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Now Cellino blames his lawyers
Friday, 15th Apr 2016 17:45 by Tim Whelan

Now Massimo Cellino is blaming his lawyers for the outcome the sex discrimination tribunal which as they should have called him to testify, and that they convinced him it was a “simple case.”

Yesterday as statement on club’s official website complained that “the tribunal chairman wilfully chose to publish to the attending press hearsay evidence of an alleged conversation between Mr Cellino and a third party, in which sexist remarks were alleged to have been made by Mr Cellino. Mr Cellino was not in court, nor was he a party in the case.

However, Mr Cellino categorically denies making the statement, which has since dominated the media coverage of the hearing, and would like to make it clear that such a statement does not represent his views of women in football whatsoever.”

But Cellino didn’t deny any of the other conclusions reached by the tribunal. That Lucy Ward was dismissed because she was Neil Redfearn’s partner, that the club falsely tried to portray her as aggressive, controlling, manipulative, or that the whole affair was “an utter, total shambles”, in the words of presiding Judge Stephen Keevash.

Cellino hasn’t bothered to deny any of that, because he regards the legal consequences and subsequent costs of Lucy Ward’s unfair dismissal as "not a big deal." He told the Independent "I didn't follow [it] actually. It was not an important thing. We are talking about some kind of revenge from an employee who has been fired.”

“The only thing is I’m very disappointed [about] is that I never said anything about what has come out about women. [That comment] is a very disrespectful thing [to] my mother and my daughter and my wife. It means I have no consideration and no respect. Women and children are the most important thing. I think they deserve respect. That’s why that [comment] hurts me."

Leeds United Ladies’ manager Gary Cooper has alleged that Cellino told him that women belong in the bedroom or the beauticians rather than in football, at a meeting in May 2014 when Cooper was chairman of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust. And Cooper is sticking to his side of the story, posting “You made those comments to me Massimo, if I am lying why don’t you sue me?” on his Facebook account today.

The Football Association has been aware of the circumstances of Ms Ward’s dismissal for months, but weren’t able to take action ahead of the employment tribunal. But with they are now FA preparing to contact Ms Ward to see if she wishes to pursue the matter formally with them.

Although the club statement may have denied that Cellino was a party in this case, we all know that very little is done behind the scenes at Elland Road or Thorp Arch that doesn’t meet with his personal approval. So much as Cellino may think the tribunal was no big deal, the chances are that it will come back to haunt him some time soon.


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