Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani will spend a huge £48m if the Whites achieve their survival objective this season, a report claims.
The Whites earned a 3-0 win at Watford on Saturday which extended their run to four matches unbeaten. That 10-point haul comes at a crucial stage of the season, with Leeds also recently beating Wolves and Norwich. And, following Burnley’s 2-0 defeat at Norwich on Sunday, means they have a nine-point buffer between themselves and the relegation zone.
Survival in the Premier League would mark a successful second season for Leeds. For long periods, their side has been depleted by injuries. Indeed, big players Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Patrick Bamford have missed large chunks of the season.
And with Leeds slumping to a four-match losing streak, the club made the difficult choice of axing beloved coach Marcelo Bielsa.
In his place came in Jesse Marsch, an appointment that had been expected in the summer anyway.
And while Marsch lost his first two games in charge, there has been a marked improvement since. Indeed, their success at Vicarage Road means he now has a 50% win ratio from his six games in charge.
Bumper Leeds survival bonus
Now, with safety closing in, a report in the Daily Mail claims chairman Radrizzani will share out a £48m survival bonus around the squad.
That money is a huge increase on the £35m Radrizzani reportedly spent last season for the same reason. Last time around, Leeds finished ninth under Bielsa. And while they have suffered something of a drop-off this season, their ongoing status as a Premier League side will be deemed a success.
Too many sides of late have suffered what is seen as ‘second season syndrome’.
But with eight wins now under their belt – three of which have come under Marsch – Leeds now look well placed to secure their status.
That said, Marsch remains determined to keep his players focused. As such, the American is refusing to take anything for granted just yet.
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The Daily Mail also claims Leeds United players are more happy than ever under Marsch.
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While Bielsa will always be remembered as an iconic figure at Leeds, the improvement in results under Marsch cannot go unnoticed.
Indeed, the paper claims the squad have taken to Marsch’s methods “extremely well”. Furthermore, his more ‘holistic’ approach has gone down well with the players.
Marsch appears to have quickly gained the trust and respect of his players. That fact appears to be underlined by the fact that the American allowed Liam Cooper to do a team talk to the squad ahead of Saturday’s game at Watford.
Marsch later described Cooper as “the best captain he’s ever worked with”.
The contentment was perhaps best summed up by Jack Harrison.
Asked what has changed, he stated: “It is very different [to a month ago], and that is football. In the league, you can be under more pressure or less pressure based on teams around you and points.
“For us, as a team, it is important to stay composed. We mist control what we can control and take it game by game. Since Jesse has arrived, we’ve been doing that and the results have come with our performances as well. We’re at a crucial point of the season and we’re doing well. We now need to finish the season strong.
“We’re all enjoying our football a lot more – not that we weren’t before.”
Leeds, meanwhile, are also growing in hope that Phillips will sign a new deal at the club with Jesse Marsch also seen as a key factor.