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Leeds United: Farke to remain boss, but likes of Gray and Summerville may leave

Some hard financial decisions will have to be made at Elland Road this summer

Leeds United

Daniel Farke will remain Leeds United boss despite the club’s failure to reach the Premier League, although the club could have to sell some of its leading players.

Farke signed a four-year deal at Elland Road last summer but Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton in the Championship play-off final at Wembley inevitably prompted speculation he could be moved aside.

Leeds chairman Paraag Marathe remains confident, however, that the German is the right man to lead the West Yorkshire club back into the top-flight.

He told Sky Sports: “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.”

What of the players?

The situation is less clear-cut with Leeds’ squad with several high-profile players such as Crysencio Summerville and Archie Gray set to attract the attention of Premier League clubs.

Asked if players would be sold, Marathe added: “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.”

Gray, 18, is a reported target for Arsenal, Liverpool and Bayern Munich after a fine season and, as a homegrown player, would help balance the books should he move on.

Marathe said: “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 are 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.”

How many parachute payments do Leeds have left?

Leeds were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2022-23 season and have two years of parachute payments left.

Marathe knows it is a small window to get back up before some severe cuts would have to be made.

“Every year is critical,” he said. “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.”

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Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.