Mirco Antenucci has criticised Leeds United’s “corporate organisation” and the calibre of head coaches employed at Elland Road after leaving the club at the end of his contract.
Antenucci paid tribute to United’s support and talked up the city of Leeds but he voiced frustration with Massimo Cellino’s rapid turnover of first-team bosses and what he claimed was a lack of tactical work in training.
The 31-year-old completed a two-year stint at Elland Road on Friday when Leeds announced that they would not be renewing the deal he signed when he joined from Italian side Ternana in 2014.
Antenucci has returned to Italy and was present at the Italian cup final in Rome yesterday, watching Juventus beat AC Milan.
Birmingham City are understood to have made an initial enquiry about him but Antenucci is likely to join a team in his homeland following his release from Elland Road.
His time at Leeds saw him play 80 times and score 19 goals but he was troubled by off-field matters, including a goal-related clause in his contract which threatened his place in the first team towards the end of the 2014-15 term.
United employed no fewer than five head coaches during his two years at Elland Road, beginning with David Hockaday and ending with the arrival of Steve Evans last October.
Antenucci said he was “disappointed with the quality of coaches who came along” and appeared to hit out at owner Cellino’s running of the club. He told Italian website www.gianlucadimarzio.com: “Me and my family had a great time in Leeds.
“From the point of view of football, I discovered a new reality, different from ours (in Italy).
“The playing facilities (stadiums) are beautiful and always full, there are great training facilities and they are modern.
“But what disappointed me was the corporate organisation of Leeds, which has been lacking in the past two years.
“It’s a club which deserves to play in the Premier League.
“To do that you should have the best conditions for the players, something which has not happened.
“I was disappointed also with the quality of the coaches who came along.”
Antenucci said he rarely crossed paths with Cellino and claimed support was lacking during his more difficult periods at Elland Road.
He also criticised the food served up to United’s players, saying they were fed “so many things you don’t get in Italy.”
“It had an impact on my performance,” he said.
“Then we exercise less. There are two free days a week Sunday and Wednesday. The training takes place with almost no work on tactics.”
Antenucci was one of two senior Leeds United players to be released last week, the other being centre-back Scott Wootton.
He had come close to leaving Elland Road in January after attracting interest from Serie B side Ascoli but Leeds refused to let him move on amid a shortage of strikers.