The unlikely alliance that could restore order at Leeds TSS May 25, 2015 Leeds United 7 Comments You should whisper it as quietly as possible, just in case the football gods overhear and set about restoring the norm, but aside from the handling of Neil Redfearn’s departure – which culminated in Cellino’s ill-judged and shambolic press conference – Leeds United have made some good decisions at the start of this close season. Adam Pearson first of all was a major coup. Plucked from Sheffield Wednesday just days after they’d announced his arrival, Pearson almost immediately showed his worth with his handling of the Uwe Rösler unveiling, the total antithesis to Cellino’s own press conference a week earlier. Where Cellino was rambling, emotional and contradictory, Pearson is direct, composed and on-message. He exudes confidence and professionalism, his experience giving him a presence you can’t help but feel comforted by. Which will probably make Pearson frustrating at times, especially when he’s batting away every curve-ball thrown at Uwe Rösler from press searching for a decent quote, but his very deliberate management of that press conference was a welcomed contrast to the mess Cellino made a week earlier. While Cellino caused absolute chaos, Pearson played defence to Rösler and the club, happy to fade into the background when Rösler was answering the questions the club wanted him to answer, but always primed and ready to shutdown any line of questioning he wasn’t happy with. Then came the arrival of Stuart Hayton, the new Club Secretary who spent two decades at Wigan Athletic and has also worked for Liverpool. He’s He was* expected to be followed quickly by the new Head of Recruitment, Stuart Head, formerly an academy coach/manager at Southampton and Fulham, before becoming Chief Scout at Norwich City. Head currently works at Reading. [*see update] Admittedly, I know very little about Hayton or Head but their CVs read like the kind of experienced backroom hires a professional football club benefits from and I don’t think it’s any coincidence they followed Adam Pearson to the club, for any reservations potential hires may have about the situation at Elland Road don’t quite tally with the arrival of Pearson. After all, how mad can this Cellino character really be if Adam Pearson is so eager to work for him? While I’m sure we all have an opinion on Cellino’s mental state, Pearson’s reputation is sufficient to leave even the most cynical questioning the club’s potential for stability and order. Pearson is a big figure in the game and his appointment was a masterstroke from Cellino. He worked as Leeds United’s Commercial Director during the boom years (leaving before Ridsdale et al sank us) before rescuing Hull City from potential oblivion and leaving them two divisions further up the footballing pyramid than he found them. It’s clear Cellino was shaken by the state of affairs at Elland Road when returning from his ban and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Adam Pearson’s been appointed to take charge should Cellino be banned again (which seems almost inevitable). But even if Massimo escapes another ban, Pearson could be a good fit for Cellino. It seems such an unlikely alliance, the pair are chalk and cheese after all, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Cellino likes to take the spotlight and be centre of attention, whereas Pearson, with his vast experience within- and knowledge of- the English game, happily fades into the background until he’s required to calm things down or provide a reassuring presence. If they can form a good working relationship in which Cellino cedes enough power to make him effective, Adam Pearson could well turn out to be our signing of the summer. On and on… Updated – 27/05/2015 It now appears Stuart Head’s employment – and indeed, the calm at Elland Road – was short-lived, even by Massimo Cellino standards. According to freelance journalist Simon Austin, Adam Pearson appointed Stuart Head last week but Cellino tore up his contract (which still required Massimo’s sign-off) after discovering the newly appointed Head of Recruitment was on holiday – a family holiday he’d booked before accepting the Leeds United job.