Leeds United brass opened up for a “Live Q&A” earlier today to take randomly selected questions from fans and answer them live on the Leeds United App. And while it was hyped up as a way to get answers from the owner, the director of football and the managing director, the whole exercise seemed to be “more of the same” rather than gaining any new information.
The club had advertised the Q&A over the weekend as a way for fans to communicate directly with the owner, Andrea Radrizzani, the Director of Football Victor Orta, and the Managing Director, Angus Kinnear. It was billed as a “live” Q&A, but instead of having questions submitted while the three of them were talking, they asked fans to tag questions on twitter with #ASKLUFC and they would “randomly” select the questions. The Q&A also went “live” as 12.30, right at a time that a majority of fans would be occupied with work or other commitments.
Don’t want to be negative but did we actually learn much from that Q&A?— RightInTheGaryKellys (@RITGK) February 26, 2018
From what Orta said, if Saiz/Jansson or both, get a sniff of a Prem offer they’re going to be on their bike aren’t they... #lufc
The problem with this format is that the questions that ended up being asked of the three weren’t anything new or anything that wasn’t already covered before. They were asked about the badge, which the replied with almost the exact same thing as before, that they wanted the phrase “Leeds United” on it rather than LUFC for branding purposes.
On transfers, Orta again stated that he always works with the head coach on targets. He said this before during the summer during an online chat, so this is nothing new as well. As for the topic of the money spent on transfers, Radrizzani said that they spent £20 million on players and increased the wage bill by around £7 million, which are all general numbers that were pretty well known.
The club said all the right things about keeping Pierre-Michel Lasogga, and while he might like living in Leeds, he’d have to take a massive pay cut and Hambuger SV would have to basically left him leave for free, something that they might be unwilling to do.
Orta on retaining Saiz/Jansson if Leeds are in the Championship next season - they both have long contracts. We are really keen to maintain these players in the squad. But like Chris Wood, if a player wants to leave, it's very difficult.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 26, 2018
This is literally applicable to every football club in England. If a players wants to stay he stays. If he wants to leave you let him leave or end up with a Mahrez situation. Really don't understand the meltdown from some fans https://t.co/IthGAgozos— ZL (@SupremeJansson) February 26, 2018
Will the club retain Pontus Jansson and Samu Saiz if Leeds doesn’t go up? Of course Orta isn’t going to say yes or no, especially with the ridiculous wages and transfer fees that the Premier League hands out these days. Preston’s Jordan Hugill went to West Ham United in a deal worth £10 million and he’s only played 12 minutes for the Hammers since his move on 31 January. With Premier League teams getting a minimum of £100 million in TV money every year, almost every club can stockpile players to sit on the bench as cover.
The contracts handed out will hopefully ensure that if a player does decide to leave that the club can figure out a decent way to handle the situation, unlike in years past when previous owners would screw up transfers and leave Leeds with situations like Charlie Taylor or Lewis Cook, where players leave for less than what they could have otherwise commanded.
In all, nothing really new was discussed or revealed during the Q&A other than Leeds might be working on a deal for Pablo Hernandez, and even that wasn’t a an actual “update,” per se, just Orta saying that the club would be “open” to renewing his contract. No really tough questions were answered, and nothing answered about the club’s links with the Aspire Academy, Cultural Leonesa, KAS Eupen, or Qatar. No questions about why Yosuke Ideguchi is sitting on the bench in León for the rest of the season while Leeds spent £4.5 million on a different central midfielder. Nothing remotely controversial or difficult, and so this Q&A was pretty much a disappointment.