How Paraag Marathe had a hand in the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United

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Leeds United board member Paraag Marathe believes Marcelo Bielsa is the "perfect" man to lead a reboot in culture at Elland Road.

Marathe, who led the San Francisco 49ers’ purchase of a minority stake of 10 per cent in Leeds, joined the board of directors in West Yorkshire in May.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The NFL franchises investment arm, 49ers Enterprise, purchased the shareholding for a fee close to £10m which sealed Marathe's seat at the table.

The 41-year-old was swiftly followed through the entrance by world-renowned head coach Marcelo Bielsa with many believing that the Argentine's arrival was a real statement of intent by the Whites for the Championship campaign ahead.

Marathe though has revealed that the 63-year-old's influence at the club lies deeper that just the aim of promotion back to the promised land after a 14-year exile, it is about a change in culture in West Yorkshire and it was something he had a hand in with chairman Andrea Radrizzani.

"Andrea talked to us about it [Bielsa's appointment]," revealed Marathe.

"This is his club, we're here to support him and help him. Whether it is as a resource or a guide or to help in certain areas. He certainly didn't need our approval but the one thing that gets me really excited, I remember I gave him a document, I put it together two years ago when we were rebooting our culture and looking to turn around the 49ers.

"We'd talk about what kind of head coach we would need and what kind of values does he espouse. I did a bunch of research looking at club's across the world, not just in football, but baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey and the All Blacks.

"We were looking at what were the common trends and the first and most important ingredient to changing a teams fortune is rebooting and resetting the culture. That means that everybody, every single individual is responsible for that.

"Most of the time it is set by your head coach and not your owner because the head coach is the one responsible for the pitch, the field or the ice or the floor or the court.

"Every single person in the organisation is responsible and accountable to being a part of that and so the appointment of Marcelo was so perfect because that is what he is all about. It's about a culture reset that has to happen for the club to be able to turn its fortunes around."

Marathe also believes that Bielsa's arrival will have a positive effect on the current crop of players at Thorp Arch and added that he had been extremely impressed by the Argentine so far.

"Yesterday was the first time I met him," Marathe continued.

"Other than that just watching the press conferences but he is very, very impressive. Even just talking to a few of the players and just seeing their enthusiasm and excitement, and I talked about this in May with the players when I was last out here in the locker room after practice, the similarities with football here and football in the US is that the difference in physical talent between these athletes is very narrow.

"Everybody is fast, everybody is swift, everybody can pass and shoot but the much bigger difference is up there. It's about will, mental aspects of the game and about the maniacal fear of failure and the desire to be successful and win.

"That is a choice about a way of life, that's not a job, it doesn't begin at eight and end at six. It's about how you eat, sleep, drink, who your friends are, how you sleep, what you put in your body, it's everything. It's a twenty-four hour commitment.

"That is one thing that is really great about Marcelo is that it changes the mental [attitude] - even before the fact that they're just excited - he's going to wear them hard but if their minds are excited that is going to make a difference.

"Take the same exact players and it will make a difference."