By Alex Stevens
Massimo Cellino has finally stumped up the legal costs for Lucy Ward a year after she won her case for sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal against the club, according to a report.
The Independent claim that at the turn of the year the controversial Italian owner of the Yorkshire giants had still not got round to paying Ward’s tribunal lawyers their £70,000 legal costs despite bring ordered to do so by a panel.
It is said that the sum has now finally been settled but Cellino is unrepentant and has made no attempt to apologise to Ward despite the damning findings from the three-day tribunal.
Ward, who was the welfare and education officer at the Leeds academy for 11 years, is struggling to get back in football a year after her tribunal triumph.
The tribunal found she was highly thought of at Leeds, where she oversaw the development of around 250 young players, including James Milner, Fabian Delph and Sam Byram.
By contrast, the tribunal panel found that Leeds behaved in an “oppressive” and “high handed” manner in getting Ward out of the door as Cellino sought to remove her at the same time as her partner Neil Redfearn, the former first-team manager and academy chief.
Cellino has subsequently sold 50 per cent of Leeds to fellow Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani and has also been hit with an 18-month ban from football for tax evasion.
The other two individuals who oversaw her sacking, former club secretary Stuart Hayton and ex-chief executive Adam Pearson, are now in senior roles at Ipswich and Hull respectively.
Meanwhile, Garry Monk’s side remain on course for a place in the end-of-season play-offs despite consecutive Championship defeats at the hands of Brentford and Reading.
They are fifth in the second-tier table, five points ahead of Fulham in seventh, with six matches of the campaign remaining.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club have sealed an out-of-window midfielder transfer.