Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler has described the decision of executive director Adam Pearson to quit his job at Elland Road as a “big blow”.
Pearson has left the post he took up in May, saying his relationship with Massimo Cellino had remained amicable, but he needed to take a break.
News of Pearson’s exit was confirmed by the 50-year-old shortly after Leeds suffered their first defeat of the Championship season at home to Ipswich Town.
United head coach Rosler, who worked closely with Pearson following his appointment in May, is disappointed to see Pearson go.
He said: “In a very short time we established a very good relationship.
“I learned a lot from Adam and I was devastated when I heard the news.
“I spoke with him and I call him a friend. I wish him all the very best.
“He will have his reasons but all I can say is that the working relationships between Adam and myself and Adam and Mr Cellino have been very good. You can believe me. Nobody saw it coming.”
In an open letter published on the club’s website, Pearson said: “It is with great disappointment that I have to confirm I’ll be taking a break from Leeds United and football in general, in order to focus on other personal and business interests.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Leeds United and would like to thank everybody, the staff and supporters, that have made me feel so welcome. I’d also like to thank Mr Cellino for allowing me to work closely with him in what I feel has been a very productive summer for the club.
“It is with a huge level of disappointment that I cannot continue to contribute to the revival of what now is a very strong football club once more. I wish Uwe (Rosler) and his coaching team all the very best in their quest for a successful season and it is reassuring to see the club moving forward again in such a positive manner.”
Owner Cellino also insisted that the pair were parting as friends and said he was “keeping the role open” to Pearson. It is not yet clear if Cellino plans to make a separate appointment to assume some of Pearson’s workload.
“I want to thank Adam for his efforts and his loyalty to Leeds United,” Cellino said.
“I will be keeping the role open for him and I hope to welcome him back at some point in the future.
“We worked very well together and we will remain good friends. He will always have my support. “It saddens me that he is stepping away to focus on other interests but he knows that he is welcome back at the club if he feels ready.”