Danny Mills has caused a real stir among Leeds United fans on social media – and he’s only got himself to blame.
The former player revealed on the Undr The Cosh Podcast that he negotiated a lucrative new contract with Leeds just as they hit financial crisis.
He agreed a new deal in the 02/03 season, shortly before the decline that saw Leeds relegated the following season.
In the podcast, he talks about how he arrived at the exorbitant wages he got, using Middlesbrough interest to move negotiations on – and you can understand why Leeds fans are so upset.
Mills said: “It was a good contract, it was great… We thought, ‘Let’s ask for £35,000’, knowing that it’s going to get knocked back… ‘Why don’t we ask for £40,000?’ [laughs]… Do you know what? Why don’t we just be stupid? There’s a bid on the table from Boro, they know they want to keep you, ‘Let’s go and ask for £50,000 and see what happens.’
“It got worse. We’re driving to Elland Road to the chairman’s office. We walk in… ‘Well, having thought about it, where we are now, where the club is going… £65,000-a-week’ [laughs]. Ridsdale nearly fell off his chair. I said it with a straight face.
“It was absolutely ridiculous…”
Mills admits he was on about £20k at the time and the entire podcast crew finds it hilarious that he was asking for treble. And that he then asks for the fish tank on top.
Hilarious stuff lads.
“We start doing really badly and all of a sudden it becomes a bit of a firesale,” Mills said. “Everything starts to slowly fall apart at this stage. Financially the club is starting to fall apart.
“Things are clearly not right, here are lots of rumours, the administrators get called in… [We’re told no more deals will be done]. Two days later, ‘Danny Mills signs five-year deal’. The problem was, because it had been previously agreed, it was done and dusted. But at the time it was priceless.”
To top things off, he jokes about negotiating a pay off before his move to Man City.
He says, “If I stay I could send the club bust” [laughs].
This story says as much about the mismanagement at Leeds as it does Mills himself.
But it definitely tells a story that was always going to go down really badly with the Leeds fans.
Some fans have been downright abusive, which is something that we would never condone but this one sums up the feeling of the Leeds fans well.
So not only does he go from being on 18k a week, to demanding £65k(!!!) a week after a few England caps, he then goes to the press to leak the link to Boro move, gets his contract, maybe £30k a week(compromise? – guessing figure), he then holds "the club I loved" to ransom. #lufc https://t.co/nk81iUBwnH
— 😎 (@BatesyV5) April 7, 2021
Michael Normanton from The Square Ball podcast makes a very good point.
He said after listening to the podcast, “Having listened to this, it’s hard to say if Danny Mills loves himself or money more. Huge sense of entitlement for a bloke who had about 20 decent games in his entire Leeds career.”
This one is going to run and run, though.
Leeds fans are a very loyal bunch and love players who have done right by the club.
However, get on the wrong side of them and you’ll know about it.
Mills has misjudged this in our opinion and it proves that you should maybe run your funny stories past a couple of mates before you put them out to the general public.
It’s not that you shouldn’t push for money in a contract – everyone would. Crowing about it afterwards given what Leeds went through?
There’s a saying in the poker world – ‘Get in quietly’. That’s perhaps what Mills should have done here.
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Explosive 19y/o in line for first-team bow after Leeds ace ruled out v Man City