Leeds: Ben Jacobs makes Javi Gracia claim
Javi Gracia’s future at Leeds United may not be guaranteed even if he keeps the club in the Premier League, according to Ben Jacobs.
The Lowdown: Flexible deal
The Whites officially confirmed Gracia as their new head coach on Tuesday afternoon, with the Spaniard agreeing on a flexible contract in Yorkshire.
Gracia’s short-term task is to keep the club in the top flight, and there was a claim in the media that there is an agreement to make a move permanent should he do just that. However, Jacobs has had his say on Leeds’ managerial situation, believing that the 52-year-old could be a victim of his own success.
The Latest: Jacobs’ comments
Speaking to TEAMtalk, Jacobs said that the Whites could keep their managerial options open even if Gracia guides them to safety. He added that the 49ers Enterprises would more than likely take complete control at Elland Road and will want their say on manager decisions.
“If they secure their Premier League status – and therein lies the paradox – because if Leeds stay up, then Gracia you know, shouldn’t really be replaced. Surely because he’ll have done his job. But I do think that leads to Leeds keeping their options open.
“That is, ultimately, why the contract is flexible, because they don’t yet know what’s going to happen with their league status.
“And we also have to bear in mind that if everything still goes according to plan, 49ers Enterprises will be coming in and taking full ownership of Leeds United.
“And as the full owner of Leeds United, should that progress, they will also want their say on who is in charge of Leeds United, both now and in the long run.”
The Verdict: Walk before you can run
Leeds’ full focus both on and off the pitch at this moment in time should be on getting out of the relegation zone and ensuring a fourth successive season in the Premier League, beginning against Southampton tomorrow afternoon.
Should Gracia manage to achieve that, then discussions should take place on his future at the end of the campaign. Hopefully, that’s what Elland Road officials have in mind, but with a flexible deal in place and a takeover by the 49ers a real possibility later this year, it could be a busy time off the pitch in Yorkshire.