Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has confirmed the club is not for sale as doubts continue to persist regarding the long-term future of current head coach Neil Redfearn.
The status of the Championship outfit had once again been subject to uncertainty over recent months, with Cellino disqualified from presiding over Leeds' affairs in January for a period that eventually totalled four months and ended the day after the final game of the season against Rotherham at Elland Road.
Such a punishment, enforced by the Football League, led to much speculation regarding a potential change in ownership with Oscar-winning film star and South Sydney Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe mentioned in connection with a possible bid for the club he claims to support.
Despite the recent controversy, though, Cellino insists he will remain in West Yorkshire with the caveat that a sale may be forthcoming in the future if Leeds do not succeed in their bid to return to the Premier League after a turbulent 11-year absence.
"I'm going to stay," the Italian was quoted as saying by the Yorkshire Evening Post in a rather lively press conference held jointly with newly appointed executive director Adam Pearson on 14 May.
"This club is not for sale. If I cannot fix the club in two years, and take it into the Premier League, then I may sell it. But this club is not for sale. It's never been for sale. Someone called me saying they wanted to buy the club. I was polite and I listened to them.
"That was a mistake because it came into the news. How can I speak to employees about the future if they think I am selling the club to someone else?"
Questions around Redfearn's future at Leeds
While Cellino is obviously content to stay at Leeds, the immediate future continues to look rather unsettled for Redfearn.
Initially appointed as the club's caretaker boss following the abrupt departure of Dave Hockaday in August 2014, the 49-year-old stepped into the role for a fourth time in the aftermath of Darko Milanic's sacking two months later and was eventually handed the job permanently on a 12-month contract following a relatively strong sequence of results.
A lack of form over the second half of the campaign has heaped pressure on Redfearn, however. Leeds recorded just one victory in their final eight league matches and the suspension of assistant and friend Steve Thompson in April also looked to have seriously undermined his position.
"Who put Redfearn in that position? Me. Who wants Neil to succeed more than anyone? Me. It was my choice," Cellino continued.
"No one wanted Neil to succeed more than me. I don't know what has happened in the last 10 games. I have to find the right coach for this club and not because I want to please the fans for 15 days.
"I was disqualified. What happened was very, very surprising. I like Thompson as a man. I spoke to Steve and said 'it's hard to believe that I don't know what's happened but I don't. I'm sorry.'"
Although it remains to be seen if Redfearn will be permitted to continue, several managers have been linked with the job at Leeds in recent weeks, including the likes of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Nigel Adkins.
Former striker Hasselbaink, who played at Elland Road for two years between 1997-99, recently guided Burton Albion to promotion to the third-tier of English football for the first time in their history.
Former Scunthorpe and Southampton favourite Adkins, meanwhile, has been out of work since being dismissed by Reading in December 2014.