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Leeds United chairman admits departures will have to happen

Written by on May 29, 2024

Leeds United are currently navigating treacherous financial waters after the Yorkshire side failed to bounce back up to the Premier League.

The club owes a staggering £190 million in transfer debts accumulated during Andrea Radrizzani’s tenure and have recently reported a £33.7 million loss, despite significant player sales.

This financial strain is compounded by their latest defeat at Wembley in the Championship play-off final against Southampton, marking their third consecutive loss in finals and a sixth unsuccessful play-off campaign.

Daniel Farke’s team were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Southampton in the Championship play-off final, courtesy of Adam Armstrong’s first-half goal. The defeat means Leeds United will spend a second successive season in the Championship, a significant blow given their ambitions to return to the Premier League.

Ilia Gruev, Jaidon Anthony and Wilfried Gnonto of Leeds United look dejected following defeat to Southampton during the Sky Bet Championship Play Final match between Leeds United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on May 26, 2024

Leeds United will be under serious profit and sustainability pressures

The financial ramifications of missing out on promotion are severe. Leeds fans are now bracing for the likely departure of key talents such as Crysencio Summerville and Wilfried Gnonto. Chairman Paraag Marathe has acknowledged the possibility of player sales, stating that while the club has the necessary funds, they will need to make sales to comply with profit and sustainability rules.

The likelihood of losing pivotal players is a major concern for Leeds. Summerville and Gnonto are expected to attract significant interest from other clubs, making their retention difficult. Even young talents like Archie Gray and Georginio Rutter are not guaranteed to stay, despite the club’s efforts to hold onto them.

Marathe’s comments to BBC Radio Leeds underline the precarious situation: “We have the funds we need to do what we need, but there will need to be some trade-offs because of [profit and sustainability rules].” The club’s financial obligations and the need to balance the books make it challenging to retain their best players after failing to achieve promotion back to the Premier League.

Marathe emphasised the club’s commitment to adhering to profit and sustainability regulations: “There are certain things we need to do and we will make sure we are fully compliant with P and S [profit and sustainability] as we always have been. We’ll have to get back to the drawing board and see what deals we need to do.”

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