By Harvey Byrne

Neil Redfearn has recalled the moment he received an angry call from Leeds owner Massimo Cellino after he decided to go with four centre-backs in his side before a clash against Ipswich.

The 51-year-old was manager of the Yorkshire giants for six months after Darko Milanic was sacked in 2014.

He had previously had spells as the caretaker boss three times, stepping in when Neil Warnock, Brian McDermott and Dave Hockaday all lost their roles at the club and he had finally been given the chance to manage permanently.

However, working under controversial chairman Cellino made sure his job in charge wasn’t easy.

The boss named centre-backs Scott Wooton, Giuseppe Bellusci, Sol Bamba and Liam Cooper across his back four in the lead up in a tie against the Tractor Boys, which angered the Italian owner.

“For a home match with Ipswich, I decided to go with four central defenders,” said Redfearn to November’s edition of FourFourTwo on page 81.”We were working on our shape on the Friday morning before the game, and in the afternoon I got the call from Miami: ‘Four centre-backs? What the hell are you doing?!’

“It was like the Chuckle Brothers – I had to hold the phone at arm’s length as he was shouting so much. We won 2-1. I didn’t hear about it again.”


Cellino had been banned by the Football League, after he was found guilty of tax evasion in Italy and was staying in Miami at the time, keeping his strong influence at the club.

The 60-year-old owner is currently the subject of an FA inquiry into allegations that he agreed an illegal payment of £185,000 during the transfer of Ross McCormack to Fulham.

He was also recently filmed by the Telegraph offering undercover reporters posing as an investment firm a way to circumvent FA and Fifa third-party ownership rules.

However, he has since denied his involvement.

In other Leeds news, Redfearn has recalled the moment he received a “bizarre” text message from Leeds owner Massimo Cellino in the build-up to a tie against Brighton.