BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Teams: Leeds United  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 23:16 GMT 00:16 UK
O'Leary paid for 'failure'
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale
Ridsdale felt it was time for a change
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale says he sacked David O'Leary because of his failure to take the club into the Champions League.

O'Leary was fired on Thursday amid speculation he had fallen out with Ridsdale over the proposed sale of defender Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United.

But Ridsdale insists no deal has been struck with the Old Trafford outfit yet and that O'Leary was dismissed for underachieving.

Leeds have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the past two seasons, despite an outlay of 100m on new players.

"We felt that having spent around 100m and for two years running failing to get into the Champions League it was time to make a change," Ridsdale said.

"We agreed with David at the start of this season that the Champions League was the only measure of success and we failed to achieve that.


Rio Ferdinand is contracted to Leeds and I have no intention of selling him
Peter Ridsdale
Leeds chairman

"I understand the shock, but most Leeds supporters have told me what they want to see is silverware and after a 100m investment we have failed to achieve that.

"After four years, given some of the pressure off the field perhaps it was time to freshen up and make a change. It was fair to everyone to make a fresh start.

"It was probably the most difficult decision I have ever had to take. David and I are very good friends.

"I thought David was magnificent - he took it with dignity. What he has done is take us a long way and let's not forget that."

Ridsdale dismissed speculation he had agreed a 30m deal with Manchester United for England star Ferdinand.

"Rio Ferdinand is contracted to Leeds and I have no intention of selling him," Ridsdale said.

"He has a clause in his contract that says he can't go to another Premiership club.

"We've had no offers for him and if I've got anything to do with it he'll see out his contract.

"I'm not stupid enough to say never is never but we've told Rio we do not want to sell him and today's decision had nothing to do with Rio."


There is no successor nominated or indeed approached
Peter Ridsdale
Leeds chairman

A number of managers have already been linked with the Elland Road hotseat and O'Leary claimed to know who his successor was.

But Ridsdale said a decision about a new boss had not yet been reached.

"There is no successor nominated or indeed approached and we have to decide who we believe is the best manager to take us to the next stage," he said.

"I haven't approached anybody. At the moment we have a shortlist which has been added to because a number of people have let it be know they would like to be considered.

"I've been pleasantly surprised by the interest expressed by some quality managers."


Venables era begins

Leeds in turmoil

O'Leary dismissed

YOUR SAY
Links to more Leeds United stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Leeds United stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales