By Alex Stevens
Leeds have the lowest wage to turnover ratio of all the clubs in the Championship, according to newly released figures.
Award-winning football finance blogger Swiss Ramble has analysed the published financial accounts of all the second-tier clubs for the 2015-16 season.
In 21 separate messages about the findings on its Twitter account on Monday, Swiss Ramble explained how Leeds’ wages represented 59 per cent of their turnover.
— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) April 10, 2017
This figure was eight per cent better than the Yorkshire giants’ closest competitor, Wolves, whose salaries were 67 per cent of their total revenues last season.
At football clubs it is widely regarded as healthy if wages represent less than 70 per cent of turnover, with any figure above 80 per cent straying into dangerous territory.
Leeds figures provide an eloquent answer to the many critics of joint owner Massimo Cellino, who has been heavily criticised by fans for how he has run the club for the last three years, including when he had sole ownership last season.
Supporters may think twice given that Leeds’ finances are far healthier than so many of their competitors, with a remarkable 15 Championship clubs having wage bills last season that were more than 100 per cent of turnover.
Leeds’ latest set of annual accounts revealed that the wage bill for the 2015-16 campaign was £18.1million on a 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.
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.