Leicester City’s Out of Contract XI

There could be no questioning of commitment to the cause on Saturday.

When goal bound shots threatened Kasper Schmeichel’s goal it was Wes Morgan who threw himself in front of them. When a 90th minute sprint to the corner flag was required, Lloyd Dyer provided it. David Nugent played for nearly an hour with a stomach bug.

And yet those players were among half a dozen in the Leicester City starting eleven against Bournemouth who, as things stand, have contracts that expire at the end of the season.

In fact it’s now possible to create a plausible starting lineup made of Foxes players who could leave for nothing in July.

From right to left in a 4-2-3-1 it reads; Schmeichel; St Ledger, Wasilewski, Morgan, Konchesky; Whitbread, Danns; Waghorn, Taylor-Fletcher, Dyer; Nugent.

Leicester City have big decisions to make, and the looming burden of financial fair play makes matters all the more complicated.

In the last set of accounts City’s wage bill nearly reached the £28m mark. It was a figure that contributed significantly to club record losses of nearly £30m in 2011/12. That wage bill has undoubtedly been cut significantly in the last 15 months, but by how much is unknown.

So the question is, can Leicester City afford to renew contracts originally signed in an era when strict financial controls from the Football League didn’t apply?

Could a player earning £20,000 a week (£1m a year) really be offered the same amount now?

If a player can’t renew a contract for the same money, what then?

Would they accept a pay cut knowing that half the current squad (with contracts stretching to 2015 and 2016) will not have to take similar drops in pay?

Do they wait and see if a better deal is available next season elsewhere?

All this is unclear.

There are some factors operating in Leicester’s favour.

Firstly almost every other Championship club is being forced to make similar decisions. In 2011/12 every Championship club barring Blackpool made an operational loss. Few will be able to offer City’s highest paid stars better deals.

Secondly, promotion bonuses do not count towards financial fair play spending controls. The blow of a lower basic rate of pay could be softened by the promise of a large lump sum if City reach the Premier League – perhaps with the promise of a salary renegotiation on promotion.

On the other hand, the spending of some Championship clubs would suggest a few are prepared to risk a transfer embargo or a fine in the race for the Premier League.

Two years ago contract negotiations were different at Leicester City. Three and four year deals were signed by players with more than 12 months remaining on their current agreements.

We don’t know if financial fair play has changed the club’s approach to contract negotiations, but the fact that no City player has renewed a contract since last September hints that something has changed.

The next few months could be very interesting off the pitch as well as on it.

This topic will be part of the discussion on tonight’s Football Forum with Ian Stringer. You can have your say from 6 p.m. on BBC Radio Leicester by calling 0116 251 1049 or sending a text to 81333, starting you message with the word Leicester.

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2 Responses to Leicester City’s Out of Contract XI

  1. Rob says:

    When will the accounts for year ending 31 May 2013 be made public?

    • foxblogger says:

      The club will have to submit those accounts to the Football League by 1st December, but they may not be made available to the public until next March.

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