sport

Cellino opts for tough choices

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino insists he is taking tough decisions for the good of the club following his recent takeover.

Cellino has embarked on an extensive cost-cutting exercise at Elland Road in preparation for next season.

His company Eleonora Sports completed its takeover April 7 and is now considering the future of the club's costly Thorp Arch training complex.

United's accounts for 2012-13, published last month, showed a loss of 9.5m for the year, and Cellino has revealed daily running costs were over 100,000 with the club understood to be losing 1m a month.

"Sometimes, if you want to make something important, if you take the easy way, the downhill way you will get somewhere," the Italian said in his first interview with the club's TV channel.

"It seems good and faster, but it won't be important. But if you take the hard way, the uphill way, it's going to be hard, but when you get there you will get something very important and very big.

"I choose the uphill way because I'm a little strange. I'm not normal. I always look for trouble. I'm a trouble-maker like I was when I was a kid and I've not changed, unfortunately.

"I must apologise for that publicly, because I know that I'm a trouble-maker. But I'm a trouble-maker in a good way. I ask the people to excuse me for that and try to understand me.

"Everything I do, I do in good faith."

The Italian took the decision to close Thorp Arch during the summer in a bid to save money and has since hinted the club may seek an alternative solution to returning to their long-standing training base.

"At this stage I don't know what we will do," Cellino said in the Yorkshire Post. "I cannot say 'yes, we will stay at the training ground' because that is not certain. But I can't say 'no we won't' either. I must look at it and decide.

"I need to think about at the money and say 'can we afford the training ground?' If we can then we go back. If we can't afford it then we can't keep on using it. It costs about 2.5m and it's too expensive.

"I will speak to the landlord to see if we can save some money because if we can't afford the training ground, we have a problem and we can't use it. We can use it at the right price."