Garry Monk claimed that doubts about working within Leeds United’s new management structure were behind his decision to quit Elland Road after Middlesbrough unveiled him as their new manager.
Speaking after signing a three-year contract at The Riverside, Monk said the set-up planned by new Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani “wasn’t right for me” as he reflected on his surprising decision to walk out of United last month.
Monk resigned from his post at Elland Road after 12 months and 53 games as head coach, less than 48 hours on from Radrizzani’s full takeover of Leeds.
The 38-year-old moved to free himself as Radrizzani prepared to activate an option to extend his contract to the end of next season. United accepted his resignation, saying in a statement that during talks between Monk and Radrizzani “it became clear that Garry was considering life beyond Leeds United as at no time did Garry wish to discuss terms for a longer contract”.
Radrizzani’s refusal to block Monk’s exit, waiving compensation in the process, left the former Swansea City boss free to negotiate with rivals clubs and he was unveiled by Middlesbrough yesterday after agreeing personal terms on Friday.
Leeds’ management team has seen notable changes since Radrizzani began lining up his buy-out of Massimo Cellino with former Real Madrid strategist Ivan Bravo joining the Elland Road board and Victor Orta – until recently employed as head of recruitment at Boro – arriving as director of football.
Monk, who spoke twice with Radrizzani about Leeds’ plans for the future in the days prior to his departure, said: “We couldn’t find (an agreement) and I then became a manager without a job. Obviously I’m ambitious. I want to be working and find that right challenge.
“All of those ticked boxes I needed to go forward with a football club, Middlesbrough had. Having gone (to Leeds) and worked with Massimo originally, Andrea came in so it was a new owner and new structure. As the season finished, and having three or four weeks afterwards to finally sit down with Leeds and try and discuss what the structure and new process would be, I have to be honest, it wasn’t right for me.
“I won’t go into the details but there were things that didn’t suit me. I couldn’t find that clear process of how to go forward from that point and obviously I made a decision. The next process was to look and find the right challenge I wanted.
“It’s happened now and I’ve moved on.
“I have a lot of respect for the club and I had a really good time there. I thought it would carry on but it hasn’t for whatever reasons and I had to go into the next phase of what I needed to do.”
Monk is yet to confirm whether any members of his backroom staff at Leeds will follow him to Boro. Assistant Pep Clotet, first-team coach James Beattie and goalkeeping coach Darryl Flahavan are all under contract at Leeds until the end of this month.