We’re not famous anymore

Before the Manchester derby the other week, Alex Ferguson’s usual mindgames began when he told Manchester City they were a small club, with a small mentality. However hard he tried to write off the derbies significance, he couldn’t help getting caught up in it all. His celebration after their winner, which came SIX MINUTES (only at Old Trafford!) into injury time showed just how much the victory actually meant to him.

However, he still maintains that the Liverpool game is a much bigger fixture and Paul Scholes agrees. Not only does Paul Scholes agree, but he goes one better by telling City’s fans that lowly League One club, Leeds United (that’s us!) are also a bigger rival.

“City probably aren’t the closest of rivals, but in terms of geography, if you like they are close rivals and it’s a game you want to win

“But Leeds away was just pure hatred towards us, but we always did well when we went there and we thrived on it. Liverpool is the same. We have done quite well there, although we have lost a couple of times, which is no surprise because it’s a hard place to go.”

Seems Man U’s fans agree too. Reading the comments below the post on The Republik Of Mancunia blog shows just how much they really miss us. We’ll be back soon enough, don’t worry!

Ken Bates forgets if he owns us or not

Finally someone else is asking the question that the fans have been asking for years. After a story in The Guardian revealed that Ken Bates “accidentally” lied to a court when claiming he was co-owner of Leeds United the Football League may be forced to investigate the clubs ownership under the fit and proper person rule.

Bates had previously claimed he co-owned the club, but has now changed his mind and decided he actually doesn’t. Maybe his age is catching up with him? Either way, it could cause a lot of complications for Leeds United if the Football League are forced to investigate.

The mystery surrounding the ownership of Leeds United has deepened after the club’s chairman, Ken Bates, admitted that he had made “an error” when he said in January that he jointly owned the club.

Bates had previously informed a court in Jersey that he and his long-term financial adviser, Patrick Murrin, each held one “management share” in Forward Sports Fund, the Cayman Islands-registered company which owns Leeds.

Yet in an affidavit sworn for the same court in May, Bates stated that in fact he does not have any shares in Forward at all. His previous statement, that he had been the joint owner, was “not correct,” he said, and “an error on my part”.

Coming in the wake of the controversy surrounding Notts County’s own mysterious ownership, the revelation that Leeds, one of the Football League’s biggest clubs, have unnamed offshore owners, will now prompt pressure on the Football League to investigate.

The affidavit, sworn in a legal action Leeds are bringing against a Jersey-based company, Admatch, for money Bates says the club is owed, attached a letter from the director of Château Fiduciaire, financial administrators of Forward, based in Geneva. The letter said there are 10,000 “participating shares” in Forward, and the owners will not be revealed because Château Fiduciaire protects its clients’ anonymity unless ordered by a court to disclose them.

Bates, in his affidavit, said: “Neither I, Mark Taylor [his solicitor and a Leeds director] or Shaun Harvey [Leeds’ chief executive] are able to confirm who the ultimate beneficial owners of Forward are.”

According to the League’s regulations, club directors, anybody owning 30% or more of its shares, or anybody “who exercises or is able to exercise direct or indirect control over the affairs of a club” must declare themselves to the League and be passed as a “fit and proper person”.

As Bates had previously said he and Murrin owned “management shares” in Forward, and Taylor said they were the only shares, it seems logical to conclude that Bates and Murrin were submitted as Leeds’ joint 50% owners.

Neither the club, Taylor or Bates responded to the Guardian’s questions about who was submitted to the League as the club’s owners, nor how Bates could have made his “error” about whether he owned the football club.

The League does not disclose who have been named as the owners of a club for the purpose of the fit-and-proper-person test, claiming that it cannot do so under the Data Protection Act. But the fact that the owners of Leeds United are now revealed as holders of 10,000 shares in a Cayman Islands company, whose administrators will not disclose their identities without a court order, does beg the question about whether they have ever been passed as fit and proper.

That raises the possibility that Forward’s takeovers of Leeds, with Bates as the chairman, in 2005 then in 2007 when Forward bought the club from administrators, may never have been properly ratified by the League.

Not sure how to take this news. I’m intrigued and somewhat concerned about how owns the club, but do we really need all the turmoil this will inevitably create right now?

Meanwhile…

Elsehwere, former player and manager, Gary McAllister has failed to agree terms to take over at Fratton Park. Tom Lees has extended his loan at Accrington Stanley and injury worries begin to set in as Leigh Bromby and Robert Snodgrass were taken off injured last night.

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  • alex

    Another 15 point penalty heading your way!

    Leeds and Ken Bates deserve each other.

    • Nick

      alex you are an idiot!!

  • Lmao, Leeds United fans reading the blog ‘RepublicofMancunia’.

    Let me educate you on the Republic of Mancunia population, 3 things spring to mind.

    99% of the users of Republic of Mancunia are scum from the gutter, so much so that you would literally put the site as blocked on your pc at home to stop your children from finding it.

    99% of the users are not from Manchester, nor have they probably even seen the inside of their own clubs stadium.

    The blog author and 99% of the users are always disrespecting, abusing and belittling Manchester City every single week, week in week out so its hardly new news.

    And they say we are not their biggest rivals?, who exactly are they trying to fool?.

    If you get taken in by what United fans say or by what their club says then your more of a fool than they are.

    If any of you knew atleast one City fan then you would know, we are an honest bunch and very neutral when we want to be, neither two faced or have double standards.

    Only the other day I slammed the FA for wanting to punish Leeds United and not punish Man United and Arsenal for the same actions only i know Leeds United fans did not start the problem and Arsenal fans did.

    One thing i hate is two faced people, if you fell great because United think your a bigger rival than City then you live very empty lives.

    Its in the name ‘Manchester City FC’, we are the only team in Manchester, we are the only real representatives of Manchester.

    • TSS

      I don’t know what you’ve just read, but I thought the post above favoured City. Have always liked City and was delighted to see you lot bought out by a billionaire so you could finally shut the glory hunters up.

      As for TROM I kind of guessed it was full of foreigners when one fan said something along the lines of liking Leeds, feeling sorry for our demise and didn’t realise there was a rivalry.

      Anyway, back to the point. If you read the above again you’ll see that what I actually say proves your point. “His celebration after their winner, which came SIX MINUTES (only at Old Trafford!) into injury time showed just how much the victory actually meant to him”

      Alex Ferguson talks nonsense. Nothing new.

      • I did read your article and i had no problem with it, i was just pointing out a few facts about United fans and the particular blog you mentioned.

        If anyone, its United fans that abuse Leeds United, actually just as much as they abuse City but we have the edge.

        They are crawling out from under their glory stones now feeling alittle vulnerable because we are on their tail, about to rip their world apart because now the world will realise how pathetic United fans are and learn that there was only ever one club that rightfully holds the title of representatives of Manchester and that be City.

        They are soiling their pants at the thought of having to live in our shadow and deserve everything they have coming to them, wait til they have not won the League and CL for a few seasons and watch the debt collectors come calling.

        I smell a player wholesale coming for United when it all hits the fan, atleast that is what the stock market is saying if they dont win anything on a regular basis.