Following on from yesterday’s post, Part II of The Football Chairman’s Handbook sees Gledders look at the legacy of Peter Ridsdale and what Bates can do to avoid a similar fate.

The Chairman needs to know his history.

The expectations of this job are massive. You have the weight of “opinion” of over 100 000 supporters (most of them wrong!) on your shoulders. Past chairmen have been fan’s favourites. We all remember the euphoria of the Ridsdale era. Find me one fan that didn’t worship the sunshine from his bottom when dirty working class Leeds United were playing the footballing gods of Europe every couple of weeks. Didn’t we all think it was brilliant that Ridsdale used to charter airliners to demonstrate his respect for his lads? How many fans flew Ryanair to stay in a grubby bed and breakfast in Spain or Belgium but didn’t begrudge our team their bit of luxury. Hell, we were winning in the Champion’s League and we enjoyed spending the money by proxy. But it ran out and when it all went wrong, we turned on the same people that delivered us our own little corner of paradise. (When you think about Viduka’s wages per goal rate, how can we call Beckford greedy?) But we are fans and that is our right. We will be around long after the players and management have moved on.

Actually, I think that to some extent Ridsdale was a bit unlucky in the way the market price of players crashed for that one season when Plan B was to sell players to get us out of the mire. But some of the money we spent was laughable. We can be justifiably critical of the man that sanctioned terms for that all time great, Seth Johnson. By that I mean “all time great waste of money”. Decisions like that sort of ruin your credibility when history becomes the judge and Johnson wasn’t the only one. Each expensive bad-signing was one more reason we went bust and I don’t know if anybody else was sickened to see so many of them stick around to the end of their lucrative contract just to pick up the next pay cheque instead of working for a living.

Ridsdale’s era has more or less earned the epitaph it deserves.

The Chairman needs to learn lessons from that history.

Now we seem to have the opposite problem; a very experienced football chairman who apparently doesn’t want to spend any money at all. Which one is worse? I think it’s fair to say that after the Thorp Arch debacle, even previously pro-Bates supporters are asking questions. How could a business with a turnover such as Leeds United’s, selling assets such as Delph, and not really investing in new ones, not be able to raise £6 million for a property? That’s not what I find worrying. The future question is going to be how will a business with a turnover like Leeds United ever be able to raise £6 million for non-tangible assets like players? Quite obviously nobody else should be expected to invest in Ken Bates. “There you go Ken, have my PIN number. It works in the Cayman Islands too…”

  • simcol68

    We all know that bates and his secret partners are bleeding our leeds dry as you say where as all the mony gone over last three seasons it must be close on £12million with delph going last season for £4 millon + then theres £4mill profit from last yr + what we got for the young ones getting tapped up by man city everton etc makes my blood boil when people come on here or any other website saying get off bates back if it wasn,t for him etc there would,nt be a leeds utd what aload of crap of cause there would have been hes the biggest piece of slimey horrible lying bent piece of work EVER to set foot in elland road the sooner he goes the better

  • Askgledders

    Just a small correction TSS. It’s actually the second half of tomorrow’s snippet that makes the point about where the money is probably (partly?) being wasted. Today I’m just asking the obvious question. That’s what happens when I try to be too clever and ‘serialize’ a post – threads all over the place. It’ll make sense tomorrow.

  • West Stand Rebel

    Another good article but I would take issue with the fact that Peter Ridsdale was “unlucky”. He was a prize prat who gloried in his lack of academic qualifications and ruined the club for a generation. He did however as Bates is doing enrich himself at as usual the fans expense.In one year alone he paid himself over £600k. Footballers wages at that time for a tenth rate managing director of a very small company in turnover terms. People easily forget that football clubs are small businesses with very high profiles.
    It seems though that the lesson is never learned as clubs like Liverpool and Newcastle follow the same path as we did.They may be luckier in attracting rich backers or they may end up as we have done stoney broke with a charlattan running the show.