Lubomir Michalik

Carlisle United boss Greg Abbott has admitted he doesn’t think the club will be able to sign Lubomir Michalik on a permanent deal despite a successful loan spell with the Cumbrian’s.

Abbott said Lubo is on a “really, really big wage” and whilst he’d love to make him a permanent addition by offering a salary that would make him one of the clubs top earners, he doesn’t believe it would come anywhere close to meeting Michalik’s demands.

After signing from Bolton Wanderers in 2008, Michalik went on to make 49 appearances for the Whites before falling way down the pecking order and being shipped out on loan.

The fact that both Leeds and Carlisle were playing in the same division when Leeds United gave Lubo his current salary in 2008 highlights the huge difference in financial resources these two sides have been between them.

You do however have to wonder just how high his salary is? At the time, it seemed like a major coup capturing a Premier League player whilst we struggled to escape League One, but it now seems Dennis Wise (the then manager) brought him to Leeds with some impressive financial incentives. As we saw at Notts County, the lure of money is much more important these days than the division you’re playing in.

At 27 years old, Michalik still has his best days ahead of him and Leeds United would be careless to let him go for free in the summer after lining his pockets for a season he played no part in. The best case scenario would be a transfer in January, but after spending the last few months on loan to Carlisle it seems unlikely that he’s going to have a line of managers queueing up outside Elland Road fighting for his signature.

Elsewhere, the future of Mike Grella hangs in the balance as Abbott also revealed he didn’t expect Leeds United to loan him back to Carlisle for the rest of the season.

With McCormack, Paynter and Somma not even guaranteed a place on the bench it seems highly unlikely that Grella will remain at Elland Road for long. However, it seems Simon Grayson is in no rush to decide on Grella’s future and is likely to weigh up his options before deciding what happens next with the American. A loan move or transfer seem the most likely options.

36 Responses

  1. EW

    Greg Abbott also said in an earlier interview that ‘several’ other clubs were interested in Michalik and that he had options. Given his displays at Carlisle have made him something of a cult hero in Cumbria maybe other clubs recognise some potential that never seemed to emerge at ER. With a bit of luck and a reasonable agent maybe we will see the back of him this month but on balance is he really any worse than Naylor or Collins at the moment.

    • paul

      if you are putting collins in that bracket then you havent been watching leeds lately. collins has put in a few solid displays and doesnt deserve bracketing with lubo and naylor, GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE !!!!

  2. RoystonLUFC

    I never rated Lubo. I wish him well…but not at ER. The problem we’ve got is that no second division club will make an offer for him because he’s not good enough. But third division clubs can’t afford his wages (actually, nor can a lot of second division clubs – ourselves included), so I reckon we’re stuck with him, paying his really big wage until his contract expires. It all sounds depressingly familiar. Hopefully now that Larry’s in charge, sense will prevail in future signings.

  3. Max.

    The feedback from Carlisle was that Simon wants to keep Grella; I can see Grella being converted to a midfield player if he stays around.

    Also – note Kilgallon has gone to Doncaster; apparently he turned down Leeds (and others). Part of it is probably money, in that Doncaster seem to have gone above and beyond to cover his wages, but he seems to think he’d be better off for a while being a star at a smaller club than a squad player at a bigger one, and to be honest I think he’s probably right.

  4. Dje

    Another ‘mutual termination’ of the contract seems to be on the cards. We pay him three months salary and he walks away on a released contract right now. As a positive, that’s a 50% saving on his salaries for a player who clearly isn’t going to contribute to the first team squad.

    It’s an expensive and wasteful game football!

  5. Matt BB

    Michalik was one of Wise’s last signings, so lets not forget that, ditto Robinson was not a Grayson signing either, so hopefully this is one of the last debacles we’ll see.

    I agree with one of the other posts, is Michalik really any worse than Collins? Personally, if we dont sign another centre half in the transfer window I’d keep him around, hes good in the air if nothing else, and actually not too bad at set pieces (at the other end) We are lacking that physical presence at corners.

    It would be a massive shame for me if we ended up using our FA Cup money to pay him and Robinson off.

    On Kilgallon joining Doncaster Rovers – WTF?!! Apparently he wants to join them permanently according to the YP. To turn down Leeds, Leicester, Norwich, Derby honestly what is going on there? No one but the Donny chairman expects them to go up but I fully expect to see them in financial trouble paying both his and Healys, and Billy Sharps wages.

    Newsflash to footballers wanting a yorkshire club, we have actually now got into the championship?… Doncaster are no longer one division above.

  6. Dje


    I read the article in the Yorkshire Post too regarding Kilgallon. The lad had clearly taken a huge confidence hit by being strung out and not playing football up at Sunderland. I think the prospect of going BACK to Leeds or Sheffield United and potentially getting dropped down the pecking order was too much to contemplate and so he lumped for regular first team action at Doncaster where he can prove Bruce and Co wrong.

    Although it would have been good to have brought him in for our Championship drive this season, you would have to wonder whether or not we would see him as Premiership material if we got promoted. He’s already been relegated once from the Premiership with Sheffield United, and, according to Steve Bruce, doesn’t cut it a the top level with a mediocre Sunderland – so there is definitely a case to be made that he is a top-end Championship defender at best.

  7. Matt BB

    @djedjedje Yes I do pick that up too, but are DOncaster a top end Championship side?… with a tiny stadium, tiny crowds, and pedestrian players how far could they go?

    All credit to them for getting out of non-league to where they are, and positive for kilgallon to back them. but still…

    Can you think of one of our current defenders who would make it in the prem!

    In a few years parker perhaps or maybe Lees? cant see Naylor, Collins, Bromby, O’Brien or Bruce cutting it week in week out against Fabregas, Torres etc.

    • Dje


      Dispite what he is saying now, I think Kilgallon will only use the rest of this season on loan at Doncaster to show off his talents as a footballer. They are a good side, well organised and winning more than they lose – so he can comfortably step-in and be heralded as a rock at the back without too much influence required from him on the other back four. Talk of him wanting to stay at Doncaster reads to me as ‘I don’t have a future at Sunderland. I want to leave. Someone come get me!’

      As to our back four in the Premiership, dispite age set against him I think O’Brien still has something to offer a mid-low finishing Premeriship team. Bruce seems to have the brains to learn so I expect him to improve as the season draws on (and after), and Lees, Parker, Kisnorbo and White are still unknowns as none have had a good runout for Leeds for so long now.

      Ultimately a promotion to the Premiership would require a fair amount of incoming at the back (keeper aside), but I’d be surprised if we moved for Kilgallon at such a point.

      • Dje

        At Championship level for us he looked like our most assured central defender ~ read the game well and was physical enough to hold his own against the more powerful forwards he was put up against. Remember, we got £1m+ for him from Sheffield United at a time when we couldn’t give away our big wage earners for free quickly enough. Sure, his distribution wasn’t fantastic, but I presume that is why he never quite convinced at Premiership level.

        If he is the same calibre of player as the one who left us four years or so ago, then he’s no worse than Naylor, Bruce, Collins, O’Brien and would walk back into our first XI. As to his current form, I’m not one for wasting my time watching Sunderland training sessions so I couldn’t possibly say.

  8. TheReaper08

    I don’t mind old Lubo. ALways felt he was a player that relied almost totally on confidence.

    I wouldn’t want him back, particularly if he is on big money but I do wish him well and hope he finds a club when the inevitable happens.

  9. scot

    Personally i agree that Lubo should be kept at Elland Road for a few reasons.

    1. this ‘big wage’ he is supposedly on is worth getting something back in return which i think he is capable of giving. Especially if we don’t sign a centre half which i dont think we will with Kis coming back soon, he is too pricey to termenate a contract as that also costs a chunky lump sum.

    2. Regardless of Collins recent performances he, in my opinion is twice the player Collins is (And better than Naylor for that matter)! why Grayson keeps forever faith with Collins is anybody’s guess but loaning a former premiership CB out to a league one club whilst Collins strolls in the team is a joke!

    3. like a previous comment he still has a few good years in front of him for me?! he’s slightly slow which can cause problems but Leeds havent got any quick centre halfs anyway so its unfair to circle out Lubo.

    In a perfect world Collins and Naylor would do one and Lubo would be kept for me, even at least as cover for Kis (when fit), O’Brien and Bruce.

  10. John Ganmble

    Our defence is the area that will of let us down come the end of the season. We never seem comfortable at the back and no matter how many we score we are always likely to concede the same amount. Kis is out of the picture, Naylors days are over, I don’t rate Collins (we concede too many when he is around). That leaves us very weak in a key position. Surely Lubo should be held onto.
    Not sure SG knows how to sort it out!

  11. Matt BB

    Why not convert Lubo into a central midfielder?

    Like a lot of eastern europeans technically hes pretty good, and a good passer of the ball, the areas that tend to let him down as a central defender arent going to come to the fore so much in midfield? Hes a good tackler and good in the air so would cover the back four pretty well.

    • paul

      lubo, a central midfield player, have you been smoking crack cocaine ? lubo is a very limited player, central midfield players are not or shouldnt be in a team pushing for the premier league. an unbelievable suggestion matt.

  12. Dje

    Good result on both fronts. I’d be interested to know if we have a purchasing clause / fee agreed for McCartney come the summer.

    Best of luck to Lubo – I’m sure the next we’ll hear of him is when he plays his heart out in the Champion’s League quarter-final for someone like Valencia or Roma. Football is funny like that.

  13. Mike

    “Did I really spell ‘despite’ wrong twice?!”

    Yes!, probably due to the way you pronounce it, yet another clue as to your geographical origins :-)
    or is it just words beginning with D?

  14. Old Billy White

    Glad that McCartney is back, but apparently he can’t play against Arsenal due to not being available for the first game. I wonder what will be put in place to deal with Walcott’s pace, I would think he will be on from the start.
    Good luck to Lubo hope all goes well for him at Carlisle, looks as though he wants to play football not just sit around and take the money.

  15. Colin

    So he’s now joined Carlisle on an 18 month contract. Is that a bit naughty? He had his contract terminated by Leeds, so he’s cashed in there, and then signs for Carlisle on a free and he’s getting paid again. Would have been fairer if Carlisle just bought him for free from Leeds, thus avoiding and mutual consent termination fee.

    We’ve just paid to lose a player and Carlisle have just got a player for free.

  16. Matt BB

    @paul nice paul real nice… in what context should we not have a central midfielder in a promotion push? are we proposing a 4-0-4 formation?..

    Sorry to see Michalik go, and not because I thought he was brilliant, more because we never got the full potential out of him, a slovakian international with premiership experience, perhaps the experience of playing in league one was a bit of a body blow to him and his confidence?

    Good to see that McCarteny is back, players like Parker will benefit from his experience, and he is solid enough to give the likes of gradel and snodgrass freedom to get forward, also a great crosser of the ball.

    @colin well thats just business isnt it – would you take a pay cut voluntarily? as distasteful as it is hes looking after himself.

    • paul

      matt youve jumped in too quickly, if you read it carefully it says that players of a limited ability should not be in central midfield, especially those in a team pushing for the prem.

      • Matt BB

        lubo, a central midfield player, have you been smoking crack cocaine ? lubo is a very limited player, central midfield players are not or shouldnt be in a team pushing for the premier league. an unbelievable suggestion matt.

        your words? structured somewhat differently to the above. But now i understand your point, as youve rewritten it. It reads that you believe he is of limited ability. Then that Central midfielders are not or shouldnt be in a team pushing for the premier league. Perhaps you were “smoking crack cocaine” as you typed?..
        If youre going to be rude, at least get the words in order mate.

        Academic anyway now he’s been paid off.

      • paul

        get off your high horse matt, i wasnt being rude, i was just amazed that a so called leeds utd fan can even think that lubo would make a cent mid player. for a start he is too slow,his touch is not the best and he has the turning circle of the whinmoor bendy bus. have you actually watched him play ??

      • Matt BB

        a so-called leeds united fan? blooming heck paul, good luck at charm school next term, you’ll need it. We’re all entitled to our opinions, try not being so dismissive.

        Yes i have watched lubo play, at bolton, leeds and carlisle. I think as a couple of others have pointed out he is a confidence player, hence at carlisle turning in far better performances, any way youre probably not reading so..

        I’ll now get back on the horse and gallop off to more productive discussion.

  17. Dje



    I imagine we paid him three months of his remaining six month contract – so we paid about £100,000 but saved c. £100,000 too. Not to be snipped at.

    Carlisle had been moaning about not being close to equal his wages, so this way they can offer him something reasonable for the next six months even if it is only £3k a week – that is still an extra £78k heading Michalik’s way. Nice little earner for Michalik, no?! I guess that’s why they pay their agents so much.

    Everyone’s a winner, sort of, but Leeds are the biggest loser yet again. We don’t really do outgoing transfers very well very often.

  18. RoystonLUFC

    I was wrong, and I’m glad of it! I thought he would sit-out his contract, drawing his big wage then leave in the summer. I don’t know what under-hand deal brought this about but it’s good news all round. Good for Leeds, good for Carlisle and good for Lubo. And good for me!

  19. Dje

    Anyone else a little concerned about Bates gleeful mention that the Arsenal away payday (possibly thew home replay too?!) was what has financed our ability to loan McCartney for the rest of the season?

    Is money really that tight? Did the rest of the Arsenal money go on paying off Michalik?

    Hmm, not much hope for strengthening and pushing on for automatic promotion if we are that hard up (or just being syphoned for every little last penny for a certain building project going on around Elland Road).

    • paul

      yes money really is that tight especially after bates and his MYSTERY cronies have bled us dry for their own personal gain. the man is a complete shister and should not be trusted but it could be worse, we could have a billionaire owner in with players on stupid money who dont give a shit about our great club. i think the prem is overated full of grossly overpaid mercenaries

  20. Mark Billings


    I wouldn’t be surprised if we had to pay a fee to Sunderland to loan him (and obviously his wages).

    Bates said financially they expect one away match in each of the cups with very little income. So the run to the 3rd round of the League Cup and the 2 big pay days vs Arsenal is just extra money.

    So say we got £1000 for the Arsenal pay day, £250 might have gone to paying of Lubo, £250 might have gone to Sunderland to pay for the loan and the other £500 is McCartney’s wages in full to the end of the season (say £25 a week for 20 weeks).

  21. Dje


    I think your figures are missing a few zeros!

    I was under the impression that gate receipts were split 50:50 in the FA Cup (so non-league minnows get a payday ESPECIALLY if they play one of the big boys away) ~ so the away game at Arsenal (and the replay) should be very nice little earners.

    You have to say that if being in the top five in the table – with higher than expected attendance levels, and playing twice against Arsenal in the FA Cup are only just about balancing the books, then it is hard to see how we were ever (or never?) going to push the transfer target boat far enough out to capitalise on our return to the Championship and aim for the Premier League at the first attempt.

    Not a conspiracy theory ~ not quite yet!


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