Leeds United: Grayson rejected Premier League job

Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has claimed that Simon Grayson turned down a Premier League job offer last year – to stick with the Whites.

The United boss, who celebrates his second anniversary at charge at Elland Road tomorrow, rebuffed top-flight interest – believed to have been from Burnley – to concentrate on the task in hand of guiding his boyhood club to promotion from League One.

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His loyalty has been rewarded this season, with Leeds flying high in the Championship as they target a return to the top flight.

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Bates said: "Simon is in it for the long run.

"He was approached and offered a job on a much bigger salary, in the Premiership, over a year ago and he said, 'I came to Leeds to do a job and I'm going to finish it'. If he manages in the Premiership, he wants it to be with Leeds.

"We have got a good relationship. He rings me when we lose, which I know some managers don't. If he has a problem we talk about it, which is the only way to do things. We have total trust in each other."

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Bates insists Leeds' success over recent years is based on an understanding between himself and his manager that he will not meddle in any business relating to the playing side of the club.

"There never has been as far as I'm concerned, wherever I have been," he said.

"The manager has to be judged by his results, so the only fair way is to let him pick his players. If he fails, it's because he picked the wrong players.

"You can't do what some clubs do and have chairmen introducing players to the manager after they've been signed. That's not our policy here."

On his aspirations to return to the footballing elite with Leeds at home and abroad, the ex-Chelsea chairman added: "It is a dream of every club, but we will do it on a different basis this time. David O'Leary (former Leeds manager) was allowed to spend money like water, which ultimately caused the club's collapse.

"If we get back into Europe, perhaps I should say when we get back into Europe, we will do it on a proper basis. It will be step by step, brick by brick. That is how we are building Leeds. If it means it takes another two or three years, then so be it."

Leeds may find former forward Steve Morison a bit of a handful when Millwall come to town.

Leeds United v Millwall: Excellent December in danger of becoming a January horror show - YEP jury