Following my disgust at the Guardian’s ban from Elland Road - the reasoning for which still baffles me – I’m wondering if Bates has really thought this one through, or simply (as I somewhat suspect) dug himself into a bottomless pit?

In my original post, I suggested Bate’s move may backfire on him. It may well lead to David Conn, or other journalists at the Guardian kicking over a few rocks around Elland Road to see what lies beneath. Not so much out of revenge, but more curiosity. The more Bates tries to hide from the ownership issues at the club, the more suspicious it looks. Banning a well-respected national newspaper like The Guardian for reporting facts we already know, seems a little paranoid after all.

In the comments below the original post, you’ll see myself and TBG (from The Beaten Generation) discussing the lack of critisism aimed at the club from the Yorkshire Evening Post – even after the Thorp Arch disaster. The YEP are so carefully balancing themselves on the fence, that for me, they’ve lost all credibility. That said, I fully understand the predicament they’re in. Their affiliation with Leeds United will sell a lot of newspapers for them, so risking a Guardian-like ban could be suicidal – especially at a time when newspapers in general are struggling.

It seems that under Ken Bates, a lot of people have been left walking on egg-shells. The management, staff, ambassador-types (Gray, Lorimer) and much of the media seem to have avoided the obvious questions that the fans continue to ask. His rash decision making, which may leave you unemployed, banned from Elland Road or facing a court-case means the people close to the club are scared to say anything he may take offence to.

It seems Bates has successfully silenced the media so far, but in banning the Guardian he’s made himself look extremely paranoid. It looks more and more like he’s trying to hide something and this may well be the invitation for the media to start digging.

Although I remain worried about who the actual owners of the club are, and what repercussions we may face when they are revealed (another deduction for example), the curiosity is killing me. Whether this is the motivation that sets a dying breed of investigatorive journalists snooping remains to be seen, but Bates is starting to look and act like a man with something to hide – which is a major concern.

  • Michael Emery

    I am torn on this one.

    Ken has a lot of Leeds fans that can’t stand him but we were in a mess when he or whoever took control of the club and his stubborn mean approach has stabalised us. I do keep wondering what has happened to the profits over the last two year plus the delph money. I dont expect a third division side to pay big transfer fees and Grayson is proving astute with his signing but we should be financially very strong now.

    I want the ownership position to be sorted asap to avoid it becoming a diversion in our promotion push this year which has to be successful.

    Is there any precedent of points deduction or worse for not revealing the correct owners ?

  • david nelson

    as far as I know if the ownership issue is unresolved the FL could throw us out of the league. More likely, a ‘fit and proper person’ failure would mean that person would have to sell up. I would be amazed if either happen, however, and remain concerned about the web of secrecy around LUFC, the TA fiasco, the whereabouts of funds received for Delph, Poyet, Garbutt, the Chelsea kids, the City kids, the lack of transfer spending, and the plans for a multimillion pound hotel.

  • Trevor

    We all know a precedent for points deduction is not important on the ownership or “fit and proper person” issue. When it comes to Leeds United and the Football League, we are the precedent or scapegoat as we were with the 15 points deduction.
    I am very nervous about this coming to destroy us at a time when things are looking promising.
    Like others I would like to know where all the money is going or gone to. I suspect we are a cash cow to the real owners and Bates.

    • TSS

      The precedent will be set when the season has finished and they can figure out how many points it’ll take to leave us in 7th!

      I’m obviously joking (I hope) but can’t help thinking this is going to cost us sooner or later.

  • Jonathan Brown

    Dear Sir
    I commend you for your honest and disinterested approach. I would like to draw attention to the sychophantic “interviews” conducted with Bates on behalf of Yorkshire Radio, which we have to listen to since he withdrew the contract from Radio Leeds. Clearly Bates sets out beforehand which questions he wants to be asked, and the manner in which he wants to be asked those question. This goes beyond autocratic – the man is a meglomaniac. The club has improved in lots of ways since his arrival, but why must he behave like the ludicrous parody of a fascist dictator? And could I ask you a question of my own – who paid the damages and costs for the libel action tha Bates lost?
    Thanks again for your comments. Keep it up! If you go quiet, I’ll assume Bates’ bully boys have got you!

  • Peter – Horsforth White

    I am always surprised when people like Michael Emery are undecided about Bates because he “Saved” us. I don’t think a club ever completely disappears & if “Power at any Cost” Bates had not been around plenty of people would have bought us for a penny from Krasner’s board.Second time around it was of course a farce with the £18 million waived but only if Bates took over.

    However, I’m as concerned as anyone else about current issues & I think we’ve thrown away one of the best training facilities in the country for no good reason other than the club would not reveal who the real owners are.

    Who are these people that they are so worried about us finding out who they are?

    • Keith

      step forward Sir Alex Ferguson, planning for his retirement and make us the ultimate laughing stock of the football world for years to come!

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  • tim

    Bates has exercised some prudent financial management at the club but where does all the transfer money go and who will be paying his huge legal bill? I said in a previous post that my suspicion is that the real owners of the club could well be the consortium who provided Ridsdale with about 60 million against future seaon ticket sales just proecting their debt and selling on later to recoup their money. Are they the same mysterious people who would only vote for Bates when in administration? If it was all legitimate their would not be a problem with publication of names surely. The FA has formally requested this information and can suspend the club for non-compliance. Bates has run his course now at Leeds United and should find a buyer for his investors and GO!

  • Matt bb

    How prudent has kens management been? In and out of administration, vast funds in, profits declared, but little materiel to show for it. Now a media ban, ken is like fidel castro, a despotic leader out of touch with the world around him, and able to fall upon those who adhere to a cult… For unquestioning support, after all… Fall in with those telling the truth, and youll lose your club… So youd better support my regime. This is bunkum. Ken bates is not so bloody minded, a dead leeds united is not an option for him, i say bring on the revolutiln

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