Are Leeds United building a football club again?

Elland Road

Key appointments behind the scenes, with the promise of more to come, appear to suggest that structure may be emerging from the chaos at Elland Road.

Regardless of which players arrive on the books of Leeds United before the start of the 2015/16 season, the most significant appointment at the club this summer could well be that of Adam Pearson as Executive Director.

Announced on the same day that midfielder Lewis Cook signed an extended contract, Pearson arriving back at Leeds United after a 15-year absence was out of the blue, but was a welcome development as Leeds fans desperately sought some clarity, professionalism and stability at Elland Road.

Sadly, there wasn't much of that in evidence when Pearson made his first public appearance during the infamous press conference of May 14th alongside returning owner Massimo Cellino. Nothing positive was gleaned from that chaotic 70 minutes, but one week later calmer waters appear to be settling around Leeds United.

Many fans are still upset by the treatment of head coach Neil Redfearn, as his position at the club was publicly dissected while Cellino maintained a refusal to pick up the phone and discuss the situation with Redfearn professionally. While the manner of Redfearn's departure from the head coach's role at Leeds has left a sour taste with fans and irreparably damaged a reputation which Cellino could hardly claim was sparkling anyway, the general mood has at least been placated by developments this week.

The selection and presentation of Uwe Rosler as Leeds United's new head coach has seen some order and decorum return to Elland Road. Adam Pearson took hold of the press conference and displayed an image of disciplined calm and assurance, far removed from the erratic tangents that peppered the previous press conference. Rosler too was diplomatic, level-headed and spoke with empathy and respect towards his predecessor Redfearn, the first time anyone at Leeds United had even mentioned his name in recent weeks.

In addition to unveiling Rosler to the media, key to Wednesday's press conference was the impression that with Pearson's appointment has come a sense of strategy and progression. As an organisation Leeds United has been a hollow shell in the last 12 months, lurching from one disaster to another with anyone on the outside unsure as to who, if anyone, was making key decisions on a day-to-day basis. Without essential coaching staff, scouting staff, academy staff, admin staff and executive staff the impression has been that Massimo Cellino was not only identifying and signing first team players, but also arranging the contracts, dealing with sponsors and even ordering stock for the club shop.

This is an exaggeration of course, but Leeds United did not exude the characteristics of a well-oiled business functioning freely, and holes all over the organisational structure suggested chaos reigned.

Pearson's performance in Wednesday's press conference offers hope to Leeds fans that calm professionalism has returned and someone with experience can run the club day-to-day. This was further boosted by Pearson revealing that two coaches and a head of recruitment had already been identified to assist Rosler and would be in place within a week to ten days. On Friday, rumours circulated that Liverpool's club secretary Stuart Hayton was also about to join the club, another indication that Leeds United will regain control of critical administration work.

Key to this positivity, of course, is whether Massimo Cellino can work with these people and maintain a position in the background. It may be something he has no choice in should he receive new Football League bans, with two court cases imminent in June, and certainly the impression is that Leeds are building structure to the club which is critical anyway, but most definitely if that scenario again presents itself.  

Calm waters at Elland Road are a novelty, and Leeds fans are primed through experience for the welcome peace to be torn asunder at any time. For now, they must hope that the furious work building structure to the club behind the scenes continues and meanwhile, no news is good news.   

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch