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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 16:13 GMT
Leeds set for further cuts
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale (left) and Terry Venables
Venables (right) has been forced to sell players
Leeds' cost-cutting measures could lead to a further 17 club employees being made redundant.

United's financial crisis has already led to the sales of several key members of boss Terry Venables' squad.

Operations director David Spencer, who was earning 200,000 a year, was made redundant 11 days ago and now further jobs are set to go as part of cut-backs.

In a statement, chairman Peter Ridsdale said: "On 7 March, 2003, Leeds United plc announced its intent to reduce its cost base by approximately 3m on an annualised basis.

"We have entered into a formal consultation process with 17 employees which may lead to them being declared redundant."

Leeds' failure to qualify for the Champions League for the last two seasons led to the club accumulating debts of 78m last year.

As a result Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate, Robbie Fowler, Lee Bowyer and Robbie Keane have all been sold over the last eight months.

Midfielder Olivier Dacourt joined Roma on loan pending a permanent summer move.

The club have also acted to cut costs behind the scene, recently selling the travel arm of their company.

Venables' Elland Road future is also undecided, with speculation the 60-year-old could be sacked if Leeds lose at Liverpool on Sunday.

Bookmakers William Hill reacted by cutting their odds on a Premiership manager leaving before the end of the season.

Leeds have slipped into a relegation battle on the back of a miserable Premiership run which has seen them lose five of their last six matches.


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