Snodgrass: Why I left Leeds

Robert Snodgrass (centre)
Robert Snodgrass (centre)
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ROBERT SNODGRASS has revealed for the first time that the summer uncertainty regarding the proposed takeover at Leeds United contributed to his decision to leave the club.

The former United captain is proving a Premier League wow at Norwich City following his £3m move towards the end of July, with the winger netting a dramatic late equaliser in a classy performance in the Canaries’ 1-1 weekend draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

It crowned a productive end to the summer for the Scottish international, who, while grateful for his time at Elland Road, is glad to have swapped it for Carrow Road after an, at times, bewildering close season.

Snodgrass, who turned his back on a deal to become United’s top earner to move to the Canaries, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Neil (manager Warnock) tried to sign me on a longer deal at Leeds, but I told him I wasn’t ready because I wanted to play in the Premier League.

“I heard from him once or twice about signing and that was it.

“I think he was a bit more baffled about what was going on in the boardroom – whether it was going to be (chairman) Ken Bates or new owners in charge.

“I don’t really think he knew 100 per cent what was going on and you can see why now with the indications the takeover’s not happening. If he didn’t know what was going on, then it was hard for me, too.

“The fee got agreed and the professional way Norwich went about their business and pushed so hard to get me made me really want to be part of things here.”

Snodgrass admits that the lure of Premier League football and potentially becoming an international regular with his country also played a big part in his decision to leave Leeds for long-time admirers Norwich, who failed in a bid to sign him in the summer of 2011.

The midfielder, part of Scotland’s squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against Serbia and Macedonia, added: “I said when I left Leeds for Norwich, a big part of the move was down to it hopefully improving my international situation. That was my own view. I hadn’t spoken to Craig Levein about it or Neil Warnock.

“It was just clear to me if you get the chance to test yourself against the best players, it’s a no-brainer.”

Meanwhile, Whites chairman Bates has again defended his tenure at Elland Road and reiterated that his legacy will be that the club will be in safe hands when he moves on amid takeover speculation which has persisted since late May.

Writing in his programme notes for Saturday’s game with Blackburn, Bates, who also rubbished national newspaper reports last Thursday that GFH Capital would complete a takeover ‘within the next 72 hours’ said: “There is a lot that goes on, and is going on behind the scenes, which unfortunately cannot be put in the public arena.

“However, rest assured that having spent the last seven and a half years clawing the club back from the abyss, I am determined that when I move on, my legacy will be that the club is in safe hands and will take Leeds United to the next level.

“Meanwhile, the club will continue to be run along proper lines, despite the clamour of the small minority. There are ‘none as deaf as those that won’t hear’ that this has to be the case.”

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