EXCLUSIVE By Phil Hay Leeds United today secured the 'biggest contacts book in Britain' by confirming Gwyn Williams as their new technical director.
The former Chelsea assistant manager has been handed the responsibility of overseeing Kevin Blackwell's scouting operation after leaving Stamford Bridge at the start of June.
Williams occupied a number of prominent roles during a 27-year relationship with the London club, working as number two beneath Claudio Ranieri, and the Welshman is credited with unearthing Chelsea captain and England international John Terry.
Three decades of involvement at the highest level of English football have provided Williams with an extensive network of contacts, and United chairman Ken Bates, who ran Chelsea during most of Williams' time in the capital, moved to offer him a new role after Jose Mourinho reorganised his backroom team earlier this summer.
Williams will initially turn his attention to finding first-team recruits for Blackwell, who is closing in on the first game of the Championship season, but he will also attempt to make the type of discoveries which provided Chelsea with Terry, Carlton Cole, Mikael Forssell and Robert Huth.
Williams said: "I worked with the chairman for many years at Chelsea, and we had a lot of good times, a lot of success and a few fights along the way!
"I've know Kevin (Blackwell) for a long time as well, and this is a job I'll put my heart and soul into. I'm here to help the manager find players - both first-team players and kids - and that requires a lot of hard work. Going out and finding the right people is a challenge for every club.
"I know what Kevin's looking for and we've thrown a few ideas around. But the gaffer is the man in charge – I'll look for possibilities and he'll have the final say."
Williams joined Chelsea as youth development officer in 1979 and remained with the club throughout an eventful period under Bates.
He assumed the position of chief scout following Ranieri's departure in 2004, but his relationship with Chelsea finally ran its course in June after the club secured their second Premiership title.
Williams said: "My lawyers reached a settlement with Chelsea and as of today I'm working for Leeds United.
"This is a huge club, especially for the Championship – and the plan is to get out of that division as quickly as possible."