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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Leeds may be debt-free in a year
Kevin Blackwell
Blackwell is optimistic about Leeds' future
Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell has revealed that the club will be almost debt-free within a year.

Blackwell told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "It is only 18 months since the club was relegated and in 121m worth of debt.

"We have had to deal with that millstone around our necks and still try to win games - and despite having lost so many players.

"But this time next year the club will not be in any debt whatsoever."

As a result of Leeds' crippling debt - and drop into the Championship - they were forced to sell many of their biggest players.

Robbie Fowler, Harry Kewell, Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, Paul Robinson, Danny Mills and Olivier Dacourt are just some who departed.

Not all of those who left the club left the payroll.

Fowler and Nicky Barmby were being paid by Leeds up until this summer.

And BBC Sport understands that Mills and Paul Okon are still receiving a salary - and will do so until the end of this season.

According to Blackwell there are more than half a dozen ex-Leeds players still drawing money from the club.

Blackwell said: "We have not invested in players this year but that has helped to pay the players - seven of them - who are not at this football club anymore.

"That situation ends at the end of the season and the club will move on quite quickly and have actually dealt with its debts.

"Whereas other clubs are still carrying 40-50m worth of debt, we will be right down to maybe 4-5m.

"My understanding is that this time next year the club will be well off in terms of finances - in the top six or seven clubs in the country."

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