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Leeds chairman speaks on playoff heartbreak, manager, players’ future and PSR compliance

Leeds United chairman Paraag Marathe speaks on playoff heartbreak, manager Daniel Farke, players’ future and PSR compliance.

He has faced the media this week, talking about a number of subjects and it’s fair to say his comments have gone down well with fans.

Paraag Marathe discussed matters with the likes of Sky Sports and BBC Radio Leeds, watch or have a read of his interview below…

There has been speculation about Daniel Farke’s future. Can you clarify that he will be staying?

He said: Daniel has been fantastic, and I’m excited about working with him again next season. We had a long-term plan and commitment, and we have a lot of work to do to see our plan through. He has been tremendous with a steady hand, the right temperament. If you think about the circumstances he came into, he did a tremendous job. I’m excited about getting back at it with him as my partner and our leadership team. I feel confident about this season because we have at least a four or five-week start on what we had last year.

Will key players have to be sold this summer?

He said: We are well capitalised from an investment standpoint. We have the funds that we need to do what we need to do. The reality of being in the Championship is that Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) plays a role. We also inherited a challenging situation, so naturally there are going to be some trade-offs. But also, we have a really good team, and it is not just about outs, but ins. We’re looking at scouting possibilities and players that we can bring in. We will have to make some trade-offs because of P&S but we have the investment commitment to do what we need to do.

So, there will be money to spend to bring players in?

Paraag: That’s right.

Will Archie Gray still be a Leeds United player when the transfer window closes?

He said: It’s a little too early to answer specific questions. I can’t talk on specific players right now. If I can paint the big picture for you, there are certain things we need to do and we will make sure we are fully compliant with P&S as we always have been, and there are certain trade-offs that we have to make. We will get to the drawing board and figure out which moves we have to make to make sure we are compliant. It is too early to say, obviously Archie is a tremendous player, as all the players who have put so much effort in for us, but every season brings change. I can’t yet comment on it, but we’ll see what happens.

What happens with those players that are contracted to the club, like Jack Harrison, Max Wober, Marc Roca, Brenden Aaronson, Diego Llorente and Rasmus Kristiensen?

He said: We have to sit down as a leadership team with Daniel to see how we manage that. Fortunately, we don’t have as many of those situations as we had last year. We’re not in a race against time as we were last year. At this point last year, we were 12 days away from finalising our purchase of the club. We have a lot more time to think about it. The chemistry of the squad is also important, which players fit us and what we want to look like, and which don’t. And that will be taken into account along with some of the P&S complications.

What about the West Stand development and improvements at Elland Road – when will that begin now that promotion hasn’t been achieved?

He said: We have already earmarked a certain amount of investment to make some improvements at Elland Road. It might not be the whole new shiny toy, but we are making improvements.

The bigger greater development, we are still on the path and the timeline to doing that. It has been reported that nothing will happen until we get to the Premier League. But there’s still work to be done that we’re doing anyway. Work that needs to be done before you put a shovel in the ground. Not just work, but a significant investment. Whether we were in the Premier League or Championship, that money is committed and we’re continuing down that path. If you ask me this question in a year it may be a bit more complicated because at that point, we may be ready with a shovel, but everything right now is green lit, as it would have been in any case.

The accounts would suggest there’s about £190m in transfer instalments that need to be paid – can you clarify that number for us and break down how and when it needs to be paid off?

He said: The outgoing transfer payments were already contemplated as we went about our transaction of the club last summer. We inherited a credit card bill that we knew we had to take care of. We made sure we had the investment we needed up front to make sure we were covered on that and being able to manage through that properly.

What is not in those numbers that were reported was some of the incoming payments that we also have, for example our two January sales in Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra. There are some inbound transfer payments coming from that. The net is already a bit lower than has been reported. We have what we need to be competitive, and we’ll shape the squad accordingly. We’ll need to have some outbounds because of P&S but we’ll also have some inbounds. We have what we need to compete among the best.

In terms of P&S, with the financial year ending in a month, are you under pressure to get sales, outbound deals done quickly?

He said: Pressure is probably the wrong word, are we going to do what we need to do to make sure we are compliant? Absolutely.

Everything that we have to do we have been contemplating for almost a year and recognising some of the trade-offs that we have to make and when we have to make them.

We are prepared to make the moves we have to make.

How critical is it to get promotion next year?

Paraag: Every year is critical. This season is critical but I’m more confident because we have more time to execute our plan and to make sure our squad looks exactly like it needs to look. It’s also critical because Leeds United deserves to be in the Premier League. The Premier League needs Leeds United in it – it just belongs. The league is better with us in it and that is where we’re going to go. It’s critical because it is what it is supposed to look like.

He said via the club website:Dear Leeds Supporters, While we weren’t able to accomplish our final goal of earning promotion this season, I want to thank you all for your continuous support for the club and squad throughout the campaign. 

“Daniel and the squad earned an impressive 90 points, which is a fantastic achievement and shouldn’t be overlooked. Congratulations to Ipswich Town and Leicester City for their near historic points totals which earned them automatic promotion, and to Southampton for persevering through the Play-Offs. 

“We enter this summer with the primary goal of putting ourselves in the best position to compete for promotion next season. I can promise you that as we regroup, we’ll be consistent in our approach of operating with a deliberate strategy to put the most competitive team on the pitch that we can.

“Above all, your collective energy and passion at Elland Road, and travelling with the squad, will be critical to our next campaign. You are the best supporters in the world and we felt that at every single match this season. 

“I look forward to seeing you all at Elland Road again soon. Marching on Together.”

Here’s how fans reacted as the Leeds chairman speaks on playoff heartbreak, the manager, the players’ future and PSR compliance…

@MissVJFxx: – We were gutted when we didn’t go up in the first season Bielsa came to Leeds, but we built and stood together and became champions the season after. I love our new owners, I trust they know what they’re doing along with Farke. Bring on next season. #LUFC

@WM80_: Bit of a difference from the last set of clowns.

@MissVJFxx: Spoken like a true owner x

@lufcMM0: I trust in him. Straight up and honest.

@lufcMM0: Oh my god what a guy, love him

@ma33499357: Wise words. Still don’t see any harm in seeing what else is out there coach wise. We cant blame a capitulation in April on what happened in July.

@LUFC_Ando: In short .. calm down folks he has this under control, oh and Farke is going no where so let’s all just get over that and get behind 24/25 season a championship winning season

@k65180: Thanks Paraag , every faith in you 💙💛🤍

@AllDayLUFC: Good message from Paraag Marathe, good to not let it sit for too long after Sunday too. As they always say though, actions speak louder than words, so let’s see what’s in store.

@HealyFtbl: Easier said than done, but still very promising nonetheless. #LUFC

@DanielJ46083413: Such a disappointing end to the season but there is a lot of room for optimism with the new owners and Paraag. Promotion is absolutely essential next season though. Let’s do this 🙏🏻🤍💙💛

@John_Salt: Really impressed with Paraag. Gets on with the job in a quiet, unflustered and professional manner. Looking forward to next season already.

@olliewhitfield0: Yes man

@Jordan_Armo: my guy Paraag

@Cornishleeds1: Just cheat and get 2 point deduction lol

@buchanan17: There’s only really money to be made from Summerville and Gray, plus a smaller amount from Gnonto. The out on loan players won’t bring in that much. I think, unfortunately therefore, Gray will go, especially if Leeds want to keep Rodon who they’d probably have to buy

@Russ_1966: If it’s a case of selling Archie Gray and only the loaned out players and get to keep Summerville Gnonto and Rutter the club have to bite the bullet and sell. Just look at villa and grealish

@woodend_c: Makes sense. He’s only 18. We’re favourites next season and we have enough clout to do some decent business. I’d estimate we need new wingers. I’d also expect Rutter to stay. All the loanees can be sold or extended loans so no huge panic. I’m now excited about next season

@sideb4self: Great interview from a man with integrity. The one thing he said that spoke volumes was ‘this isn’t my club, it’s the communities’. How far we’ve come since the self obsessed Radz & Orta. Feeling more confident that we’ll win promotion next season after listening to that.

@whitesoldier62: Absolutely no need to sell him, P+S can be acheived without selling players that should be the future of the club. Sell him and these owners will be no different than the rest #lufc

@ThunderLips3000: Gray & Summerville are our biggest assets, only have to sell 1 for big money to fund the summer transfers. Hopefully Marathe doesn’t spend £13m again on agent fees.

@russ47173844: So what I read into this, Farke stays, sales will happen(obviously), they will target areas that have been neglected for to long, ground expansion ready & with the other news of not many having them release clauses as we first thought, very very interesting to see leaves or stays

@DaleSpeedyReid: Nice and honest and straight up with what we need to work with 👍

@mcflyman78: So refreshing to see an owner/club stick by their manager.

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