Andrea Radrizzani reveals Leeds United's financial cost of COVID-19 pandemic, players in wage talks

Andrea Radrizzani has revealed the initial cost of the coronavirus pandemic for Leeds United as a business.£2.5m in revenue from five home games that currently cannot take place due to the suspension of the Championship.

By Graham Smyth
Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 9:30 am
Andrea Radrizzani says the coronavirus pandemic has been a financial disaster for the footballing world (Pic: Getty)
Andrea Radrizzani says the coronavirus pandemic has been a financial disaster for the footballing world (Pic: Getty)

The Italian, speaking in a live interview with Italian Sky journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, said the Championship suspension and the five home games that cannot currently take place would leave the Whites shy of £2.5m in revenue.

That money and TV cash has left a hole in the club's accounts, meaning discussions have had to take place with the playing squad over a potential deferral of wages.

Radrizzani, who ensured Leeds United took early steps to try and prevent the spread of the virus, admits the situation has a high cost for the sport in general.

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"It's a disaster regrettably [for the economic implications of world football]," Radrizzani said.

"A club like ours loses £8-10m every year to be competitive, and nobody wants to keep a business that is losing money every year.

"This situation is worsening our balance. By not having five home matches, we miss out on around £2.5m that are the only source of income given that we don't have similar amounts coming in from TV rights.

"This aggravated epidemic is worsening this situation that is usually complicated enough."

Radrizzani admitted that discussions are on-going with regards to players' wages.

Birmingham City have asked their players to take a 50 per cent deferral during the pandemic, according to the Telegraph.

And League Two Forest Green Rovers plan to use a government financial support scheme to ensure all staff continue to receive their salaries.

"Our management is carrying out two conversations, one with the federation and another with our players," said Radrizzani, but he also reiterated the message already broadcast by his first team captain Liam Cooper.

"Health comes before everything else and football can wait.

"There is a global crisis that has hit everybody, mentally as well. The priority is to re-establish a balance and normality in the everyday life."

Leeds' position on what happens to the football season once the outbreak is under control is clear - they believe the Championship should be completed.

The game's authorities have committed to exploring options in order to play the remaining fixtures to protect sporting integrity and a season extension is likely to be a necessity to make that happen.

"What happens with the end of the Championship? There is a lot of confusion and more rumours in the media than on the official level," said Radrizzani.

"We want to play, but we don't know when we will be able to, and neither whether it will be behind closed or open doors.

"I hope [we can play] because I want to conquer promotion on the pitch, but I'm hopeful there can be a correct solution."