Sunday 27 May 2018

Leeds United appoint Paul Heckingbottom as new head coach four days after he signed new Barnsley contract

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Leeds have named Paul Heckingbottom as their new head coach four days after he put pen to paper on a new contract at Barnsley.

The 40-year-old leaves Barnsley to move to Elland Road and has signed a contract that runs until the end of next season.

He succeeds Thomas Christiansen who was sacked on Sunday after a dismal run of form which has seen Leeds not win a match since Boxing Day.

Leeds have fallen to 10th in the Sky Bet Championship, and Heckingbottom leaves a side who sit 21st in the same division.

"Leeds United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom as new head coach of the club," the West Yorkshire club announced.

Heckingbottom only signed a new contract with Barnsley last week, when he said "there was never any doubt" he would commit to the club.

The Barnsley born and bred coach was targeted by Leeds once Christiansen left, however, and the opportunity proved irresistible.

Barnsley said several members of their staff, including first-team coach Jamie Clapham, would join Heckingbottom at Leeds.

A statement from Barnsley said the club felt "thoroughly disappointed" by Heckingbottom's exit and "shocked" that he should want to leave.

Barnsley chief executive Gauthier Ganaye said on the club's website: "Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period. Yes, it will make things more difficult short term, but our club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone."

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