The Wages Saga: A Must Read TimPM March 6, 2012 Leeds United 53 Comments Last Thursday The Scratching Shed responded to Ken Bates’ Wednesday radio address, acknowledging new evidence on the wages saga. For those who haven’t shown an interest, here’s the saga summarised: On November 10th, we posted an article called ‘Simon Grayson a Bargain at £56,320 Per Point’. The article used TransferMarkt‘s best guesses on transfer fees to show that, according to TransferMarkt‘s figures, Simon Grayson was far and away the best value manager based on transfer fees paid – almost half of second placed Kenny Jackett. As a post-script, responding to feedback from commenters, the article then included a table from The Swiss Ramble of wages spent in 2009-10. This showed that in our League One promotion season Leeds spent far more than several Championship clubs including Watford and Swansea. It also showed Leeds spent a lower percentage of their income than any other club in the Championship that year. On January 21st, we posted an article called ‘The £11.5m Leeds United Warchest’. This article reported disclosures in Leeds’ programme notes from our Chairman Ken Bates. He said that Grayson’s ‘player budget’ for this season was initially £9.5m, and had risen to £11.5m as Bates had bent the budget to support the manager. Using 2009-10’s figures from The Swiss Ramble, we highlighted that Leeds United would have been only 19th in the table in terms of wage spending two years ago. We also mentioned that Leeds’ 2009-10 figures (placing them 14th) were incredibly vague – including not only the players, but the managers, physios, and Board and transfer ‘pot’. On March 1st, last Thursday, we posted an article called ‘The Wages Saga (Continued…)’. This acknowledged Blackpool’s published accounts that showed a combined wage and transfer budget in their Premiership Season of £15.6m and would not suggest Leeds’ £12.5m budget (risen yet again) for the season was overly poor. Yet more evidence has come out, again to do with Blackpool’s wages. It seems Ken Bates has shot himself in the foot. While Blackpool did indeed only spend £15.6m in their Premier League season, and even sold Adam for £7m, the Daily Mail has analysed the accounts and have pointed out a scandal: Blackpool’s financial accounts for that 2010-11 campaign, filed in the past 48 hours and relating to their first season in the top flight for 39 years, reveal that one of Blackpool’s six directors was paid a staggering £11 million in remuneration for the season that ended with the club’s relegation back to the Championship. And the unnamed director, paid through his company, Zabaxe, was the chairman’s father, Blackpool’s multi-millionaire majority shareholder, Owen Oyston. […] That remuneration smashes every pay record for a non-player in English football and puts Blackpool’s majority shareholder among the global game’s highest earners for a single season, whether it is players, managers or club executives. The wage that Blackpool’s majority share-holder “earnt” is, in fact, more than highly-rated manager Ian Holloway, star player Charlie Adam and the rest of the squad’s combined! So it would seem that to excuse what seems to be very low expenditure on the playing side of the club, through the Blackpool’s accounts is odd at best. Fans will be forgiven for linking the scenario at Blackpool: with the sale of star player Charlie Adam for £7m to the reported interest from Cardiff in signing integral club captain Robert Snodgrass for £8m, as well as the sale of Max Gradel and Kasper Schmeichel, and the refusal to pay for the renewal of the contracts of Bradley Johnson, Jonny Howson, and Neil Kilkenny. Indeed, Ken Bates has shown himself far from trustworthy, with the news eventually surfacing that despite assuring Leeds fans all summer that Max Gradel was going nowhere, the Ivorian international was in fact told he could leave at the start of the summer. Given his quoting of Blackpool as justification for Leeds’ low investment in the club, you have to question whether Ken Bates thinks this is the ideal way to run a club?