Lee Peltier has expressed his relief at securing his exit from Leeds United after a thoroughly unsettling time at the club during an uncertain 2014.
The former United captain has left Elland Road by mutual consent after his contract was terminated a year early and completed a move to West Yorkshire neighbours Huddersfield Town last night, signing a three-year deal.
No fee was involved with Peltier a free agent after reaching an agreement to leave Leeds ahead of joining his former club.
Despite some difficult times in the past six months at United – whose winding-up petition issued against them by Sport Capital has been dismissed by the high court – Peltier is hoping that the Whites’ supporters will be afforded the stability they crave in future months after a thoroughly destabilizing time since January.
Peltier told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I just think I need to move on now.
“When I went to Forest on loan last season, I didn’t realise how much I wasn’t enjoying my football until I joined them.
“I really enjoyed myself there and after that, I felt it was time for a fresh change, obviously with everything that was going on and things like that (at Leeds).
“We both mutually agreed the decision and that was the outcome.”
On a fraught 2014, Peltier, whose last game for the club was in the 5-1 home loss to Bolton Wanderers on March 8, added: “It’s part and parcel of football.
“It was just one of those things, but what happened has unsettled a lot of people and obviously unsettled the fans and players with what went on. It was hard times. The lads were unsettled and it created a lot of uncertainty when the lads needed a bit of stability in terms of where the club was going.
“But I think the fans deserve that more than anyone as they are the main people at the club. If Leeds get that stability and get going again, they have the potential to be a massive club and hopefully Cellino will do that.
“But the amount of times people have heard that with Leeds owners.. GFH were supposed to be doing that.”
Despite his exit, Peltier, who joined United for a undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £600,000 in the summer of 2012 from Leicester City, insists he will still leave Leeds with many positive memories, with captaining the club, having been handed the skipper’s armband by Neil Warnock after signing, something that will stand as a ‘massive honour’ in his career.
Peltier added: “I think people forget how big Leeds are. Obviously, if they get things right, it has the potential to be a really big club again, but people have been saying that over how many years now.
“But in my career, I can say I have represented Leeds United, which is a massive club and a massive honour for me.
“It will be something I look back on and tell my children - that I played for and captained Leeds United.”
Town beat off competition from several clubs, including Forest to sign Peltier, who also attracted interest from Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers.
On his arrival, Huddersfield chief Mark Robins said: “Lee had the option to go to some other high profile Championship clubs this summer, but he knows this club and particularly its people and certainly was attracted by the stability and ambition at the club.
“He wants to be a part of it as we continue to progress forward.”
“He originally left the club in search of Championship football, which was understandable given his level of performance and desire to progress his career, and now returns to us having made over 100 appearances at the top end of the Championship and at an age where he is only just nearing his peak.”
Meanwhile, United’s bank account can now be unfrozen after a petition issued by Sport Capital was dismissed by the high court.
The case had been adjourned on June 10, although United were ordered to pay back £958,000 before June 23 with that transaction completed last week.
Sport Capital lent money to Leeds in November of last year, but moved to call in the loan at the start of April, shortly before Cellino’s takeover of United.
Cellino refused to settle the debt before a deadline of April 24 and Leeds were served with a winding-up petition the following day.
But the situation has now finally been resolved.