talkSPORT host Jim White has slammed Leeds United and other Premier League clubs after it was revealed that they paid out staggering sums of money to agents, while also refusing to bail out the EFL and using the government’s furlough scheme.
White was incandescent on his talkSPORT show this morning (Thursday, 10.30am) and Leeds came in for plenty of his anger.
“These figures are absolutely astounding,” White said. “This was brought to my attention last night.
“FA figures have revealed that despite football’s year of restraint due to Coronavirus, Premier League fees paid to agents and intermediaries has risen, it’s risen, totalling over a quarter of a billion pounds… It is utterly incredible at this particular time… Scandalous.
“We have seen in the last 12 months and more, football has hounded the government to use taxpayers’ money to fund itself.
“This is the insult. At the same time as the Premier League saying they can’t afford to bail out the EFL they’re forking out a quarter of a billion quid for agents and intermediaries.
“Is it not an insult, almost immoral that they spent a quarter of a million and some of the clubs used furlough schemes to pay their staff?
“This is what we know. Newcastle, Sheffield United and Leeds all utilised the furlough scheme to pay their employees during the pandemic.”
Leeds weren’t the worst offenders but did pay £7m to intermediaries, according to BBC journalist Adam Pope.
Leeds United paid £7m in fees to intermediaries in the last year (Feb 20 Feb 21) to bring players including Raphinha, Rodrigo, Robin Koch, Joe Gelhardt to the club, along with the permanent transfers of Helder Costa & Illan Meslier who were both previously on loan. #lufc
— Adam Pope (@apopey) March 31, 2021
Leeds not the worst here
We hate agents and their fees but the money Leeds paid out is nowhere near the worst, and if we spent £100m on transfers then £7m is fairly low for agents at around 7%.
Chelsea paid £35m to agents, while Man City and Man United paid out £30m.
Another mitigating factor is that Leeds were in the Championship when we furloughed staff and that’s very different to doing it in the Premier League with top-flight money. The money we spent was after we’d been promoted.
Putting that to one side, it’s clear that football has a problem and that the sums of money reportedly paid out to agents in this time is obscene.
Leeds can’t change this by themselves and we do think that the club does its best to run things in an ethical manner.
However, we can also understand White’s anger here and have to take some of it on the chin.
In other Leeds United news, Athletic journalist: Sheffield United suffer major blow ahead of PL clash V Leeds