Ross McCormackMiddlesbrough are said to have upped their offer for Ross McCormack to £1.3m, the second bid Leeds United have rejected for the Scottish striker.

Rejected offers are an encouraging sign for Whites fans, one which signals an end to Ken Bates’ transfer policies. There’s little doubt that had ‘cuddly Ken’ still been owner of Leeds United, Middlesbrough would have been printing McCormack 44 shirts last week, while Bates announced plans for some new executive facility no Leeds United fan could care less about.

But that was then, and this is now. While every player has their price, it’s impossible to justify the sale of Ross McCormack for a mere £1.3m. We desperately need to clear some players off our books to strengthen the defence and the wings, but to do so by weakening us in other areas is taking one step forward and one step back.

I’ve heard the argument made that selling Ross McCormack would allow us to sign both a winger and a centre-back, thus improving two areas while losing strength in another. It sounds like a perfectly logical balancing act, sell one player for £1.3m and buy two more with the cash received.

But transfer fees aren’t really the issue at Elland Road. The trouble Brian McDermott has is Leeds United’s wage bill. I don’t know what Ross McCormack earns, but a decent Championship salary costs somewhere in the region of £10-15k per week. That’s around £500-750k per year.

Accepting £1.3m for Ross McCormack, then spending that sum on two decent Championship players doesn’t mean Brian McDermott breaks even because both players need paying. The first will simply replace McCormack’s wages, but the second is added to our yearly expenses, meaning we lose an additional £500k+ per year.

The flawed financial logic isn’t really the issue though, the bigger problem is replacing Ross McCormack. Even if McDermott was allowed to increase Leeds United’s wage bill and sign both a centre-back and a winger with the transfer fee received from McCormack’s sale, he’ll have done so by seriously weakening our attack.

Ross McCormack won’t score the amount of goals Luciano Becchio did, but his contribution in the final third is more important than anyone else in our team. On the ball, he’s more comfortable than anyone else – he keeps possession, passes it well, creates chances, runs at the opposition to drag defences around… Simply put, he’s the complete attacking midfielder. There are very few players in the Championship of McCormack’s quality and you’d get none of them for £1.3m.

Leeds United have to reduce the wage bill, but doing so by selling quality players is counter-productive to our endgame. The problem we have is the same one we had at the start of this summer, we have to clear the deadwood left behind by previous regimes, while retaining the quality players who’ll get us out of this division.

@TSSLUFC

  • Hans Erik Stenseth

    Very good comment!

  • Jezaldinho

    Spot on.

  • gistheman

    Really good comment and I agree totally. My question is why has no one been put in the transfer list ie any of the over loaded midfield area. Brown, Pugh if he still isn’t on the list, Norris may be tonge too. People say including bm that we have no wingers then what is Ryan hall??? If the lad is not good enough then why have they not put him up for sale as it doesn’t look like he will get a chance god he didn’t even get a look in in the cup last week does anyone know why??? I’ve seen him play for the development squad and he isn’t a bad player so again why???

    • Paul Mcknockiter

      because no one else wants him either another warnock failure

      • gistheman

        So if he is another warnock failer as you put it!!!
        Then where and when has he had the opportunity to fail other than in the development squad of which he has had good reviews from ???

  • Fred

    True dat!!!

  • Exiled White

    Probably ‘Boro are trying to unsettle him? Unsettled player and not playing to his capacity, so Leeds sell him. The bids could be psychological? Selling McCormack would be madness.
    The deadwood needs to be cleared out, but who’s interested in buying them? Nobody’s knocking at the door yet. Status quo.

    • TSS

      Might have a bit more success towards end of window when clubs become desperate to strengthen squads, but I think we’ll have to wait for contracts to expire in some cases – a few run out at end of season, thankfully.

  • MattK

    This story is like the baddy in the action movie who just will. not. die. Boro really do need to give it up and keel over already…

    I can see why McDermott is playing Ross as an AM behind Hunt and Varney, but I think he’s a little wasted not being upfront, he’s our sharpest finisher right now though Poleon is coming on well. Having said that he shows the most drive of anyone on the pitch aside from Austin so we need him in both places! Bit early in the season to say anything really, but Varney and Hunt don’t strike me as having a lot of goals between them, especially without a winger to turn the fullbacks and drill some crosses in.

    Smith will probably be restricted to impact sub for now as his all-round game is weak, but Poleon I can see being given starts soon, probably at Varney’s expense eventually.

    But Christ do we need another Centre Back! Lees looked screwed on Sunday and we all thought we were in trouble…

    • bill

      Sharpest finisher? Another with ross tinted glasses on. Check his finishes last season from easy chances or even the strike against leicester on sunday that is still on its way to the moon

      • MattK

        To be honest I don’t think he’s got a lot of competition in that department so it’s not such an outrageous claim— cf Varney’s miss in the cup… but yeah that shot on Sunday vs Leicester was shocking, rush of blood and all that.

        I just remember Ross being the only player who even gave half a monkeys vs Charlton late last season (horrible game of football) so yes I give him a bit of slack…

      • TSS

        You mean the strike from 30 yards that no player would score from regularly? The only chance he had all game? That strike?

        He’s not playing as a striker FFS, stop judging him as one.

  • Bill

    If Ross Mccormack is the complete attacking midfielder then i hope Ozil, Gotze and Robben are learning from the Scotland International superstar that cant get into the Scotland squad. Hes not worth £1million at all

    • TSS

      Firstly, the comment was clearly relative to the level he’s playing at, as all comments about players invariably are on this site. We don’t compare Luke Varney to Lionel Messi, for example.

      Secondly, a player is worth whatever another club is willing to pay for them. Not what you’ve decided he’s worth while failing to recognise how good he is. I’d argue McCormack is worth whatever it’d cost to replace him, and that’s a lot more than £1.3m.

      Do you get to many games out of curiosity? Because I’ve never known anyone who watches McCormack week in, week out make such comments. The only people who do tend to be those whose entire opinion is based on statistics – statistics which fail to account for the fact he’s rarely played at centre-forward and the only season he was, he scored 20.

      • Tyler75

        As a theoretical question, would we let him go, if we could replace him with Billy Sharp, who looks to be available for less than £1m ?

        • TSS

          No. You need Sharp in addition to McCormack, because Sharp without service would get nowhere.

          • Tyler75

            Played off a front-man Dioufy’s more than capable of providing supply as is Luke Murphy deeper or perhaps giving Chris Dawson his chance.
            Playing devil’s advocate as I don’t want him to go as beyond his ability, he’s a talisman for us.

  • Claire

    Have to disagree. Nobody is more comfortable on the ball than dioufy

    • Tcurry10

      Diouf the player we need to replace McCormack get a bid close to 2 mil & he’s got to go a few quid for Norris, brown to go for his wage pkt that’s fees and wages for 2 poss 3 . Bring in Dawson and another youngster and were better alround.. McCormack overrated , has the odd good moment in games but can’t remember him dominating any game..

  • Max

    They have I believe turned down £1.3m, so the question is what would Leeds accept? 1.5?

    I like Ross for character and skill, and think he’s more likely to score (or create) goals than anyone else currently in the side, but he lacks pace and the the combination of McCormack, Varney and Hunt is not going to inspire fear in anyone (which has a knock on effect as there is nobody in there likely to draw defenders and create space for the others; whatever the flaws of Beckford and Becchio they both carried a threat). I’d prefer to lose Varney (despite his recent improvement) and get a more reliable finisher. Equally it makes little sense to have strikers who are primarily good in the air (Varney, Smith, Hunt) if we have nobody who can reliably cross the ball, or support strikers who specialise in creating chances (McCormack, Hunt and probably, with his knockdowns, Smith) if we don’t have consistent, lethal finishing.

    So it might take a big sale to break the log jam.

    • Tyler75

      I doubt we would say no to anything over £2m but can’t see Boro offering that much but if BMac doesn’t want to sell him and he doesn’t want to leave its all academic. As for our frontline, surely Dom has already proved he’s a threat and is worth a start (instead of Varney) – the boy’s got pace, power and an eye for goal – yes he’s raw but he makes things happen and would create space for Ross.

  • craig

    Got a great work rate has our Rossco scores a few beauties, was a nice slot against Spurs. Please keep Ross he looks like he plays for the shirt.,Ive yet to go home since emigrating for the last 9 years now.,i definately want to come home this year and get a few games in, what i wouldnt give to be their this Saturday. :( homesick loyal white for many years home and away since sgt wilkos barmy army and the heights and lows of Mr O’leary.mot

  • yorxman

    We do need an out & out striker though. The Varney/McCormack/Hunt front line will struggle to get 25 goals between them & Smith is nothing more than a ‘nuisance’ sub.

    • Joe

      What about Smith? he’s looked dangerous in both games despite barely being on the field for half an hour. Not at all convinced we need a striker, give the youngsters and new signings time to bed in.

      • yorxman

        Like I said he’s a nuisance sub/player. If he started we would become one dimensional. Poleon deserves a start

        • Neil.

          They both will get their chance.

        • Joe

          I’m sure that’s what Newcastle fans said about Andy Carroll! Agree on Poleon though.

  • LIW

    Get rid of him – couldn’t trap a bag of cement if he tried. Overrated & doesn’t score enough goals.
    Yet another cart horse like Becchio

    • Paul Mcknockiter

      well said

  • spellz

    Personally if a bid for 2 mil plus comes in for Macca it might be worth considering as we might well be able to replace him at that value with a prolific championship scorer, I am not sure just how many goals Ross will get this season but his all round contribution in the final third like you stated is immense so it is a hard one but I have faith in McD doing the right thing as he is the man with a plan.

  • JONTY

    Where are GFH in all of this? I have seen no statement on the club website or other offering within my beloved social media – they need to engage by twitter more – will we sell or will we buy that is the question? Something is still rank & distasteful within the state of LUFC even now post Bates so come on GFH engage with me & let me know by twitter because I am the greatest fan.

    • Marc Butterworth

      So you obviously didnt see the interview in which our chairman quite clearly says that BMD has been told to bring in two more players before the window shuts ?
      Both Haigh AND BMD, as well as McCormack himself have stated he is going nowhere so whats the negativity about?
      Just another moaner, moaning with caring about the facts…

  • Matthew

    Want promotion? Keep. Want relegation? Sell.

  • Andy

    “Couldn’t trap a bag of cement” – “Cart horse” – what is this LIW character on? Are we talking the same plonker that spouts constant drivel on a comedy forum? – absolutely clueless.
    We must keep Ross & add more quality – I would tolerate his departure if we simply exchanged for better but that seems unlikely.

    • Matthew

      Isn’t that obvious? They’re either full of shit or don’t attend games. That being said Beckford, Becchio, Howson, Johnson, Gradel, Snoddy etc had critics. Ignoring the fact they were vital irreplaceable assets that when we lost affected the team as a whole.

      • Andy

        Matthew – couldn’t agree more fella – never failed to amaze me how much vitriol Beck’s used to attract both home & away regardless of his goals – yes, at times he could be a tart but, players like him was what I pay ticket money for – exciting & frustrating in equal measure. People likeLiw never fail to amaze me with their banal stupidity.

        • Matthew

          Well said, he and all the other players I noted were mid Premier League table quality, it’s a shame GFH didn’t come along sooner, we’d probably be in the Premier League by now, or at the very most have most of them still with us. We had the makings of a quality side that Bates pretty much destroyed.

      • Paul Mcknockiter

        er no actually the players mentiones above had a chance to get us out of another league almost first time round and deffo shud of second time round but they saw the sense and left after lack of ambition shown with what they were paired with at times becchio has been proven he is no good yes he was good got lucky on end of crosses in box for us to score soft goals but stick him anywhere else on pitch and he tried but failed and he has shown up what quality he lacks now and will be a norwich reserve player cos they have certainly spent money on better

  • Paul Mcknockiter

    SELLING MCCORMACK WUD BE A BLESSNG LAZY, CRAP FINISHER HENCE NO SCOTLAND CALL UP AGAIN PEOPLE NEED TO STOP PUTING SCOTLAND INTERNATIONAL ITS FORMER SCOTLAND INTERNATIONAL

    • Matthew

      I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say either 1) You’ve never seen us play. 2) Are a douchebag troll 3) Are not a Leeds fan. I think 2 of the 3 apply to you but pick one and let me know.

      • Paul Mcknockiter

        fuck off dickhead i go every week to watch the shit team underperform, he has hardly had a decent season since he arrived with barndoor, bar one his touch is poor as is his finish and is far below average we could get a far better striker in for he fee we can get and get byram out too equals cash to get another striker as hunt is shite as well and the two wingers and spare cb we need a right back wont get us promoted shuv pelts in and cash in on byram if city are prepared to splash cash and re invest in team

        • Matthew

          You sound angry. You also don’t sound like someone who goes every week, you seem unable to recognise quality. You’re just repeating random shit you’ve heard online no doubt.

          I think an option 4 is required here. 4) You are full of shit.

          • DAZ

            Too right man. The guy is full of SHITE.

  • Notlaw

    I can understand why fans are negative about this issue. But, BD said very clearly he did not want to leave and he wanted him to stay. The fans love him even though he does make mistakes. Mr Teeth from GFH does not need to say anything. The less he says and the more he shows he backs BD then Leeds fans should be happy.

    • Matthew

      Put it this way, there will be a lot of disappointed Boro fans when the transfer window closes.

  • PMH

    Ross McC is not the second coming, but he is about as good as you will find in the Championship. No point in selling him unless you get a ridiculous offer and have a replacement lined up. The thing that annoys me is that WE SHOULD BE RAIDING BORO, not the other way round.

    • YorkshireSmog

      Why should you be raiding us? We’ve done our cutting of our wage bill and we’re rebuilding for a promotion push this season. We have all the resources to do it, you don’t. You need to cut your cloth and you can’t accept it. McDermott has to sell to bring in reinforcements. We had to do that exact same thing for the past 2-3 seasons and we’ve lost quality a long the way. It’s how it goes.

      • PMH

        Of course you are right and no offense was intended. Boro are well managed and have had some deserved success. My point is that Leeds are a big market team that should be top half of the Premiership. Having our top players poached by other Championship teams is annoying.

    • YorkshireSmog

      If we (Boro) get him we’ve got a good signing and you’ve got money to reinvest in other areas. If not we move on and you keep a great player. But I completely disagree with raiding Boro. You’re not a Premiership team. For a start you wouldn’t be able to afford any of a our good players. They’re better than Leeds, not being harsh just reality.

  • henrymouni

    Just in:-

    GFH are fading away?

    Leeds Utd owner quietly sells off more than half stake
    The Dubai-based investment firm that bought English soccer club Leeds United in December after lengthy negotiations sold more than half of its 100 percent holding less than six months later, financial statements show.
    GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahraini Gulf Finance House , offloaded a 10 percent stake to Bahrain-based International Investment Bank earlier this year and its second quarter financial statement showed it had now sold a total of more than half the shares.
    The statement did not say who the buyer was, specifying only that it had made a gain of $776,000 on the sale and was now deconsolidating Leeds results from its own.

    GFH could not be reached for comment on Thursday.”

    • spellz

      Yes just read that Henry, interesting I wonder who the investor is, that is the main question and is it linked in anyway to the talk of a major investment recentely?

  • Andrew Grainger

    LOL at Boro fan below re their playes better than ours! Doing so well aren’t we. History does not lie re the status of the 2 clubs. We find ourselves run by untrustwothy people and on a downer but Leeds Utd should not be selling quality playes to the likes of Middlesborough any more than Norwich and I sincerely hope we are in a new era where it doesn’t happen

    • henrymouni

      He may still be sold before the end of the month if the offer keeps going up?
      If Bates was still here he would have gone for £500,000!
      Bates had no respect for our manager or us.
      If he does go it will probably be Brian’s decision.
      It would be a big message to other clubs if we keep him!!!!
      Vultures keep away!