Orta: Manager always has final say on signings

Orta joined Leeds in May

Orta joined Leeds in May

LEEDS UNITED Director of Football Victor Orta insists he has never signed a player without the approval of the manager.

Orta, who was appointed in May, has come under fire following a poor run of form that saw head coach Thomas Christiansen get the sack last month.

The Spaniard led the signing of 14 first-team players in the summer transfer window and the spending of a further £7m in January, on Adam Forshaw, Tyler Roberts and Laurens De Bock.

“In the end, it’s the same issue around the position of the Director of Football,” Orta said in a question-and-answer session staged by the club this week.

“In my 15 years of experience I never signed a player without the okay of the head coach, never. In this instance it’s the same. Paul Heckingbottom has all the power to say yes or no to the players we sign.

“Our scouting department, in this part of the season, we are watching around 3,000 matches. It’s difficult for a head coach to watch 3,000 matches per year and he needs a person that provides the information.

“I need the coach focused on the game on Friday, Middlesbrough, knowing our best team, trying out the best things on the training ground daily with the 25 players.

“And we need to try to provide him with all this information to enrich his work. This is the idea of a scouting department with a head coach.”

Dan Parnell, who leads research on the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University, said he was not surprised by Orta’s comments.

“That’s how it should be, that the manager is able to okay the signings,” he said, “but the Sporting Director should also have the right to veto proposed signings by the manager.

"You wouldn't expect this to be commonplace in a good working environment, but if there was a red flag, the Sporting Director would step in."

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