So yeah, this is a bad day for Leeds United fans.
As we have noted before, the new Premier League TV rights deal has introduced an absurd amount of money into English football. Sunderland, by virtue of finishing last last season in the Premier League, got more money than the winners of Serie A. Seriously.
When even losing clubs get around £100 million in revenue, the result is going to be a hoovering up of all available talent, as the Premier League clubs can now all do what Chelsea, Juventus, Manchester City, etc, have been doing for years and buying up all kinds of young talent and paying them to sit on the bench or loaning them out.
The money flowing into the Premier League also means that almost every semi-decent to good player is now worth stupid money and the big league clubs can also pay stupidly high wages. Kyle Walker went to Manchester City for £50 million. He’s a damn right back.
A lot of fans of Leeds United have been piling on both Wood and new owner Andrea Radrizzani. And while Chris Wood might not be blameless in this, fans need to realize that this is completely out of Radrizzani’s hands.
Leeds has the potential of being on the richest non-Premier League clubs with a lack of reliance on television revenue, but aren’t even in the conversation when it comes to Premier League revenue. Thanks to the Premier League’s increased revenue, those teams can outspend even top Championship clubs to a huge degree.
Andrea Radrizzani has to look at not only his team’s wage structure, and what they can afford, but also have to stay within FFP rules. And while FFP rules are meant to reign in big spending clubs like Chelsea, PSG, etc., it is also designed to prevent the Ridsdales of the world from bankrupting a club and walking away when everything falls apart.
Chris Wood has been likely been offered a lot more money that Leeds could ever dream of being able to afford outside the Premier League. And while he’s valuable to the team, if he wants to leave, there is very little you can do to keep him at the club. Wood, like almost everyone else in every other job, will want to get paid more than he is now. After all, no matter how much you like your job and your employer, if someone offered you a ton more money to do the same thing, wouldn’t you take it?
This isn’t Wood’s fault, and it’s certainly not Radrizzani’s fault.
It’s the game’s fault.