Leeds United are certainly banking on promotion this campaign, and failure to do so could have financial repercussions based on the numbers revealed by The Athletic’s Phil Hay in a recent appearance on a podcast…
The west Yorkshire outfit are sat top of the Championship standings with only nine games remaining, but the current season is on hold for the foreseeable future, which has put the idea of going up or even clinching the title in doubt for the time being.
And given Hay’s revelation, it could be a costly and unfortunate consequence should the EFL decide to void the season, but ultimately, there’s still plenty of time for such a decision to be made.
Speaking to his Athletic colleagues Mark Chapman and David Ornstein on their podcast, Hay said:
“This is a pretty exceptional crisis and 100% unforeseen, but it’s not a secret at Leeds that Radrizzani has to put in around about £1m per month to pay for costs and to cover expenses and without that, they’d be in financial difficulty.
“I mean, the wage bill has almost doubled on his watch and he came in in 2017, and they have a huge turnover by Championship standards – it’s up around £40m-45m and they think they can get it over £50m which I know in the context of the Premier League doesn’t sound like a lot of cash but it is a very successful and slick financial operation at Leeds.
“Despite that, the wage bill is kicking up to around 80-85% of turnover and when you’re in that position, you’re always going to work at a loss, particularly outside of the Premier League.”
Phil Hay on The Ornstein and Chapman podcast.
The figures mentioned by the ever-reliable United scribe are rather alarming – the chairman is pumping in serious cash – £1m per month, which has to amount to around £10m per season given the players’ contracts run until June and that they’d usually be back in for training by August.
No wonder the players, management and coaching staff have all agreed to defer some of their wages in order to help cash flow and allow others at the club their full pay.
Leeds’ wage bill takes up the majority of their turnover, hardly a surprise after the club agreed a £2.5m deal to land Jean-Kevin Augustin on loan in January with the RB Leipzig frontman on £35k-a-week, according to Football Insider.
Clinching a manager of Marcelo Bielsa’s calibre won’t have come cheap either, so Leeds are certainly taking a huge gamble on promotion and this situation puts all of that at great risk.
AND in other news, Andrea Radrizzani tweet has Leeds fans talking…