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Bakke heads home
01 Sep 2006 - 11:39:41
Norway midfielder Eirik Bakke has left Leeds United after accepting a pay-off for the remaining year of his contract.
The 29-year-old immediately managed to get himself fixed up with a new club, joining Brann Bergen in his homeland.
Bakke's exit has relieved some of the financial pressure at Elland Road, but means that only one of the team which reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001 is still at the club.
Chief executive officer Shaun Harvey told United's official website: "It is in the club's best interests for Eirik to move on.
"He is in the final year of a contract, which in any shape or form, would not be renewed at the end of the season.
"While the level of his salary is in no way his fault, it is preventing the club from moving forward as quickly as we would like.
"Apart from Gary Kelly, Eirik is the last of the players from the Ridsdale era when players were remunerated very, very well.
"But time has moved on. We no longer have the parachute payment, we are no longer a Premiership club and we have to face reality."
Bakke joined Leeds from Sogndal in a £1.75million deal in 1999 and went on to play over 140 league matches during an injury ravaged spell at Elland Road.