By Joe Roberts

8th Sep, 2023 | 3:38pm

Angus Kinnear: 'Majority' of Leeds United loan exits 'aren't regretted' after £40million wage savings

Leeds United saved £40million in wages after allowing first-team talent to depart on loan this summer, according to CEO Angus Kinnear.

On the Square Ball Podcast (6 September), Kinnear revealed that Leeds’ 40 to 60 per cent relegation wage reductions were “some of the most aggressive in the Premier League”, meaning the club loaned out players to save on their wages.

Kinnear also admitted that many of these departures “aren’t regretted”, with the likes of Brenden Aaronson, Diego Llorente and Jack Harrison all departing Elland Road on loan this summer, saving the Whites plenty on the wage bill while keeping high-value assets on the books.

Speaking in the Square Ball Podcast, Kinnear said: “We could have taken offers on some of the players who left on loan but we didn’t because we didn’t want to not crystallise the [Championship’s profit and sustainability] loss of them being sold below their book value. Instead, we’ve taken the salary saving.

“The [relegation] salary reductions were somewhere between 40 and 60 per cent, so very aggressive. They’re some of the most aggressive in the Premier League.

“The owners couldn’t fund a Premier League wage bill in the league below. There was a conversation to be had and the players want the protection of a loan.

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“But out of the players that we’ve lost — and I think Daniel would agree with this — the majority aren’t regretted losses for the project we want. We’ve saved £40million in wages and brought in players who really want to be here.”

Set up for the future

While relegation was, of course, the worst possible outcome for Leeds United last season, the new ownership group and the CEO Kinnear have guided the Whites’ fall into the Championship with great competence.

Many Leeds players have relegation loan clauses in their contracts, which in the long run could prove very valuable to Leeds.

The £40million saved is significant too, but if these players were not loaned they would have had to have been sold, otherwise, Leeds wouldn’t have been able to keep them on the books.

Many players were keen to depart, not wanting to play second-division football for a whole season. But now many former key players remain at the highest level.

Marc Roca found himself at Real Betis, while Kristensen and Llorente are learning under the guidance of Jose Mourinho at AS Roma.

If Leeds achieve their main aim this season, promotion, then they could have an influx of top-flight-ready stars coming back to the club on top of the core squad who’d have worked under Daniel Farke all season.

Any returning loanees who want out of Elland Road could also be sold, adding to the profits and not taking away from the squad.

At the start of the summer, many Leeds fans were worried about the state of their squad. It felt like each day another star was departing on loan. The future seems much more clear and the hierarchy seems to have a very good grasp on the finances and vision of the club.

Now, results need to be earned and performances on the pitch must improve if they want to get back to the Premier League.

In other Leeds United news, Graham Smyth has shared Jamie Shackleton’s position at Elland Road after being asked about a move by his manager.