The global health crisis continues to threaten Leeds United’s unwanted 16-year stint outside the top-flight. Whilst at the moment, football may seem a trivial concern amid the mounting issues facing the nation, Leeds United fans will still be massively disappointed if their best chance ever at returning to the Premier League turns to dust over the next couple of months.
Regardless of whether Leeds do get to fulfill their promotion destiny this season or not, one other long streak that looked set to fall this summer will surely no longer be likely.
Leeds United have one of the oldest transfer records still remaining in English football. Rio Ferdinand remains their biggest purchase, joining the club for a reported (The Telegraph) £18 million from West Ham United in 2000.
At the time, that made Ferdinand Britain’s most expensive player. Two decades later, and the same amount would just about secure the services of Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie.
Leeds’ financial implosion saw them cascade down the league system in the years that followed and they have not come close to breaking the record since.
This summer, it appeared that might change. Leeds were already committed to spending big money on Helder Costa and Jean-Kevin Augustin if they were to make either player’s loan moves permanent.
However, none would have broken the record.
But considering the money Leeds would make from promotion and the price-tag a player like loanee Ben White would likely command, it is hard to see how Leeds would not have gone over the £18 million mark this summer.
However, with finances set to take a huge hit amid the current crisis, it is hard to see how Leeds can finally break their transfer record 20 years after setting it.
Unless anyone knows of a recession-proof Qatari investment opportunity?