Nothing quite like being proven wrong is there? It seems to be what’s happened to me in less than 24 hours. Last night I critisised the Yorkshire Evening Post for failing to ask the questions that all the supporters are screaming out loud. Questions like, who owns Leeds United? Why did the deal for Thorp Arch fall through? And where, oh where is all the money going?

I arrived home from work today to find Phil Hay had found a backbone and critisised Leeds United’s failed attempt to re-purchase our training facility. In a post titled ‘What does future hold after Thorp Arch deal’s collapse?’

Such is the response from the YEP, I’m actually wondering if they’ve been reading TSS! Phil Hay really seems to be reading from the same page as the supporters now suggesting that the failed buy-back will affect the next generation of Leeds United talent. He also questions whether or not the rising upkeep of the facility and the annually increasing rent will be within our reach for the next twenty years – especially since the club already claimed the repurchase of Thorp Arch was ‘vital to the health of the club’.

Phil Hay continues to impress with the following;

Both {promotion and Thorp Arch) appeared attainable at the start of the season, especially once the sale of Fabian Delph gave Simon Grayson a “fighting fund”, in the words of Ken Bates, and promised to do “no harm” to the aim of repurchasing Thorp Arch. So important were both intentions that it would be ridiculous to claim that one out of two is an acceptable success.

It’s taken a while, but finally someone close to the club has questioned what the rest of us have been doing all along – where has all the money gone? He doesn’t say it in so many words, but highlighting the Fabian Delph sale and the claims made by Bates thereafter is good enough.

Hay really moves in for the kill later on in the post by suggesting the ongoing ownership saga ‘muddied the waters’ with the council deal and questions why Leeds United have never revealed what the stumbling blocks were;

Leeds seem to have been unhappy with several conditions set for them by the council in the final hours before the deadline, though the full details of those conditions are not clear. Nowhere in the explanation given by United was the issue of the club’s ownership mentioned, but they confirmed last week that the council had sought clarification on the matter.

Regardless of whether it became a deal-breaker, there is no doubt that the very valid question of who owns Leeds United muddied the waters at a crucial time.

It is the type of poor publicity that the club can do without.

Phil Hay continues his enslaught by asking why Leeds United waited ’til there was just seven weeks left to approach the council and try to secure TA. In light of our failure, he also retracts his earlier statement that Leeds don’t need outside investment yet and says the TA shambles has proven we do.

Two weeks ago, I remarked in this column that Leeds were in no desperate need of a wealthy investor while promotion from League One remained in hand.

That observation was made with the presumption that the purchase of Thorp Arch was also under control and a virtual formality. That saga has instead demonstrated the limits of the club’s monetary power, and the brand presented to potential investors is arguably weakened by a training ground which belongs to a third party.

Finally the local paper is representing the opinions of it’s readers. It’s taken a while, but they got there in the end. I have nothing but respect for Phil Hay and the editor that allowed him to publish it. After the Guardian scandal, the YEP are undoubtedly risking a ban by publishing what they did, but it needed to be said and they’ve done the right thing.

Keep it up YEP!

6 Responses

  1. Grumpy Older Man

    Looks like I’ll have to revert to doing soft soap and reason, the attack-dog blog role has been ushurbed.. ;-) Keep it up TSS!

  2. spanish white

    Bates did save us from real oblivian, but the thorp arch fiasco is just beyond comprehension, it was a done deal!The Coincil could not loose whatever. Elland Road is not all it seems cos of bates and his dealings!

  3. LezToomey

    I have stuck up for Bates on numerous occasions with regard to him coming in with the cash when others just talked about it in the press, but this is it for me. Using his own words, he has proved himself to be “the enemy within”. An old saying goes that people always revert to type. I agree with Spanish White, all is not as it seems at ER and something is most certainly ‘going on’. The problem of course is the league position. Not until we get out of this league and start seriously pushing towards the top of the Championship, do we have any hope of someone coming in and relieving us of this shyster.

    Help us Grayson, your our only hope!

  4. Matt bb

    This latest, well i’m sorry but f@@k up just goes to show how little ken bates respects leeds, he’s walked off with millions of taxpayers – our – money, scoffed at local businesses, and wasnt prepared to put his hand in his pocket to pay for a long term investment in thorp arch. Come to think of it, he didnt when it came to us going down to division three. Now he expected leeds ratespayers to fund him unquestioningly, well ken i’m glad we didnt, somehow only he would have benefited. I hope that we get a new owner soon, prepared to pay for thorp arch, for elland road, and to put us back where we should be. Genuine investors have been railroaded out in the last few years from what i’ve read, no one will shed a tear when he leaves.


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