This article is part of Football League World’s ‘EFL Archives’ series, where we look back on a key moment in the EFL’s history, assess what happened and what followed…
After a long 16 years outside the Premier League, Leeds United are revelling on their top-flight return.
Leeds have 10 points from their opening six fixtures and look at home back in the top-tier.
However, not too long ago they were a club seemingly destined to spend their days in the EFL. In fact, it wasn’t until Andrea Radrizzani’s takeover that the Whites truly started to believe.
Quiz: Do Huddersfield Town and Leeds United have these 10 things in common?
Prior to Radrizzani, Leeds were a little bit of a circus. Ran by Massimo Cellino and a laughing stock of the Football League.
Cellino’s spell as Leeds’ owner saw seven head-coaches pass through Elland Road, with Darko Milanic breaking the club’s record for the shortest reign of any permanent manager.
That brings us to this episode of the FLW Archives where we take a look at Milanic’s ill-fated 32 days at Elland Road.
Darko Milanic at Leeds
Dave Hockaday came and went within the first month of the 2014/15 Championship season, with Leeds struggling.
Neil Redfearn steadied the ship and should have, arguably, landed the job on a permanent basis. However, Cellino had other ideas and swooped for Milanic, bringing him in from Austrian side, Sturm Graz.
The Slovenian got off to a poor start, losing his first game 2-0 at Brentford.
Back-to-back draws at Elland Road followed, with Leeds held by both Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. Rotherham United then came from behind to beat Leeds and hand Milanic a second defeat.
A decent point at Norwich followed, but another collapse – this time against Wolves – on October 25th was the final nail in the coffin for Milanic at Elland Road. Cellino pulled the trigger shortly after full-time, just six games into Milanic’s spell.
As he maybe should have done prior to Milanic’s appointment, Redfearn took the permanent job and guided Leeds to 15th.
That wasn’t enough to keep him in the role, with Uwe Rosler and Steve Evans Cellino’s ‘watermelons’ in 2015/16.
Garry Monk led Leeds to seventh in 2016/17, with Radrizzani then taking full control from Cellino.
Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom proved Radrizzani isn’t perfect, but then he stumbled upon Marcelo Bielsa. He delivered promotion in his second season at Elland Road, with Leeds turning their back on the EFL in the summer of 2020.
Milanic’s 32 days are now a distant memory, but they represent a remarkable period of EFL history where controversy was around every corner at Elland Road.