Leeds United’s 10 best managers of all time ranked by win percentage

    Leeds United have had 40 permanent managers during their 105-year history, with the current man in charge being Daniel Farke.

    The Whites have had their fair share of success stories in the dugout, although at times, there have also been some names to forget, such as David Hockaday and Darko Milanic during Massimo Cellino’s time as owner.

    Things are once again looking up in the Championship following relegation from the Premier League last season, and here at Football FanCast, with the help of LUFCDATA, we’ve decided to take a look at the club’s top 10 permanent managers based on their win percentages.


    Howard Wilkinson OBE – 43.45%

    October 1988 – September 1996

    Howard Wilkinson was the 17th permanent manager in Leeds United’s history and joined the club in 1988 from Sheffield Wednesday. He went on to make a huge impact in Yorkshire from top to bottom during his eight-year stay.

    He took Leeds to the Second Division title in his first season in charge, with the Whites then winning the 1991/92 First Division. Recently named in the New Year’s Honours List, Wilkinson also helped Leeds with their Thorp Arch training facility and left with 179 wins from 412 games.


    Dennis Wise – 44.12%

    October 2006 – January 2008


    Dennis Wise arguably wasn’t as popular as Wilkinson during his time with the Whites due to his previous Chelsea connections.

    He was brought in during Ken Bates’ time as owner back in 2006 following previous stints in charge of Millwall and Swindon Town. Alongside Gus Poyet, who was his assistant, Wise took Leeds down to League One in 2007 and began the next campaign with a 15-point deduction.

    The former midfielder managed to wipe out that deficit in the first five games of the season and actually had Leeds in third place before leaving in January 2008 to join Newcastle United as executive director. In total, Wise won 30 of his 68 games in charge.


    Jimmy Armfield CBE – 45.08%

    October 1974 – June 1978


    Jimmy Armfield took over at Leeds United following Brian Clough’s short-lived reign in West Yorkshire back in 1974. Looking to continue the success of Don Revie prior to Clough, Armfield spent more than four years at Elland Road and took the club to the European Cup final in 1975.

    As we know, a controversial 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich followed, and Armfield was eventually replaced in 1978 after winning 87 of his 193 games.


    Marcelo Bielsa – 47.06%

    June 2018 – February 2022


    It could come as a surprise to some to see Marcelo Bielsa down in seventh, however, his time in charge ended in 2022 following a poor run of form which impacted his record.

    Brought to the club in 2018, the Argentinian transformed the Whites squad, making them promotion challengers in his first season, which ended in play-off heartache.

    Bielsa remained at Elland Road, though, and was the manager to take the club back to the top flight by winning the Championship title in 2019/20. He then guided Leeds to a ninth-place finish in his first season in the Premier League and brought his high energy and attacking style of football to the team. Bielsa departed the club with 80 wins from 170 games.


    Garry Monk – 47.17%

    July 2016 – May 2017


    A few years prior to Bielsa, Garry Monk was seen as the man who could take Leeds back to the Premier League. The former Swansea City boss only signed a one-year contract and the Whites looked like they would at least finish in the top six. However, a poor run of form resulted in Leeds falling short, and Monk didn’t sign a new deal, eventually joining Middlesbrough.

    Monk won 25 of his 53 games in charge during the 2016/17 campaign.


    Simon Grayson – 49.7%

    December 2008 – February 2012


    Former academy graduate Simon Grayson only played a handful of first-team games for Leeds and made more of an impact in the Elland Road dugout as manager.

    He left Blackpool in 2008 to join his boyhood club and spent just over three years in charge. During that time, he took Leeds back into the Championship from League One, while also recording a historic 1-0 FA Cup victory away to rivals Manchester United in 2010.

    When he was sacked in 2012, Grayson had 84 wins from 169 games in all competitions.


    David O’Leary – 49.75%

    October 1998 – June 2002


    Over the last 25 years, David O’Leary was the manager in charge of Leeds at their highest point. The former defender was George Graham’s assistant at Elland Road and was then caretaker after Graham left for Tottenham Hotspur.

    O’Leary was then handed the job on a permanent basis and took the Whites into the UEFA Cup and then the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2000/01. However, by 2002, Peter Ridsdale then sacked the Irishman, who left with 101 victories from 203 games.


    Gary McAllister – 50%

    January 2008 – December 2008


    Former midfielder Gary McAllister, who played his part on the pitch under Wilkinson, returned to Leeds as manager in 2008 to replace Wise.

    After a slow start, McAllister eventually took the Whites to the League One play-off final at Wembley against Doncaster Rovers. Leeds would lose 1-0 and also lost to part-time club Histon in the FA Cup the following season, with the Scot leaving at the end of the calendar year. Despite this, McAllister still won 25 of his 50 games in charge.


    Don Revie – 53.31%

    March 1961 – June 1974


    Don Revie is Leeds’ greatest-ever manager and he actually began his time in charge at Elland Road as player-manager back in 1961. After retiring as a player, Revie took Leeds from Second Division strugglers to one of the best sides in the country during his 13-year stay.

    He won two First Division titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, one Second Division title and one Charity Shield in Yorkshire, taking charge of a whopping 741 games, winning 395.

    Revie, who went on to manage England in 1974, has a stand in his name at Elland Road alongside a statue.


    Daniel Farke – 59.18%

    July 2023 – present


    Daniel Farke currently has the best winning percentage record of any Leeds United manager as he looks to win a third promotion to the Premier League.

    The German, formerly of Norwich City, was brought in by 49ers Enterprises as the club’s 40th permanent manager in 2023, and after a slow start, he soon got to grips with things in West Yorkshire.

    Saturday’s defeat to Blackburn Rovers saw Farke’s side suffer a major setback in their hopes to immediately return to the top flight. It also marked a third game on the spin without victory, with the Leeds boss seeing his personal win percentage take another hit following failures to beat Coventry City and Sunderland in recent weeks.

    Farke will be hoping his Whites team can get back to winning ways against Middlesbrough on Monday week, in what will be his 50th game in charge.

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