A relegation for any club is a deterring mark in its history. Even a team devoid of capable players to play in that division expects minimum survival as their league achievement.
Relegation to a lower division affects the club both financially and emotionally. For Leeds United, who were relegated to the Championship from the Premier League last season, a similar situation needs to be endured.
However, the club has gone through numerous ups and downs in English Football history. Relegation is not the low they expected after two seasons in the top flight, but this isn’t something new to them.
This coming season, Leeds are again set to feature in the English second division but they have a financial conundrum to sort out. The appointment of Victor Orta as sporting director six years back paid its dividends but now, the club must face the consequences of some of his inept decisions.
Indeed, Orta was the one who appointed Marcelo Bielsa as head coach, the man who ultimately brought Leeds United back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence. There is no denying that the Spaniard had worked wonders and amazed the fans in his initial years but an expiry date is there for everything, wonders soon turned into woes.
Due to the business performed by Orta during the last two years, The Whites are taking a hit of £165.5 million ahead of the start of the new season. The club spent £119 million in transfer fees to make the team Premier League ready but it yielded negligible results. A meagre £3.5 million could only be recouped from sales as things stand.
The likes of Robin Koch, Rasmus Kristensen, Maximilian Wober, Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca and Diego Llorente were bought for amounts of ￡12.5 million, ￡12 million, ￡12 million, ￡25 million, ￡10 million and ￡18 million respectively. A total of ￡85.5 million in transfer fees were paid to materialise the operations of these players and Leeds couldn’t derive a single penny from them leaving the club. The owners of the club had no option but to send these members of the squad on loan to avoid incurring a bigger loss which may result due to FFP norms from a sale.
While the club could only generate an income from the sale of Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo, the total amounts to ￡3.5 million net. The sale proceedings are practically negligible considering where the financial position is right now and there is no way foreseen to balance the funds.
Leeds United now hope that some of their loaned-out players outperform expectations so that when they return, they get sold for a profitable price. This is the strategy in play from the 49ers as they take a huge long-term bet. The Elland Road dwellers will hope to shrug off their recent relegation blues and continue working for securing promotion to the Premier League in the forthcoming season.