First is was the now-infamous poster that appeared outside Elland Road’s East Stand that kicked it all off. This was taken down by the advertising company on advice from solicitors Ward Hadaway, who were instructed by Leeds United.
Then there was news this morning that there has been a £3,000 war chest funded via Leeds United fans’ contributions to allow a wider anti-Massimo campaign to be instigated. But the blitzkreig doesn’t stop there, no sir, it doesn’t stop there.
Now there threatens to be ‘Lettergate’, thanks to Canada-based Leeds United fan and blogger Simon O’Rourke and a missive that he has fired off to Massimo Cellino to express his concerns.
O’Rourke, irked at the ease with which he can garner information from ‘sources close to Elland Road’ has taken it upon himself to take up his electronic quill and to fire off a lengthy missive that sets forth his misgivings about just what information he has access to. In his letter (displayed above), O’Rourke says that, talking about his contributions to the website/blog 2,900 Miles, “I was able to gather information from within the club on a whim.” It is this ease of access that has worried him and forms the backbone and raison d’etre behind his scripting and firing off of a ‘Letter to Massimo’.
Leeds fan and blogger threatens to unleash O’Rourke-Gate on Elland Road – excerpts from ‘Letter to Massimo’.
Here’s a few things that Simon O’Rourke wants to bring to the attention of Leeds United’s autocratic owner Massimo Cellino.
On Cellino refinng the job descriptions at Elland Road: “I shouldn’t know that when Leeds United visited Italy for a pre-season trip, you called one of your employees back from the trip and told him his job was “to clean your fucking shoes, nothing more.” That employee, by the wa, still works for you.”
On Cellino meeting Red Bull and tlak of a sale: “I shouldn’t know that you met Red Bull (of all companies!) on several occasions, discussing the proposed sale of Leeds United, all the while telling the press that anyone claiming these talks were taking place was crazy.”
On claims of managers wanting rid of players: “I shouldn’t know that Uwe Rosler came to you before the start of the season and begged you to get rid of Giuseppe Bellusci, citing him as a trouble maker, and bad influence on the youngsters at Leeds United.”
On arguing a case against supposed nepotistic appointments at Elland Road: “I should not know that a supporter who has worked tirelessly to show a “Pro Cellino” argument online and deliberately share misinformation as truth (via social media, and the local paper) is also an indirect employee of yours. Your friend Terry George, is appearently the one who hired him.”
O’Rourke also goes on to build a semantic field centred around the concept of ‘sickness’ when he references a conversation he had on May 2, 2015 with then Leeds United chairman Andrew Umbers and representatives of Massimo Cellino’s legal team. O’Rourke says that Umbers told him that Leeds United “was sick” and intimated that Cellino was a “surgeon” and the “one to rid Leeds United of the sickness”.
This analogy is then continued, only for the writer to turn on his intended reader with the phrase, “I propose that instead of being the surgeon that will cut the sickness from Leeds United, you have become the sickness, even if by accident. Your employees are afraid of you, sponsors are few and far between for a reason, and the finances are no better off than they were when you acquired 75% of the club for eleven million pounds plus twenty four million pounds in debt (which the club is responsible for, not you.)”
There is more, but the above pretty much sums up what could be the next thing that Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has to put up with as Leeds fans find other ways to express their disatisfaction at the way that they feel he is driving the club to dark places that many fear it will never recover from.