Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Final word on Warnock's PFA complaint (hopefully) and what Cellino will do while he's banned

This might not seem the most relevant matter at the moment, but I thought I'd tie up a loose end.

A few months ago I wrote that Stephen Warnock had complained to the PFA about being frozen out of the Leeds United team.

Warnock denied this and there was a bit of confusion, as the player is represented by the PFA as an agent (they offer this service and I'm always surprised that more players don't take it up).

Anyway, yesterday Cellino said that Warnock HAD indeed complained to the PFA.

There had been well-documented friction between the pair for a while.

The straw that broke the camel's back came after the Watford game, when Warnock wanted to make his own way back to Liverpool with a friend, rather than getting on the team bus.

Cellino says he wasn't happy with this at all, after a thumping defeat, and ordered the player back on the bus.

Subsequently Warnock - who had already been to see the president with his agent to ask whether he was being left out of the team because the Italian didn't like him - asked the PFA whether the owner was allowed to make him go on the bus.

This eventually blew over and Warnock even went on to take the captain's armband, but there was friction between the pair for some time afterwards.

Cellino says he places great store on team harmony and togetherness. Indeed he pays for the players to stay in a hotel - at a cost of £20,000 so far this season, he says - before every home game, which is quite unusual.

And what will he do while he's banned?

"How will I spend the next two months? Going to games all over the country, watching players," he said.

"When I came in I didn't know enough of the players in England. I was lucky to see a good player like (Liam) Cooper in a pre-season friendly, but I didn't know enough of them.

"I like to see players with my own eyes before I sign them. I don't rely on agents. You see how many good players I will find."

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