Fresh take on Leeds United's ownership picture, transfer exits and finances in worst-case scenario

Leeds United’s season and the one that follows come down to just two games, starting on Sunday at West Ham United, before a summer of change.
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Elland Road will play host to a brand new project, no matter what happens in the Whites’ clashes with the Hammers and Spurs on the final day. The Leeds squad is in need of a rebuild, an era feels like it’s coming to an end and with Victor Orta gone there is a vacancy for someone to sculpt the way forward at LS11. There will likely be a new manager, there will be new players and new opportunities for the Under 21 talent coming through the ranks at Thorp Arch.

Naturally, with tension rife and nerves jangling, fans want to know what’s going to happen, who will remain when the dust settles and what we’ve had for lunch.

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Here are your questions on the ownership situation involving Andrea Radrizzani and the 49ers, the recruitment picture this summer, Sam Allardyce’s future, the consequences of possible relegation and our gut, head and heart feelings about the last two games, answered as best we can.

Leeds United Q and A

Key Events

  • Staying up or going down?
  • What happens next?
  • End of the road for some players regardless?

@PovedaSZN: What are you having for lunch mate?

Chicken noodle soup, if I ever get through these questions. Developed, of late, a dangerous habit of adding a bagel on the side to accompany the soup. Needless really.

@beersftw: Is there anything in this half-time Palace bust-up rumour?

Adam Forshaw says not and I did ask him outright. Forshaw doesn’t strike me as a liar, mind he wasn’t actually in the room at the time. It’s perfectly possible that words were exchanged, because they so often are in dressing rooms. Speak to professional players or ex pros and they have more stories of minor disagreements or rollickings than they care to remember. Regardless, it’s water under the bridge now isn’t it? Sam Allardyce does not strike me as a manager who would permit division in a team at this stage of the season. Healthy levels of accountability will be encouraged, however.

@JoshuaHolden93: If Leeds get relegated, where do you see them finishing next season? If we stay up, what position realistically do we target.

You lot love an if. Seeing as we’re in the realms of ifs and maybes, I can say that I see them challenging for automatic promotion IF they get this summer right. And as a Premier League club next season they have to realistically target 12th to 15th. No one needs or wants another season of nail-biting terror.

@JohnHodgson1986: Now that Sunderland’s season is over, is Joe Geldhardt available for the last two games?

No, in a word. A loan can only be brought to an early end during a transfer window, which means Gelhardt would not be eligible to play for Leeds until June.

@andy_daynes: Just wondered if you’d heard anything about whether Big Sam will stay beyond this season if we are relegated? Fancy our chances with him doing a full season in Championship.

The club were very clear that this was a four-game only deal. Very clear. Sam Allardyce has also been very clear that he would only talk about next season on his terms. The squad would have to be better, he said, for a start. When West Brom went down they wanted to keep him but he declined the opportunity. Leeds is, plainly, a different prospect but I’m not so sure I could see him agreeing to remain in the second tier, even if the club decided they did want that conversation.

@Hfosterrob: If we do get relegated, which of the U21s can you see being big parts of the Championship squad. Perkins, Joseph, Gyabi, Gray seem obvious, but could we see a McGurk et al step up?

Another if we go down question. Optimism is rife in God’s own county, I see. The players you name could be blooded more easily in the Championship. Charlie Cresswell would, you’d think, have a big part to play given how he handled the Championship this season at Millwall. I’ve always thought McGurk was a big talent, a great player to watch with good feet and ball-striking ability. This season it hasn’t happened at all for him in terms of a senior breakthrough and he hasn’t had the U21 minutes he would have liked. I thought a January loan might be on the cards, but he stayed and helped the youngsters win promotion.

You could see him heading back to Wigan or another north west club on loan. There will always be questions asked of a player with his size and stature, and senior opportunities have been few. A loan move to see how he’d deal with the rough and tumble of men’s football will determine whether his future lies at Elland Road.

@MrROSSii1990: Gut feeling, head feeling and heart feeling on Leeds staying up?

Here we go, then.

Gut feeling - they somehow sneak past the gates of hell by the skin of their teeth. Don’t ask me how. Don’t ask me who the match-winning hero is.

Head feeling - they don’t have consecutive positive results in them so they’re at the mercy of results elsewhere.

Heart feeling - they beat a tired, weakened, safe West Ham and get something out of an on-the-beach Spurs to stay up. The lap of honour is happy, satisfied but not jubilant. Everyone goes away from the stadium knowing that change is coming, because it’s needed.

@aaron346637: Any idea how the finances are should we go down? Think it will be a complete squad clear out?

Four things stand in their favour, financially. Parachute payments are a big one, the wage-reduction clauses that average out at something like 50 per cent are another and then there are saleable assets who can bring in millions to help balance the books and keep everything above board with financial fair play. What also helps in that regard is a commercial revenue performance that is beyond what many Championship clubs could dream of. A complete squad clear out is unlikely, a significant reset is needed though for footballing reasons as much as anything else.

@Woodall247: If you were to pick the starting XI for the last two games. Knowing what’s at stake, and the character of the players, who would you choose? And what formation and tactics would you employ?

Robles, Ayling, Wober, Kristensen, Cooper, Koch, Forshaw, McKennie, Harrison, Gnonto, Rodrigo. 4-1-2-3.

I know there’s the hold-up play issue and a potential lack of a focal point for the attack but particularly for West Ham I think running at them and making them run will be key. I think that front three holds the combined goal threat and ability to make something happen. Gnonto and Harrison can run themselves into the ground for however long. McKennie has to get around the pitch, Forshaw has to keep the ball moving and Koch has to do what he did last weekend and make them hard to play through. Cooper comes in if he’s fit, because he’s a leader and you need those on the pitch. Kristensen did alright at centre-back so keep him there. Wober moves to left-back to shore things up, with Firpo suspended.

@12thManFTBL: Do you enjoy tomato sandwiches? If not, why is it that you enjoy cheese so much?

Tomato sandwiches aren’t a real thing. You’re kidding me. I like a cherry tomato or even one of those big ones, fried, as much as the next guy but that’s not a sandwich mate. I’m allergic to milk, by the way, so I can’t eat real cheese. Thanks for bringing that up @12thManFTBL, if that’s even what your real name is.