The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Leeds fires manager Brian McDermott in wake of takeover of club by Italian businessman

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LEEDS, England - Fallen English power Leeds has fired manager Brian McDermott in the wake of a takeover of the second-tier English club by Italian businessman Massimo Cellino.

McDermott left the club late Friday, 13 months into a three-year contract, with Cellino saying the coach had been "very understanding of my wish to implement a new structure."

Leeds finished 15th in the 24-team League Championship at the end of a difficult season marred by takeover speculation. The team, which hasn't been in the Premier League since 2004, won the English top-flight title in 1992 and reached the Champions League semifinals in 2001 before falling into financial difficulties.

McDermott says he respected Cellino's desire to "bring a new energy to the club" so it can get back to "fighting for trophies and competing at the top table of English and European football."

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