By James Murray

20th Oct, 2023 | 11:10am

Graham Smyth shares 49ers surprise at Leeds United issue as influx of new personnel mooted

49ers Enterprises was surprised by the headcount of people working behind the scenes at Leeds United, according to Graham Smyth.

Speaking on the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Inside Elland Road podcast on Thursday (19 October, 44:35), the journalist said the new Whites owners thought people have been asked to do a lot of work, with just one person taking on multiple roles in some instances.

He believes there will probably be an “influx” of new people coming through the door over the next year or two at Elland Road, adding that it will be “interesting to see” how that impacts the club commercially.

“I think headcount was a big thing for them,” said Smyth. “I think they were quite surprised by the headcount at the club and how many people were probably doing quite a lot of work, just as one person doing multiple kinds of roles.

“So I think we will probably start to see an influx over the next 12 months to two years of people in various roles to oversee various departments or create roles that previously weren’t in existence at Leeds. It will be interesting to see how that impacts the club when it comes to stuff like commercial.

“Will the profile of the sponsors change? Will the quality or the quantity of types of merchandise they offer change? Will the matchday food change? That’s one that’s been a bone of contention for fans in recent years.”

Change is coming

It’s pretty clear that change is coming for Leeds after 49ers Enterprises has already looked to put its stamp on some aspects of the club since taking over from Andrea Radrizzani.

There was a lot of unhappiness towards the end of the Italian’s tenure on how he ran the club, so the new owners will be looking to undo – and learn from – some of his previous mistakes.

It’s pretty poor that staff behind the scenes have been stretched in recent times as they are the people who keep things ticking over on a day-to-day basis.

As Smyth points out, the US firm is likely to employ a lot of fresh personnel to bring new ideas to try and take the club forward over the next few years.

It will also likely focus on what is delivered to fans on matchdays, as a big part of the culture in America is around creating an entertaining day to go alongside the sporting event, so there could be changes coming on that front.

In other Leeds United news, Adam Pope has been wowed by one behind-the-scenes man at the club.