Transfer deadline day is usually a pretty quiet affair for Leeds fans, but this night five years ago was a bit different, and not in a good way. It all started off with Leeds rejecting a bid for captain Ross McCormack from Cardiff City.
McCormack then went on Sky Sports News to pledge his future to the club and said; "I am really happy at Leeds and look forward to staying at the club. I'm club captain and I look forward to continue playing at the club under Brian McDermott for the rest of the season." The news then broke that manager Brian McDermott had been sacked by Massimo Cellino, who was at the ground in discussions with GFH to complete his takeover. McCormack took to Sky Sports again, this time ranting…
The club have decided to sack him unfortunately. Yeah he's gone, he called me up earlier and told me he was gone. It's hard times at the club. To be honest I'm absolutely gutted. I had a really close relationship with the manager, as you know he made me the club captain recently, and I said about a couple of hours ago, I was looking forward to continuing to work with Leeds United and Brian McDermott. Obviously things have changed a lot quicker than people imagine. I'm very happy and content at the club, but I think part of that was Brian McDermott and obviously if I had known earlier on that this was going to happen, I would have a right decision to make.
With no official information coming out of the club fans gathered at Elland Road stopping Massimo Cellino leaving the ground without speaking with the fans. Supporters blocked the exits when he tried to leave via taxi, the poor Stanningley Cars driver driving between different exists as supporters followed. Cellino eventually left the ground escorted by the police. Club sponsors Enterprise Insurance and Flamingo Land also took to Sky Sports to say that they were investigating terminating their sponsorship deals following the treatment of McDermott.
And now here we are five years later. Top of the table with our best chance of promotion in years, signing players from Real Madrid and prising young starlets away from our Championship rivals. We have a sane owner, a superb backroom staff and one of the most influential and inspirational managers in football. Elland Road is full and buzzing again and there is a real optimism around the club. The Bates, GFH and Cellino years were hard but we are in a good place now, the future looks bright. But that transfer deadline day five years ago is a reminder of how surreal and bad things have been and just how far we have come.