Who is Nick Hammond? Leeds United make short-term appointment as sporting director search continues

Leeds United have appointed football consultant Nick Hammond on a short-term contract to assist the recruitment team this summer as the club target a more permanent director of football solution.
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Leeds expect to name a more permanent fixture to the director of football role by October this year, however in the meantime have enlisted the help of experienced football advisor Hammond, who most recently consulted Newcastle United after a 13-year spell at Reading.

The 55-year-old was involved with the Magpies last year shortly after Eddie Howe’s appointment as head coach and helped oversee one of the club’s more successful transfer windows in recent history.

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Newcastle added Dan Burn, Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes in January 2022, three players who played vital roles in the team’s finish in the Champions League places last season.

Nick Hammond has been appointed in a football advisory role at Elland Road (Pic: Training Ground Guru/YouTube)Nick Hammond has been appointed in a football advisory role at Elland Road (Pic: Training Ground Guru/YouTube)
Nick Hammond has been appointed in a football advisory role at Elland Road (Pic: Training Ground Guru/YouTube)

Hammond also operated as Reading’s sporting director between 2003 and 2016, presiding over two promotions to the Premier League. The former goalkeeper helped identify Irish strikers Shane Long and Kevin Doyle, bringing both to the Berkshire club at a fraction of the price they would go on to be sold for.

In addition, Hammond took on a director of football role at Scottish Premiership champions Celtic prior to his advisory position at St James’ Park, as well as a two-year spell as technical director with West Bromwich Albion.

"My role [at Newcastle] was a little bit more in the background than I would be as a normal sporting director,” he told Training Ground Guru last year. "As a sporting director over my career I would lead the discussions, lead the negotiations with potential signings.

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"This role was sort of a step removed from that, doing the checks and balances in the background, having an opinion on the players who had already been identified by Steve Nickson and his team, having taken a good steer from Eddie Howe, the new head coach, who had to make very quick decisions in terms of where he saw his squad.

"It was a fascinating experience, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but very challenging time for them [Newcastle’s new owners]," Hammond said. "It was interesting in as much as here you’ve got a group of people who all want to achieve the same thing but they’re new, they’re almost thrown together.”

Leeds’ current structure sees chief executive Angus Kinnear working alongside the likes of soon-to-be chairman Paraag Marathe, Peter Lowy and Collin Meador of 49ers Enterprises after a deal was struck between the US consortium and Andrea Radrizzani’s Aser Ventures last week.

Hammond is not expected to play a part in Leeds’ decision to recruit a new manager and will instead be consulted on player transfers. Leeds hope to appoint a successor to Sam Allardyce next week.