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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Leeds win Blackwell battle
Kevin Blackwell (left) and Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock
Blackwell (left) worked with Warnock for 17 years
Leeds have secured Kevin Blackwell as their new head coach after resolving a compensation battle with Sheffield United.

The Premiership club have agreed to play a friendly at Bramall Lane and loan the Blades an as yet unnamed player instead of payment for Neil Warnock's former assistant coach.

Sheffield United had been hoping to secure a 100,000 cash sum for Blackwell, who had two years remaining on his contract at Bramall Lane.

The First Division One side threatened to block the move with an injunction, but cash-strapped Leeds have successfully reached a compromise agreement.

The 44-year-old has spent the majority of the last 17 years working alongside Sheffield United boss Warnock.

After allowing former head coach Brian Kidd and assistant manager Eddie Gray to leave Elland Road, Reid has taken his time over the appointment of his own backroom staff.

He is going to have a big responsibility working with the players here
Leeds boss Peter Reid
"We have tied up most things, but I'm delighted to now have him on board," Reid said of Blackwell.

"Contrary to all reports, I know (Sheffield United chief executive) Terry Robinson really well and there has not been a cross word between us.

"People have to realise that sometimes these things take a while to sort out, but he is now coming in as head coach.

"I decided to make the choice myself and although I didn't know him personally, I did know of him and his reputation for working with players.

"I know he is delighted to be joining us and he is now going to have a big responsibility working with the players here at Leeds."

Blackwell helped steer Sheffield United to the semi-finals of the FA and Worthington Cups last season, as well as the First Division play-off final where they lost to Wolves.

Robinson has confirmed that the Blades have no complaints about Leeds' conduct.

"We have submitted details of a proposed agreement which we have signed and we are waiting for it to come back from Leeds United," Robinson said.

"We are expecting that to happen on Thursday.

"As far as this club is concerned, we are very disappointed that Kevin has left but we wish him all the best.

"He has worked well with Neil Warnock over a long period, but I would stress we cannot criticise Leeds United in any way as they did everything correctly."

Kevin Blackwell
"I never expected a phone call from Leeds United"



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