Leeds United spent more than £700,000 on agents’ fees in the 12 months leading up to September 30, according to new figures released by the Football League.
United’s expenditure on agents increased from £597,901 in 2013-14 to £786,897 in the period between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 – a rise of close to 25 per cent. The club, however, paid less to player representatives than 14 other Championship sides. Cardiff City topped the chart with an outlay of £2.8m while Fulham spent more than £2.7m. Both were relegated from the Premier League in 2014.
As a whole, Championship clubs footed a bill in excess of £26m through transfers, contract extensions, contract cancellations and loan deals.
The figure showed a huge leap from a total of just over £14.7m in 2013-14, a spell in which only four clubs spent more than £1m.
A total of nine shelled out seven-figure sums on agents in 2014-15 and four – Cardiff, Fulham, Reading and Queens Park Rangers – paid over £2m.
Both League One and League Two also showed marked increases in the earnings of agents during 2014-15.
The figures will come as a frustration for the Football League which has fought to bring down the sums spent on agency fees in recent years.
Speaking in August 2014, after expenditure across the Football League dropped by £4m to £17.7m, chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “Whilst a reduction of £4m is welcome, there is still a very significant sum leaving the game to pay agents.”
The governing body has made no comment about the latest figures but it relaxed rules on Financial Fair Play (FFP) ahead of this season to allow Championship clubs to post a maximum loss of £13m.
Premier League clubs paid out nearly £130million to agents last year – a £15million increase on the year before.
Liverpool spent the most of any club, £14.3million, followed by Manchester United (£13.8m) and Manchester City (£12.4m) with the total reaching £129.86million for the year ending September 30.