How Leeds United's financial picture looks as major player sale deadline looms and new £83m figure revealed

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Leeds United's 2023/24 accounting period ends on June 30 with the club yet to sell a first-team player for big money as was suggested would need to be the case if the club were not promoted.

Leeds' failure to return to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs last season led to suggestions the club would be forced into a sale in order to abide by Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) regulations - or at the very least, improve the club's financial picture.

With less than seven days remaining until the 2024/25 season officially begins, on balance sheets that is, Leeds are yet to sell one of their high-value players.

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While the club have agreed a deal to send Jack Harrison back to Goodison Park on a season-long loan and are on the verge of recouping an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £5 million, for Marc Roca, a much-feared post-play-off fire-sale has not materialised.

Leeds' 2022/23 season accounts reflected a £33.7 million pre-tax loss as the team fell out of the Premier League, down from £36.7 million the year before, totalling £70.4 million. The three-year accounting period beginning July 1, 2021 and running until June 30, 2024 will permit Leeds to make a loss of £83 million over those three seasons, which leaves room for a £12.6 million loss in the unreleased 2023/24 accounts.

This is because clubs in the Premier League are permitted to make losses of up to £105 million over a three-year period, which works out at a rate of £35 million per year. However, if one of those three seasons is spent in the Championship, such as Leeds' 2023/24 campaign, the annual loss threshold falls to £13 million for that season, resulting in the £83 million figure listed above.

Going from a £33.7 million annual loss to £12.6 million within the space of a year, whilst no longer in receipt of Premier League broadcast revenue and centralised payments, may strike fear into supporters, but the sales of Luis Sinisterra and Tyler Adams - each transfer in the region of £20 million - will be reflected in the club's 2023/24 accounts.

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Additionally, upon relegation from the top flight, mandatory wage reduction clauses kicked in, which saw players' salaries fall by a reported 40-60 per cent in some cases, significantly reducing the club's overall wage bill.

Included in Leeds' 2022/23 accounts was close to £10 million worth of pay-offs to former managers, coaches and staff no longer employed by the club. During the 2023/24 Championship campaign, no such exits were made, thus saving the club a hefty chunk of change.

Factor in Red Bull's recent investment and front-of-shirt sponsorship agreement, the latter of which could be reported in 2023/24 the accounting period given the timing of the announcement, and Leeds are most likely abiding by P&S regulations. Chairman Paraag Marathe has already stated this summer he hopes the club are skirting close to the line every season in order to be as competitive as possible.

Granted, a major player sale before June 30 would greatly aid the club from a financial reporting standpoint but the manner in which Leeds have conducted their business so far this summer suggests they are on sound enough footing for the time being.

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