Kinnear says the avenues that both Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra were 'exploring' to get moves away held risk for the club and criticised the way they handled their desire to return to the Premier League.
Both Adams and Sinisterra had relegation exit clauses in their contracts that expired in August, yet both managed to depart between that date and the deadline. Adams left to join Bournemouth for a fee believed to be in the region of £23m and Sinisterra joined him on deadline day, on loan.
When pressed on his reasoning, the chief executive continued: "On their desire to leave. So I respect all players' desire to play at the highest level. They have short careers and they should have the opportunity should they want to, to play at the highest level. To be fair to them, when they bought into the Leeds United project, one of the things that we sell to players is you're joining a Premier League team on a trajectory where we're going to grow into the Premier League and we're going to be consistent Premier League performers. They didn't want to join a Championship side.
"However, I think there are ways that you can handle your desire to play at the highest level and from a personal perspective I don't think either of those two players handle it particularly well."
Kinnear feels there were players who behaved in what he deems the correct manner when it came to their departures from Leeds and those who did not.
"I just think you can voice your desire to leave," he said.
"I think the first thing is you need to be professional in the interim is the first thing. You need to remember who you're contracted to and the value of that contract. And I think you need to approach that through discussion and trying to get to mutual agreement rather than the avenues that they pursued.
"I don't think it's particularly helpful to expand on what they are and as I said, ultimately I have to respect their decisions but I don't think it's a way to behave to a club that's really looked after you and continues to look after you and was offering you fantastic alternatives to remain at the club."
Leeds made attempts to convince US Men's National Team skipper Adams and Colombian international winger Sinisterra at Elland Road, with new contracts and financial incentives part of their efforts to retain key stars in the window.
It became clear that neither Adams nor Sinisterra were willing to stay and in the days after the exit clauses expired, disputes arose around that very issue. Bournemouth evidently believed they had triggered Adams' clause and were entitled to take him, but the two clubs then came to an arrangement to facilitate a deal. Sinisterra, meanwhile, got his move at the 11th hour.
Both men, Kinnear says, looked at ways out that eventually changed Leeds' position.
"The avenues that Tyler and Lewis were exploring had some risk to the club," he said.
"We were fairly solid in our position but ultimately it was a combination of the legal position and their desire to leave. I think there are players who had the discussions and did the right things and did them in a timely manner. And then I think there were players who were perhaps led by their agents to employ tactics which will mean they're not on our Christmas card list."
Leeds agreed an option for Bournemouth to make Sinisterra a permanent transfer next summer but only in the event of the Whites remaining a Championship club. Then, the Cherries would have to pay a fee in excess of the £21m Sinisterra cost Leeds in 2022. Kinnear told The Square Ball of his certainty that the club will be able to sell Sinisterra for a profit ‘if the decision is to sell him.’
The Elland Road chief was keen to highlight another situation that threatened to end acrimoniously this summer, involving Willy Gnonto. The CEO maintains that it was a different kettle of fish to the Adams and Sinisterra cases.
"Unfairly on Willy that's been the one that has been sort of blown out of proportion because ultimately I think Willy had a wobble around an offer that was received and probably took some bad advice from his advisors briefly and then it was resolved very very quickly," he said.
"I think you know we've seen from Willy's performances he's pleased to be here and he's committed and I think he'll have a great season."