Leeds bigwigs triggered a £500,000 release clause in Heckingbottom’s new deal – which he signed last Friday – after dispensing with the services of head coach Thomas Christiansen.
The 44-year-old put pen to paper on an 18-month Elland Road contract yesterday which left Championship strugglers Barnsley “shocked”.
Speaking about Heckingbottom’s switch, ex-Leeds boss Wise said: ”I can understand the attraction, Leeds United Football Club is a wonderful football club, a big club that needs to go places, I just can’t understand what he’s done.
“In the way that he’s done it to sign on the Friday and disappear and three or four days later, I find that very, very strange in those circumstances.
“I think to myself did he know beforehand?
“Sometimes clubs come along and they look at managers knowing that they are maybe getting rid of the other one and it happens in the world of football.”
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Heckingbottom will be expected to get Leeds’ faltering play-off push back on track and Wise believes the pressure is on.
“I wish him well at Leeds, it’s a wonderful club – it really is – it’s a big club,” he said.
“He’s going to have a short period of time, he’s only signed 18 months – I’m sure his contract at Barnsley was a lot longer.
“This is about Leeds, Leeds want to get up there quick.
“They’ve been stuck in this rut for a long, long time and he’s got to do it.”
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Barnsley fired a parting shot at Heckingbottom after his move to Leeds was confirmed and Wise has sympathy for Oakwell chiefs.
“I can see why the Barnsley owners are so frustrated, he has brought six players in as well,” he added.
“And they’re his players that he’s brought in, can you imagine those players that are sitting there now?
“Brought in by the manager and all of a sudden he’s left and when you sit with the players and you talk with them and you say to them you want to earn trust from the players you say I brought you in for this reason, this is what I am going to do, this is how I am going to work it, this is how you’re going to play and I want you.”