Thorp Arch

After years of failed hope, the final nail was put in the coffin of our training complex as Ken Bates et al failed to agree terms with the LCC to secure it’s future. Although the complex will remain in the hands of Leeds United on a 20-year lease agreement, there’s no guarantee as to what may happen thereafter. The lease agreement will also see Leeds United’s rent rise by 3% each year.

I’ve held back throughout this whole situation, but this is totally unacceptable and there’s a lot of questions that have been contiually asked that now need answering. My main problem with it all is that I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever, Leeds United and Forward Sports Fund could have raised the £6m by now. The sale of players, high ticket prices and other endeavours mean this is a profitable club. Profitable clubs don’t lose their assets!

I aren’t going to jump on the ‘Bates out’ wagon, even though I aren’t his biggest fan and would prefer someone else at the helm. The reason why is because Bates is just a figurehead for the illusive Forward Sports group that own the football club. I know the Football League have started to look into the ownership of our club and although I am a little worried about any consequences that may bring, I’m tired of the cloak and dagger way in which we’re being run. If you have nothing to hide, then make youselves known. It’s impossible to determine what these peoples motives and intentions are unless we know who they are!

Sam Vokes

It’s being reported (albeit by an often ill-informed source – The Daily Mail) that Leeds United are chasing Wolves youngster, Sam Vokes.

Leeds are rumoured to be front-runners in the chase to acquire the front-mans services. Sean O’Driscoll (Donny Rovers boss) is also chasing the striker but believes he’s already lost the chase, he said that “Our interest in Vokes is well known, but there are four or five other clubs interested and it comes down to money.”

The ending of ‘it comes down to money’ seems to have led many to believe Leeds are favourites. The club hasn’t even confirmed their interest though, so this could be purely speculative, especially since the media in general think we have a massive problem upfront with Luci out injured. The other sites should also note the fact we couldn’t even buy our training facilities back, so money clearly isn’t as readily available as some would have you believe.

90 years young. Leeds United 1919-2009

In happier news, the club celebrates it’s 90th birthday today. The title of this post (ups and downs of…) references the club anthem, Marching On Together, and I think it’s somewhat fitting today of all days. Throughout our 90 year existance, we’ve definitely had our fair share of ‘ups and downs’.

Even now, riding high at the top of League One, looking like we may finally break from the shackles of third division football, the ups are instantly levelled by the downs of losing our training ground and the FL’s investigation into the clubs ownership. Over the last few years the clubs supporters have been pushed to their limits time and again, but we continue to turn up in our numbers. We may have our faults, but no one can question our loyalty.

Here’s to another 90 years of ups and downs. On and on…

  • T.Ananíasson

    What about the money for Sam Vokes. I would belive the loan cost is only his salary and even Doncaster should afford that for 2-3 months.

  • West Stand Rebel

    I think the time has come for all Leeds fans… season ticket holders and members to protest in writing to Ken Bates and his pretend board of directors. The time for playing stupid games with our club and our money is over.No doubt the league are looking at the serious consequences of this charade of ownership which is clearly the real reason TA was not purchased by the Council.

    These people are clearly not “fit and proper” in any sense but a set of chancers dragging the once good name of Leeds Utd into the mud.

    Now a plea to Gary Edwards. I apologised for calling you a numpty. Please now can you use your influence as Leeds “number one fan” to start a campaign on our behalf to reveal the so called owners of our Club. We would have so much more respect for you if you aired your views on this matter preferably in the match programme.However if this is censored why not use this web site.
    And yes I really would like to meet you for a pint not dressed in anything red!

    • Whitesforever

      I think some people are way off the mark about the league looking into uniteds ownership beingvid stumbling block for the purchase of thorp arch that question was overwo done with on tuesday which left over 48hrs to sort the rest of the agreement with the council out so some people are way off the mark. As for the owners of the club who cares who owns the club as long as its been run properly and if you listened to councillor carter on thursday he have a glowing report on the running of the finances at the club and said they were properly run unlike the last two regimes MOT.

  • Whitesforever

    I think some people are way off the mark about the league looking into uniteds ownership being the stumbling block for the purchase of thorp arch that question was over and done with on tuesday which left over 48hrs to sort the rest of the agreement with the council out so some people are way off the mark. As for the owners of the club who cares who owns the club as long as its been run properly and if you listened to councillor carter on thursday he gave a glowing report on the running of the finances at the club and said they were properly run unlike the last two regimes we could of had simon morris dont forget MOT.

  • musiclover

    I really think this reflects as badly on Leeds City Council as it does Bates. If, as it appears, they tried to open up TA as more of a community sports facility during the later stages of the negotiations, it’s not surprising that the club withdrew. Whether this would breach covenants included in the lease with Adler is not really the issue. What concerns me is the city’s lack of vision and commitment to our football club. Contrast this with the situation in Manchester which now has two first class stadiums with a global profile (whatever we think of their teams). It’s a shortsighted, penny wise pound foolish approach yet again from our elected representatives.

    • jc

      Spoken like a clown “Musiclover” ! ….. do you really think that LCC should be prepared to take any risks when dealing with Bates ( or who ever owns our club ). His poor reputation and frequent court cases show that any dealings with him must not provide any “loopholes” which he would only be too willing to exploit at some future date.
      I also feel that if LCC did not need to be showing some unity with Bates over the coming months, (due to the World Cup venue bid), then the reasons for the TA deal collapsing would be made public.
      Additionally, it was LUFC who pulled out of the purchase, not LCC. If LU believed they could have adequately met the Councils requirements the loan would have still been forthcoming. After taking up the purchase option, a further 28 days was available before the transfer of the funds. Why should it be LCC who take the “risk” when the benifactor is LUFC.
      So, in summary, it appears likely that the regime at LUFC feel that protecting thier identity is more important than the wellbeing of the club, and for all we know our “owners” could easily have their own funding to invest in TA and the club in general in the first place. Surely the revenue the club now generates, funds received from player transfers, and youth player compensations could have been used to bank roll the TA deal…… What is also clear is that this money is not being reinvested in the club.

    • Dje

      May be I am just being a bit thick on this, but I really didn’t see any legitimacy in Bates’s bemoaning that Leeds City Council desires to intentionally use using Thorp Arch for other community/ Rugby/ World Cup 2018 purposes, which apparently “would breach covenants included in the lease with Adler”. Surely if LCC (or LUFC via the LCC) bought Thorp Arch off Adler then Mr Adler would have no course of readdress against the breaking of covenants on a lease that no longer existed?

      I’m in agreement with ‘Keep Fighting’ and have to blame the LUFC board for being so slow to put this idea to LCC, when they always must have known that mid-October 2009 was crunch time for Thorp Arch. I’d like to actually see and hear LCC more vocal in their take on the proposed deal and offer a more fronted response to Bates’s predictable bemoaning of Council bureaucracy for failing the deal.

      Ultimately, I have to conclude that the Bates board has put themselves and their gamble with future income before what would have been a good deal for LUFC, possibly LCC, and ultimately the people of Leeds. May be he is gambling on us getting immediate promotion this year and back to the Premiership in a season or two after that, by which time the annual 3% increment on the rent at Thorp Arch will seem like mere pennies to dispense with.

      As to the other community and training facilities for use by potential rugby and World Cup teams, I’m in no doubt that Bates would bend over backwards to get them to use Thorp Arch, and no doubt would re-negotiate the terms of the Thorp Arch lease with Addler, if he thought there was money in it. That is a hell of a gamble, as is the real possibility that we could lose Thorp Arch even if Bates wanted to end the tenancy of Thorp Arch and activate a buy-back-clause in the years to come, as I’ve read that if he wanted to do so then he would have to compete with one-and-all for the prime chunk of land and facilities on the open market. May be that is when we’ll see how much cash we’ve got in reserve.

  • Quick question for Whitesforever:

    “I think some people are way off the mark about the league looking into uniteds ownership being the stumbling block for the purchase of thorp arch that question was over and done with on tuesday which left over 48hrs to sort the rest of the agreement with the council out so some people are way off the mark.”

    Is this documented anywhere? Thanks

  • Whitesforever

    I remember listening on the radio and the councillor carter did mention that the league was satisfied with the paperwork that shaun harvey delivered to the league on tuesday the point i was making is that people are blamingi the league and bates for thorp arch not going through and that is not the case.

  • Thanks Whitesforever.

    Re: Who is to blame: Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the LCC deal and how it failed, the current board at Leeds United have had a long time to put into place a viable plan to have funds in place to use the buy back option on Thorp Arch, yet they only started talks with LCC to help them out three months ago in what seems like a last resort. The blame therefore rests with the current board, but in 20 years time they will be long gone – so are they really bothered?