by Phil Hay
Former Leeds United chief executive Shaun Harvey will resign from the club’s board of directors on September 30, 24 hours before he takes charge of the Football League.
The YEP understands that Harvey and Leeds have agreed to terminate his directorship on the final day of this month, officially ending his nine-year association with the Elland Road club.
Harvey, 43, was removed from the post of chief executive on July 1 amid a raft of boardroom changes at Leeds but he remained as a director and a “senior advisor” to United’s Dubai-based owner, GFH Capital.
His influence in the past two months had been minimal, however, and he is effectively on gardening leave from Elland Road.
His departure from United’s board was hastened by the announcement on July 29 that he would replace Greg Clarke as the Football League’s new chief executive on October 1.
Harvey was until recently a member of the Football League’s board in his capacity as a senior executive at Leeds but his new role is independent and prevents him from holding a position with any of the governing body’s 72 clubs.
The end of his employment at Elland Road will remove all traces of the senior management team who ran United during Ken Bates’ eight-and-a-half years as chairman.
Bates relinquished the chairman’s post on June 30, making way for present incumbent Salah Nooruddin, and the 81-year-old was later sacked as club president in a dispute over the cost of private jets hired to fly him to Yorkshire from his home in Monaco.
GFH Capital, which bought United from Bates last December, had previously removed Yvonne Allen and ex-Leeds striker Peter Lorimer from the Elland Road board, leaving Harvey as the only surviving member of the previous group of directors.
The one-time Bradford City managing director first became Leeds’ chief executive in 2004, agreeing to work under the board led by Gerald Krasner.
He retained his job after Bates fronted a takeover of United in January 2005 and again after Leeds’ damaging insolvency in 2007.
Following his demotion in July, Harvey’s duties passed first to managing director David Haigh and then to United’s acting CEO Paul Hunt, formerly a senior employee at Blackburn Rovers. Hunt is expected to fill the position on a full-time basis once Harvey’s spell of gardening leave ends.
Nooruddin said of Harvey: “We extend our thanks to Shaun for his services to the club over the past nine years.
“He has always given strong leadership to the club in what have often been challenging times.”
The ownership of Leeds has also changed markedly since the middle of the summer with Nooruddin increasing his shares in the club to more than 10 per cent.
The Bahraini businessman originally bought a 3.33 per cent stake when he joined the Leeds board in April but his firm, Envest Limited, is now one of three main shareholders at Elland Road alongside GFH Capital and Bahrain’s International Investment Bank (IIB).
The Football League, meanwhile, moved to employ Harvey as chief executive from October 1 after Clarke became the organisation’s new chairman, replacing Lord Brian Mawhinney.
Former Tory MP Mawhinney is remembered in Leeds for overseeing the disciplinary process which saw United deducted an unprecedented 15 points following their spell in administration six years ago.
Speaking last month, Clarke said: “Shaun is widely respected across the game for his deep understanding of the football industry.
“During my time as chairman he has made an important contribution to the League Board.
“Having held senior positions at football clubs in all four divisions of English professional football, he is uniquely placed to understand the challenges faced by clubs of all sizes.”
Harvey called his appointment a “great privilege” and vowed to lead a “vibrant and sustainable Football League.”