Ben Parker has shared that some of the Leeds United staff were in tears on Tuesday as the club announced the departure of sporting director Victor Orta.
Parker was speaking on the LS11 podcast after being down at Elland Road as the news emerged that Leeds have parted company with the Spaniard after six years.
For many fans, Victor Orta‘s time at the club was up. Obviously, he will forever be associated with being the man to bring Marcelo Bielsa to Leeds. But the last 14 months have seen Leeds in decline.
Parker shares how Leeds staff reacted to Orta announcement
They are battling relegation for the second year running. And they are now on their fourth manager this season, with Javi Gracia’s appointment as interim boss not working out.
Ahead of Gracia’s departure and Sam Allardyce’s appointment being confirmed, Leeds announced that Orta will be leaving. And Parker shared what it was like to be around the ground as the news broke.
“I was down at Elland Road yesterday, I had a couple of meetings down there. It was such a strange, strange place, atmosphere-wise,” he told LS11.
“With Victor what people see on touchline, in the stands, the way he acts, he’s so passionate, that comes across. It’s had a massive impact on the staff at Elland Road. Seeing a lot of the staff in tears a lot of yesterday really hit home what he brought off the field. And he was a bubbly, lively character in the offices, kept the morale high at times when it was down. It was a really sombre atmosphere. Something had to change.”
It should not come as a surprise that Orta’s departure did lead to some emotional scenes. Obviously, Orta has come in for a lot of criticism for the work he has done on the squad and the management team.
But he was one of the real winners from the documentaries to emerge from Leeds’ time in the Championship. Fans saw a much better side of Orta and it changed plenty of opinions.
The staff clearly enjoyed working with him. And there was real hope that Leeds were putting the foundations in place that would stand the club in good stead for years to come.
That is why it is so sad that the situation has turned so sour. Unfortunately, there was only going to be so long before Orta’s position came under scrutiny – particularly as his relationship with fans broke down.
And the decision has now been taken to replace him.