Leeds United: Pearson will be Cellino’s “right-hand man”

Adam Pearson.Adam Pearson.
Adam Pearson.
ADAM PEARSON will today be unveiled as an executive director at Leeds United – after calling time on a similar role at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands the former Hull City chairman met Massimo Cellino over the weekend to discuss a possible return to Elland Road.

Agreement was struck in principle and Pearson, whose departure from Hillsborough is yet to be made public after he was appointed to the Owls’ three-man football committee just last month, returned to Elland Road yesterday to finalise matters.

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It is believed he has already been allocated an office and will start in the role this morning.

The appointment is a key one by Cellino, who only returned to the Championship club eight days ago after serving a Football League ban.

The Italian is determined United, who yesterday agreed a contract extension with Lewis Cook until the summer 2017, will not suffer a repeat of what was a hugely disappointing 2014-15 as the club finished 15th.

Pearson’s first task is likely to be the search for a new head coach, with Cellino understood to be on the verge of removing the popular Neil Redfearn.

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Mark Warburton, soon to be on his way from Brentford, has already been linked with a post that, for all United’s recent travails, is still an attractive proposition.

The reasons behind Pearson’s departure from Wednesday remain unclear but a desire to return to Elland Road is believed to be an important factor for Leeds-based Pearson.

Along with Glenn Roeder and head coach Stuart Gray, the former Tigers chief was seen as a key part of the team that Thai businessman, Dejphon Chansiri, believed could realise his dream of taking the Owls into the Premier League by 2017.

Chansiri envisaged Gray coaching the team as Roeder identified players and Pearson dealt with agents and rivals clubs.

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Now, Wednesday, who only unveiled the new set-up on April 20, are looking for a replacement ahead of a crucial period when fans are expecting to see several new faces arrive.

As for Pearson, his impending switch to Leeds means a return to the club where he spent several successful years as commercial director around the turn of the Millennium.

His left the Elland Road board in 2001 to join forces with businessman Peter Wilkinson to rescue Hull from administration.

In a little over six years with Pearson at the helm, the Tigers went from the basement division to consolidating their status as a Championship club - ironically, after relegating Leeds on the final day of the 2006-07 season.

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Hull were sold to businessman Russell Bartlett later that summer and went on to reach the Premier League.

Since then, Pearson has had another spell as chairman at the KC - after answering an SOS from Bartlett to sort the club’s by then ruinous finances out - and he also took charge of Derby County.

He remains the owner of Hull FC rugby league club, whose day-to-day running he leads to a management team he put in place.

As with his short-lived stint at Hillsborough, the Super League outfit will be unaffected by his new role at Leeds.