Leeds United transfer policy clue unearthed in heavily-linked Elland Road interviewee's ruthless past
and live on Freeview channel 276
The German is favourite to succeed Sam Allardyce in the dugout at Elland Road after a two-stage interview process where Farke presented to, among others, chief executive Angus Kinnear and soon-to-be chairman Paraag Marathe in London.
With two Championship promotions under his belt at Norwich City, Farke’s stock is high with Leeds supporters who are keen to hear positive news on the takeover and managerial front ahead of the team’s pre-season start date on Monday, July 3.
Farke guided the Canaries to promotion in 2019 and 2021, on both occasions securing the Championship title, but was relieved of his duties during the 2021/22 campaign as Norwich struggled in the Premier League.
Throughout his time at Carrow Road, Farke’s Norwich were among the most creative and ambitious teams in the transfer market, taking risks on players with no previous English football league experience. The likes of Teemu Pukki, Emiliano Buendia, Mario Vrancic, Christoph Zimmerman and Onel Hernandez were signed from teams across Europe; all of whom had a material impact on the team’s promotions from the second tier.
In many cases, these individuals were signed from Farke’s native Germany, suggesting the 46-year-old had at least some influence on sporting director Stuart Webber and the manner in which the pair operated, orchestrating two titles in three seasons.
Farke agreed to join Norwich in May 2017, a month on from Webber’s own appointment. By July 1st, the decision not to extend or offer new contracts to several well-established players had been taken. Many of those who were released had come down with the squad following their relegation from the Premier League in 2016.
Sebastien Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Kyle Lafferty, Youssouf Mulumbu, John Ruddy, Michael Turner and Steven Whittaker were all released, while Graham Dorrans, Jonny Howson, Alex Pritchard and Cameron Jerome were sold over the course of the 2017/18 season.
Norwich’s ‘old guard’, as it were, was replaced by Webber and Farke’s newer crop – the squad refreshed.
Following their 2016 relegation, the Canaries finished 8th in the second tier under Alex Neil and, latterly, Alan Irvine, followed by a 14th place posting during Farke’s first year in charge. However, the German followed up that bottom half finish with a title the following season, ending the campaign 11 points ahead of third-placed Leeds, losing just six times across the entire Championship campaign. Farke achieved this despite losing top scorer James Maddison to Leicester City and releasing veteran midfielder Wes Hoolahan at the beginning of the season.
What Farke’s exploits at Norwich suggest is by thinning the squad that had experienced the disappointment of relegation, he was able to build a dressing room culture of his own, one which responded to his coaching and methods of play, to deliver success on the pitch.
Leeds are a club in need of refreshment, which will arrive this summer in the form of a completed takeover by 49ers Enterprises and the appointment of a new head coach.
Some players will leave, while others will undoubtedly join but Farke’s ruthless streak of ‘out with the old, in with the new’, during his early Norwich days, must be tempting to repeat given the situation he could be walking into, should he be appointed as expected.
Leeds’ managerial announcement is anticipated to follow shortly after confirmation from the EFL that the club’s takeover has been ratified and approved.