Leeds United’s wage bill has topped the £100m amount for the first time in the club’s history, a report has claimed.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side finished ninth on their return to the Premier League last season after a 16-year absence. Their brand of football won an army of admirers as United secured a top-half finish.
A solid summer window has raised hopes of Leeds progressing even further. They brought in Junior Firpo, Jack Harrison (on a permanent deal) and Daniel James to strengthen their options. That though was offset by the exits of popular trio Gjanni Alioski, Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi.
That follows the previous summer where Leeds brought in Diego Llorente, Rodrigo Moreno, Robin Koch and Raphinha on big-money deals.
Furthermore, new deals were also secured for Stuart Dallas and top scorer Patrick Bamford. Indeed, Bamford committed to a new five-year deal, which includes a significant pay-rise as a result of his progress.
As such, the club’s annual wage bill now significantly exceeds £100m a year, as per a report on Football Insider. It’s the first time in their history it’s reached such a level.
United’s wage bill was £46.1m for the year ending June 2019 compared to £31m for the previous season. It’s now tripled during that three-year period.
However, shrewd chairman Andrea Radrizzani knows it’s little more than a calculated risk.
While wages have climbed, so too has revenues. While broadcasting rights make up the majority of their income, they also now boast significant sponsorship deals as well as the welcome return of matchday revenues.
Radrizzani’s next step will be in pushing Leeds closer towards the top six.
However, the club has been warned they may have to cash-in on one of their top stars should they fail to close that gap.
Leeds warned over Kalvin Phillips sale
One man who has played a significant role in their rise is homegrown midfield talent Kalvin Phillips.
Now a regular fixture in England’s midfield alongside Declan Rice, Phillips continues to trend upwardly with each passing year. As a reward for his progress, he was recently named England’s Player of the Year.
However, Leeds were warned recently that unless they push for the top four this season, they risk losing their star man.
Rated in the £100m bracket, pundit Trevor Sinclair warned of the scenario whereby Phillips outgrows his hometown club.
That’s a view shared by Gabriel Agbonlahor, who also thinks Phillips will one day leave.
“For me, Kalvin Phillips will be hungry,” Agbonlahor said.
“He will want to play Champions League football like his England teammates.
“It’s a matter of time, to be honest. Leeds will know that it’s only a matter of time they can keep him at the club.”