Leeds United financial results: Losses reduced by £20m as owner Massimo Cellino heralds commitment to resolving financial issues

 
Joe Hall
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Bolton Wanderers v Leeds United - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has faced intense criticism from fans (Source: Getty)

Leeds United reduced losses by 91 per cent in the 2014/15 season, a result under-fire owner Massimo Cellino says demonstrates his commitment to resolving the club's financial issues.

In the first full accounting period of Cellino's ownership, losses were brought down to £2m from the £22.9m posted a season earlier while turnover dipped slightly from £25.3m to £24.4m.

Player and first-team coaches' wages stood at £17.4m for year, equalling 71 per cent of total turnover, according to a statement released by the club.

Leeds said its finances "show a significant improvement in the overall performance and financial stability of the business".

Cellino has become increasingly unpopular with fans at Elland Road - some of whom have projected protest messages onto the side of the stadium during games.

Read more: Leeds owner backs out of deal to sell to supporters' group

The Italian's company, Eleonora Sport, bought the club from Gulf Finance House in April 2014 but Cellino's ownership of the Championship side has been littered with managerial sackings and controversial decisions.

He is currently appealing a second ban from the Football League for failing its owners and directors rule and in November backed out of an agreement in principle to sell a majority stake in the Yorkshire club to supporters' group Leeds Fans United.

Yet the club has at least plugged the heavy losses it was taking before his arrival - although last season's figures will be aided by the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham for a reported £11m - and Cellino says he will now start focusing on investment in the playing squad.

"The accounts illustrate the commitment that has been made to resolve the financial issues which have surrounded Leeds United Football Club," he said.

"We are confident that we can continue to make further improvements in the years ahead. We hope that we can now finally begin to focus and invest the club's income, generated through our supporters and sponsors, into improving the quality of the playing squad and performances on the pitch."

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