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Leeds Live
Leeds Live
Beren Cross

Kinnear breaks Leeds United silence on slow Gracia pursuit and mismatched supporter beliefs

Perceptions among media and supporters on who Leeds United’s next head coach could be were definitively mismatched with reality. Chief executive Angus Kinnear has broken his silence on the wait between Jesse Marsch’s sacking and Javi Gracia’s appointment.

Writing in the club’s matchday programme ahead of Saturday’s Southampton clash, Kinnear explained the two-week wait for a successor was not unusual in football. The Elland Road chief pulled the curtain back on how Gracia turned heads in interview, unlike many others lacking the same passion and focus.

“He impressed everybody in all of our meetings, not only because he had a detailed plan of the tactical adjustments he believes the team needs to make to quickly reverse our fortunes, but because he has a real belief in the capability of the squad and a passion to be at Leeds United,” he said.

READ MORE: Javi Gracia is about to see how big the Leeds United mountain is he has to climb

“This commitment was not shared by everyone else. There was a definite mismatch between the profile of candidates some sections of the fan base and the media perceived would be willing to join Leeds and the reality.”

Kinnear empathises with supporters who felt the wait had dragged on too long, but alluded to the problems they suffered with pursuing Andoni Iraola and Arne Slot. That pair were understood to be keen on the role, but their clubs, Rayo Vallecano and Feyenoord respectively, said no.

“We fully understand the frustration supporters felt during the process, but the reality is these appointments normally take one to two weeks, so being at the longer end of that range is not unreasonable,” said Kinnear.

“The delay was primarily due to two of the identified candidates, who we knew wanted the role and believed they could be released, misjudging the strength of resolve their current clubs had to retain them.

“Javi was on our radar and did not have any contractual complexity that prevented him from committing quickly.”


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