Leeds reveal £7.8m pay-off made to players and agents

The sorry, sorry saga of Leeds United's demise will hit a new low today with official confirmation that they paid £7.8m in severance packages and agents' fees to offload players last summer.

The sorry, sorry saga of Leeds United's demise will hit a new low today with official confirmation that they paid £7.8m in severance packages and agents' fees to offload players last summer.

In the midst of their financial meltdown, which still threatens to push them into administration, they were forced to pay £6.7m in wages to persuade players to leave. They paid another £1.1m to agents to facilitate the players' moves away from Elland Road.

"It is not appropriate for the payments to be split down into individual transactions," says the Leeds chief operating officer, Shaun Harvey, in a statement released this morning. It is understood that the money was paid to high earners who departed in July, as well as to their representatives. Players who left in that period included Mark Viduka and Ian Harte. Danny Mills, Dominic Matteo, Stephen McPhail and Nick Barmby also left the Leeds payroll in that period.

Leeds have revealed the extraordinary expenditure because they were obliged by the Football League to publish payments to agents made in the last six months. A full club-by-club breakdown will be published today. Leeds spent £1.55m on agents in total in the period, with £450,000 paid to the agents of incoming players. The 72 non-Premiership clubs spent £5m altogether on agents between July and December last year, a rise of £3.6m on the previous six-month period.

While Leeds are not still haemorrhaging money as rapidly as they were in the wake of last year's relegation from the Premiership, their financial situation remains dire. Insiders suggest that they are struggling to find money to pay wages, although if goalkeeper Scott Carson is sold soon, an immediate windfall of £500,000 will ease the situation slightly.

Leeds will also benefit from bringing forward their Championship match with Brighton, originally scheduled for next month. The official reason for the game being moved - from 22 February to 29 January - is because both sides have been knocked out of the FA Cup and they now have a free weekend. Unofficially, Leeds are desperate for the matchday revenue.

The Leeds chairman, Gerald Krasner, remains outwardly upbeat about finding a solution to the club's problems. But it is understood that he is also contemplating a "plan B" solution if he fails to sell the club to Sebastien Sainsbury's consortium, which still hopes to complete a buyout. One source at Elland Road said last night that Krasner has scheduled a meeting this morning with a leading firm of "liquidating specialists". It is thought that Krasner wants to explore an innovative way to restructure the club's finances while also preparing for the possibility of administration. The collapse of the Sainsbury deal would probably push Krasner to act sooner rather than later.

Sainsbury is still hopeful that he can complete his £25m buyout, which is proceeding without Ken Bates. The former Chelsea chairman offered to invest £10m in Sainsbury's plan but has been rebuffed because he wanted 51 per cent of the club for his money.

In his statement today, Harvey seeks to rationalise the payments to departing players and their agents by explaining the necessity to cut the club's wage bill.

"As a result of relegation, a major overhaul of the Leeds United playing squad was undertaken, which reduced the wage bill of the company from over £40m to less than £18m," he says.

"The total cost to the club of the players' contracts who left during the summer period was £35m, of which payments to both players and agents acting on our behalf was £7.8m. This resulted in an overall saving of £27.2m before taking into account the transfer fees received. Of the £7.8m paid as part of these arrangements, £1.1m was committed to agents and this amount is being paid over varying periods of time."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power