The owner of Leeds United has given a stark insight into the financial impact of coronavirus on Stoke City’s Championship rivals.
The Potters are better placed than many clubs after the Coates family guaranteed to pay staff salaries for the next five months, but even they will be counting the cost of income lost from postponed games, and the prospect of the coronavirus suspension going on beyond the current April 30 end date.
Andrea Radrizzani, the Leeds chief, believes the impact of the pandemic will be an economic “disaster” for his club.
When the season was halted a week-and-a-half ago, Leeds were a point clear of West Brom at the top of the Championship and seven clear of third-placed Fulham with six matches left to play.
In an interview with Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Radrizzani reflected on the implications of the sudden loss of revenue.
He said: “A disaster unfortunately (for the economic implications of world football).
“To be competitive, a club like ours loses £8m to £10m every year and nobody wants to keep a business that loses money every year.
“This situation aggravates the budget. Not having five home games, we will lose about £2.5m, which are the only source of revenues since such figures do not come from TV rights.
“This epidemic aggravates this situation, which is already normally complicated.”
Asked if there could be a salary cut at Leeds, Radrizzani replied: “Our management is carrying out two conversations, one with the federation and another with our players.”
Birmingham City are reported to be the first Championship club to ask players to take a deferral of wages as football remains on hold.
It is claimed players who earn more than £6,000 per week will see their pay packets cut in half for the next four months.
But the Telegraph report added: “Important point to make here is that Birmingham will not be alone in this stance. Many other EFL clubs are having to consider it due to the financial situation.”