The big loss to Leeds recently wasn't Thompson, it was Matt Child

Leeds United Crest

From a long term perspective the departure of Matt Child has been more damaging at Leeds United than anything to follow.

Leeds United have had a tumultuous month on and off the pitch, with one the result of another.

Assistant manager Steve Thompson's seemingly inexplicable suspension was followed up the bizarre injury saga last week which saw six players pull out of the match squad less than six hours before the game. Amid a fan backlash Leeds had to issue a statement via their website explaining the player's issues were genuine, yet it says everything about the situation a the club that the opposite is suspected.

Chairman Andrew Umbers then sat down for a rare interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, attempting t diffuse the media storm and address the vacuum of information coming forward from the club.

It has not helped in this regard that owner Massimo Cellino has been suspended by the Football League, and this absence has made another recent loss even more critical.

In December, Leeds made the appointment of Matt Child as chief executive, a Leeds United fan with a business background, who spoke positively about his intentions for the club.

The fact he quit the role in March, in unexplained circumstances, probably will not rank in even the top 10 of bizarre goings on at the club this season, but certainly from a long-term view it appears to be a blow for the club.

Umbers, in his interview, admitted Leeds had a problem with a key aspect of their business this week, stating: "This club has a communication issue. It has a communication issue with its stewards, its fans and its sponsors and that has to improve."

In his short time at the club, Matt Child was effective in his communication, speaking to BBC Radio Leeds on a range of issues including Massimo Cellino's suspension, Red Bull's interest, and January signings. He also spoke of the need of the club to reach out to it's sponsors, and engage it's fanbase.

Now it is not certain that he would have been able to prevent the dual PR disasters of Thompson's suspension and the injury problems, but it is hard to imagine that he would have made it worse.

Child being in post was likely the last buffer which could have helped Leeds avoid the mess of a situation they find themselves in. Had it been different off the pitch, then perhaps the side would not have suffered five straight losses on it.

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