Of course, income increases greatly once Premiership status is achieved. Manchester Uniteds income topped £61m last season from their league status alone (inc. TV income), but the lower clubs earn closer to £40m. Of course, that kind of money is not to be dismissed, but equally, as income increases, so does expenditure.
Leeds United are not currently a force even in the Championship, and whilst we have the bones of a decent squad, most fans agree we are two to three players away from having a great squad. Promotions hopes rest on either a few players stepping up and coming good or on a few loans to ignite the team, and even then the expectation is that we might just squeeze into the play-off's.
Jump forward in your minds for a second and imagine we gained promotion this season. Very few of our existing squad would cut it in the top flight. McCormack with the right service, Byram has the potential but needs more experience, Poleon and Mowatt are another two that show potential, but beyond those, and you start scratching your head - squad roles - yes, first team Premiership footballers...erm!
There is some quality in the rest of the squad, and some experience, but could any of them demand a place in any team in the top half of the Premiership? We've lost quality to Norwich but they still remain a team struggling to get out of the bottom three for the second successive season.
It's fair to say that life in the Premiership would be pretty tough for the team right now!
With £40m to spend though, plus extra income from sponsorship, surely the club could bring in the quality we'd need, right?
Leeds United have one of the strongest incomes in the Championship, when you disregard the parachute payments. In recent years, income has been around the £25m mark. Whilst we'd keep some of that income to add to Premiership prize funds, some would be included. Our income, whilst increasing, would not jump ten fold, and our liabilities would all naturally increase. Player contracts will have promotion clauses for wages, bonus payments for promotion. Leeds United would not enter some kind of super rich league of clubs. We'd have a bit more money, but a whole heap of additional reasons to need it.
For Leeds United to achieve promotion to the Premiership in the right way demands a long term strategy, perhaps over two to three seasons. Brian McDermott needs time to assemble a squad, bring in two to three players each year that could deliver in the Premiership. Six quality players can be built around to give us a squad that at least compete in the top tier. At the moment, we'd need to replace 80% of the squad and we simply can't do that, without a Ridsdale style splash of the cash!
GFH-C are here for short term gain, and nothing wrong with that. They see the value of getting us promoted which is at least one step better than the previous regime, but short term is not what is needed now. There is some benefit to gaining promotion, if we can come back down, use the parachute payment to consolidate and go back up again, but it is going to be a rocky three or four years if that were to be the case, and one where several changes of manager would be likely.
McDermott is the right man for the job, but I hope he is afforded the time, support and patience of both the fans and the board to do this right way. The young players are being bedded in and if we can add quality in January, and the same at the end of the season, we'll be in a great place to build an exciting and sustainable future. The thought of gaining promotion, and then battling relegation for the next three years is one that simple does not appeal!
Let's build for the future.