Ken Bates has today revealed that Alan Smith wanted to return to Elland Road but that the club couldn’t afford the wage contribution Newcastle United were demanding. 

In his latest Radio Bates interview the Leeds United chairman revealed that Newcastle United wanted The Whites to pay a third of Alan Smith’s wages – which works out at around £20,000 per week, or £1m per year.

£20,000 per week is by no means unheard of in the Championship, but Leeds United’s wage cap means you’re not going to get such wages at Elland Road. In this instance, it’s probably wise not to as well. If we are going to break the bank for any player, I’d expect him to be one much better than Alan Smith who by his own admission is a shadow of his former self.

Elsewhere, the deal that Simon Grayson said he was close to completing on Monday has fallen through with the other club deciding to pull out at the last minute.

Bates Interview;

Ken bates post bradford interview by Back2basics

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31 Responses

  1. @Zomoniac

    I know that we have a 'wage structure' that Ken wants to see stay in tact, but that's not what he said, he said we "couldn't afford" him. I'm finding that a tad alarming. Ken said all money from the Kasper sale, about £1.5m, would go straight into the transfer pot for Grayson. So far we've had 9 (I think) players leave that we had last season, some loan and some of our own, but presumably all of whom we made at least some wage contribution to. We've replaced those with three others, one of which we paid about £200k for.

    Now unless I'm missing something, we should currently have, at the very least, £1.3m in the transfer pot, and between 2 and 6 (depending on how many of the loans we were paying towards last season) available player wages based on last year's budget. Had Ken said Smith "didn't fit into our wage policy" or similar, I could understand, but to say we "can't afford him" suggests that, yet again, an awful lot of money that we and Grayson were promised would go into squad funds has completely vanished.

    Note this isn't a comment about whether or not I think he'd have been worth the signing, I'm in two minds on that, just a "why can't we afford him when the money should be there" wondering.

  2. mattbb1

    what is it with Bates and his big gob, no one in football will want to do business with us soon. Just read another diamond a moment ago about refusing to deal with a `poxy' agent, he seems allergic to the modern game. It'd be like going to market for ajob nowadays and refusing to work with recruitment agents – you wouldnt get far..

    Never mind a twitter ban next thing bates will be banning mobile phones from his squad, the internet in general, and the internal combustion engine, get with the times Grandad… Bet Grayson was over the moon on both counts..

    I voted no for Smithy, but it was a 50/50 think about it this way Ken, a £500K transfer fee, on £10K wages for one year – thats not too different to what we'll get out of Michael Brown, and Smith is arguably better.

  3. Remis

    3 million a year is 62500 a week, if Newcastle are willing to pay 41666 of that maybe Smith should consider taking a pay cut and we pay 10000. I think that would be a good deal! Like Ken said Alan Smith WANTS to return to Elland road, so he should take a slight pay cut to prove that…

  4. awake__

    Well considering weve signed feck all players and let a plethora go, given the wages freed up and the lack of transfer fees spent, would it have really been breaking the bank to sign Smith anyway? Even if you take into account the transfer fee for Lonergan, we still have more than enough money left over from the Kasper sale (that was supposedly going to be reinvested in the squad) to pay the wages, i’m not stupid enough to believe that white haired oxygen thief would actually reinvest, and am not saying that i’d pay smith that kind of money, although hed have been a far sight better than brown was, but you have to assume that the kasper money was bonus money and graysons transfer budget would not have been dependent on selling off players (by budget i mean wage structure since we all know transfer fees are something akin to molestation in bates eyes) what im saying is paying that wage to smith shouldnt have affected any other plans grayson had in place to sign other players because he wouldnt have been banking on that money to fund them

  5. Tim Campbell

    Glad we aint shelling out £20K a week for smiddy. I’ll let you off with that one Mr Chairman but surely Neil Montgomery would have been affordable and a better option too. On last night the positives Lloyd Sam, Adam Clayton, Ramon Nunez and even more delighted in the cameo of Tom Lees

  6. James McGuirk

    Why do Bates & Grayson keep saying that Leeds United don’t do deals in public yet they proceed to do the exact opposite. So now this other transfer deal not done in public but we all know about has fallen through. Our PR is laughable

  7. _dje

    Bates is looking at it from the wrong point of view. He'd be getting a £1m rated player for free and paying a £1m in wages for his services. If he was to even get a £500k player in instead, he would still have to pay him around £500k a year in wages (c.£10k a week), so that still adds up to £1m for the year. When will Bates learn that sometimes you have to pay the market price in wages or transfer fees to get quality. Clearly stealing football clubs for a pittance of their value has set him in the wrong mindset ever after. DOOMED!!

    [DISCLAIMER: this is not to say that I rate Smith as the answer, OR as worth £1m+, OR as worth £20k a week. Just saying]

  8. JordyP1993

    Bit annoyed really, theres a lot of risk in having a player like Smith but surely, if he could take a cut or something for 10-12k and perhaps cancel his contract and get him on a free that would prove he wants to be at Leeds. Not saying it would be a good move but the way I see it if he wanted to then a pay cut and contract termination seem the only feasible option.

    Also want to know who this big name striker was we failed to get on loan who we were then by the sounds of it meant to sign in January… Funny feeling that it could have been Keane? Any ideas? Also wonder what papa smurfs fixation with January Is all about? Big money push in January to time a run like Reading last season? Haha

  9. mattbb1

    to be honest I get this from time to time at work about `wage structure' but even at my staff's level there are clear needs for differentials. If a staff member thinks theyre worth more money they either fight for ti by performing well, or else go somewhere else. A wage structure is just an excuse. Really whats the difference between a normal job and that of a footballer?

  10. _dje

    Can't have been Keane as I think his contract at Spurs runs another season after this one. Besides, we wouldn't offer a fraction of his wages.

  11. Irving08

    What a relief ! We have one immobile old midfielder as it is – why would we want another only slightly less immobile one ? The future belongs to the young – and the bold.

  12. Mersey Whites

    I have always believed he would have added a few thousand on the gate for at least his first few matches.
    And the additional fans may have stayed depending on results.

    I happen to agree with Bates on this one , 20k is too high , because it will send a bad message to Gradel
    Snoddy etc.
    But if we are to show ambition and break into the top6, At some stage we need to be more creative with agents and players, with throwing out large bonus based on performance and the team getting promoted.

    Its a low risk situation for the club, and would be a Win win all around , if the players and the Agents get on board.

    • tomwilko88

      Spot on. At the risk of sounding pro-Bates, he's right on this occasion. But yeah, add a few thousand to the wage structure or offer bigger bonuses, and it'd appease the fans, keep agents on side, attract better players and probably improve the team. Unfortunately we have a stubborn bastard in charge who probably disagrees with anything that involves spending money where scaffolding isn't involved.

  13. OxfordLeeds

    Today's business should be tying Clayton to Leeds long term. He's shown he has it all, sign him on a five year deal, along with Howson before clubs & agents get a sniff

  14. Adam

    I agree with bates on the fact that 20k a week is too much for smith as he is old and injury mad but not every good player has that kind of wage demand god bates give Simon some money

  15. Bubionwhite

    In a recent survey, I voted for Smith to come back because I believed he would be good for dressing room morale with his total commitment … but not at that price, ever. After refusing to break the "wages cap" to keep a hold of Johnson and Kilkenny, who I think were rightly allowed to go, I believe it would achieve just the opposite. OxfordLeeds is spot on … tie Clayton and Howson to the club long term and include Snoddy and Mad Max if THAT means raising the "wages cap" a little to achieve it.

    Today's business should also include a PX deal for Montgomery and should involve Paynter

  16. TonyYeboah21

    I personally think we dodged a bullet here. I firmly believe you should never go back. Smithy was class for us 10 years ago – no guarentee he would be now (Frankly what i've seen of him over the last couple of years Brown looks a better player and that is saying something!)

    However I do agree that whilst this would have been a poor investment it doesnt negate the fact that investment is needed in almost every aspect of the squad.

  17. Michael Kraczkowski

    I think players can see right through Grayson and Bates now, any player that talks to Leeds must now see that they're not going to get much money compared to most of the teams in the Championship, and if they do even the slightest bit of research in our club then they will see that Grayson can't spot the problem our side has even if it was to run up and slap him in the face, we had the same problems we have now at the end of League 1 and they've not been solved. Grayson will continue to play the same team and we the fans will continue to state the obvious, i used to be a big fan of Grayson, but i don't think he is the man to get us promoted; he just spouts cliche after cliche and plays the "we dont have to sell a club like leeds to a player"…maybe the time to start pulling our finger out and pay the going rate for a player who might actually benefit our team is the answer, if i could afford it i would be at the game on Saturday with a f*cking great big BATES OUT sign! MOT

  18. orangina

    if Nufc are willing to let him cost them £3m to collect splinters on the bench then the more fool them! Wouldve been nice if Smith would have taken a bit of a pay cut but he would be taking a risk going back to lufc regardless with the clear anti smith feeling so hmmm
    Think Newcastle were tight and Bates loves freebies so maybe when Smith isn’t playing at all in Jan with much less to go on his contract there may be more leeway who knows. He’s not the complete answer but if Bates is so bothered about his corporate dealings then we and indeed Smith’s agent would recoup some dosh in shirt sales, surely

  19. Pat mc loughlin limerick Ireland

    I prefere to see £20.000 a week going on a player like Richard Dunne than on Alan who is probably not the the player he was as quoted by good sources,The management know what players their looking for now and the Bradford match has shown that again, the panic is on now and Smithy is not as young as he look+his injury prone.l could be wrong,we have to look to get the back 4 sorted first.Pat in limerick

  20. Chareose

    Have to say WE ( Leeds fans) really need to take a look at what we type about our own players and potential signings on these blogs and forums… think these guys wont read all the slagging off and criticsism that we pump out…. Lornagen slagged off, Brown, even snodgrass…… and we wonder why the team arnt motivated ???

    All fans not just Leeds fans need to look at what we are typing on forums……….. its dangerous

  21. number1inyorkshire

    AGENTS are second only to bates on the list of people who i hate most in football ,if that player had decided to come to leeds and they had agreed with the club he should have told his agent to F ….OFF and come , the agent works for the player not the other way round .
    ALAN SMITH is on £60 .000 a week well my fellow leeds fans he was never worth that at the height of his career ,which was just before he left us and just before he got injured playing for riot ville united over the pennines that was a bad injury and many players are never the same again .
    we have a wage cap or Bates does ,we as fans often say if they don't want to play tell em to F…OFF .well like you ,me and everyone else these players are in it for the money it is their job ,we all do it for the dosh .
    that wage cap is costing us players FACT and maybe 1 or 2 other things but the cap for me !!!???!!! .
    now 7 million quid on new boxes in a ground that already has empty ones is a big investment ,them boxes are gonna need filling ,it ultimately will be the success on the green bit in the middle which fills them , if we were in prem they would be full now before they are built , there are 20 odd ??? i think ,they have sold 9 .

    i hate ken bates and have done from they day he stepped up at leeds and will to the day he leaves and Sean Harvey .they have to invest soon in the playing bit ,because the consequences of not and relegation will be dire .
    that is the only thing that keeps me going ,he has to invest at some point it is after all a FOOTBALL CLUB

  22. Colin

    I despair – can you not see what Bates is doing? It's bullshit. He never wanted to get Smith. It's an excuse that has come out now because of all the flak that leeds are getting for their poor work in the transfer market and to deflect criticism and point the finger at greedy players (ooooh) and greedy agents (ooooh).

    We already know that Smith's agent spoke to Grayson over a month ago. Grayson said that on LUTV! Of course the club is interested in getting a player on £55k a week for £15k. Smith was interested and did want to join, hence his agent's approach and his agent said he wanted a long term project to work on for the remainder of his career.

    Bates is just putting facts together to make a story. The facts are true. But only the positive ones. NUFC are no way going to accept less than £20k a week of Smith's £55k a week wages. And there's no way that Smith is going to join Bates United at £15k a week, which is probably what he wanted, because he's worth much more than that.

    The discussion with the agent and Newcastle happened weeks ago. Now it comes out because LUFC are under fire. It's all LUFC propaganda. Don't believe Bates' bullshit.

    If you want good players, pay the asking rate of the club and the agent. If you don't want to pay that money then walk away and don't moan about it. Leeds have got the money (£7m on half empty exec boxes) but Bates doesn't want to spend it. Fine. The agent and the player walks away and quite rightly too. The clubs and the agents can get what they want and there's plenty of teams out there spending money.

    The agents aren't at fault. According to Bates, the agents were meant to drop their demands 4 years ago, 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year ago. They haven't. And they won't drop their demands next season either. Bates should shut his stupid face.

  23. Colin

    And Bates' numbers are wrong as well, if Newcastle wanted £1m for a year then it would be £19,000 a week, but if you're loaning a player you're only paying for August to end of April. That means that Smith comes in at £14,250 a week.

    We're paying Paynter £12,000 a week.

    I understand the extra for tax, but we pay the same % tax on Paynter as we do on Smith.

    If we can afford £12k on Paynter + tax (which we have to pay because he's on a contract so we have to pay 52 weeks a year), we can afford Smith on £14k a year + tax on a loan.

    Because Smith is on a loan, although his wages seem high, we're only paying for him for 9 months, so his wage is £14,000 a week to Leeds.

    So for a full season, Paynter costs us £624,000.
    Smith on loan for this season would cost us £513,000.

    Don't believe Bates' lies. Do the maths. He's talking bollocks. As per usual. For this season, Smith wanted to join Leeds, but Bates wasn't willing to do it, even though it costs less than keeping Paynter in a Leeds shirt.

  24. orangina

    to the last few posters – thankyou for clearing that up guys re Bates and his figures! that’s really interesting
    Too easy to point the finger at Smithy and Bates wouldve made money on shirt sales. Bates is turning our club into a laughing stock!
    Ok Smith alone won’t get us promoted and the injuries are an issue but he wouldve put his all into playing for the shirt. Now he’s just festering on the bench at Nufc. What a waste.

  25. Greg6574

    ^Same old sh*te, Smith could quite easily drop 5k to return if he was that up for it. The lad was on 45k at leeds during his prime, im sure going back to 55k/50k a week wouldnt kill him for something he claims to so desperately want. Yes Bates is tight, yes we need quality and youth brought in but in this respect I agree with Bates we shouldnt be folking out 20k for a player that will either get booked and miss games or will be laid up on the treatment table. Think about the effects on the dressing room, whether that be present players wanting increased wages or future signings or past players having to leave because of the wage cap remain intact, maybe they wont be too impressed by breaking it so easily over an old player when they havent budged on past players. Also the effects this would have on the stands needs to be taken into account. During a time the fans feel out of the loop and frustrated should we really be encouraging a player to return that will set leeds on leeds.MOT

  26. Greg6574

    This will detract attention from Bates to Smith, and he'll get off scott free. Also SG's job will be on the line from taking a pointless gamble on Smith. It isnt worth it. As for shirt sales….big deal. Half cant stand him so wont be wearing his name, and most of those that would ''accept'' him back are hardly likely to run out and have his name on the back of their shirt. More than likely girls or plastics will get shirts but how long will they stay for? Yes the first game back will be a full house but if Smith doesnt improve us and we are poor the plastics are unlikely to remain. So lets not make out that it would all be rosey if he returned. You have to weigh up BOTH the positives AND the negatives.


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