Sam Allardyce calls for Leeds United ownership clarity and reveals next step for manager role
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The Whites went out with a whimper rather than a bang, the 4-1 Elland Road defeat by Spurs on the final day removing all possibility of survival regardless of how results elsewhere went. Everton and Leicester City also went into the final day under the threat of relegation and it was the Toffees who claimed 17th place.
Allardyce was brought in with four games remaining but failed to record a victory, ending his short tenure with a single point from a draw against Newcastle United.
He has refused to categorically state that he wants to remain in post and lead the promotion charge in the Championship but will happily sit down to exchange thoughts on the future with the board.
Prior to that, however, he says the ownership picture must be resolved. 49ers Enterprises are believed to remain keen on becoming full owners but the sale that was agreed with Andrea Radrizzani was based on survival and a Premier League price. The club are yet to comment on the progress of takeover talks and neither party was present at Elland Road to witness relegation occur.
“I can tell them what I think needs to be done and then they can say what they think or how they think,” said Allardyce after the game.
"Is it going to be bought, is it going to stay the same? Until that factor, that's first thing that needs to get sorted out before you even speak to me.”
But Allardyce, who insists he is glad he took on the rescue job, would welcome the chance to discuss the possibility of becoming manager of Leeds permanently.
"That's a discussion to have next week, when we get over the disappointment of getting relegated,” he said. The last thing I wanted was to be the man who takes Leeds United down.
“There's a lot of discussion that needs to happen both ways. I'm not committing myself to say I'm staying just yet. I think if I'm going to do anything it's going to be here but those discussions will have to happen in the next few days. We'll have to have a sit down for a couple of days and thrash it out, for both sides to be comfortable. The last thing I'd want is to walk in and not go the direction we've agreed to.”
According to Allardyce, the club needs to undergo a root-and-branch review and he has pinpointed recruitment as vital to their chances of success.
“You need to sit down and look and discuss the whole infrastructure,” he said.
"That'll have to be in the Championship now. There's many factors have to be put in place for a football club to reap long-term success. Most of it comes down to how good are your players. They've tried very hard, I can't fault their effort. As a squad they haven't been good enough. I would have hoped I could have got a little bit more out of them, I take responsibility for that. It's a tough old world when things start failing, then confidence starts going and it's very difficult to claw it back.
"I'll talk in general, general recruitment is the number one factor for any manager, coach or head coach or any club, to be successful. Without top level recruitment, a manager and a coach are only as good as the players they have. When you have coaches telling you how much better they make them, it is a factor, you can, it's only small percentages. It's probably one or two or three. If you look at the whole package, actual quality is all about recruitment, because better players make you a better coach, make the coaches better, make everyone at the club better, a happy club going forward. It's a much easier responsibility to coach good players, they get it and do very little wrong.”