Garry Monk has turned down a 12-month extension at Leeds United
It was Cellino who, after getting rid of his sixthth manager last summer, decided to bring in Monk.
It was the correct appointment. A hungry manager for a hungry team.
But Cellino was foolish enough to hand the former Swansea boss a one-year contract and think nothing of it.
In English football a one-year contract means nothing. It’s almost offensive.
Monk, without another offer, must have felt undervalued. But it was not surprising that Cellino did the deal. After all, firing managers two months into every new season is expensive. As early as October – just eight games into the Championship campaign – and Monk was under pressure.
Cellino witheringly backed the manager but on his past record the danger of the axe was always looming over Monk.
Massimo Cellino brought Garry Monk in on an initial one-year deal
Which is why Monk’s departure today is not surprising.
After a year of relative calm at Elland Road the dust has once again been kicked up.
Cellino’s sale of the club to Andrea Radrizzani can be largely seen as a good thing. Many feel Cellino’s three-year dictatorship of the club was going nowhere and that it was only Monk’s brilliance as a manager that kept Leeds far away from another relegation battle.
Radrizzani’s arrival only threatens to spoil what Monk had built – and the manager knows it. Once again he would have faced a new season with the threat of the sack.
By offering Monk an initial 12-month deal, Cellino was effectively telling the 38-year-old he was disposable.
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So why should Monk, when the club faces the uncertainly of another new owner, feel like that will be any different under Radrizzani?
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And, more to the point, why should he feel he owes the new owner anything, especially when he could be unemployed with little compensation to show for it midway through next term?
Monk is right to reject Radrizzani’s offer of a 12-month contract – an intention Leeds made public just two days ago when the Italian bought Cellino’s remaining shares.
Garry Monk's departure at Leeds United can be blamed solely on Massimo Cellino
It’s an embarrassment that a club with such dreams, such hopes, having achieved what they did this season, would do that.
Monk’s stock is high. This season has given him bargaining power, which only strengthens when the Sunderland and Crystal Palace jobs become available.
He should have been offered a three-year deal and promised investment to build a squad. That’s what managers are responsive to. The idea of a project going forward, not a patchwork scramble. It suggests the owner himself is only there for the quick buck, the short term. Monk could have been Leeds’ manager in the Premier League and done well at that.
But no. This is Leeds after all and simple doesn’t cut it.
Leeds United fans have craved a return to the Premier League for over a decade now. It’s been a struggle enough as it is. Today has put that dream further out of reach.