GARRY MONK said he was “disappointed” to leave Leeds United after sensationally quitting the club after failing to reach agreement with new owner Andrew Radrizzani on a new deal.
Monk resigned as Leeds United head coach on Thursday afternoon, just one day after Andrea Radrizzani completed his takeover of the club from Massimo Cellino.
Monk put in his resignation as it emerged Leeds were preparing to activate a clause to extend the 38-year-old's one-year contract until the end of next season. .
Radrizzani, who bought out Massimo Cellino on Tuesday, accepted Monk’s resignation and allowed the 38-year-old to leave for no compensation.
Monk guided Leeds to a seventh-place finish in the Championship last season having challenged for a play-off place throughout the campaign.
In a statement Monk said he had come to his decision after it became clear the two sides could not agree on the best way forward.
“It is with huge disappointment that my time at Leeds United has come to an end,” said Monk.
“My intention was always to remain at Leeds and I saw myself at this fantastic club for many years to come. However, ultimately no agreement could be reached.
“After discussions with the new owner, we have unfortunately been unable to agree a suitable way for us to all move forward together.”
Monk went on to praise the Leeds fans, labelling them “amazingly loyal and passionate”, while he also lauded the efforts of his players, who finished seventh in the Championship after long threatening to make the end-of-season play-offs.
Earlier in the day, Leeds said they were “shocked and disappointed” by Monk’s decision, but stressed no one individual was “bigger than the club.”
The statement read: “We are shocked and disappointed by Garry’s decision but his resignation has been reluctantly accepted by chairman Andrea Radrizzani.
“Andrea made it clear to the media yesterday that his intention was to exercise the club's option to extend the manager's contract for another 12 months and immediately begin negotiations for a longer-term deal.
“Mr Radrizzani has met with Garry twice since taking over at Elland Road earlier this week and during the second meeting yesterday it became clear that Garry was considering life beyond Leeds United, as at no time did Garry wish to discuss terms for a longer contract.
“Following that meeting yesterday Garry’s agent requested that the option was not exercised and his resignation was received this morning.
“Whilst we are deeply saddened by Garry’s decision, there is no individual bigger than our club and we will now begin a process to identify and appoint a new head coach to take the club to the next level.
“We thank Garry for his contribution during his time at Leeds United, we are disappointed that would could not continue on this journey together.”