Leeds United appoint Heckingbottom as new head coach

  • Leeds United appoint Heckingbottom as new head coach

Leeds United appoint Heckingbottom as new head coach

Barnsley explained that Heckingbottom will be followed out of the Oakwell exit door by coaching assistant Jamie Clapham, sports science expert Nathan Winder and performance analyst Alex Bailey.

Leeds United have moved swiftly to replace Thomas Christiansen and secure the hiring of Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom, paying his release clause and putting him in charge of training on Tuesday morning.

Heckingbottom made a decision to swap the 21st-placed Tykes for 10th-placed Leeds after Thomas Christiansen was axed on Sunday.

The 40-year-old had been Barnsley's permanent manager since June 2016.

He also led Barnsley to their highest Championship place finish in 20 years.

It is understood that although Heckingbottom signed a new contract with Barnsley only last Friday, Leeds trigged the £500,000 release cause required to carry out the deal.

Leeds, three-times English champions, lie 10th in the second-tier standings and have not recorded a league win since December 26.

However, the appointment of Heckingbottom has left a bitter taste in the mouths the Barnsley hierarchy with their manager walking away four days after pledging his future to the club.

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

"This left the club optimistic in a turnaround in form and a strong end to the 2017/18 campaign as we battle to retain our position in the league".

Chief executive Gauthier Ganaye added: "Yes, it was unexpected".

Heckingbottom's first game as Leeds United boss will be the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period.

"But our club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone".

Paul Harsley will take caretaker charge at Oakwell following Heckingbottom's departure as Barnsley seek to appoint a replacement.