Leeds United: Boss Evans is still in the dark after United board meeting

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
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Steve Evans remained in the dark about his future last night after a board meeting called by Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino ended without confirmation of his head coach’s fate.

Steve Evans remained in the dark about his future last night after a board meeting called by Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino ended without confirmation of his head coach’s fate.

Evans travelled abroad yesterday for a short break over the weekend, but left England without an answer on his contract, despite the round of discussions between United’s directors.

Cellino called a meeting of the club’s board to go over his strategy for the summer and next season, and Evans’ position as head coach was expected to be debated during those talks yesterday afternoon.

The 53-year-old is 41 days away from the end of a deal which expires on June 30 and he was hopeful of learning whether his contract would be extended in the immediate aftermath of those talks.

Evans, who has spent most of the past two weeks scouting players in the UK and France, is not believed to have received any contact from the club last night.

He and Cellino last spoke at length on April 29, the day before Leeds’ last home game of the Championship term, and United’s chairman has refused to make a rapid call on his incumbent first-team boss.

The first two weeks of the close season have instead been dominated by off-field issues concerning Italian court cases involving Cellino, a pending Football League ban which the 59-year-old appears to have avoided and misconduct charges brought against Cellino by the Football Association over Leeds’ sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham two years ago.

United are still to publish an official retained list, confirming which of their out-of-contract players will be leaving Elland Road.

Striker Mirco Antenucci has already announced on social media that he is moving on and centre-back Scott Wootton is also expected to part company with United after it emerged that Leeds never finalised an agreement in February 2015 to extend his contract beyond the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

The future of young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, meanwhile, is still up in the air after he and the club failed to conclude talks about a contract extension last week.

The 19-year-old, who has been offered a two-year deal, was due to give an answer before Sunday but he held off from putting pen to paper after asking the club for assurances about their plans for next season, including the identity of a replacement for outgoing goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis.

The offer to Peacock-Farrell remains on the table, however, and Leeds will be entitled to compensation for him if he leaves for another club after his current contract expires at the end of next month.

Amid the wait for clarity on the playing front, United announced yesterday that Clipper Logistics - the company run by local businessman Steve Parkin - has agreed a deal to be the club’s second shirt sponsor next season.

Leeds have already negotiated a three-year contract with online casino firm 32Red to be the main sponsor on their first-team kit but Parkin’s latest investment follows on from Clipper’s deal to sponsor Elland Road’s East Stand.

Parkin, who has been linked with several takeover bids at Leeds in the past decade, was rumoured to be in discussions with Cellino about a buy-out of the club before Christmas but the 50-year-old, a lifelong fan of United, has not purchased any shares.

Chris Wood controls a high ball against Fulham at Elland Road on Tuesday night. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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