Leeds United expect to make an announcement regarding their new manager "in due course" after confirming the departure of Steve Evans following seven months at the club. The 53-year-old is the sixth manager to be dismissed during Massimo Cellino's two-year ownership, despite keeping the Whites in the Championship, with the Italian having grand designs on returning the club back to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
Evans was handed a six-month rolling contract upon his arrival at Elland Road last October, but was offered no assurances over his future beyond the end of the 2015-16 season. The club had pubic approaches for Milton Keynes Dons boss Karl Robinson and Bristol Rovers' Darrell Clarke rejected while Evans remained in the dark over his role.
The former Crawley Town and Rotherham United manager approached Cellino on Tuesday [31 May] to demand answers over his future at Leeds, only to be told he would be replaced ahead of the new campaign. The west Yorkshire club will continue their attempts to draft in a new coach before the start of pre-season in July.
"I would like to thank Steve Evans for his efforts as the head coach of Leeds United," owner Cellino said in a statement on Leeds' official website. "Steve completed the job he was brought in to carry out – to keep the team in the Championship – and his hard work here has been greatly appreciated. I wish him and Paul Raynor the very best for the future.
"We have, however, decided that a different approach is required in order to achieve our targets for the new season. The club is now looking to appoint a new head coach to build on the good work of Steve and Paul and deliver the special season which our supporters deserve."
The Glasgow-born boss has rebuilt his career since being found guilty of tax avoidance and being banned from football for 20 months by The Football Association for irregularities during his spell with Boston United. A spell at Crawley was followed by successive promotions with Rotherham, but following an unceremonious exit from Leeds Evans is looking forward to the next chapter in his career.
"If Mr Cellino, who had an option to extend my contract, saw fit to go and speak to other people – one, I had to ask if he was doubting me," he said, according to Sky Sports. "Or two, was he doing it to see if there was something better in the market?
"Everyone has feelings and it was hard to sit there and accept but when you work for Leeds United, you realise the sheer size of the football club and the supporters who are wonderful people. You realise you have to keep your dignity and respect. My career will move on, but it's been a great experience managing such a great club."