By Alex Stevens
The Leeds wage bill for last season was £5million more than owner Massimo Cellino had anticipated, according to a reliable journalist.
Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay took to Twitter to give some insight into how the newly-released financial results were far from initial boardroom expectations.
The club’s latest set of annual accounts revealed that the wage bill for the 2015-16 campaign was £18.1million, down nearly £2million on the £19.8million of the previous season.
But Hay reported on his personal Twitter account that the salaries for the year ending June 2016 was still more than £5million more than Cellino had bargained for.
The controversial Italian joint-owner “expected [the] player wage bill in 15-16 to be around £13million,” wrote Hay.
Total staff wage bill went from £19.8m in 14-15 to £18.1m in 15-16. Cellino expected player wage bill in 15-16 to be around £13m. #luc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) March 24, 2017
The Yorkshire giants’ total wage bill for last season represented 60 per cent of the total turnover of £30.1million, a healthier situation that the previous campaign, when Leeds paid £19.8million in salaries despite revenues of just £24.4million.
Yet savings do not appear to have matched the expectations of Cellino in a year in which Leeds made a loss of £8.9million.
The club slashed their wage bill, which is predominantly outlaid to the players, after decreasing the number of full-time playing staff from 52 in the summer of 2015 to 41 a year later.
At the same time, the number of apprentice players, who are more inexpensive, increased from 12 to 18 by June 2016.
Leeds chiefs are bullishly optimistic of turning a profit this season, which has been aided by increased commercial revenue and an average attendance of over 27,000 as well as a net profit in the transfer market under Garry Monk.
Leeds’ finances will take on a totally different slant if they are to achieve their ambitions of winning promotion this season and ending a 13-year spell in the lower leagues.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club have sealed an out-of-window midfielder transfer.