Bates bans freedom of speech TSS October 21, 2009 Leeds United 19 Comments The Guardian have been banned from Elland Road for their coverage of the ownership saga surrounding the club. Just hours before the Norwich and Leeds United game kicked off at Elland Road, the Guardian were informed that none of their reporters would be allowed inside the stadium to cover the game, after David Conn wrote about the ownership issues at the club – Issues that were widely reported throughout the national media and common knowledge to all our supporters. I guess writing this probably leaves me in threat of being banned from Elland Road myself as the Bates regime/PR fiasco continues it’s dictator-like reign of destruction, but I have always read the Guardian and enjoy their coverage. Already we’re set to lose another of my favourite newspapers, the Independent, so with the Guardian now banned, that leaves the red-topped myth-makers and their “reliable sources” alongside the borderline racist, Daily Mail, which I have less respect for than Ken Bates. I guess the dream for the Ken Bates run Leeds United is for newspapers to only report what Leeds United tell them they can or, better still, for them to just print whatever Ken Bates tells them to. You see, the problem with this Ken is that in this free country we live, we can all express whatever opinions we like. Indeed, you do so on a regular basis by using Radio Bates and the matchday programme to tell us all about your latest gripes and defend your extortionate pricing policy. If you want to be able to speak your mind and have people take you seriously, you have to be open to critisism yourself. Lying to courts will get you in the paper. It’s naive to expect anything less! If you don’t want freedom of speech, perhaps a move to China would be beneficial? I’m sure there’s some club out there that’d be happy to “benefit” from your years of experience. What Bates actually expects to achieve by banning a national newspaper – except personal satisfaction – is anyones guess. Afterall, this is the 21st Century where information is readily available from more and more sources every day. Is he going to ban every national newspaper that questions the ownership of Leeds United, or disagrees with something he does? If so, the positive coverage of our League One dominance will be scarce, whilst the newspapers dig deep to uncover the skeletons lerking in Bates’ closet. Another PR disaster waiting to happen. Administration, Thorp Arch, endless bad press, court-cases, shocking prices and now this. How much more of Bates’ nonsense do we have to endure before he leaves us in peace to rise quietly back to the top?