Sale of Lewis Cook helped Leeds United return to profit

LEEDS United's finances are showing the first green shoots of recovery after the club posted a profit for the first time in five years.

England's Lewis Cook: Brought in £6m.

The club’s latest accounts reveal an overall profit of £976,000 during the 12 months up to June 30, 2017 – an improvement on the previous year’s figures which saw United post a loss of £8.8m.

This follows four consecutive seasons of the Elland Road club posting red figures in their end-of-year accounts.

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The numbers will make largely positive reading for Andrea Radrizzani, the club’s owner who took full control a month before these latest accounts ended.

This financial year’s bottom line figure was attained after the club accrued £8.9m from the sale of players.

The most predominant of these departures was that of Lewis Cook, who was transferred to Premier League side Bournemouth.

Cook, who came through the ranks at United and recently made his senior England debut, left Leeds for an estimated fee of £6m in July, 2016.

Other highlights from the accounts show crowds are up with an increase of 5,000 in average attendances at Elland Road.

That came during a season in which Leeds, under their former head coach, Garry Monk, fell one place short of the Championship play-offs.

This led to a £2m growth in gate receipts which accounted for £10m of the club’s total turnover.

Turnover in total equated to £34m – a rise from £30m in the previous 12 months.

An increased wage bill of £20m included around £16m spent on the salaries of first-team players, equating to 47 per cent of Leeds’ income.

Radrizzani has certainly dug deep into his pockets since purchasing 50 per cent of the club in December, 2016 from former Whites’ owner Massimo Cellino.

The Italian media consultant assumed full control of the club in May, 2017 at a reported cost of £45m whilst the 2016-17 accounts also reveal a cash injection of £14.5m made via a shareholder loan.

Radrizzani brought about a reduction in the long-standing debt owed to former club owner GFH, a liability which stood at just under £17m in the summer of 2016. The accounts confirm a repayment of half of that sum, £8.475m in “historical liabilities”, and the remainder of the Bahrani bank’s debt is understood to be under legal evaluation.

This latest financial period ended before the departure of Chris Wood and Charlie Taylor to Burnley last summer, and they will be included in next year’s accounts.

Wood’s transfer fee was thought to be in the region of £15m whilst Taylor’s departure from Elland Road was more complicated as he chose to depart despite being offered fresh terms by United.

Burnley and Leeds later thrashed out compensation for the full-back.

Meanwhile, new figures show that United spent £1.349m on agents fees from February, 2017 to February 2018.

That figure is below the Championship’s average spend of £1.75m and significantly lower than biggest spenders Aston Villa, who splashed out just over £5.5m in the same period.