Contractually Obliged Reasons To Be Glum TSS September 4, 2011 Leeds United 27 Comments The stated aim when the transfer window opened was to retain the talent we already had and only add proven quality capable of improving the first eleven. Losing Kasper Schmeichel, Bradley Johnson, Neil Kilkenny and most painfully, Max Gradel with only Andy Lonergan coming in and proving to be an improvement means Simon Grayson has failed. There’s no two ways about it, however close he may have come to securing additional players and however frustrated he may be, he has to hold his hands up and accept the summer transfer window was an epic failure. But that’s all water under the bridge now. It’s happened and there’s absolutely nothing we can do to alter it. Once again we’ll be relying heavily on emergency loans to provide the cover we need. At least until January that is when we get to go through all the fun and games again. Before we get to that however are more pressing matters. All the players we lost this summer left cheaply or on a free because of our failure to tie up contracts in time, leaving ourselves vulnerable. Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson are two players we should have received a couple of million for. Both were first team players last season in a squad that narrowly missed out on the play-offs – even if we only received a few hundred thousand each for them, it’s always better than them leaving on a free. Max Gradel and Kasper Schmeichel meanwhile were perhaps our two most valuable assets, but they left cheaply because we put ourselves in a position where we either sold now and accepted some cash, or let them follow in the footsteps of Beckford, Kilkenny and Johnson and walk on a free. The above examples are why it’s so worrying to see so many players with less than a year on their contract. Contract Expires 2012 Ben Parker Aidy White Michael Brown Lloyd Sam Jonathan Howson Ramon Nunez Michael Brown isn’t too much of a concern obviously, and it remains to be seen whether or not Ben Parker can keep himself fit long enough to be of any use to us. But the rest of the players on that list are important to the first team. Fears of shining light Ramon Nunez walking away on a free following an excellent season at Elland Road capturing all the headlines are all too believable after the conclusion of the long-running Jermaine Beckford saga. Ken Bates did say the club were in talks to extend Ramon Nunez’s contract in his most recent radio address but there has been no mention of club captain Jonny Howson thus far. The club will obviously be aware of the situation and are probably (hopefully) in the process of getting these deals done. But after failing so miserably in contract talks with a whole host of other players, patience is running thin amongst fans. Alongside those whose contracts expire in 2012 there are another thirteen players whose contracts expire at the end of 2012/13, with only Luciano Becchio and Andy Lonergan contracted for the next three seasons.