Adam Pearson praises Massimo Cellino's impact at Leeds United, recalls amusing tale

Massimo Cellino President and Director of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Fulham at Elland Road on December 13, 2014 in Leeds, England.

Former Leeds chief executive speaks out.

Hull City's new Chairman Adam Pearson talks to a supporter before the English Premier League football match between Hull City and Stoke City at The KC Stadium in Hull, northern England, on...

Former Leeds chief executive Adam Pearson has told The Express that he believes ultimately Massimo Cellino was good for the club.

Cellino's three-and-a-half years at Leeds was beset by controversy and managerial changes, while the team only made incremental improvements on the pitch.

He sold up this summer to Andrea Radrizzani, whose new era is off to a bright start, and Pearson believes he left the club in a good position.

Massimo Cellino President and Director of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Fulham at Elland Road on December 13, 2014 in Leeds, England.

Pearson had a brief stint as chief executive in 2015, leaving in order to focus on his role at Hull KR.

He said: "I went back to Leeds because I felt we could return the club to the Premier League. I needed slightly more autonomy to be able to do what I wanted with the club.

"You were never going to get that with Massimo, but in fairness he has left a very ‘clean’ club with a good squad and low salary base now geared up for promotion under Andrea Radrizzani.

“You won’t hear any criticism of Massimo from me because he treated me very fairly."

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino watches on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Middlesbrough at Elland Road on August 16, 2014 in Leeds, England.

Pearson admitted his time at the club was never dull, recalling one amusing tale.

He said: "There were some interesting experiences, with Massimo walking across Elland Road before a game throwing salt over his shoulder. Two months into the season, we had brown patches appearing all over the pitch."

Cellino has now invested into a 61 per cent stake at Italian side Brescia, and is hoping to help them win promotion to Serie A.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch