19 July 2007
Another Leeds United financial meltdown non-story emanated from BBC Radio Leeds this lunchtime.
It has been rebroadcast on several websites too.
They alleged that the Leeds United players' wages have not been paid for June.
A nervous unnamed spokesperson for the Professional Footballers' Association told the station: "Strenuous efforts are being made... to stabilise the situation". [Oh! the crisis; feel the palpable tension; starving footballers on the streets! Drum roll FX; Enough sarcasm - Ed]
"Players can't be expected to represent the club whilst training and playing for nothing." What an interesting, hypocritical statement; did he really say it with a straight face? The PFA had absolutely no problem with the reverse situation when they were happy to endorse deals where their members were paid huge amounts of money doing nothing for Leeds United except play for Liverpool, Man City and Middlesbrough! That situation was allowed to go on until Leeds were driven into bankruptcy at the end of a season where more than half the players' wage bill was being paid to PFA members who were no longer at the club!
In case there is a Leeds United fan out there who isn't yet an expert on insolvency law - don't panic! Disingenuous PFA spokesmen also please note - that your members, that is the bunch of serial incompetents who got Leeds relegated last season despite being on the highest wages in the Championship, will not have to sell their children into slavery to put caviar on the table and pay the yacht-mooring fees. Little Roderick and Jasmine Talulah can still put their names down for Eton as their parents will get every last undeserved penny because Leeds United will not get their 'golden share' back from the Football League unless they do - so every little businessman who was offered 1p in the pound can go hungry but your bloodsuckers, including several ex-players who still can't let go off the lifeless corpse of Leeds Utd until they are sure there is no loose change in its pockets, will get 100p in the pound. (Stories of an ex-Leeds United player found sobbing in a pawnbrokers, crying out, "Tell me it isn't over" as he hocked several million pounds worth of bling are said to be wide of the mark. The amount was certainly barely over five hundred grand).
As we said at the start - it's a non-story but at least it makes the PFA look like they are earning their money. Hmm, I wonder where this story originated? Hands up all those who think BBC Radio Leeds phoned Elland Road and said, "By the way, did you pay the players in June?" OK, if you put your hand up please stand over there - I have a proposition involving your life savings and London Bridge to put to you. Now for the cynics out there...
What a shame BBC Radio Leeds wastes taxpayer's money on nonsense like this. Here's a tip, a real story would be "did the cleaners and kitchen staff get their minimum wage in June?" It really would be a story if the PFA were making "strenuous efforts" on behalf of retail assistants and ground staff to see that they got paid - rather than on behalf of people who are GUARANTEED to receive their pay. BBC Radio Leeds simply should not be just an unpaid, unquestioning PR firm for the PFA's communications department.
Feel free to have your say on the situation or this article on our fans forum