If Moyes Really IS Discussing Leeds Job, LMA Should Intervene  –   by Rob Atkinson


Moyes - not wanted or needed at Elland Road

Moyes – not wanted or needed at Elland Road

One real caveat to this article. The recurring “David Moyes for Leeds” stories are mainly appearing in that part of the press more suited to the facilitation of post-excretory hygiene than any real attempts to inform or even entertain. Ever since it started to look likely that Steve Evans might be the right man at the right time for Leeds United, the doggedly Whites-hating sector of the Fourth Estate have been engaging in their usual distracting habits. Talking up a replacement manager who has flopped in his last two posts is one part of that (attempting to tap up Lewis Cook on behalf of a minor manchester club would be another).

So, on the one hand, it’s quite possibly not true, falling into the “unhelpful and unsettling negative Leeds United rumours” category so beloved of our more tawdry hacks. On the other hand (like the irritating Lewis Cook thing), there just might be an element of truth hidden somewhere within the ever-present clouds of speculation and wishful thinking. And, if that’s the case, then it shouldn’t only be present incumbent Evans who might be more than a little angry.

For a start, it’s clear that the vehicle for this Moyes story is a putative takeover, or major investment, by Leeds fan and business mogul Steve Parkin. That worthy is said to have identified Moyes as his preferred head coach, regardless of the fact we have a manager in situ. Now, I’m not privy to the inner workings of Parkin’s mind – but presumably he’s got something about him to have amassed a supposed £200m personal fortune (on the other hand, look at the none-too-bright Alan Sugar). You really might expect, though, that a man and fan, who is contemplating such major changes at the club he loves, might wish to play his cards a little closer to his chest. And he might, perhaps, be looking at making a welcome difference after the craziness of the Cellino regime – rather than perpetuating il Duce’s “hire and fire” vicious downward spiral into chaos.

It’s also becoming steadily more apparent that Evans is settling in well at Elland Road, putting his stamp on the place and making that difference we all so want to see on the pitch. He’s promised winning football and, an awful lapse against Blackburn apart, he’s doing fine. The fans have, by and large, cottoned on to this, despite initial reservations arising out of Evans’ abrasive reputation – as well as that sombrero. Given all of the above, it would seem that the case for yet another change at the helm of team matters is hardly made. And yet still, this unwelcome chat goes on. It’s hardly conducive to the stability we yearn for, having so sadly lacked that vital commodity of late.

All of which leads me at last to the point of this article (yes, there was always going to be a point, sooner or later). Having established that it’s by no means certain the Moyes link is anything more than a Wapping great lie, we are nevertheless forced to consider the ramifications in the event of there being any truth in it. And, surely, if David Moyes is talking to a Leeds United-connected party about a job that is currently amply filled, then he would be open to some criticism under professional standards established within the managerial game for some time past.

Over the last couple of decades or so, there have been laudable attempts by the League Managers Association (LMA) to clean up the act of their collective members, certainly in terms of a set of standards to be applied in the matter of how club posts become vacant and are filled. Our own Howard Wilkinson was in on the ground floor of this, as he was with so much else, and a lot of the more enlightened policy-making over the recent past has carried his unmistakable brand of common sense and integrity. One of the examples of bad practice thereafter distinctly frowned upon was an unfortunate tendency for currently-filled managerial posts to be bruited about as if available, regardless of the feelings and morale of the poor sap actually doing the job, with prospective candidates for these posts encouraging – or at least not discouraging – such speculation.

Nowadays, with the LMA keeping a beady eye on things, there is a more civilised feeling about the whole thing. Managers linked with jobs currently being undertaken by some poor, under-fire soul will tend to refuse to comment on speculation surrounding those posts. As a past and prospective member of the managerial fraternity in England, Moyes will surely be aware of the current conventions. As he can’t be unaware of his name being linked in the press with a post-takeover position at Leeds United, could he not perhaps have made it known that he’s refusing to be a party to such speculation as there has been a manager recently appointed at Elland Road? A dignified silence, after all, only takes you so far – and can be interpreted in more than one way. By his failure to distance himself from the Parkin/Leeds scenario, Moyes is hardly doing Steve Evans any favours.

And, if the LMA are to have any bite or credibility at all, shouldn’t they themselves be all over this situation like a cheap suit? It’s the LMA’s responsibility to ensure fair play, professional standards and “To encourage honourable practice, conduct and courtesy in all professional activity” (LMA Major Aims #6). They too will be aware of a rising tide of speculation to the detriment of a fellow member who has been in his job only a few weeks. Why don’t they say or do something about it? The silence from all parties on this matter, while the press engage happily in their damaging and irresponsible speculation, is ominous.

I’ve blogged recently about there being no current need to do anything other than stick with the man in charge for the foreseeable future. With Massimo Cellino in yet another froth of confusion about whether he’s selling up, fighting his ban or (like some Schrödinger’s Tycoon) both simultaneously – we might expect that his attention will currently be elsewhere and Evans can perhaps be left to get on with the job he’s admirably doing. It would seem that the clearest and most present danger to Evans’ tenure is in the form of a man outside of the club, currently out of work, and with only startling failures in his last two posts to recommend him.

It remains quite possible that all of this speculation is based upon nothing more than the old press habit of adding two and two to reach a total of five. But, if there is anything in it, then it’s time somebody acted to nip it in the bud – at least until such time as there might be an actual vacancy (heaven forfend). I’m reasonably sure I speak for a majority of Leeds fans when I say that we’d prefer the historically successful Steve Evans to continue trying to repeat that success in LS11 – rather than a serial failure in Moyes. But who listens to the fans? So it would be rather reassuring if the LMA could show some minerals, or Moyes himself some trace of professional courtesy and honour – and just utter a few pointed words to end the matter, so we can all move on to the next crisis.

And worry not, “gentlemen” of the press – at Leeds United, that next crisis is never very far away. 

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16 responses to “If Moyes Really IS Discussing Leeds Job, LMA Should Intervene  –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Mark benson

    Before anything else are we really sure Cellino fired Rosler before sounding Evans out?
    Parkin can talk to anybody about anything because as yet he is a fan ( and a millionaire ) but not the owner , part owner, bit part holder or probably not even a shareholder.
    What next Rob, reporting someone to the premier league because they beat scum on football manager?
    Oh I forgot Redfearn may be spotted at E.R. on Saturday. Could he be the next leeds manager if I win the euromillions on Friday?

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    • Not sure I follow your logic…. Oh, my mistake. There isn’t any 🙂

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      • Mark benson

        The logic is this Rob, Parkin is merely dreaming of his perfect manager SHOULD he buy our club. Since he does not have any control at all he can talk to whoever he wants about whatever he wants. Do you really believe chairmen and boards do not think about the next manager whilst they have one on the payroll? Most managers nowadays get the sack because another manager is temporarily unemployed and therefore available for hire. Modern football Rob. We both disagree with this aspect of the game we love and it’s affect on out team but we are powerless to alter it. And do you think Parkin would be considering Moyes if he was still employed?

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      • It’s the fact that it’s out in the public arena, to probably unsettling effect. I’d like to think Moyes might be professionally courteous enough to come out and say “I’m being linked with a club where there’s no job and I’m therefore not even going to speculate about it”. Instead, we hear he’s interested. I hate that. Don’t want the guy anyway.

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      • Mark benson

        I’d rather have that cat (dead or alive) than Moyes myself. Here’s hoping we all hear Evans one arse cheek clapping as he runs down the touchline after another leeds goal on Saturday .MOT

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  2. wetherby white

    not wishing to tempt fate but with Evans looking like he is settling in well, our clubs recent history would probarly say that the man has to go! Think Redfearn and Thompson and our winning streak last year, brought to an immediate and crushing end with the cowardly and STILL unexplained sacking of Thompson.

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  3. Rob, as ever, you spout a lot of sense. After the Blackburn game I thought we’d got a ‘Mike Bassett: England Manager’ in Steve Evans. However, Evans is winning my confidence now. He offers hope that Leeds can live to its full potential again – unlike Uwe’s glib take. The cloacal Wapping press will do what they ever do do, especially if they can do it to Leeds – feck ’em! I loved the Schrodinger reference! Dunno about tycoons but if any cat is both alive and dead then it is more likely to be Moyes than Evans. The LMA should certainly check its boxes.

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  4. It does make me chuckle all this talk about Moyes managing out mid table championship club yet none of our supporters want him here and if we’re honest none of it has anything to do with who he managed last in England..How the ‘mighty’ have fallen eh, Moyes??..

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  5. That is all true and right and proper.

    The only reason that I’m not 100 % sure the Fat Controller deserves such protection from all this mindless speculation is that it has been suggested that he himself contacted Cellino putting himself forward for the Top Job in Football before the last hopeless sap had been ushered oot the door.

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  6. I’m not the slightest bit enthusiastic about Parker and as for Moyes, I think it stinks. How can any manager do his job right under this disgusting pressure and speculation. Steve Evans is a breath of fresh air amongst all the poison in this club. Moyes? Boy it would look good on his CV, failed and sacked at the last three appointments, because he wouldn’t last
    As you said Rob, as soon as we see just a chink of daylight the lights go out again. All the fans should get right behind Evans and I just hope somebody else steps on Parker’s toes.

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  7. Speculation about a manager I don’t want anyway . Steve Evans is doing a fine job . Everything he’s said and done so far is spot on . He has passion and pride for our club and also feels the way the supporters do . He knows how to man manage and that is a very good talent to have with modern day footballers . Its half the battle and players will run through brick walls for someone who looks after them . So if there is new owners on the horizon which I very much doubt . Realise what this club needs more than anything is stability. M.O.T

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  8. kev McGarrigle

    Have to agree with you Rob, if, as speculation states, Parkinson is interested in buying the club then he should step in now and distance himself from these silly rumours which are only undermining the club.
    On another note, £200 million is the equivalent of a market trader competing against a multinational, dream on Mr P you do not have the funds to take us beyond where we are now.

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  9. When asked about this situation Steve Evans said “I thought it would be someone who had won more games” ha you’ve got to laugh rob

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  10. Moyes is a failure and an ex scum one at that! We don’t want him. Give Evans time i say,

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