Ken Bates moved to divert attention from his own failings this week by sacking Simon Grayson after three years in charge at Elland Road. As rumours of his replacement started to circulate, bookmakers odds have further fuelled speculation with a handful of potential candidates looking most likely.

Firstly, Gus Poyet and Paulo Di Canio have both ruled themselves out but bookies still offer odds as low as 6/1 on Di Canio (Coral) and 12/1 on Poyet (Stan James).

Neil Redfearn 

Picking up the pieces at Thorp Arch is Neil Redfearn. No compensation and cheap wages makes him a strong contender for the job in my opinion and is probably the wisest bet for those who fancy a flutter with odds as long as 12/1 with Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Sky Bet. 

It’s already been made clear that Redfearn will be in charge for the game against Bristol this weekend and he has stated publicly that he’d like the job. Ken Bates has given the chance to caretaker managers in the past, most recently Kevin Blackwell, and Redfearn has built a strong reputation for himself after overseeing the successful progression of several youth players from Thorp Arch. He’s also being backed by captain Andy Lonergan.

Neil Warnock 

The early favourite Neil Warnock refused to rule out a return to management at Elland Road this morning, speaking positively about the club and their chances this season.

A controversial figure who hasn’t recorded a higher win percentage than Simon Grayson did at Leeds (49.7%) in over three decades of management. His longest spell was at Sheffield United where his win percentage was 42.53% in 388 games.

Warnock will divide opinion amongst fans. He’s well-known to be a hoofball specialist and hasn’t achieved all that much considering the length of his career. That shouldn’t matter too much anyway as it seems highly unlikely considering the large wages and transfer budget he’ll be demanding. With odds of 5/2 at Sky Bet the bookies clearly disagree.

Lee Clark (F) 

Current favourite Lee Clark has seen his odds slashed dramatically over the last 24 hours, with all the major bookies making him favourite and William Hill offering only evens.

In four years with well-funded Huddersfield Town, Clark has been unable to get them out of League One. A win percentage of 49.34% is marginally lower than Simon Grayson’s and worse still if you consider Simon Grayson’s League One record alone. He’s also very young. At just 39 years of age, he’s another manager lacking in experience.

Other candidates

Odds on Franchise MK manager Karl Robinson taking the Leeds job are falling sharply with Bet365 offering the shortest odds at 10/1. At the time of writing, the best odds available were 20/1 with William Hill. 

Ladbrokes are offering only 6/1 on Steve Bruce, although you can get 12/1 with Bet365 and 14/1 with Sky Bet. Odds on Gordon Strachan being next in line are as low as 8/1 with William Hill with the best odds courtesy of Stan James at 14/1. Another name flying around is Dave Jones whose odds are around the 14/1 mark with most bookmakers.

The ridiculous 

  • Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – 20/1 with Stan James 
  • Alan Shearer – 18/1 with Sky Bet 
  • Gary Kelly – 10/1 with Paddy Power
  • Darren Ferguson – 33/1 with Paddy Power
  • Eric Cantona – 150/1 with Paddy Power and 33/1 with Stan James
  • Dominic Matteo – 33/1 with Sky Bet 
  • Lucas Radebe – 33/1 with various
  • Vinnie Jones – 100/1 with Sky Bet 
Odds accurate as of 18:20, 2nd of February 2012.