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Our first signing of the summer is a new Chief Executive
Monday, 20th Jun 2016 13:47 by Tim Whelan

We’re not content with trying to sign Barnsley’s loan star Ashley Fletcher, we’ve also managed to pinch their Chief Executive.

A statement on the club’s official site says “We are delighted to welcome Ben Mansford to Leeds United as the Club’s new Chief Executive. Alongside Chairman Massimo Cellino and Executive Director Paul Bell, Ben will form a key part of the management team at Elland Road, working closely with the footballing side of the Club.”

Mansford has been at Barnsley since 2013, after six years as a director of Wasserman Media Group in Los Angeles. Prior to his time in the US, Ben worked locally as a sports solicitor at Leeds-based law firm Walker Morris, specialising in sports-related legal matters and representing a wide range of professional athletes.

His experience as a sports solicitor will no doubt be greatly needed by the club, as Massimo Cellino continues to get us embroiled in court cases with various governing bodies and former employees. And hopefully he has a good grasp of the regulations concerning transfers and payments to agents, to avoid further problems of the kind that resulted from Ross Mc.Cormack’s transfer to Fulham.

Massimo Cellino said “I am very pleased to be welcoming Ben to Leeds United to join our expanding management team. It is important that we continue to grow our Football Club on and off the pitch, and I believe that Ben has the skills required to help us achieve our targets. He did a fantastic job at Barnsley and has an excellent reputation in the game.”

And as the mutual back-slapping continued, Mansford replied “I'm absolutely delighted to be joining Leeds United as their Chief Executive. Leeds is a city I know well and, throughout my career in football, I've experienced the atmosphere at Elland Road and the fantastic supporters the Club has. The chance to work to take this Club forward was one I had to take.”

“I'm relishing getting started and meeting the staff, especially Garry Monk and his team. Everyone at Leeds United is truly committed to challenging to return to the Premier League and I can't wait to play my part in that journey.”

Above all else, Mansford needs to bring some much-needed stability to the club, after the circus we’ve had to put up with over the last couple of season. I could start to feel some optimism for the season to come, but this time last year I thought we were on our way with a new head coach, some promising signings and the appointment of Adam Pearson to look after Cellino.

For one reason or another it didn’t work out last season, but dare we hope it will all be different in 2016/7?

Photo: Action Images

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