DIARY: Jaffa taken aback as Ridsdale misinterprets kind offer of PR assistance

Confusion reigns at Elland Road, home of Premiership under-achievers Leeds United, as a life-long fan's offer of pro bono PR advice is taken as an application for the recently filled manager's job.

TV pundit and lovable rogue Terry Venables - currently under a seven-year ban from being a company director - was hired last week in place of David O'Leary.

But in the gap between the two managers, the club suffered a mauling in the press. Sam Jaffa, a former head of PR for Swiss bank UBS and now a consultant press officer in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, took it upon himself to offer the club the benefit of his PR wisdom.

It was a kind and generous offer mistakenly assumed by the club to be a declaration of intent for the top dugout slot: 'Thank you for your recent correspondence in connection with the manager's vacancy at Leeds United,' wrote chairman Peter Ridsdale. 'As I am sure you appreciate, I have been inundated with applications. Should it be appropriate to take your application further, I shall be in touch ... I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success in your future career.'

Jaffa heard no more about it, before reading in the next day's paper of El Tel's imminent arrival in West Yorkshire.

The freelance consultant says: 'It's a job I would have loved but not one I applied for. If El Tel falls on his face, I'll be there to pick up the pieces. Anyway, the letter reinforced my point - communication can't be great if that's how they deal with one letter from an external source.'

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