The dictatorship-like reign of leadership at Elland Road seems to be continuing as Ken Bates decides who can, and more interestingly, can’t take pictures at our home games.

Most of you will no doubt remember the Guardian’s ban not so long back for reporting what most of the country already knew. It seems Bates took a dislike to their article on the ownership issues at Elland Road and just hours before we kicked-off against Norwich, the Guardian were informed that none of their reporters would be allowed inside the stadium.

It seems that Bates has contiued his Robert Mugabe style leadership traits by systematically banning photographers from Reuters, Getty Images and the Associated Press alongside a few others, to leave only Action Images and an Elland Road based company called Varleys able to snap inside the stadium.

I’m all for supporting local business, which in a roundabout way Bates has done here by narrowing down Varleys competition, but the reasons behind his move aren’t quite so generous and Santa-like.

Infact, the main reason for the bans seems to be a sponsorship thing. In true meglomaniac fashion, the powers that be at Elland Road have decided they want full control over any pictures taken at the stadium. Sports Journalists Association are led to believe this is so they can “give undue prominence to the club’s sponsors and pitchside advertisers.”

Maybe it’s good business practice and Bates is getting the best deal possible for the pictures, on top of improved advertising rates from sponsors. For me however, I can’t help thinking Bates has completely lost the plot. The power went to his head a long time ago, but he seems to get worse every week. As if lying to courts wasn’t enough, he seems hell-bent on banning the freedom of speech and controlling everything that has anything to do with the club.

What’s worrying is how far he’s going to go with things like this. What’s next; A ban on the BBC and Sky from reporting anything he doesn’t like? More bans for newspapers? Or maybe he’ll take steps to ensure online blogs are regulated by the club itself? Nothing would suprise me anymore.

The fact is that we need publicity to ensure we stay a big name. We need it to attract investment and make players remember our existance. We need publicity to make untapped support aware of existance. You can’t run a football club under a media blackout, it’s a ridiculous idea.

While our boys on the pitch are performing well and taking the league by storm, we should be hearing and reading great things about Leeds United. Investors should be waking up and smelling the freshly re-brewed coffee of the reawakened Elland Road giants, but instead we’re left analysing Bates’ latest dictator-like move, wondering what he’ll do next!

Big shout to TBG and Clarke One Nil for bringing this to light.

9 Responses

  1. Tony Soprano luvs Leeds

    Bates is an arse! I think that everything positive going on on the pitch, is tinged with the fact that he still makes us a despised club.

    Losing the right to TA has ruined his credibility now, with all but the disillusioned die hard “He saved the club” Bates apologists.


  2. Craig

    Nothing suprises me with captain birds eye!

    Like you say should be a joyous time for all Leeds fans when finally we have a team to be proud of and probably the best young manager in britain.

    But no the ego maniac still wants his fix!!!


    Big shot to both the TSS and C10 keep up the good work

  3. Hunter's Boots

    The article mentions ‘what’s next; a ban on the BBC…from reporting anything he does not like.’He has already done that with the banning of Radio Leeds. Just to show he has nothing against state radio he banished Radio Aire for good measure. He would point to contractual anomalies; Bates, however, only craves control. Has anyone ever heard of a football club this side of communist North Korea where the local radio stations are absent from their stadium? Absurd situation.

  4. West Stand Rebel

    Mr.Robert Mugabe employs so called “war veterans” to prop up his murderous regime.Notice any similarities ? Yorkshire Radio and the Match Programme may be good places to start looking ? You wont find any dissenters there.


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