Yeovil Town – Another club that loves us! TSS October 29, 2009 Leeds United 16 Comments Whilst searching for anything remotely interesting on Yeovil Town ahead of our League One encounter this weekend, I came across a site called Ciderspace. The site has an extremely well researched brief history of our club going all the way back to the days of Leeds City. Credit where it’s due, the site’s author definitely did his homework. However, I did get the impression we won’t be on their Christmas card list; Those who have followed the fortunes of Leeds United over the last couple of years or so, would raise a wry smile at knowing that Leeds United were formed in 1919 after their predecessors (Leeds City) were folded amidst a row with the Football League over financial misdemeanours. The more things change, the more they stay the same! For those that don’t know the beginnings of Leeds United, this is entirely true. He does neglect to mention that the financial misdemeanours were over alledgedly paying our players during the war – hardly the stuff of pure evil, is it? And to my knowledge, this was never proven, but even in the early 1900’s the Football League didn’t seem to be big fans of ours. After skimming through the glory years of Revie, our resurrection under Howard Wilkinson and the ‘living the dream’ era, we come to the most recent administration; Not that this [the administration shambles] appears to have done Leeds too much harm. They’d junked the best part of the 35 million quids worth of debts and Bates stated that the club was as good as debt-free – exactly as Blackwell had predicted – making them now probably the richest club in League One. The punishment given out by the Football League also had a welcome side-effect for Bates – it got the fans off his back and onto that of the authorities. That 15 points deduction now looks like a bargain. He makes a good point. One we’re all too aware of. Upon Bates arrival the majority of fans weren’t impressed. The -15 season brought us all together, with the ‘backs against the wall’ mentality that led us so close to achieving promotion at the first attempt, despite the obvious handicap. Bates led the charge against the evil powers of the Football League, whilst many overlooked the fact that it was the tactics himself and KPMG used during the takeover that led to the deduction. Many forget that during and after the takeover, there was several parties unhappy at not being given a fair chance to bid for the club. Still can’t help wonder if we’d have been better off with one of them. After Donny ‘urinate all over our parade’ we come to the appointment of Grayson; Leeds, being Leeds, illegally approached and poached Simon Grayson from Blackpool. Why should they care? They finished fourth this time around, but didn’t even get to Wembley, Millwall putting them out of the play-offs at the semi-final stages. ‘Leeds, being Leeds?’ He makes it sound as though we’ve illegally approached anyone we had a slight interest in, when the truth is, this is very uncommon at Leeds. I don’t doubt we’ve been guilty of it as much as most clubs, but we’re hardly up there with the likes of Chelsea and Man United. Can’t argue too much with the next bit though; Another day, another season, but still the investigations into Bates rumble on. The net seems to be closing. No longer is he treated by the media as a bluff shooter from the hip – ‘Oh, that’s just Ken being Ken again’. The dark side of Bates is emerging. Everyone knows the man is a dissembling liar, tax dodger and bully, but can what most suspect be proven: that he’s a crook as well? Football, long the home of charlatans, shysters, fantasists and outright criminals, is beginning to change – if painfully slowly. Will Bates decide to retire to his Monaco tax haven before he’s brought down, or will he again wriggle through that net? Whichever, at least there’s one positive: at his age he can’t be much longer in the game, and football will be, by a small degree, a better place when Bates is gone for good. I might have misinterpreted this, but the final part seems to suggest we’d all be better off with Bates dead. I’d be jumping for joy if he sold the club and left us in peace, but to wish him dead is a little extreme at best. I used to get frustrated by the dislike aimed at us from all these League One clubs we have no history against, but have learnt to laugh it off these days. Being disliked is hardly something foreign to us afterall. The annoyance usually stemmed from the fact that people disliked us for the Revie years. They had a misconception of the team being cheats and thugs. People rarely mention how brilliant that team were and how skillful the players were. They were uncompromising. There’s no escaping that, but you had to be back then. Chelsea were exactly the same, as were a lot of teams, but Leeds are the ones people remember, because we were the outsiders and people hated our success. These days however, we’re disliked for an entirely new reason. Ken Bates’ lack of people skills and unique business dealings continue to attract bad press. There’s not many people Ken hasn’t annoyed at some point along the way. In one sense, Leeds United are strong because ‘everyone hates us and we don’t care‘ – It’s the backs to the wall mentality that drives us forward. However, i’d much rather be hated for our success than bad publicity. Let’s hope Simon Grayson’s side can replicate the 4-0 hammering we gave them last year at Elland Road and give them real reason to hold a grudge.