Date: 22nd May 2006 at 3:23pm
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Despite losing the play-off final to Watford, which is said to cost Leeds £30m, should be better off next season despite failing to win promotion.

Despite failing to win promotion to the Premiership and losing their £6million ‘parachute payment’, they will finally have finished paying off former players such as Robbie Fowler and Robbie Keane.

The club have been paying off contracts to eight players who signed deals when Leeds were flying high in the Premiership and most of those come to an end next month.

Leeds’ turnover in the year ending 2005 was £31million and though that will drop due to the ending of the parachute payment – which only lasts for two years after relegation from the top flight – the wage bill is expected to fall from £17million to less than £10million.

Current players such as Gary Kelly and Eirik Bakke still have a year left on lucrative contracts worth an estimated £1.25million each, but the payments to Fowler, Keane, Michael Duberry and several others will finish at the end of June.

Leeds’ wage bill should then be brought down to well below £10million – still high though in comparison to Watford’s £3.5million annual wage total.


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