Gradel's agent wants £25,000 per week TSS July 18, 2011 Transfer News 66 Comments Sunday Times journalist, Duncan Castles last night claimed that Leeds United may be forced to sell Max Gradel if a suitable offer is received. Speaking on Twitter, Castles revealed that Leeds United had made a contract offer to the Ivorian but that it was some way short of the £25,000 a week his agent had demanded – that figure is believed to be £14,000 more than the club’s next highest earner. Following the revelation of the wingers wage demands, I asked Castles if he thought Max’s sale was now inevitable, to which he replied with the following; [qtweet 92716845538357248] I know many Whites fans will be extremely disappointed to hear of more problems with contract negotiations and insist Leeds United are being ‘short sighted’ and ‘showing a distinct lack of ambition’ by not shelling out to keep the best players at the club. Generally, I’d agree with that school of thought. Especially in current circumstances with millions of pounds being spent on a pointless vanity project on the side of the East Stand. But £25,000 per week is a ridiculous amount of money for a Championship player – even one of Max Gradel’s calibre. In fact, £25,000 isn’t just a lot for a Championship player but it’s more than the average Premier League player was earning just two years ago. It’s easy to argue that Max Gradel is a rare case and that certain players wages will always be considerably higher than others, but Leeds United are already operating on a relatively small profit these days with no noticeable investment coming from anywhere. If we take an educated guess at Gradel’s current earnings and say he’s on £8,000 p/w, then an increase of £17,000 per week to meet his demands would cost the club £884,000 per year. And if Gradel deserves such a hike in wages, then surely Robert Snodgrass does too? As does Luciano Becchio and Jonny Howson. By the time we’ve signed these four up on long term contracts, the club’s wage bill will have increased by at least £2.5-3 million pounds per year with no guarantee of promotion and increased revenues. The reality is that our current situation – without the benefit of a sugar daddy or parachute payments – means we can’t gamble and offer these big money, long-term deals in case we don’t get promoted in the next couple of years, or worse still, find ourselves heading in the opposite direction once more. Ken Bates is running Leeds United with a minimal risk strategy. Ultimately, it means that players are signed on short term, low cost contracts, meaning that if the worst does happen, we won’t see a repeat of our last relegation. Unfortunately, the minimal risk strategy can often be one of minimal reward too. Players like Max Gradel and Jermaine Beckford can run their contract down and leave for nothing – or next to nothing as the case may be with Max. But you can’t sign every player to a 4-5 year contract hoping they turn out to be worth millions, because the reality is, most of them won’t. Ron Totally agree. The fact there is an agent driving procedures tells me Bates will by default sell Gradel on principle alone. I just hope we can find a club outside of the Championship to sell him to. The shame of our policy is that it is nearly impossible to get promoted with it in place. Financial prudence works well if you are already in the top division. Norwich and Swansea showed us what is possible however, although their squads did not endure the constant upheaval and volume of loan players we have. This turn of events gives further credence to Sanchez Watt’s return to fill the void left by Gradel. One needn’t be Sherlock Holmes to piece this puzzle together. Tim It’s OK, because Max has asked God to be his agent on this one and everyone knows God is a Yorkshire lad You can’t blame an agent for trying I suppose whilst his clients stock is high, but if it’s at the detriment of his player in the long term (lets not forget 2 years ago Max couldn’t get into a pre-Sven average Liecester side, so there’s every chance that star will fall and he’ll be warming a bench somewhere again) then I feel sorry for Max – a bit! chareose Correct even in the 90s you had to spend money to build a decent team, both on transfers and in competitive wages, Leeds are not competitive and so our decent players will just leave. 25k is a lot if its true and not more propagander started by the bearded one….. Until Leeds get a new owner i dont think we will get promoted Peter T Why was it left until now If he had been offered a new contract at Xmas at £12k I bet he would have signed Waiting until now was stupid or incompetent or both He will go now Why would Snoddy stay if we are selling our best players You will never fill new Executive boxes with a poor team in CCC Empty boxes do not generate revenue Typical Bates CJ Greedy bastard Bates has had his fingers burnt yet again by being tight fisted. How many more of our top players will we lose before the penny drops? The players agents must be rubbing their hands with glee! Horsforth White Absolutely agree with TSS, Ron & Peter T Somewhere (as with Norwich, Swansea & others) there is a way of getting promotion without going bankrupt but clever as Bates is at avoiding paying tax he is not clever enough to find that route, in my view due to not being flexible in his strategies. If we do get promoted either we will have been very lucky or Simon will turn out to be a better manager than we think he is. tim campbell Agents? Instruments of the evil one – this scenario can only end badly for all concerned EYLEEDS The reality is that Max is in the box seat with any new contract negotiation because he is entering the last year of his contract and will easily get £25k per week if he leaves on a free next year. Surely a one year ‘double your money’ extension and a promotion / relegation clause would be the way to go. Sell him now for £1.5m, when his real value is £4m is not prudent business. I would like Bates / Grayson to comment on why we have such a crap contract length policy. Bubionwhite Reality at last … well said TSS. Currently, many clubs are held to ransom by players and agents trying their hand and should be resisted if these clubs are to survive. I would like to hold on to Max and firmly believe that he, and some others should be rewarded with improved contracts to ensure that that happens, but not at a price that would, undoubtedly jeopardise the club’s future. If that level of demand continues the club should put a realistic price on him and let him go if someone agrees to pay it. The sad thing is that the club won’t use the cash to strengthen the team. chris from wakey I think Bates is too tight fisted and I think he keeps the wages down not to avoid a repeat of the Ridsdale years but to put more cash in his own pocket. BUT. £25000 per week for a Championship player is a joke and for once, and assuming this is true of course, I am on his side. leeds_lad Bates is fast to criticise anyone trying to maximise their own personal income. The only exception to this rule is Bates himself who is allowed to “extort” money out of supporters. Maybe he can explain the fact how “second tier” football at Elland Road is more expensive than anywhere else in the Championship ? How can Bates expect any player or agent to listen to reason, when it is so clear that he is intent on building his own personal wealth at the expense and suffering of the fans….There are many “parasites” in football, but few bigger than Bates himself ! REX congratulations on one of the most balanced and sensible articles I have read this summer. You can’t blame players and agents for trying to get the best deal – and I believe Max is responsible for the welfare of a large family – but 25k pw is a joke. Good as he is, I agree totally that the players you mention are more valuable to the team. One thing that never gets a mention is the great job being done by the coaching staff in continually improving the players. Beckford developed from a raw, lazy non leaguer into a class act and similarly with Max, who was bought as a fringe player from Leicester. Some good young talent emerging. Time to give them a chance, even though ‘you never win anything with kids’! Konsta Aren’t you guys jumping the gun here? Every Leeds fan knows how discreetly SG and Bates do their business, eg. absolutely no one knew about Rachubka & Brown before the deals were 100% done, and neither did we know about Kisnorbo having received a new contract offer. (SG claimed that he has to prove his fitness first) Bearing this in mind, how many of you think that Duncan Castles has any kind of idea of Gradel’s wage demands or contract negotiations, let alone exact figures? It’s all merely speculation and as such, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it. Matt BB Lets be honest, this is becoming a bit of a tired old theme. Our better players are allowed to let their contracts run down, and we lose them because we wont match effectively pretty average wage demands. When Preston and Bristol City have more flexibility in their salary structure you know youre in the little leagues. We all also know that a club with a turnover of £27M per year should be able to better manage its finances, and be able to afford to pay competitive wages and inverst better in its playing personnel, but we dont. In fairness we havent managed to chop eout the deadwood in the form(s) of Grella, Bessone, Paynter (who I recall was on £12,000 per week according to the Swindon Chairman) so that limits our options, but surely losing Kilkenny and JOhnson from the wagebill, as well as Kasper will give us some more felxibility. If Gradel is after a few more quid, then give it to him, it’ll be cheaper than replacing him, and we might actually get a transfer fee for him in January! Just think of the dosh Ken…. £0 vs £8M…. stotty As another poster said the problem is that both Gradel and Snodgrass would have committed to long contracts at Leeds about the same time Becchio signed for sensible money which is absolutely correct. It is this stupid short sightedness that make Leeds fans so angry, just like presuming they could take the lolly for Kasper and think every keeper in the country would want to come to Elland Road. Also,Bates made a comment last week that the facilities has to be used more than 25 times a year – Do the millions shelled out on the East Stand make that happen? I don’t think so! Gryff Offer him 15k p/w make it very public in doing so. If the lad wants to stay he’d sign that contract (with a rise for promotion obviously). If the lad doesn’t want to stay it’s bitterly disappointing, but what can you do? Dave If we do sell him for whatever price, I can see it happening conveniently close to the end of the window, meaning that uncle ken can sit on the cash And promise to invest it in jan. Jan will come and bates will no doubt spin some story about excessive wage demands from prospective targets, we all know how it works. If we were to sell any of our best players we should do right at the start of the window so that we have time to find a suitable replacement. What if find even more worrying is the fact that Snodgrass is linked with Wigan the same day as this max story comes out – take them two out of the equation Nd we are on a hiding to nothing. On my opinion the reason they were so effective last season is because they are completely different types of winger, two max’s or two snoddys would hVe the same effect. Doesn’t take a genius to work out that our goal count will be significantly lower next season if we take either out ofthe picture. We all expected to start the season with a (slightly) stronger side thN last year, but if journo’s are to be believed then we will be going into a new season with a considerably weakened team. Bit worrying really. Dave Jesus, just re read my post. It makes no sense. Damm iPhone spell corrector, makes you sound pissed or not English. Speaking of Jesus. If this 25k story is true, then max has made a mockerry of his apparent religious beliefs. Shouldn’t the deeply religiuos not chase the root of all evil? I haven’t read the bible but I’m fairly certain that greed is one of the seven deadly sins… Bradders What makes people think snodgrass and gradel weren’t offered contracts at the same time as becchio? Leeds never talk abou anything toll it’s completely signed and sealed as has already been said. bazza Judas bates strike’s again did the same at chelsea. Horsforth White Bradders – Not very long ago Max said if he was offered a contract he would sign it. Why would you speculate that the club might have made an offer & he was lying? Blind faith in Bates? steve underwood If its true hwants 25k let him go ok he has had one good season but lets be honest he is still erratic his crossing is woefull i can see nunez playing in his position.One or two pleople have said teams like bristol city spend more maybe they do but they dont have to run elland road the biggest ground in the championship while paying vast amount in rent on the ground and thorpe arch,one last thing on gradel im sure only 6 months ago he was saying he would sign any contract that the club put to him as a thank you to the club and fans for sticking by him were has his loyalty gone since then Matt BB Gradel like all players now can conveniently pass the blame on to his agent. The fact of the matter remains though that the agent is employed by the player, they can quite easiy trun round and say, I’ll take a pay cut, or I love this club, dont p*ss around with them. They dont generally though do they? well at least we dont hear about that? positively lets think about players like Becchio, Howson, Somma, and even Nunez whose contract renegotiations seemed not to take so long, ditto Snodgrass perhaps they genuinely do enjoy playing for a decent club with the chance of going up. Saw Kilkenny spouting cr@p on the Bristol City website and nearly fell off my chair.. apparently he’s gone there because he believes they are capable of promotion – yes we believe you…. likewise Bradley Johnson, pleased to be at a `big’ club like Norwich.. see you next season back in the championship. arthur A good article and honest …but listen, the player is a commodity – the Bates spin is that his agent and max are demanding this and that – partly true – but as often happens the player is being sold BY the club as an asset to fund other players coming in etc and as good profit to re invest ?- this has been planned well ahead in Monoco simple as that – loyalty,sentimentality and business dont go – young max may wish to stay for say 12k wk but he will be sold as planned like it or not … and the management will spin a line to suit – i.e ‘not us guv ‘ its his greedy agent etc ! I think he is a good player but plenty as good out there to be nurtered just like we did with max … Nunez is more than capable and Watt ? Tyler 75 If this is true (big ‘IF’ !) then I’d either sell him for ‘decent’ money (not less than £5m) or let him run his contract down with the option of a new one if we go up. If we do sell him, we don’t need Sanchez back as we’ve got Nunez and Lloyd Sam to come in normangunston If we could swap Max Gradel for Wayne Routledge I’d do it in a heartbeat. However – as Castles noted in another tweet – we’re seeing the effects of our 11k wage ceiling in this window. We’re buying discards, potential, or – like with Michael Brown – the hope that a fine player can defy their age. The time of Leeds buying ready-made quality is gone, which perhaps goes some way to explaining why Grayson has such a patchy record in the transfer market. number1inyorkshire i don,t know why footballers need agents and as it goes why they would want to pay some one 10/15%of there wages .there is a rumor and i wouldn’t want to add to it that footballers well if they weren,t playing footy wouldn’t be a rocket scientists apart from Ian dowie who is a rocket scientist .but surely they can negotiate a deal and work out there own deals . it has been said by many that agents are ruining the game well i would agree is max or any one worth £25000 a week for playing footy , no is my answer . but we should have signed him on a longer deal ,he would of signed a deal at the end of the season had he been offered one . Bates will not pay him that so it looks like its bye bye max . snoody linked to wigan now ???? Irving08 It is better to let contracts run down than to sell even for a handsome sum. We lose nothing that way – their wages have been repaid din gate money – and retain the potential to gain promotion. Playera like Snoddgrass and Gradle are a rarity a this level – their potential transfer money is unlikely to bring in players of equivalent use value. These issues only arise because of a dismal failure of management last season – abetted by ill-judged talk from fans and pundits alike of ‘consolidation’. When a club or society is in a transtional state the only way to go is forward, albeit intelligently. KB needs a manager with more intelligence and guile than SG; so do we. michael horspool Being a leeds fan is so frustrating, max was best player last year, pay him the money. make him sign the contract…then sell the player. Bates wont pay wages but even a maths idiot (like myself) can tell it works out better finaically. the guy at the top said it would cost the club 884k roughly to give him the conract. but better than losing him for free like we did beckford and johnson. together they must of been worth 8 mill at least but instead they left via the barging bucket. we wont go up with out good players and we cant afford good players with out getting fees for our good players who leave. sign them up and if it is out of our wage sturcture (which i think is £75 a year for the first team as i am told by a very realiable source within the club) then ship them out but for proper money. or on the other hand sign them up and have some abition. people say about leeds going broke again but we went mental under o’dreary and Risdale whos hobby is making clubs go broke. however some splashes must be ok. we are the biggest club in the league. biggest gates, biggest shirt sales, biggest club revenue but smallest wages. bates sort it out you prick. also read the website. Our stand offers new heights in luxary as we spent so much on our stadium. why put money on stadium when all the quality on the pitch gets sold on ebay or gumtree for no money. I said before it wont take long untill bates is running the club like goals five a side and players will be expected to pay to play! someone somewhere in the world must be a leeds fan and must see bates out and about on his posh yatch spending our money. if this happens please kick him in the nuts, for the love of leeds! MOT Colin This is all down to Leeds not tying up a player earlier and leaving until the last year of his contract. £25k a week is a lot, but he probably would have asked for £15k this time last season and Bates probably laughed at that. Tough choice, but it’s one of Leeds’ making, not Max Gradel’s. 1) Take the money now (£2.5m) and lose a player that you’ll struggle to replace. 2) Keep the player and let him go on a free at the end of the season. 3) Pay the £25,000 a week. With 18 days to go before the start of the season, this is way too late to be negotiating contracts. That’s the fault of the Leeds board, not Grayson and not Gradel. Worryingly, this conversation is probably being had with Howson’s advisors as well. Chareose For me the two realities don’t match……Im sure Max wants more money but he doesn’t come across as grasping to me and this story has come from a jeornalist that could have been deliberately fed this information by the Leeds United regime in order to turn the fans on Gradel and off Bates / Graysons back ready for Gradels immenent sale. Its just another example of Bates asset stripping Elland road, lets not be nieve about this……… after Gradel is sold there will be the usual rant from bates about greedy players as ken cashes the 3 million in his personal bank account…. Becchio10 I don’t really understand why, in this case, everyone is blaming Bates. OK we should have signed him up earlier, but who knows what went on during last season, contract-wise? Fair enough Gradel came out and said he wanted to stay, but perhaps his agent convinced him to wait until the close season. As I see it, this is the club which gave Gradel a break and he should show it some loyalty. He’s worth a good wage, but £25,000 a week is ridiculous. michael horspool behave….this has happened time and time again, is different players all add up to the same conclusion (leaving leeds for free) it can not be the players and must be the board get behind the club but not the fat prick who is killing it, never trust a londoner who is true chelsea to run leeds, he is loving the slow death of leeds, i would do the same at chelsea normangunston @Colin Hindsight is a beautiful thing. This time last year most of us would’ve happily got rid of Gradel, let alone offer him a new contract. It took a long time before I forgave him for his madness against Bristol Rovers. But I do take your point that a deal should have been put in front of him way earlier, say the turn of the year. Matt Balls to him. if its true then sell fast we dont want to be crippled with debts again because of greedy players. Gradel is wuality but nunez is gonna b a revelation this season n can easily step up to the mark in my opinion. Lets get behind the team as always. In grayson we trust MOT Si Letting Max run his ontract down is not an option. If he doesn’t get his move now, he will sulk his way through this season. Johnson was.a different scenario in that he needed to showcase himself in order to get a PL move. Max has banged in 18 goals in one season from MIDFIELD and has already proved his value. Take 3 million for him and let’s get it done as he will be a waste of space for us this season!!! Loved them diamond floodlights Maybe if we hadn’t bombarded him with awards he would still be happy with his paltry wage just keep saying ‘there’s a player in there’ or ‘we hope he keeps improving’ and loan him out to Lincoln for a bit just drum it into him he is shit ‘at this moment in time’ Anyway good luck max another mercenary off to pastures new and do us a favour don’t go praising Leeds fans,and stating how big our club is and telling us where we should be just grab your awards and go and take all your bullshit from awards night with ye Chareose OMG wake up you sheep….its a smokescreen ! Let me make it simple for you to understand ; Day 1 – The Leeds regime deliberately leak out that Gradel is asking for 25k wages to a friendly jeornalist, as a result the fans get off Bates back and onto Gradel’s. Day 2 – Leeds accept 3 million offer for Gradel. Day 3 – Bates issues usual rant on the radio about greedy players before heading down to his Monocco bank to deposit another 3 million. All the nieve muppets at Elland road sail on happily in their ignorance as Ken continues to asset strip…… michael horspool here here the man speaks truth is we all hunt down bates and kick him in the nuts he may sell our club Matt BB an £11k a week limit – incorrect, as said when god help us we bought Paynter last Year the Swindon Chairman blurted out that we paid him £12k a week, and I cant imagine he is our top earner. Snodgrass, Becchio, Howson all going to be on more. It doesnt have p*ss me off though when scumbag journalists and agents try to stir the sh*t like this. Of course we dont want to lose a player like Gradel, we need to be developing our squad not letting it fall to pieces. I cantbelieve people actually suggesting we take £2m-£3m fr gradel, are they insane? we need to knuckle down, get him on a decent contract and if he has another good season then sell him for a decent profit..! Who knows with players of his quality we might end up in the prem and be able to retain him. TSS Matt – The wages Swindon’s chairmen blurted out were including bonuses, so slightly misleading. There’s a good chance he is our highest earner though as there was a few clubs interested in him so we had to have offered the most. Also, Snoddy and Howson’s wages will be nowhere near £11-12k per week because they signed their contracts a while back. Taking an educated guess, I’d say Becchio and Paynter are the highest earners. They signed their contracts more recently than the rest and are also strikers, who generally command a bigger fee anyway. Matt BB if paynter is our highest earner, then for me its yet another reason to get shut, and didnt Snoddy sign an improved deal last year? SO he is surely also a nig earner, in real terms i think the sentiment of your article is spot on, we are a championship club, and we need to be sensible, £1.3M a year is the conservative cost of someone on £25K a week, so just incredible really, for a business like leeds to pay that. Having said that we have a bigger turnover than most of our rivals in the championship, still turn a profit, and by the looks of it are able to obtain finance to develop the gorund?….. shouldnt we be getting more bang for our buck at £30> a ticket? Matt BB typing gets no better – for nig earner – read big earner…. Matt BB I have read this site with some interest http://www.footballeconomy.com/content/norwich-city-football-club-plc its based on public accounts, and shows some interesting poitns surrounding wages/turnover ratio, pre tax profit. Compare Norwich to Leeds, its clear we have a bigger turnover, a healthy wages / turnover ration, and even turn a profit, but as we probably all can perceive we are incredibly risk averse, probably far too risk averse.. I also liked the scale of loss we were tlaking about at our peak… absolutely nothing compared to the likes of Liverpool, Man United and so on nowadays. Si He ain’t gonna sign a contract with us when others will pay him 10 k more a week than we wil! FACT Max will not sig another contract with us unless we break our wage cap which we won’t. Let him go and let’s move on with committed loyal players ala Becchio and co See ya max, don’t blame you for taking the cash Mersey Whites Offer him 15k now, with bonus etc for promotion. If he says not interested. Then we have no choice but to Sell. Cant afford for players to walk away for nothing. In the end of the day, we have to have players on min of 3 year deals and start contacting there agents when there is 18 months left, to see where the players head is. david newton Great article and sensible comment tss. Of course his agent wants 25k. He’ll settle for 20 (or less). In the meantime we keep him and pay what we agreed. If we need to pay someone more it should be for quality players to improve the team for this season. 3 or 4 players who are more consistent and stronger than kw, bj and nk and we have the makings of promotion . Get that and max can have his. pay deal. Fail and he doesn’t deserve it normangunston am fairly certain Andy O’Brien is our top earner at around 18k. Came down from the Prem and we had to compete with Cardiff for his signature. the tash master theres only one greedy bastard, along with hasselbaink, bowyer, smith, ferdinand and all the rest who left for money fuck off out of are beloved club MOT Mike It would be nice to see a player actually show some respect for a club and its supporters as opposed to listening to greedy agents. Its difficult to judge as nothings really happended other than paper talk. But if its true maybe max should cast his mind back to the day he let the club down v Bristol Rovers…. the fans could have finished his career at Leeds but he was forgivin….I dont think that debt has been repaid yet Becchio10 Fair point – the lad has had a huge amount of support from us fans since he came to the club. If he suddenly thinks he’s worth twice as much as everyone else at the club then sod him. Barry If Max wants to go let I think we have people who can step in. don’t blame Simon, the problems are down to the man who has the money, has i have all ready said hit him where it hurts, don’t buy the shirts and don’t go watch the team till he supports it. Barry claire stones speaking of money i have been reliably informed today that we have missed out on stockdale and he will be going to ipswich as leeds wouldn’t pay enough of his wages!! number1inyorkshire if this is true then we are as bad as villa ,trying to replace their manager ,we must be on 6th choice now ,EMBARRASSING NOW EYLEEDS We have to remember that Max comes from a pretty humble background and is supporting all his siblings financially. He will be getting heavily influenced by a shrewd agent who’s job is to get as much money as possible and I think under the circumstances loyalty to the club is only a secondary consideration. We are judging him by our own standards, i.e. we would give our right arm to play for Leeds but the modern footballer wants to make his fortune as soon as possible in case his carear is ended by injury etc. Bates only sees Leeds as a business and is a hypocrit if he expects players not to try and get as much money as possible. That’s what he has done all his working life too. If Bates was more open with his ownership of the club and we could see for ourselves that we simply can’t sustain the sort of investment on the team that we crave, then fair enough. Instead he keeps the fans in the dark and expects us to accept his word. Bates needs to realise that his biggest asset are the Leeds fans not his corporate boxes and it’s about time he stopped taking us for granted. Mark I am sure Max would like to stay at Leeds however you cant blame him for looking to maximize his earnings. I really like my job and the people I work with however if a rival firm approached me and offered to treble my wages i would be handing my notice in and moving on, i wouldn’t be agonizing over the decision at all. If Max has the opportunity to treble his wages elsewhere then as much as I would like him to stay I cant really argue with the decision as I would do exactly the same. There is an issue with how contracts are managed at ER and the judgement and value Grayson appears to have put on players (if paynter really is earning £12,000 per week how on earth was that allowed to happen). I believe Gradels contract could easily have been sorted out last year, the club chose not to go there and now it cant really complain if its lost control of the situation. I would like to see Leeds keep hold of Max, even if that means he leaves for nothing next summer. With a year left on his contract Leeds are unlikely to get a large fee and there would be no guarantee that any fee we did receive would be reinvested in the playing squad. Leeds have a much better chance of challenging for promotion with Max in the squad and thats worth much much more to supporters in terms of prestige and achievement and Bates in cash terms (£60m+ for a place in the premiership) than the couple of million quid and thousands of demoralised supporters we would get now. Matthew Although Max is a good player, there is nothing to say you will repeat his performance next season and get another 18 goals to justify his 25k a week salary he wants. For all we know, Max may have a rubbish season and barely get double digits. Its a relative unknown at this point. We were the new boys in the Championship, and by this point teams will already have the measure of us, it’d be hard to repeat stuff again against decent teams. Not to mention with the inclusion of West Ham, Southamption, Blackpool etc this league arguably is harder this season than last. Basically sell Max, and switch to 4 – 4 – 2 or 4 – 4 – 1 – 1 and play Snodgrass behind a lone striker Matthew In case my point wasn’t clear. Sell Max, or let him play off the rest of his contract, if we don’t get promoted allow him to leave on a free. Simple as. Brian T. I don’t believe that Leeds will sell any more players. The wages thing is only hype. They just need to bring 3 or 4 new ones in. My only concern is that they’re going to be either free transfers or loanees and that doesn’t work. Pat mc loughlin limerick Ireland Listen we all pray that max stays, whether or not he does or not is not as important as getting back up to our defence’s that has leak goals, we will always produce gradels because of the great support from the fans that turn players max’s from nobody’s to into great Leeds Utd players, a few more Andy o briens and a look at the current league of ire players that have done well in the premiership + championship, good soils young players over here as well for handy money, get our defence right and we will always have great attacking players, wasn’t that the secret in 70’s .p.s 4 4 2 got us all our big match wins, if have the foundation 1st ,leeds supporters will make another beckford and gradel this season watch this space.Pat 40 years Leeds fan. number1inyorkshire the answer is clear and written on the official leeds united propaganda site (website) new corporate and hospitality packages available in our newly refurbished MULTI MILLION POUND REFIT OF THE EAST STAND . like to see how that does through a long season and a playoff final ??. still much better to see us in comfort finish mid table than use that money on some players . Matthew It explains why the Kasper money hasn’t been re invested in the squad. I too thought some of the more valuable players will be sold to cover these costs, not like Bates would pay millions of his own money with nothing in return. Unless he hopefully wants to sell the club to some rich billionare of which point we’l be able to get out this damn league. GMcG Horsforth White, ‘Somewhere (as with Norwich, Swansea & others) there is a way of getting promotion without going bankrupt but clever as Bates is at avoiding paying tax he is not clever enough to find that route, in my view due to not being flexible in his strategies.’ One of the most perceptive comments I’ve read on any forum about Leeds United. If I might adapt your comment I would also say: Somewhere (as with Norwich, Swansea & others) there is a way of producing solid TEAMS, playing fluent, winning football with players who – man for man – in each position don’t seem to be particularly better than ours – just better coached and motivated? Pat mc loughlin limerick Ireland I think the money for max and robert will go along way buying a max maxs and robs transfere money will go a long way in find some now need out and out strikers to replace our long term injured players and transfere players, Mr bates will have no choice but to buy , we cannot afford the wages and the money oppourtunty that will happen from our wanted away stars, unless a sugar daddy pays them. Let’s get those home results sorted with good defences great to see paddy back, you can’t buy players like him but we can find max’s and robert s ,as we made them what they are now in 1st place by the support they got, time for Nunez to come of age like max did and get Watts or a watts back he ll have learned alot. With a experience leader like brown in the squad it will help both.Pat ,limerick. Pat mc loughlin limerick Ireland If max gradel stays the belief around the club would be a massive boost for all and any players who may be joining for the future. Theirs a old saying in business look after in what you have .keep the fight on and give rob snod a good deal as well. The morial and honesty feeling will be brilliant for the whole club structure if we can keep them and add one or two to the squad Pat in limerick. Marko I don't think we should give in to his wage demands but I certainly believe Gradel should accept an offer around the 15-16k a week mark, and I think Leeds would be stupid not to offer such a sum. Players are never going to all be on the same wage and some will always be on more than others. I don't think there would be many complaints if Gradel were to get a bit more than our other star players, since at the time he was the only one in a contract renegotiation, and also he is absolutely incredible. Whatever it takes (reasonably) to keep him here I say, and 16k a week is more than reasonable.