Noel Whelan has urged the Leeds United board to learn from their naivety in allowing Kemar Roofe to reach the final year of his contract at Elland Road.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites star and lifelong fan of the club has criticised the top brass in the boardroom for letting the striker reach the final 12 months of his current deal in Yorkshire.
The 26-year-old has been Leeds’ top goalscorer for the last two seasons and was crucial in helping the club to the Championship play-off semi-finals last season.
Whelan insists that the board have shown huge levels of naivety regarding Roofe and urged them to learn from what he deems to be a “terrible” bit of business from the top at Elland Road.
Asked if Roofe’s contract situation showed naivety from the board, Whelan told Football Insider: “Oh god, massively. I mean, come on, they’re businessmen. All of them, up there sitting around a big table, they’re businessmen.
“You wouldn’t allow your star asset in a company to run down to a year if he’s making a lot of money and being one of their top dogs in their office. You know people are going to be looking, you know people are going to want that sort of person.
“He’s top of the tree, you’ve got to protect your assets. The fact the board have allowed him to go down to one year on his contract and possibly lose him at Christmas on a pre-contract is terrible business. You’ve got to learn from it.”
Roofe scored 15 goals in the Championship last season, including the winner in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Derby County.
He has a total of 33 goals in 122 appearances for the Whites, having arrived at Elland Road from Oxford United.