Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pearson takes rapid flight away from Owls to return to Elland Road

Yorkshire Post 12/5/15
ADAM PEARSON will today be unveiled as an executive director at Leeds United – after calling time on a similar role at Sheffield Wednesday.
The former Hull City chairman met owner Massimo Cellino over the weekend – the story was exclusively revealed on The Yorkshire Post website last night – to discuss a possible return to Elland Road.
Agreement was struck in principle and Pearson, whose departure from Hillsborough is yet to be made public after he was appointed to the Owls’ three-man football committee just last month, returned to Elland Road yesterday to finalise matters.
It is believed he has already been allocated an office and will start in the role this morning.
“I’m here to assist Massimo as much as possible on all sides of the club and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Pearson.
“I’ll be like his right-hand man as executive director at the club, trying to get the club moving forward in the right lines and in tune with its supporters.
“I know the club really well, I was here 15 years ago. Quite a lot has changed internally but there’s still a lot of familiar faces and some really good staff here.
“Hopefully we can build on that teamwork off the pitch and really take the club forward.
“I know this city very well, I know the club and it’s my hometown city.”
The appointment is a key one by Cellino, who only returned to the Championship club eight days ago after serving a Football League ban.
The Italian is determined United, who yesterday agreed a contract extension with Lewis Cook until the summer of 2017, will not suffer a repeat of what was a hugely disappointing 2014-15 as the club finished 15th.
Pearson’s first task is likely to be the search for a new head coach, with Cellino understood to be on the verge of removing the popular Neil Redfearn.
Mark Warburton, soon to be on his way from Brentford, has already been linked with a post that, for all United’s recent travails, is still an attractive proposition.
The reasons behind Pearson’s departure from Wednesday remain unclear.
Along with Glenn Roeder and head coach Stuart Gray, the former Tigers chief was seen as a key part of the team that Thai businessman, Dejphon Chansiri, believed could realise his dream of taking the Owls into the Premier League by 2017.
Chansiri envisaged Gray coaching the team as Roeder identified players and Pearson dealt with agents and rival clubs.
Now, Wednesday, who only unveiled the new set-up on April 20, are looking for a replacement ahead of a crucial period when fans are expecting to see several new faces arrive.
As for Pearson, his impending switch to Leeds means a return to the club where he spent several successful years as commercial director around the turn of the Millennium.
He left the Elland Road board in 2001 to join forces with businessman Peter Wilkinson to rescue Hull from administration.
Cellino said: “Adam is coming here to be my right-hand man, to help me with everything that needs to be done. He loves football and he knows this club well, that is important.”