It just doesn’t make any sense.
“All it’s done for me is it’s given me more drive, the staff more drive, the players more drive and all of this coming together with the fans.”