Former Leeds United chief Shaun Harvey to step down from EFL role

Former Leeds United chief executive Shaun Harvey to step down from the EFL.
Former Leeds United chief executive Shaun Harvey to step down from the EFL.
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Shaun Harvey, the former Leeds United chief executive, is to stand down as the EFL’s CEO, the organisation announced today.

Harvey will end a seven-year reign with the governing body at the end of this season having held the post since October 2013.

The announcement comes in the midst of the on-going ‘Spygate’ investigation which the EFL launched after a scout from Leeds United was stopped by police outside Derby County’s training ground six weeks ago.

Leeds are pushing for a conclusion to that probe and are hoping for a decision on whether they will face any punishment before the end of this month.

The Elland Road club, where Harvey worked as CEO during the reign of former owner Ken Bates, have been involved in various conflicts with the EFL during Harvey’s time on the organisation’s board.

Massimo Cellino, Leeds’ majority shareholder between 2014 and 2017, fought a legal battle with the EFL to secure his takeover of the club and later threatened to ban Sky Sports from broadcasting a live game at Elland Road amid a bitter dispute over the EFL’s TV deal.

Television rights caused further problems earlier this season as Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani and other Championship sides attempted to block the EFL’s plan to sign a new deal with Sky, claiming the proposed broadcast contract undervalued the rights.

The deal was subsequently ratified by the EFL’s board, to the frustration of Radrizzani and others.

In a statement today, the EFL said Harvey’s reign had overseen “a number of significant changes and initiatives”.

Harvey said: “Having joined the EFL as CEO in October 2013 I am proud of what we have achieved since then in what have not always been easy circumstances.

“Consistently during my time I have always looked to push boundaries to make the maximum positive impact for clubs, whether this be from a financial perspective or by generating value in another way. I have always held the view that the strength of the EFL is its clubs and no club or indeed individual is bigger or more important than the collective or the EFL itself.

“After discussions with the board, we decided that the time is right for the EFL to now move in a different direction having concluded a number of commercial contracts that leave the League in a stable position.

“I am happy to remain as CEO until after the play-offs, in order to conclude a number of outstanding matters that we are currently dealing with, after which I will move on to pastures new and hopefully make a positive difference elsewhere.”