Is Frank Lowy living in a cave? TSS April 14, 2010 Leeds United 121 Comments Back-to-back wins and rumours of a billionaire’s interest had the travelling Leeds United faithful decidedly optimistic for the first time in a while last night, as we sank a few pre-match pints before kick-off around Carlisle. To say I was one of those optimistic few is probably an understatement. In truth, I was restraining myself from swinging quite literally off the rafters. Years of demise have taken it’s toll. The season ticket renewal form dropping through my door last month was another one of those moments where for a second, I started to wonder whether it was all worth it. Sure, we’re in it for the ‘ups and downs’ but when the downs continue to relentlessly pummel away at you and the highs are increasingly less frequent, enthusiasm is hard to find. Especially when old Kenneth has decided to hike the prices on the ‘probability of Championship football next season’. The more I think about these doubts, the more I realise how it all comes down to Ken Bates. I aren’t going to start listing all the reasons why I hold such utter contempt for the man, but the one that had me doubting whether it was all worthwhile was the realisation that under Old Kenneth, I’m simply a number. It’s true of any business I guess, but the way in which Ken Bates has systematically tore away the supporters right to free speech since he’s been here has made me feel more disengaged from the club than I previously thought possible. The Members Club has become the signature mark of his control for me. A previously independent entity which spoke on behalf of the fans on the issues that concerned us, with an open door access to the club. Now controlled, operated and no doubt censored by the club itself. Journalists that dare to question his methods are banned from the ground and even the local radio station is controlled by his majesty. I accept that any board or owner of Leeds United has the final say, but never in the clubs history has anyone gone to such lengths to deny the supporters the opportunity of having their voices heard. That’s essentially why so many independent Leeds United fan sites have emerged this year. When everything you read (programme, newsletters, website), hear (Yorkshire Radio) and see (LUTV) is fed to you by the man upstairs, with absolutely no opinion from the supporters, the fans will inevitably strike back and find new ways to make themselves heard. The re-launch of the Square Ball magazine is a good example of this, as are sites such as Clarke One Nil, The Beaten Generation and the more direct approach of Love Leeds, Hate Bates. Whilst Leeds did everything in their power on the pitch to blow our promotion dreams, my season ticket renewal form found it’s way into the mailbox, heading back towards Elland Road. It wasn’t done because we’ve progressed and could be playing Championship football next season, nor was it done because I’ve found peace with the megalomaniac owner from Monaco. No, it was done because I love Leeds United no matter what and am determined to be here when Ken Bates finally packs his belongings together and removes himself from Elland Road. Essentially, it was done because somewhere inside me remains a belief that Leeds United will overcome this dark period in our history and rise again to conquer old territory. What’s more, we’ll do it without Ken Bates. With that in mind, you can imagine my disappointment today when I heard the Lowy speculation was being dismissed by Leeds United and the Football Federation of Australia, who both insist they’re surprised by the rumours. Devastation doesn’t come close to describing my feelings. Whether it actually seems weird to others, or it’s simply my on-going search for a silver lining doing overtime, I did manage to find a slight glimmer of hope beneath the two stories. Firstly, I find it odd that an Australian newspaper would simply make something like this up. Not because I believe for one second Australian newspapers are any different from the ones over here, but if you’re going to simply ‘make stuff up’ why not go all out and link him to Liverpool or Manchester United? Furthermore, why is it that no one seems to be able to get a comment from Frank Lowy himself? We’re told he’s currently abroad, but surely it doesn’t matter where you are when something like this breaks, someone gives you a call to mention it? It’s with that in mind that I’m officially starting the ‘Find Frank Lowy campaign’. I call upon all Leeds United fans to search any nearby caves, holes and brothels for his presence. Finding him may not only net you a handsome reward for his rescue, but you may also be responsible for bringing a new era of prosperity to Leeds United football club. Your club needs you! Lee S He’s not in Woodley, Stockport. Wayne He is not in Cornwall .. I’ve searched the beaches… Lee B Just looked under my desk and my keyboard – not here either… TSS Damn, we’re going to need more man-power. Have the army finished sorting America’s problems out yet? TheReaper08 Oh dear, another day and another step closer to becoming LLHB mark 2. TSS Behave! I preceeded them by years. I was slagging Bates off through various sites while they were still a pipe-dream. I just hide my anti-Bates brainwashing campaign bewteen a few match reports and some team news. TheReaper08 The my apologies are offered without reservation. How about another day another step back to becoming the original and best Bates hating site. This all makes me chuckle really, I mean it shouldn’t because last night felt like Christmas as a kid when the news of the Carlsile result came through. That’s how much this club is under my skin but have we learned nothing from the day of Lord Sainsbury and Sheik Whathisface etc etc. TSS God no. I’m a dreamer! (Sorry if that makes a crap 90’s dance tune stick in your head) Craig It didn’t until you mentioned it… THANKS! TSS It’s been stuck in my head ever since and slowly driving me insane. Sorry about that! timm I think it’s time you changed the name from TSS to ABB, anyone but Bates! Honestly TSS every thread you start ends up being about the guy! & as for LLHB being direct? Direct my arse!Talks of secret meetings & ‘anybody wanna buy a t-shirt’ make me cringe & piss myself laughing at the same time! If you don’t like it don’t go. I just want to get behind my team & do my small bit to help them get promoted & then come summer if i see no investment i’ll moan. Like i always say’ it’s about fact & the fact is Bates took this club on & did what had to be done for it to survive. I don’t give a shit about Irish banks & the rest of it, i give a shit about my club & right now it’s on the brink of promotion! TSS I’ll ignore your ‘we’ll wait til the summer’ comments, because I’ve heard them too many times only for Bates to come out and wooo you all once again with his “promises”. Remember ‘Get the Chelsea out of Leeds?’ The fact of the matter is that most threads lead to Bates via the comments, not anything I write. The above was about as anti-Bates as I’ve wrote in a while (although slight suggestions of hatred probably have been included elsewhere), but I refuse to accept criticism of a failing chairman on a fans site has any effect on the performances on the pitch. If that was the case, Manchester United would have been relegated this year! It’s an easy excuse for people when it all goes wrong, which we (as Leeds fans) look for year after year to explain our failings. Whether it’s Beckford, fans critisism of Bates, the management, whatever. There’s always something to disguise the fact we simply blew it again. What makes me laugh more than anything from Bates’ apologists is that the bloke spends 99% of his time creating unwelcomed attention with his own stupid remarks. Anything I write could never match the effects some of them have! Furthermore, Bates is the most thick-skinned man in the world. He doesn’t give a shit what we think – which is precisely my problem. timm Couldn’t agree more! In my opinion the man is vindictive & horrible & should sod off & live in a home for grumpy old men with Doug Ellis & that bloke with the dodgy hair who owned Man City? But it’s because i love my club so much that i care so much who takes over. We just don’t deserve a new owner who has any kind of agenda (ie, to promote Aussie players etc..) We’ve gone through too much shit! Although i must admit there is something quite satisfying about being owned by the bloke that ruined Bradford city centre! You & me want the same thing TSS, we just differ on how we should get it. paull It breaks my heart to admit it but I haven’t renewed my season ticket. I’ve been going to ER for thirty five years and love the club more than it’s healthy for a grown man to love anything. But I just cannot bring myself to put any more of my hard earned money into Bate’s pocket. If and when any take over happens I’ll be the first in the queue for a new season ticket whatever division we’re in but until this cancer is removed from our club I just cannot do it. I’ve loved Leeds United from my earliest memory and I always will but to see what Bates is doing to our club is heartbreaking. timm It’s up to you to decide who’s pocket your hard earned money goes in, why do you choose Bates? How about Andy Robinson’s? He’s on 10k a week! I hear Lubo’s on even more? Beckford’s on 7k a week! That’s over 100k a month just on 3 players! I don’t think you’re ticket money will be lining Bates’s pockets somehow? paull To the best of my knowledge Andy Robinson isn’t the one insisting that if kids want to listen to the match on the radio they’ll have to pay for the privilege. Lubo’s not the one who persistently treats the fans with absolute contempt and Beckford isn’t the one who can’t remember in court whether he owns a football club or not. In fact to the best of my knowledge it wasn’t the players who behaved with so much arrogance and disrespect that the club were deducted 15 points. timm Full match commentary is free on Minster FM (for everyone, not just the kids). Lubo & Robbo do actually kind of treat the fans with contempt in that once they’ve signed that nice lucrative contract they immediately stop giving 100% for the team & their form become indifferent at best. For me that’s the worst kind of contempt, the kind where they’ll take our money but they don’t really give a shit. Surely Bates ‘trying it on’ by going into Administration when we were already relegated was a measure he took because he thought we’d be deducted the points but it wouldn’t matter because we were already relegated, therefore causing minimum disruption to the club? So therefore he acted with the best interests of the club at heart? Answer me this, if what he did was so wrong, then why was there so much vitriol & pure hatred towards the Football League & in particular Brian Mawhinney? Im sure you remember the songs, the t-shirts, the huddles? Regarding the owners, all i know is everyone gets paid & we turn a small profit, & in the current climate that makes us a rare thing. TheReaper08 And the -15 had nothing to do with arrogance or contempt, it was to do with exiting administartion without a CVA in place. You could correctly argue we didn’t exit correctly because of Bates but in all likeliness the same outcome would have been achieved even if we were taken over. The only way this wouldn’t have been the case is if the new owners (presuming it wasn’t Bates) had agreed to settle all outsdtanding debts in full. Ask yourself this question and try to be impartial, if you had the opportunity to take over a football business and pay £5 million but start on -15, or would you pay £35 million and start on zero. wotnosmith I heard he’s at Thorpe park trying out the roller coaster in preperation of his takeover. Richard M Come on lets show more decorum than this 1) Good business people do not do business in the public eye – nor should we want them to – only if a deal is done should we be informed -otherwise hopes are raised and often dashed 2) If Mr Lowey is looking at LUFC – blogs like this would only put him off as why put yourself through the abuse when the team doesn’t perform 3) And most importantly be very very careful what you wish for here – Rich foreign investors might seem like the ideal solution but if they are doing it for a return that will mean loading the club with substantial debt – aka Scum, Liverpool, Chelski etc do we really want that ? Then tickets prices rise to pay the interest on those debts No im afraid unless its a local person who buys the club for fun – ie not to make money – then our best chance of a return to better days is to back Mr Bates love him or loathe him as one thing is for sure – he will make LUFC profitable in its own right without borrowing millions from banks ! TheReaper08 You don’t want to be spouting off your pro Bates talk around these parts Richard, my god even now your very existence is under threat. Check the windows, lock the doors and hide under the table, oh and by the way if you see a certain Mr Lowy under there point him in the direction of TSS, I am led to be believe by many that he is the saviour don’t you know ;0) TSS …or Duncan Revie. timm Has anybody checked under a rock? I hear that’s were snakes are usually found?! Yorkshrman Good points, Richard. A colleague of mine is a life-long Notts County fan …. and if you think we’ve had it hard, try following them. This season has been a real roller-coaster for them; and last night they’ve all but confirmed promotion – subject to NOT going into administration before the end of the season ….. I accept that Mr Lowy probably has more substance than some of the other owners English clubs have seen (Portsmouth, anyone?) – but a sugar-daddy is no guarantee of success ….. Pete I think I owned Portsmouth for a bit earlier in the season…didn’t do much good though. I told Michael Brown he was a big girl for faking that injury in the battle of Bramall Lane, so he kicked me. So I sold the club for 50p and a packet of Skittles. I got a good deal. timm Richard, i’ve been on to MI5, they’re going to put you in a safe house & get you in the witness protection programme ASAP before LLHB & TSS find you & make you buy a t-shirt! TSS Hold on, I aren’t selling t-shirts! I demand a retraction! timm No but you’re an accessory! TSS I voted no on the t-shirts TheReaper08 I would buy a t-shirt, I want ‘TSS’ on the front and a big Grim Reaper on the back with the words ‘Bringing balanced argument to TSS since (the date of my first post)’ You could make a few bob here TSS. timm You should make some then. i’d have one, just post it to K Bates c/o Leeds Utd……….! TSS Nah, seems like a lot of hard work and I’ve spent my life trying to avoid anything like that. I find anything to do but work, even when I am at work. Lewis g i looked in my garden and thought id found him, but it was just chuck norris! god-dammit. Pattaya Rag Maybe Ken started the rumour…… Paul C So thats settled then, we are all happy with Mr Bates and we should not hope or dream for anyone better , we are lucky to have him and should be careful about what we say in case we are being watched….where did I put that rope? TheReaper08 I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Paul but if that’s what you are able to conclude from above then climb up on the chair and as TheReaper I am duty bound to pass you up the rope. timm Yes Paul we all wish for someone ‘BETTER’, it’s just that not all of us think it’s this bloke! TSS Timm, I still maintain the reason you don’t want ‘this bloke’ is because you’re used to being disappointed and instinctively expect the worst. I think any buy-out of Leeds United would probably follow the same course as the FFA wherein he isn’t in it for the money, but for the credibility of being associated with the game. Another billionaires hobby these days is football. Pete If this billionaire provides us with a few players who are quite good then I’d be pretty happy. Wonder what Berbatov’s doing next season… TheReaper08 About as much as this season, absolutely nothing ! Pete I can confirm he’s not in Ilford, Chingford, Walthamstow or Tottenham… TSS Someone on Twitter suggested we try watching Neighbours to see if we can spot him but I think I speak on behalf of all Leeds United fans, however much they dislike Bates, when I say I’d rather stick with Kenneth than subject myself to that terrible excuse for a TV program. TheReaper08 I watched it the other day for the first time in literally years, it is time that I will never get back, gutted. Craig I didn’t see him in Great Yarmouth this morning but I’m not sure about the helicopter that flew over. cossie(LUFC) GOT HIM! I FOUND HIM!!…. Oh hang on a minute…Ah Fosters you say? Sorry to trouble you mate Sorry guys It was Paul Hogan Matt73 I have to say that I’ve not seen Mr Lowy, this morning whilst mooching round my front room, but the latest copy of “Leeds Leeds Leeds” has been delivered by the postie, something which will not be happening soon, not because I havn’t renewed my season ticket, because that’s been sorted for a few weeks now, but, for the fact that as of next season we will have to subscribe to and pay for the afor mentioned mag. Something which I don’t intend to do. I follow Leeds United for the love of the club, not to fund somebodies ocean view in Monaco. Howard Flinn Nope he’s not here in Adelaide either. The story was actually published in the Sydney Morning Herald here which is the equivalent of The Times publishing it in Blighty, so there it might actually have some credence. He actually owns most of the shopping complexes here in Australia as well as quite a few others around the world and has a personal wealth of about $6billion, so he really doesn’t have any debt to load on whatever club he decides to buy. Well we can dream. MOT. Pete Has he obtained any of it questionably? No doubting that Abramovich is loaded, but most of that is under investigation… If he really is worth $6 billion, that wouldn’t be bad…we could potentially afford to bankroll any side you can think of. After buying back ER and TA, and building a new stadium. He could do that without losing any net worth to himself too…plonk £100 million into an account, take loans out in his name and use the interest generated from that money to pay the loans…If I could afford that, I’d do it! TSS No, he made his wealth through shopping malls. There’s been some investigation into tax-dodging, but that’s not unusual for billionaires. TheReaper08 And I agree but isn’t it remarkable how we can gloss over something such as tax fraud (cos that’s what it is) when we like someone ? You know in some countries fraud atracts a greater sentence than murder. Wasn’t what Bates did with the re-purchase of our club technically viewed as fraud ? hmmmmmm.. TSS He hasn’t even been proven guilty, and if one of those countries was England Bates would have been killed a thousand times over by now! Pete That’s why the wealthy and companies hire accountants…to write off taxable income as a tax deduction. Christ, any self-employed person can submit a receipt for a laptop bought from PC World, write it off as an expense at year end (and eat into their profit so they pay less income tax) and, if they have enough of a turnover, even claim back the VAT… TheReaper08 Somehow considering they are trying to track his business activities through shell companies and offshore funds, all so he can avoind paying tax in both his native Australia and the USA I supsect he has done more than submit a receipt for a laptop. Although credit as it’s been a long day and you have just made me laugh. timm I think what i’m getting from this is that it’s ok to be dodgy if you’re a billionaire? But not if you’re just a MILLIONaire? If what was written on here yesterday about him trying it on for 2 payouts on the Twin Towers is true then this bloke makes Northern Rock look like a pickpocket! TSS On a brighter note, I managed to start another Twitter craze – http://twitter.com/search?q=%23FindFrankLowy#search?q=%23FindFrankLowy My last one was the ill-fated #IGWT (In Grayson we trust) so this will probably lead to Frank Lowy’s imminent bankruptcy. West Stand Rebel Looked for him here in Huddersfield but only found Lord Lucan. Nobody seemed to be interested in him. Has anyone looked in that big hole in Bradford yet ? PS Paul above:following you mate and I’ve been going 44 years not a penny more is going to Nevis/Cayman Island from my wallet. timm Anybody seen Uncle Kens comments re season ticket renewals? Nothing like stirring it up a bit! TSS Yeah, I actually wondered if that was aimed at me personally. If Kenneth is reading this, the ones that have renewed have renewed INSPITE of you, not because we believe your taking us forward. We’re stupid, but not that fucking stupid. We renewed because we love Leeds. God Kenneth is annoying me today. TheReaper08 I do believe that’s the first time I have properly read a post from you with a full on vitriolic swear word involved. Is this all to do with Ken or are you just having a bad day TSS ? All the tub thumping about season tickets is pretty normal for a chairman and like it or not that is all everyone has been doing lately, justified or not. TheReaper08 * moaning that is. TSS Didn’t even realise I’d swore in that ’til you mentioned it. Ken Bates does tend to bring out the worst in me though. Watching the reaction to that announcement on Twitter and the Leeds fans on there all seem to be equally unimpressed. Could also be something to do with the lack of sleep too though I guess. Didn’t get home from Carlisle ’til late last night, had probably drank a little too much and was at work at 5am this morning. Glad that’s the final midweek away game of the season, the sleep deprivation is killing me. bob what world do you live in where you think any fan of any club actually has a say in the running of their club, of course you are a number tss you always have been and always will be.we all are.football is a business like any other TSS Oh yeah, I totally agree. But under any other regime, as a fanbase we were represented by the members club. The chairman responded to any concerns the fans may have. Ken Bates refuses to acknowledge our existance. colin Loathe or like Ken Bates…..Leeds Utd are in a better situation than they were a couple of years ago so who”s been responsible. TheReaper08 Me, it is 100% totally down to myself. timm Sorry Reaper i can’t agree. I think the reason we’re in better shape is all down to LLHB! I just wish they’d take their balaclavas off for a minute so i could thank them personally for all they’ve done for our great club! TSS A couple of years ago we were in the Championship! timm & bankrupt! Portsmouth are in the Premiership but would you swap with them? TSS FA Cup final, debt clearence in place and a parachute payment next year? Yeah, quite frankly I would. Better than another year visiting the giants of Bristol and co. TheReaper08 Debt clearance is far far from in place, I work in Hampshire and most of the guys I work with are either Saints or Pompey. Add to that My brother in law is chief product designer for Umbro and a personal designer for a Mr David James and I can confirm with absulute certainty that the Pompey story has plenty of mileage left in it. timm My brother works in Hampshire in the financial sector & believe me TSS the parachute & the £3 million from the cup doesn’t even scratch the surface. Sol Campbell alone is chasing them for somewhere between 1 & 3 million for unpaid ‘image rights’! by saying you’d swap with them, you’re saying you’d go back to how things were here at their worst. Ollie Have you seen Bate’s comments about the fans who havn’t chosen to renew for next season? “it’s a tribute to the loyal fans who don’t moan and groan all the time” “They choose to put their money where their mouth is because they think we are on the right road and they want to be part of that and support us.” He doesn’t seem to understand that the current climate effects the working man, he’s living on another planet. After over 25 season tickets I’m not renewing as I cant afford it, I must be a moaner and groaner and not support Leeds anymore according to Mr Bates. I can assure you, he will never get another penny from me. Herbman Jesus, we must all be bored today after reading this trail and having time to comment. At least we arent moaning at the result, watching teletext the last 2 nights and seeing Swindon and Millwall equalise in 90+ minutes has turned unbeliavble nights into just fantastic ones. Can remember when we went back to the old Div 1, i think we only needed a handful of points with 7 games to go and we nearly blew that, remember the party in Bournemouth!! Back to the main topic of today, just looked at Bates’ statement, season ticket sales of 8,600 compared with 11,400 this season, not sure if that was in total for this season but 30% down when we are doing better than last season does not sound like very postive news to me. But i havent got KB’s accountancy skills. Perhaps it is because the rest of us don’t know about KB’s “road map” for the future, i remember a 10 year plan, we were one year behind it in the summer, we were buying back TA, perhaps it is published somewhere?????? Back to a footballing note, we need to be scoring more goals when we have teams on the backfoot, from the reports we missed a hatful last night, this could still come down to goal difference, any thoughts? Stephen Underwood With regards to ken bates im not a big fan but lets think back the club was on it knees only ken bates came in.The club could well have gone bust its now starting to make money.Is it ken bates you hate or his chelsea conection at this time of the season its time to really get behind everything that is leeds united that includes ken bates but more inportently jermain beckford with out his goals we would not even be in the top 6 never mind second marching on Craig 1919 Profitable? I think I read an earlier post from TSS showing that we are only profitable after player sales not via tickets and merchandising? Bates pisses me off, does he think that we all have £450 minimum just lying around to renew straight away? I’d we are promoted we will see a lot more new sales as the Championship will seem a more viable buy for some fans however does he seem to think his petulant outbursts are really going to make people want to purchase a new season ticket? Luckily for me I have a flexible friend that paid for mine the good old never never card and I’ll buy one whatever chairman however Bates needs to look himself in his diamond encrusted mirror on his yacht and ask why fans don’t want to buy? Clearly season tickets are cheap as we all own money trees, obviously we are all in love and incredibly indebted to Bates, we are all very pleased with the ownership transparency and we all know where all the money goes, no one is dissillusioned by the clubs sense of direction… You know what Bates is right all those that didn’t renew are unloyal bastards Give Us An L – LL Oh no! Not anotehr one. I don’t know if anyone reads this far down the page but ask anyone in the shop fitting world what its like contracting to Westfield, Mr Lowy’s business. Any poor contractor supplying to any of their malls, White City, Brierley Hill etc etc. will tell you – it makes Bates look like Mother Teresa. If he take over Leeds United we can expect to become even more hated than now. Colin Getting a bit bored of this now. In Jan 2005, we were not only financially in trouble but minutes away from becoming defunct/non existent. £35m in debt and all assets sold off. Only one person came in – Bates/FSF. Had that not happened there would be no LUFC. Fact. 2007 – Leeds go into administration. And the club is back up for grabs – other potential buyers were a man who’s now in prison, Duncan Revie, who never had the money and Redbus, who if they were so keen in football would have picked up another club by now. An independant administrator, KPMG, took Bates’ offer. This KPMG we’re talking about, not some backdoor accountant. 3 years later and the debt is gone and the club makes a small profit. Big achievement. Since then here are the others who’ve hit the same brick wall. It’s not just a Leeds problem, it’s a football problem: Halifax Town Rotherham Boston United Southampton Luton Stockport Salisbury Everyone seems to moan and groan about Bates. He gets constant shit from the fans on this board, day in day out. He gives a little bit of shit back to the moaning fans today and he gets even more. If you don’t like Bates or you don’t want to pay the season ticket then don’t buy one – that’s your protest right there and it will hurt Bates. Job done. But if you do want to go to Leeds and support them, just stop moaning. It’s not particularly Bates/FSF who’s upping the prices, it’s modern football. Do you not think fans of other clubs are having to pay more for their tickets too? Sorry to break the news but even with these exorbitant high ticket prices, Leeds are a million miles away from financially being able to cut it in the Premier League. Financially we’re a knackered ex-Championship club, who managed to do well in 2000/2001 unrealistically based on debt and haven’t been able to stand on our two feet since the early 1990’s – almost 20 years ago. Mikelufc You sId it before me Colin and more but I would just like to add that a little gratitude is still inorder, not because Bates is a likeable chAp because he isn’t but what he is is, the only fukker to step in and save this club. Where were all the saviours then? So TSS remember that next time you find yourself hating the hateful fukker .Like someone said, he is a bigger bastard than Bates ever dreamed of being. Let us be grateful we have a club and it is also worth bearing in mind the situation we have recently found ourselves in is larrys fault not Bates for the record, I don’t likehim either but am grTeful for his presence and wilyness. timm Thanks Colin for a great piece which simply can’t be disputed. Is there any chance you can post it every day until it finally sinks in with some people? Im sure that you’ll find a post on here tomorrow telling us it’s all Bates’s fault that Beckford’s not scoring & that the pies were better when Ridsdale was here! Another common complaint seems to be regarding the lack of investment in the team? If there’s such a lack of investment then why do we have by far the biggest wage bill in L1? Again, i don’t see how this can be disputed. I wish people would stop making this about Bates, the fact is we have a debt free club in an age where tha vast majority of clubs are in seriously bad shape. We saw under Ridsdale what happens when you spend tomorrows money today & that must never happen again. TSS Can’t be disputed? I’m sorry, but once again you’re all falling into the trap of ignoring the facts Bates has glossed over since his buy-out. One of those is that a certain illusive creditor refused to do business with anyone other than Bates despite a better deal being on the table. The other is the fact that KPMG confirmed they’d received proof of funds from other interested parties. The only one we ever knew about was the consortium involving Simon Morris. Lucky escape as that may be, it still proves he wasn’t the only one and isn’t our saviour. He’s just a chancer that scammed his way back in after running the club further into the ground on his first attempt. Funny how short some of your lots memories are, and how selective they can be. TheReaper08 No I remember that well, when you have invested your time and efforts into a club and then re-engineer yourself the re-purchase your a scumbag, when you make deliberate attempts to defraud the tax man your a good business man, go figure. TSS I’m sorry Reaper, but it’s like your talking on Bates’ behalf sometimes. Heaven forbid anyone should question his motives. I mean, he’s said himself he’s totally innocent of any wrong doing so clearly we should believe him. Invested time and efforts into a club, must mean he cares. Funny how we’re also forgetting the bit where he threatened to drag his heals until Leeds went under. Yeah, great bloke… Much better than Lowy. timm Sorry, meant to say ‘can’t be disputed by anyone but TSS’. We’re just going over old ground time & time again, Duncan Revie, Redbus…Publicity seekers blah blah blah….. Not seen them looking to get involved with any clubs since? But then again i suppose getting involved with taking over a club like Luton or Stockport will only get you in the local paper, whereas half heartedly attaching your name to Leeds Utd gets you national exposure. Like you said a while back TSS, serious businessmen make things happen. TSS How do you know? Whilst I accept the likes of Revie Jr and co. were attention seeking, the ones who had provided proof of funds remain anonymous as far as I’m aware? All i’m getting at here Timm is that in your neverending quest to defend Ken Bates, you constantly refer to how he ‘saved Leeds United’ when no one else would, failing to recognise no one else had a chance to because of his dodgy tactics. Since we’re defending how ‘serious businessmen’ act, I’m sure you’ll have something to add on Bates’ ridiculous comments ensuring no one does come forward to invest? Surely even you can see the Yorkshire Radio comments would deter anyone wishing to preserve their reputation by avoiding another Bates smear campaign? timm Maybe the ones who provided proof of funds & remained anonymous were actually successful & retained Uncle Ken as a figurehead?? Do you see what im saying TSS? You just don’t know? On one hand you defend people for wanting to remain anonymous & then on the other hand you criticise people for…remaining anonymous! Im not defending Bates & i find his comments both arrogant & ridiculous & the way he seems set on peronal vendettas with individuals & the press is also embarrassing, but that’s because he’s a grumpy old man & he has no intention of changing his ways now. I promise you TSS that from what i’ve seen of the guy i dislike him. But until i find out differently i’ll continue to believe what successive managers have said, & that’s that he backs them. On a positive note, you can’t deny that his wife seems nice & certainly gets involved with the branches. For me that’s reminiscent of Elsie Revie & it’s a good thing. A Tuesday night in Monaco or a Tuesday night in Stockport? She doesn’t have to do it. I bet you wouldn’t find old Roman in some Putney boozer chewing the fat with the Chelsea scum? Richard Bretherick I live in Canberra and can confirm that the story has gained some publicity here. There is a very dangerous aspect of this potential bid. It’s possible that he may be lning us up as a club where Australians can play. I’m not sure how familiar you are with Australia’s A-League but it’s absolute tosh. The evidence? Well you can either watch this drivel on TV (I don’t recommend it) or have a look at our very own Paddy Kis. He’s one of Australia’s top three central defenders and he’s playing in League 1. The rest of them here in Australia are here simply because they ain’t good enough to play in Europe. TheReaper08 Which is strange because if I am not mistaken we had someone on here the other day telling us the A league was a sort of mix between La Liga, Serie A and the Premier League and that it’s success was all down to Lowy. timm Yes i remember that post. & Mr Lowy’s the man they have to thank for their game reaching such dizzy heights! TSS Christ, for two people claiming to be the impartiality of TSS, you certainly spend a lot of time slagging off the FFA. Australian football isn’t as good as the Prem, but then it hasn’t had 150 years to build itself to that level. Whether you choose to accept it or not, there’s no denying Lowy gave them Australian football again and it’s taken great strides since he’s been there. Sure, there’s been one or two set-backs, but anyone with 45 seconds and Google can find endless testimonies to his achievements. Richard Bretherick All quite funny. If you need further proof of the garbage that is passed off as football here, have a look at the current media scrum surrounding Robbie Fowler’s current situation. For those who don’t know, the club he plays for in Queensland was about to go under due to ludicrous debt levels (sound familiar?). The FFA is attempting to rescue the club. Top of its priorities? Resigning the A-League’s ‘marquee player’ Robbie Fowler! Now come on chaps. No use defending this bilge. Yes it’s grown in popularity. Whoop-de-doo. Is it any good? No. TheReaper08 I could say the same TSS, for someone so hell bent on announcing Lowy as the secong coming of the Messiah you are failing to see the prickly thorns surrounding certain things. You keep citing the FFA as a shining example of the good of the man when it clearly has issues, the least of those appear to be the quality of the football played. TheReaper08 Oh and to further add, Lowy gave the Australians a football league, ABtes gave us a club back. TheReaper08 * Bates, it’s early I just got to wrok etc. etc. TheReaper08 That’s work of course, not wrok. I am not posting anymore until my fingers are on the right way round ! TSS Our club had never gone away. It was Bates who ran us into Division Three, Bates who put us into administration, Bates who threatened to end the clubs existance if he didn’t get what he wants and Bates who continues to lie to the fans, only for people like yourself to defend him. It’s also Bates that has brought with him a hidden ownership with questionable intentions. If people have nothing to hide, they don’t hide. I aren’t saying Lowy doesn’t have faults (although he’s not been proved guilty of anything) but in terms of football, he’s given Australia a league that’s producing teams that are making in-roads to the Asian Champions League. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but he’s taking huge strides. For you to undermine an entire countries efforts simply because of some superiority complex is beyond arrogance. TheReaper08 Firstly I don’t have superiroty complex over anyone, regardless of country of origin or any other measure you may choose. A lesser man then myself may be insulted by your comments but instead I will attempt a reasoned response with what I believe genuinely to be a reasonable person. Secondly I don’t like Ken Bates anymore than the next man, what I choose to do however is attempt to bring some balance to any discussion. What I have achieved in my life did not come about by jumping into bed with every seemingly ‘rose tinted’ alternative I have been presented with. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly I hope Lowy is the saviour, the real deal if you will. But what really angers me is those that choose to ignore things just because they like or dislike something and I am afraid to say as much as I think this is the best fan site for a mile, TSS guilty as charged. In my eyes it is fundamentally wrong to ignore some of the positives of Bates reign and yes there are some, all whilst championing the values of an individual we all know little about. TSS Nothing was meant to cause offence, I just don’t like how every argument has somehow dwindled down to insulting Australian football – a game which has come a long way, in a short space of time, under a good leader. As for Bates, when he has done good, I’ve held my hands up and begrudginly offered praise. But it’s so rare, it gets mized in with all the counter-attacks on his stupid comments. The one about season ticket holders yesterday really riled me (as you know) yet people will inevitably defend him for it. I refuse to accept he saved Leeds United when there was no other option, because there was other options but the creditor he had in his pocket denied them a fair chance. Similarly, the continued secrecy of his leadership worries me, as does the fans tendancy to curse him one minute for major failures, only to forgive him the next. How many chances does he get to get away with this nonsense? TSS PS. The ‘superiority complex’ comment was meant to represent English football fans in general (and how they think we’re the holy grail of footballing prowess) and not come across as an individual attack. TheReaper08 I don’t take things personally, my job makes me pretty tough skinned. Perosnally I think the English league is the best but only because of it’s strength in depth something we touched on the other day. The problem I have with Aussie football is it is running up huge debts with no quality end product. The forecasting was all wrong which is something you would hope a very succesful business man would get right. TSS Fair enough, at least that’s a reasoned argument, but I think you have to splash the cash to get things done quickly and attract fans in. Spend money to make money basically? One club has so far hit troubles, but its not like that doesn’t happen in every other country. Until they get properly established and the fanbases grow, money may have to be continually pumped in, but I think they’re getting there. Timmo Who was the chaiman in 72? No googling gary manny cussins…i think cossie(LUFC) Leslie Silver?? TSS Think he (Cussins) was just starting out around that year. Not an easy one because the chairman wasn’t a public figure until about ten years ago when they became more important than the management. Pete On a different note, good to see one of our academy products in action last night. Congrats to Danny Rose on an impressive full debut David So many words about so little. Facts: There was no choice about Bates, it was him or no club. Bates has provided for a squad which is far better and deeper than the vast majority of league 1 clubs, a squad quite capable of winning the keague in fact. He owns the club, whatever you think of that. He is under no legal or moral obligation to be a supporter or to re-invest profits back into more and better players. Nice if he did, but no-one can expect him to do so. He saw an investment that was undervalued and thinks he can make money from it. He only really makes money if the club is successful on the field and is returned to premiership status or at least Championship status. Like any businessman, he will pay out as little as possible to get the result he wants. He won’t buy more players than he thinks necessary. This is good financial governance. He used other peoples money to buy the club, in exactly the same way that any other business man would do buying any other business if able to do so. Get over it. TSS In danger of repeating myself, it was only ‘Ken Bates or no club’ because Bates had a creditor in his pocket that refused to accept anyone elses offer. No one else had a chance, despite proving funds. As for him owning the club. Well, if he does (which I suspect also) then he’s lied to a court since arriving here, which we also seem to have forgiven. TheReaper08 I do think we need to seperate the two main incidents here. Initially he did save the club and he saved it from the clowns that preceeded him that unnecessarily sold off the jewels of the club whilst fillign there own boots with consultancy fee’s etc. He didn’t save the club the second time around, he engineered a situation where as he could be the only succesful bidder for the club which is fundamentally wrong. The question I would ask is would anyone of done anything different in his shoes ? TSS The question I’d ask is what is the link to this creditor in the first place? I’d be more concerned that the money was actually owed to Bates, therefore giving him an illegal ace to play in the whole scenario. It’s things like this that make me wonder whether or not his somewhat angry reaction is because he’s scared people might start digging a little too deep for comfort? As I’ve said all along, if someone’s hiding something, then there’s probably something to be hidden, and Kenneth, FSF and co do a lot too much hiding for my liking. David My understanding from a recent meeting with Deepthroat is that England would have won the 1962 world cup except for the fact that Ken Bates took all the FA’s money and spent it on a grassy knoll somewhere in Texas, to be used for nefarious purposes before building a hotel on it. Then he went and killed some babies, the b*****d! West Stand Rebel I think your last sentence is entirely correct in that he uses other peoples money to buy or gain what he wants. That is why the fans are now in such a strong position to get Bates out by not buying his overinflated season tickets. All his streams of money have probably now been exhausted i.e. bank loans dodgy creditors, creditors ripped off after administration and of course player sales. No Delph this season. The fact that 25% of season ticket holders have yet to renew must be very concerning as this represents about £1.5m in upfront revenue. He will only hang around as long as there is value or money to screw from our club. Most of the wealth has already been plundered (some I admit before he arrived ).David I’ve got over it I refuse to renew whilst he is chairman . You will remember we use to average nearly 40000 now we are down to 22000 and I have no doubt this will fall further as long as this man hangs around. timm Thee’s nothing unusual about using other peoples money to get what you want, it’s how most of us buy our cars & houses. Do you think Man Utd bought Rooney out of the match takings? Notts County played & beat a lot of teams earlier this season with players they hadn’t & couldn’t pay for. If you cancelled out all the goals scored this season by players who hadn’t been paid for, we’d probably be in the top half of the premiership! David Here we go, I promised myself not to get drawn into the tedious details again but I guess I will! When you say Bates had a creditor in his pocket, all that really happened is that he operatd as corporate law allows him to. If you don’t like that, write to your MP. To suggest Bates should have acted out of the best interests of Leeds fans instead of in his own financial interests is just not reality. I haven’t heard anyone comment on the morality of the situation where the club went bust and left tens of millions of pounds unpaid to creditors. Some of that would have been to small businesses and one man band contractors etc who needed the money. I also don’t remember fans taking such an interest in th financial governance of the club when Ridsdale was in charge. If the Chairmans buying, no-one cares. The club is now financially stable. That’s a good thing. I haven’t ‘forgiven’ anyone for statements made in court, it’s just not relevant unless it’s shown he’s broken the law and it hasn’t been shown. I’d rather ask the question, why does a team that wins pretty much every game suddenly collapse so badly? There are issues that surround player attitude, team selection, management of the players etc that demand far more scrutiny in my view. I don’t like Bates, I don’t know, I’ve never met him. If he provides for a competitive squad every season and he keeps the ship afloat financially I don’t really see how disliking him helps. timm Absolutely right. Maybe it’s the fact that Bates does care & does make stupid needless comments that causes this bad feeling towards him? Look at Abromovich, the guy never speaks & is totally detached from the fans. It’s said by many respected journalists that the guy is a total gangster. He’s surrounded by armed ‘minders’ not just because of his wealth but because of how he achieved it. But do the Chelsea fans care? No they don’t, & that’s not just because he spends, it’s because he spends & doesn’t ask for it back. Maybe we should change the way we view our ‘secret owners’? Why don’t we think of them as a offshore bank? & then we’re just the same as everyone else. If we had an account with a bank then that would be accepted as the norm, as would the charges & penalties that go with it. Given the recent history of banks & the fact that those that banked with the ones offering the best rates of interest,ie, Icelandic banks lost millions, perhaps we could almost count ourselves lucky to have avoided getting caught up in all that mess? TSS So, we’re pro Roman because he’s a gangster that doesn’t care but anti-Lowy because he’s done a bit of tax dodging? A little hypocritical don’t you think? timm I hate Abromovich, he can bring nothing but harm to the game long term. I can’t believe that you could read that piece & arrive at the conclusion that im pro Abromovich? Im highlighting the fact that because Chelsea are very successful & in for every overpriced player in the world, the fans choose to ignore his ‘chequered’ past. It’s exactly what you’re doing with Lowy, I bet if Abromovich turned round tomorrow & said enough’s enough & said players would only be bought if players were sold to pay for them, half the Chelsea fans would start muttering about him not caring about the club etc..It was exactly the same under Ridsdale, nobody stopped to ask any questions because we were absolutely flying, but unfortunately it was with someone elses money & you have to pay that money back. It’s human nature TSS, i was a victim of it too. Peter Ridsdale, the man that destroyed Leeds Utd. David Let’s talk about the football? No, lets choose instead to trade Bates comments. I was right in the area where the fans starting singing ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ at Beckford. He would never have reached that ball they all felt he should have challenged for anyway, I felt terrible that, there we were supporting Leeds in a game where they were on top, if not leading, and we were abusing our own players. Not helpful I felt, regardless of Becks being a lazy git at times. I remember the great Jimmy Floyd mooching about the pitch for long periods of time, and also Viduka looking a bit uninterested at times. Becks needs to ball to his feet to score, floating balls to the back post isn’t going to get very far. It’s all good and well to critize him but what about the service to him? TSS The service comes from Snoddy and Howson. They’re totally immune from criticism in the eyes of the Leeds fans. Totally agree with you, but you’ll never win the argument. It’s not an ability thing with Beckford, it’s his attitude Leeds fans don’t like. They can’t accept it’s just a job to him. ash We all love bates David I’m ambivalent. Let’s talk about the football. I attended the Millwall game and the most worrying thing for me was that it appeared that SG had run out of any idea’s, they played as if he’d said ‘just go and play some football and see what happens’. Long balls up to a tiny striker,no confidence from players, no one looking for the ball, demanding it, no leadership. Been shocking at the back for many weeks now, something should have been done to bolster the back four long ago, we need a far better keeper. Does all of this call SG’s abilities into question? He was clearly unable to galvanise the players and give them the self confidence to go out and win as they had been doing. Now we seem to be getting back to where we were. What’s changed? Only the confidence of the players. I also saw the Southend game, which we dominated really, kept the ball well, far more control. Final ball was never perfect but plenty good enough for the two goals we scored. What’s SG learned that he’s suddenly applied to such good effect? Rob Did you say search the brothels????????? Can I search the brothels…..it’s a forte of mine!!