Leeds United: Whites sack consultant Bean over fixture dispute

Graham Bean pictured with Massimo Cellino at Elland Road.
Graham Bean pictured with Massimo Cellino at Elland Road.
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Leeds United have sacked consultant Graham Bean following a dispute about the rearrangement of next week’s game against Reading.

Bean – a former compliance officer at the Football Association – was dismissed from his job by owner Massimo Cellino on Thursday, four months after joining the senior management team at Elland Road.

In what appears to have been a bitter and acrimonious departure, Bean left the club after a disagreement over the decision to move United’s forthcoming clash with Reading back by 24 hours.

The Championship match – scheduled for Wednesday night – was rearranged in July after Reading’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers switched to this Sunday to accommodate a live broadcast on Sky Sports.

The date was changed after discussions between the Football League and Bean, who spoke with former Leeds head coach David Hockaday before agreeing to Reading’s request.

Cellino, who was abroad at the time, was never asked about the rearrangement and United’s Italian president has terminated Bean’s 12-month contract as a result.

In a letter sent by Cellino, Bean is understood to have been told that “all business decisions must be authorised by myself” and that the failure to inform Cellino of Reading’s request was a “serious breach of your contract.”

Bean, 53, has been responsible for much of Leeds’ administrative work during Cellino’s reign as president and majority shareholder.

Described as the club’s interim-secretary, he was heavily involved in a busy transfer window in which United signed 15 players.

Bean confirmed that he had left the club and told the YEP: “I’ve enjoyed my time working with the staff at Leeds United. As far as working with Mr Cellino is concerned, I’d prefer not to comment.

“I wish the team every success for the season.”

Cellino is known to be frustrated by a fixture list which has been moved repeatedly this season, largely due to television demands.

Leeds’ Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday next weekend will be televised on Sky, as will their Friday-night visit to Rotherham United 13 days later.

The timing of the midweek clash with Reading leaves two days for United’s squad to recover before a 12.15pm kick-off against Sheffield Wednesday.

Cellino planned to make a formal complaint to the Football League this week before learning that the Reading match had moved with Bean’s consent.

The 58-year-old was asked to comment by the YEP but said: “He was an external consultant, this is a private matter and I don’t want to speak about it publicly.”