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Massimo Cellino has certainly had his critics at Leeds United, but latest figures released suggest that the club has the lowest salary to turnover ratio in the whole of the Championship.
At least that was the case among those featuring in the Championship last season, with Leeds spending just 59% of their turnover on player wages. To put it into perspective; the worst ratios were those of Nottingham Forest and Brentford who somehow managed to spend 166% of their turnover on player salaries.
That has led to talk of big spending in the transfer market this summer with Max Gradel among the names touted which would cost the club serious money. So, are the fans right to be excited about the future for once?
It certainly seems like Leeds will be in a position to get back into the Premier League sooner rather than later. They may yet go up this season via the play-offs and would of course then have more money to spend than in a typical Championship year. Even if it takes another 12 months, Leeds are definitely on the right track now and can expect top flight football soon enough.
Even if they stay down this time, Cellino may well bring out the chequebook in the summer in order to make one last push and ensure they go for the title. The money is there now for Leeds to use and it is real money. They are no longer a club which needs to be in serious debt in order to buy players.
A lot has happened in the last 25 years or so. Leeds United were the last team to win the top flight in England before it became the Premier League. In the modern era, Leeds were regulars in the top-4 and reached the Champions League semi-final.
Images of Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Robbie Keane and Rio Ferdinand come to mind from those days when winning the Premier League was a genuine target. Leeds have a huge fan base, a big stadium, and a massive reputation. Even after relegation, everything remained for them to be one of the top ten clubs in England, apart from the huge debt they had.
That debt is now gone and thanks to Cellino. The fact that money can now be spent and that the fans warm to Cellino more, is making things come together once again at Elland Road. Not long before we see Leeds United fighting for the European places once again?
Leeds’ financial stability has been achieved via Premier League parachute payments, a strong fan base and some quite canny dealings from their much-maligned owner.