Johnson celebrates promotion

The main area of discussion amongst Leeds United fans before our match at Turf Moor this weekend was the war of words between Ken Bates and Bradley Johnson.

Further fuel was thrown onto this raging inferno of a debate, by some suggested figures that the Leeds United fans were throwing around.

It’s claimed, that Bradley Johnson’s current deal earns him £3,000 p/w. At £156,000 a year, this could be validated by Ken Bates’ own claims that Bradley currently earns ‘more than the Prime Minister’ who is on around £140,000 per year.

It’s believed that Leeds United’s ‘final offer’ (I use the term loosely, as I suspect another one will yet be forthcoming) was somewhere in the region of £5,000 per week – or £260,000 per year – but Bradley’s agent was demanding a quite frankly ridiculous £12,000 p/w  – £624,000 per year.

Now, to put all this into perspective, the last stats we could find on an average Championship players salary were £200,000 per year. This is somewhat misleading however, because it doesn’t include bonuses and the average is also taken from the earnings of youth and reserve team players. With this is mind, I think it’s safe to assume that a regular first team player will, on average, earn double that figure which takes us to £400,000 per year.

Given the amount of match time Bradley gets, I would assume the ‘parity’ he asks for is probably based loosely on the £400,000 per year figure, which would mean his agents demands aren’t quite as ridiculous as they initially appear.

The demands are even more understandable if Leeds’ final offer was indeed £5,000 p/w, as the agent would be hoping that he and the club could find some middle ground. If you split the difference between the agents demands and the final offer from Leeds United, then you’re left somewhere in the region of £8,500 per week which would not be too far away from the average yearly earnings at £442,000.

The above is of course highly unreliable as it was only talk amongst fans, and this kind of talk can often be widely wide of the mark. It does, in many ways, make a lot of sense however, and even if we’re only talking in a hypothetical sense it does present an interesting basis for further discussion.

I guess it all depends on how highly Simon Grayson rates Bradley Johnson? Considering the amount of playing time he gets (second only to Howson) then I’d have to label him a key player in Grayson’s Leeds United.

With this in mind, is it really unreasonable for Johnson to ask for a salary that is in line with an average Championship player? Or would the money be better spent replacing him – even if it does mean losing a regular first team player and upsetting the balance at a key time?

POLL: What is a reasonable new contract offer for Bradley?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

40 Responses

  1. superhoops

    He’s a young player, and not one of our top 5. Less than £400k at this stage in his career looks fairer on the club.

  2. Elliott

    If Brad’s playing every week, and we’re trying to go up, guessing that Howson, the forwards, Snoddy etc. are on 12k+, he deserves his 10k. I can’t help thinking he’d have more support from the fans if he had a Yorkshire, or anything but at Cockney really, accent.

  3. Neil

    While I don’t rate Johnson that highly, obviously Grayson does, enough to play him every week, unless it’s because we didn’t get a suitable replacement in the Summer. If it’s the former then he should get the going rate of 400k per year, if the latter then we should test the Jan market for a replacement, who no doubt we’d have to pay 400k+ to, and if we can’t find one, then we’d have to either bite the bullet and pay him, or let him run out his contract. If it runs out and we got promoted, would he be offered a new contract if we were in the EPL?

  4. Irving08

    Age doesn’t really come into it. His playing value to the club (as measured by first team appearances and versatility) suggests that his monetary value should be in the region of £420,000. SG must be urging KB and SH to re-open talks with BJ’s agent (whatever he says on the airwaves).

  5. Elliott

    How muchy money is available for fees for a replacement? Like it says above, it’ll cost us 500k a year in wages for a first teamer anyway so who can we get? No-one for free that’s for sure. What about someone on loan? Not great for the stability of the team is it? A Prem player willing to take a risk on us going up? Won’t happen, we’re not likely enough to go up.

    So what are we going to do? This is where Larry’s lack of experience may show, we need to wheel and deal and I’m dubious he has the network to do it.

    What do I say? Keep Bradley, give him his three years, sell/release him and write it off if we go up. If not, it’s back to the drawing board time anyway so he can just be lumped in with that.

  6. TheReaper08

    My suspicions are that whilst Grayson considers him to be important now he doesn’t consider him to be so long term. We all admit SG has made some bizarre signings backed by Bates. If SG was that adamant that Johnson was an integral part he would have asked the club to pull the stops out.

    • TSS


      Howson’s contract was signed in League One. He’ll get at least double that when he next comes to the table, I assure you.

  7. Elliott

    Howson is a special case, apparently many of his endorsements/promotions etc. were organised by the club and he makes a decent amount of money from them. You don’t think he was driving that Mini for so long for free, do you? Benefits of being a local buy I guess.

  8. TheReaper08

    And before @colin or @TSS say anything no I didn’t vote Can’t believe he made it as a Pro :)

    • TSS


      Really? I did… :)

      Partly because I was amused at myself for that option, and partly because he drives me insane most games.

  9. sveifors

    It is not possible to discuss this without knowing where the break-even in economy is for the club. We can not use more than we earn.

    Why dont put in that the wages in the contract get higher if we get to PL

  10. paulg

    The “average” Cahmp wage is surely going to be weighted by the fact that in any given season there’ll be 8-10 clubs who still have the benefit of Prem League parachute payments.

    Plus there’ll be others (Cardiff, for instance) who are gambling on getting promotion, and paying money that they don’t really have.

    We don’t fall into either of those categories, so I wouldn’t expect the Leeds squad average to be as high as the Champ average ……

    Anyway, this is all highly speculative. None of us knows what Johnson earns, what he’s asked for, or what he’s been offered …. so it’s all a bit academic – isn’t it?

  11. Colin

    The challenge for Leeds, is that the agents know that if Johnson and Becchio accept low wage offers now, let’s say £5,000 on a 3 year deal, then no matter how well Leeds perform, they are stuck on it for the 3 years, as Bates will never say “okay, we’re in the PL now, I’ll give you a pay rise”. Becchio is only 3 years away from his 30th birthday – he has to try and get his money now.

    The agents have only one aim – to get the best wage for their player – while the player might have sympathies for the club, the agent has none. The agent knows and we know that the club can afford to offer a contract that would be agreeable to Becchio & Johnson – the club isn’t broke. I honestly believe the players do want to be at Leeds, and then can be, for now. Johnson has done the right thing. His agent has gone in high. Leeds have gone in low. Leeds have transfer listed Johnson. Johnson is now in the shop window and if anyone really wants him (because the message from Leeds (Bates) is “we don’t want you”) then if they stump up the cash, they get a happy player. If no-one comes in, or Johnson doesn’t like the offer from another club, then it’s easy – he stays at Leeds until the end of the season. He’s happy at Leeds, keeps playing for a top club and becomes a Bosman which is very tempting to lots of clubs because it’s a low risk deal and often good for the player because they get a decent wage out of it too.

    If Leeds have offered Johnson £5,000 a week, then that’s a joke. Because, if Johnson stays at the club until the end of his contract and becomes a free agent on a Bosman, you can bet your bottom dollar, he’ll get more than £5,000 a week.

  12. paulg


    Most clubs (many clubs?) operate on two-tier contracts ….. as long as we’re in the current division you get £x, if we get promoted (or relegated) the contract adjusts to £y. West Brom have done this for years …. surely it can’t be beyond the wit of LU and the agents to come up with a similar formula?

    • Craig


      West Brom have time to perfect the aforesaid contract because they’ve been up and down like a yo-yo for as long as I can remember!

  13. Thomas Hill

    Having heard both sides of this story over recent weeks, for some reason I am aiming to the side of Johnson. Although I have been left frustrated and bemused at some of the stuff he does on the pitch, I cant help but think that maybe just maybe he is telling the truth and that the offer was poor.
    Although some dislike bates I appreciate what he has done for the club, but he is known for not spending.
    I don’t rate Johnson, I think we could let him go and bring someone in with far more experience and talent.
    I just feeling there is something fishy surrounding this that we unaware of

  14. Gryff

    Virtually everything fans say on matchday is hearsay. The figures are at best rumours and most probably simply made up. Further, the idea that because the average £200k p/a includes reserves/youth that the figure automatically ups to £400k (while understandable and perhaps relatively accurate) reinforces that we’re completely stabbing in the dark! :)

    I just think BJ ought to look at tapes of himself playing and (hopefully!) realise that he’s not as good as he thinks and that anything around £8k p/w is unrealistic for a player of his calibre.

  15. Colin

    Does anyone have a list of when each player’s contract expires? ie. 6 months – Becc, Johns, Kilk etc. 1 yr 6 months – Hows, Snod, Schme etc.??

    that would be interesting

    • Phil92

      I’ve read a list of contract lengths, not sure of its accuracy by it states we have McCartney and O’Brien on loan contracts to the New Year, then due to expire at or before the end of this season are, Faye, Nunez, Watt (season long loan), Kisnorbo, Naylor, Kilkenny, Becchio, Higgs, Johnson, Crowe, Hughes, Michaik, Martin, Elliott, Hatfield and Darville.

      Contracted to the end of 2011-2012 season are Scheimechel, Bruce, Gradel, Sam, Grella, Howson Parker and White, contracted until the end of 2012-2013 season are Connolly, Collins, Paynter, Clayton, Bessone, Snodgrass, Lees, Bromby and McCormmack and finally Davide Somma has the longest contract at the club running until June 2014.

  16. KohSamuiWhites

    I think your poll highlights perfectly the lack of confidence most Leeds fans have in Bradley Johnsons ability.5k,6k at a push is what he,s worth.I can understand his point of view,when SG is picking him every week.For the good of the club i hope all the transfer negotiations are resolved one way or the other in January so we can focus on trying to gain promotion.Contract distractions can only have a negative effect on the team in my opinion.MOT

  17. Woody

    Is there no one on this forum who thinks it ludricious that a young guy should be paid an enormous amount of money just to kick a ball about once or twice a week? If it were up to me he’d be on the same rate of pay as a street sweeper. Correction, even less. A street sweeper gives more of a service to the community than any footballer does. Hard-working people should be able to get into a football match for a couple of quid tops.

    • TSS


      Controversially, I totally disagree,

      This school of thought is born of jealousy, but ironically comes from the people lapping up merchandise and tickets because they want to see these sportsmen perform.

      Football is a game that attracts big money, not only from ticket prices (which rose according to supply and demand so no one can complain really) but also from sponsorship, TV rights, endorsements etc… All of this money is generated because of the players we pay to see.

      So my question is this – Who do you want the money to go to? The people who bring it in, or a room full of directors and shareholders?

      In any business, those whose skill earns the money is usually compensated with a share of it. I’m not talking shop workers, warehouse employees or low-skilled jobs like that because – and I mean no offence by this – they’re a replaceable commodity. But whenever there is a demand for your services, like bankers, web developers, footballers… etc… you’ll be able to command a fee relative to the money the company makes.

      I’d argue that there are many, many people less worthy of money than footballers. XFactor winners and reality TV stars being high on that list. Footballers have rare and valuable talent with a short career span. Reality stars have no discernible talent other than being able to sing someone elses song noticeably worse that the original artist did.

      • ellamforengland

        Mmmm, “I’m not talking shop workers” etc. So China is the way forward is it? Or may be India or Quatar. Is that what it’s all about then, market forces. No passion, no love of your team . Could not the money generated from football possibly go back to where it was generated,grassroots. Oh no it’s got to go to every “shyster” thats bought or borrowed in to it. Sport was not always this way and I truely hope it will not always be so.

    • ellamforengland

      Woody, I totally agree – I’d play for Leeds for nowt, oh hang on a minute, nowts probably more than they’d offer me!

  18. Paul South Wales

    Yes Woody, I agree they should never get paid what they do especially prem stars, but if you have a talent you deserve to get paid more than Joe average, how much more is the question?

    • Woody

      Players like Pele, Christiano Ronaldo, Maradonna, Cruijff are/were worth paying a bit extra to see. They were big stars who put bums on seats. The only special talent Bradley Johnson seems to have is blasting people off their seats in row Z when having a pop at goal. :0)

      • TSS


        So you’re saying that you don’t go to see Bradley Johnson play?

        Do you pay just to see one individual player? If so, which one?

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS Andy Hughes……

        That’s why I haven’t been up to ER for a while ;)

  19. Chareose

    not much we can do about that woody, thats how football is. So unless europe stands together and caps wages then players will just move to the highest bidder. Players are almost all mercenaries now anyway, you can see that by the quality of international football. Long gone are the days when a player would die for his country on the pitch. Now they cry if they brake a nail…..

  20. saltburnwhite

    well ive just been on football manager 2011 and checked out all the wages , i know its footy manager but to be honest they are very accurate they even know the wonderkids before they arrrivein this country to be superstars , so maybe theyre contacts wages for each player are just as accurate. anyway heres how they come out:
    scmeichel – 10k a week , which seems high but i seem to remember he was on 15k a week at notts county in league 2! so probably spot on.
    bradley johnsons current contract is 2.5k a week , which if he wants double his money and parity with other first team regulars of his age and experience like howson would make sense that he wants around 4.5k-5k a week.
    howsons contract is 4.5k a week expires 2012 which sort of concurrs with someone that posted on here .
    becchio is on 4.5k a week , and would prob want the same a kasper, which is fine hes in the same class bracket
    apparantly ross mckormack is on 10k a week until 2013!!!!
    paynter is on 7k a week so no wonder becchio wants 15k!

  21. Gryff

    Why the hell would anybody with their head screwed on straight pay someone like Paynter (with one good season, half of which was versus Leeds, and several seasons of mediocrity/below par performances in L2 and below) that sort of wage? It’s not that it’s ludicrously high, but that it’s way above his only half-proved L1 level.

    Is nobody else thinking “Andy Robinson” with that one?

  22. riccardo

    hi mate….nice blog! I would like to make an exchange of links with mine…is it possible? vist and let me know if you are interested in it…thanks…

  23. Roger

    cant believe all this nonsense about offering him more.

    hes not a key player at leeds, hes an honest player whos underachieved since he came here kilkenny is the same. i personally dont mind the bloke but its not about whether you like him its about his ability and worth to the club, hes been made an offer to that effect.

    all this is irrelevant anyway, the only fact that matters is he was made a final offer AND HE TURNED IT DOWN

    for me stop playing him and sell him in january, replace him with a much better player or use sam, watt, nunez whoever they are..

    id much rather pay 10000 a week to someone who warrants it rather than someone whos trying to con it out of the club using his agent and the media.

    • TSS


      No need to shout! I’d be extremely surprised if that ended up being the final offer. You mark my words, but I bet he’s back at the table before long.

      I’m interested to hear who the better player is that we’re replacing him with? Very few clubs are in the business of selling prized assets midway through a season, so that leaves someone else’s second best reserve players or a player from this league who we have to pay through the roof for – we sign frees, not big money players.

      Finally, he’s a key player while ever Larry plays him every week. Whether you and I rate him or not (for the record, I don’t) is beside the point, Larry picks the team, and the team continues to do well with Bradley in it.

  24. Gryff

    @TSS you honestly think BJ is so good we need a “prize asset” from another club to do his job?!

    • TSS

      No, but there’s no point losing him and upsetting team morale if we’re going to settle for another average midfield player who we have to pay a similar wage to anyway.

      Whether we rate Bradders or not, his team-mates like him, the manager seems to rate him, and we’ve climbed two leagues with him in the squad. Hard to ignore the basic facts really. I’d keep until summer I think (but sign if possible for resale value)

  25. Ally

    I can never understand why BJ is given starting spot every week. bring him on to beef up midfield occasionaly but his shooting and final ball are attrocious and show what his true level is. Leeds can show players with over inflated ego’s they wont be held to ransome.

  26. Irving08

    Bradley Johnson or Kilkenny ? Johnson any day: more beef, better engine, better header, better shot, left footed, more passion, in short, every bit the modern footballer. Kilkenny is lightweight, a bit of a square passer (albeit spiced with the occasional sumptuous through ball), ‘temperamental’ and, at any level, a luxury player. Who can forget Killa’s disappearing act against Donny Rovers and Milwall (twice) ?.


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