LUST get to the bottom of the ownership saga TSS April 15, 2010 Leeds United 42 Comments An update from LUST (Leeds United Supporters Trust) caught my attention on Twitter today which read ‘Official Club Response To Ownership Transparency Issue‘. When LUST contacted Leeds United with the question ‘Who are the ultimate beneficial owners of Leeds United?’ the club responded in their usual dismissive manner with the following statement; “The answer to the question, as we have previously stated, is FSF Limited of whom the Chairman (Ken Bates) is the UK Representative” No surprise there then! The solution to the problem really did seem genius – Just ask Leeds United! Wow, why hadn’t the rest of us thought of that? In fairness to LUST, I know they’re only acting on the things their members have asked for, but whoever thought Leeds United would respond in any other manner must have been living under a rock for the past few years. I know there was a meeting held Wednesday night with a view to a larger and more concentrated effort for change which it seems LUST are involved in. I hope these efforts prove more productive. Steve L The question was asked, I guess, because there was pressure to do so. Some of that pressure was from the negative side of the fence, but it needed doing. Cynicism is understandable, but this headline seems to go against the new spirit that is being built up. It certainly doesn’t help. TSS I guess the headline is a bit sarcastic in heinsight, but I fully support LUST’s efforts – however inaffective they’ve been so far. At least someones trying to unite the fans and deal with the issues. Lee Coward The ownership of Leeds still remains a mystery then! Is it any suprise when Master Bates rules the club like a dictator? Propaganda and censorship is the Bates way I’m afraid. Sections of the media banned, LUTV, Bates Radio, these things are all put in place to ensure the fans that pump thousands of pounds into the club only hear what he wants you to hear. Any suprise that investors are giving us a wide birth? Would you want to work with this man? Answers on a postcard to K Bates, LUFC! MOT Grumpy Older Man Why are you being fair to LUST. In any other Supporters Trust the question of who owners the club would be pivitol to activity. In fact you would think that as we are the only club of the 92 where the question of benifical ownership is in doubt it would be No1 priority. Alas Leeds Unitec is the only version of a Supporters Trust run by children, by immature, niave and plainly ignorant of the principles of fan ownership. A bunch of Waccoeites on a trip of self importance. I am pleased TSS you got this first, if I had seen it the article I would have written might have created a tension or two. And that is the crux, elsewhere a more mature and reasoned analysis is turning into action and that action won’t involve asking the club nicely if it wouldn’t mind patronising it with glib purile answers. I don’t know why the chair of LUST can’t be honest and tell us all he isn’t interested in anything but a cozy relationship with Bates and co, at least then everyone else can get on without them. I realise TSS we all have our place in the Leeds United family and yours is that of everyones friend but to not feel a rage and contempt for LUST’s inadequecies surprises me. TSS Everyone’s friend? I was controversial last month… and given the amount of Bates arguments I’ve generated this week, I doubt I’ll be top of many Christmas card lists. I just try and express my own views. Whether people agree or not is besides the point, they can express their opinion below. I try and remain fair to LUST because there’s little they can do that doesn’t seem to be happening. Not entirely sure what happened at last nights meeting but I know they were involved and I sense there may be a more visual protest as a reponse. Other supporters trusts only do the same as they have. They submit questions to the board and expect a reponse/resolution. If that fails, it’s then that they take action, and from what I gather, LUST are? Hotshotlorimer @ Grumpy Older Man. If you’re able to put together a more mature and less apparently compromised approach than LUST then put it forward and co-ordinate with others, try and win support behind it and move it forward. Not much point just grouching without reasonable proposals of alternatives or, as often happens to us all, not knowing how best to progress things. LUST are doing something – I am not able to judge how hard enough they’re trying or how competent is their leadership, but if you think otherwise, let’s hear some ideas from you. timm I’ll jump to your defence here TSS. We regularly go head to head on here But that doesnt alter the fact that i have total respect for you. It’s all about opinions & we’re lucky that we live in a country where we can express them. I don’t see too much momentum building around the ’cause’ G.O.M refers to although im sure they might get a few extra raw recruits if we fail to seal promotion, as there’ll be a few looking to take their frustrations out on something or someone? I sometimes wonder if there’s a section who actually secretly hope we don’t go up just so they can don their balaclavas & act like Celtic fans. TheReaper08 I’ll send you a Christmas card and as far as I can tell you consider me one of the main protaganists for the Bates defence, which is I repeat largely untrue. I think most of the guff written above is coming from somone who hasn’t been reading recent posts. The fundmanetal difference between here and other sites is that differing opinons are welcome but not always agreed with, ideal for someone like me who enjoys debate and often likes to play both sides of the coin. We agree to disagree, shake hands and walk away, that’s how it should be. Yorkshrman With you 100% on that, Reaper. I like this place because all views are accepted, and generally speaking the debate remains pretty civilised. Unlike another site I could mention, where the comment option is often switched off, and where I have in the past had what I felt were perfectly reasonable posts deleted; with the response being “if you don’t like my rules, don’t come here”. So I don’t. les THE QUESTION OF OWNERSHIP DOES NEED ASKING AND IN LAW IT SHOULD BE THERE FOR ALL TO SEE .however more importantly the question should be why do we pay bates membership money so he has complete control over a members club which means we have no independent voice .the reason is because LUST AND OTHERS HAVE NO CLOUT bates feels that members clubs should raise money for the club.if we are going to get a genuine independent voice we need a – a members club we know will represent the fans b – how do we join said club c – a club that would be better than joining bates OFFICIAL club d – to stop as a whole paying bates membership money leeds fans should mobilise and get rid of bates as he says he has no shares in the club he has no more rights than us to call himself our chairman timm He does if he was appointed by the owners. All this membership stuff is just a way of generating income. Just like LUTV, clubs just want to bring everything ‘in house’ to make maximum profits. What we need is someone representing the fans at board level (Gary Edwards anyone?), this is what happens at Rangers & it works well.You never know? Uncle Ken may be totally receptive to this if asked? Don’t ask don’t get. Pete A good idea in theory, but then again Rangers are quite a long way up shit creek, and they’re there completely sans paddle at the moment…I think they’ve got about as much money as Valencia, but without any sellable assets to speak of. timm Absolutely right but it’s as a result of being in a league which limits how good or big they can be. The one thing that’s come from having supporters represented at board level is that it’s removed the blame culture & the ‘them & us’ opinion. I totally agree that they’re in the shit but they’re all pulling in the same direction to get out of it. Craig This would work very well if it could ever be said that the fans had a single opinion on anything. bill i think i should represent the clubs fans at board level simply because i pay my money every week i dont write columns etc so no not gary edwards he cant tell me about being a fan 40 yrs when im only 40.we always need to have a messiah we dont need one we . we always go on about leeds fans being loyal yes 15000 are but where were the other half of the 39-40000 against spurs ,lpool our average is 23000 ish 6/7000 of those will be first timers ,visitors ,parties etc and not people who turn up everyweek we made a profit of 15000 quid leeds united that is ,it wouldnt take us a lot to be none profitable .we need to get over ourselves history tell us that a couple of cups .same league titles not much else .the last 3 big days out we came home with nowt even those people who constantly stand in the kop ,break our own goal posts the last 2 seasons final match get over ourselves .until we detatch ourselves from that past we will never move forward .i have stood .sat at elland road for 28 years and all over europe .and do so now with my 3 sons but if i had a magic wand i would remove football records and history and start again without an awful lot of our unrealistic fans Big B Fans running a football club? One only need to look at Ebbsfleet to see that is an idealistic dream that can never benefit the club! Everyone will have their own opinions and agenda. Steve L Do you have history with LUST GOM? You seem to have an enormous chip on your shoulder (in fact a whole freezer’s worth) and even worse personal issues to discharge for our edification. This is the attitude of the dinosaur. Have we learnt nothing? The confrontations of the past have achieved nothing save to set Leeds fan against Leeds fan for far too long. I am presuming (possibly incorrectly) that you are a member and can comment from within? If you’re not then you seem even pettier and more childis than those you seek to put down. One of the worst things that anyone can on occasions such as these is to is an anonymous sniper, shooting from the shadows without ever taking responsibility or standing up for others to judge you. Even worse you don’t seem to give a damn who you kill on the way. And yes I am anonymous, but then as you drew the sword the responsibility is yours. After all you are fervently in favour of full disclosure as we have seen. It would be great if you could apply the rules to yourself. What are you doing about it and how does attacking other fans’ groups fit in with your plan? From what I can see your attitude is designed to create division. The agenda’s changed Mr Dinosaur. If you don’t watch it you’ll be extinct. timm I know! meetings in secret bloody locations & threats of uprisings from the downtrodden masses! Give me a P.O Box number G.O.M & i’ll send you an action man! Like i’ve said before, my mates & me having been watching Leeds together since the mid 70s & we watch these ‘factions’ come & go. One thing’s for sure though, Leeds Utd was here before this lot came along & they’ll be here a long time after they’ve pissed off somewhere else. Steve L Well that’s OK then. No cause for concern if these ‘factions’ will be outlived by the club. Are you advocating doing nothing? Or just something different? If the latter what? If the former…then everything must be just hunky dory. Except it’s clearly not. timm Yes i totally 100% advocate doing nothing. What do you suggest? Shall we all drop our pants? Or chant something & risk upsetting the players? Or get round the car park & shout some stuff at the trophy room? If you read my earlier posts before spouting off about me advocating doing nothing you’ll have seen that i propose putting a supporters rep on the board, ie, Gary Edwards. What are we shouting about? Is it the lack of investment in our squad which has the highest wage bill in L1 (including a Premiership striker languishing in the reserves)? Is it the failure to bring in another striker in January? Is it our position in the table? If there’s not the necessary investment in the summer should we get promoted then i’ll moan too but until then get behind your team & stop bellyaching. Duncan Which ‘Premiership striker’ is that then? Oh, you mean Geoffey McSheffery! Well, at a pinch maybe….. timm Yes Duncan, Gary Mcsheffrey. You know him don’t you? He’s the bloke who Bates pays massive wages to based on Graysons say so! He’s also the same bloke that had Leeds fans giving an admiring nod to the fact that we’d shown some ambition & gone looking up in the Premiership. This is usually the bit were someone comes along & says we should’ve got Barnard or Sharp, well i’m not even going there again! TheReaper08 Should have got Barnard or Sharp I reckon, only kidding timm I know what you mean. He also scored 2 goals for the ressies the other night I see, anyone now if he was playing up front or on the wing ? Steve L Gary Edwards is in it for himself. Always has been always will be. Ever since he took Bates’s shilling and did a column in the programme he’s made his position clear. Edwards first second and last. Nothing wrong with that if you’re honest about it. But on the board? Never. And even if Edwards was the finest candidate it would be minutes before his position was compromised. Look at Lorimer – started with good intentions but now as objective about Bates as Shaun Harvey is. Probably less so come to think of it. TSS Contrary to popular belief, Gary Edwards doesn’t actually get paid for featuring in the programme. We’ve had him on TSS before defending himself after such criticism, and he explained the whole situation then. Ran into him quite a few times following Leeds United and he really does seem like a genuine bloke that just loves Leeds United like the rest of us. I don’t think there’s any hidden agenda and feel the criticism he receives is a little harsh. timm I think you’ll find that Gary Edwards doesn’t actually take Ken Bates ‘shilling’ Steve. I don’t know how you can say Lorimer started with good intentions either? Peter Lorimer is no more than a hospitality guy & he was never going to turn it down because he needs the money too badly. ‘Gary Edwards is in it for himself, always has been, always will be’ is probably the biggest insult i’ve ever read on TSS! His love for this club is unquestionable. . Craig I would suggest that any fan who managed to get a seat on the board would soon realise that running Leeds United is far more complicated and the decisions made far more nuanced than they had previously thought. Add to this, conversations in board rooms will often be private for legal, commercial and other reasons and the fan-on-the-board would very soon find himself/herself in the position of whipping boy/girl unable to reveal the full reason certain decisions were taken. Such a person would also look very stupid questioning the loan signing of someone like McSheffrey. Firstly, this is not a board level matter and secondly, if we are honest, we all know there is just one answer available: buying a player is a risk. Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t. It has always been that way and it will always be. Paul South Wales Hindsight is a wonderful thing Mark Refardt once again in a crucial game we have some luck with the opposition having key defenders down with injuries and suspension. c’mon lads, we can do it. Yorkshrman Some interesting comments, as ever on TSS. I always smile when I see the “I” word in these debates – Investment never has been, and never will be, the be-all and end-all for football clubs. Just look at Southampton – spent millions this season, yet even without the 10-point deduction, they’d still only be 6th. Or Millwall – small squad, very little money to spend, but for the second year running they’re the form team going down the stretch in this league. And frankly, buying three new strikers in January wouldn’t have made any difference at all while we were failing to create anything much against the likes of Brentford and Wallsall ……. Craig This is a point that needs repeating frequently. timm Totally agree. We made the play offs when we started with -15 & a makeshift squad. So whilst Southampton are looking strong now, they could have done better. There’s actually been reports that Saints owners aren’t particularly satisfied with the way their seasons gone. & like you say, Millwall have had another great season mainly due to the fact that they have a manager who knows his way around this league. I actually think that the investment in loan players in January had a negative on what was a tight unit with a winning mentality? Yorkshrman The bit that too many fans forget is that football is a team game, and mixing the components of a good team isn’t easy. Look back at the ’92 Championship (when it was the REAL Championship) winning team. On paper, Man U had by far the better players ….. but over 42 games, we had the better TEAM. Chapman, Whyte, Fairclough and Rod Wallace (amongst others) were, for most of their careers, journeyman players; but suddenly, Wilko got the chemistry right, and they all just slotted into place. Jackett’s done that at Millwall; before Christmas, it looked as though Grayson had it at Leeds – but maybe it was all somewhat illusory …..??? Craig No, it wasn’t illusory at all. Team spirit is fragile and I think it fell apart as soon as Beckford handed in his transfer request ahead of the Man U game. He started thinking of himself first and the team lost faith. Craig Likewise the effect of O’Leary’s book on team morale in the glory days. Craig … the most recent glory days. TheReaper08 Don’t really want to start a whole new conversation but glory days for me are when you win something. Borrowing and investing massively, winning nothing and then going bust doesn’t constitute glory, just my opinion. timm A ‘false dawn’ perhaps? Craig When you’re my age the O’Leary era counted as GLORIOUS. timm I read a good interview with Millwalls Neil Harris the other day, he seemed absolutely certain that our loss of form was down to Beckfords transfer request too. I defend Beckford to a certain extent on here but the more you think about it, it was a ridiculous thing to do? Especially on the eve of such a huge game. I do wonder if his recent form might have made David Moyes think again? I bet Grayson can’t believe his luck with the Gradel/Becchio partnership finding some much needed goals. I do hope that Beckford has a successful time in the Premiership but i really have my doubts. Craig It made sense to him… he was about to appear against (arguably) the biggest team in the land in a televised match we were expected to lose and knew he was going to give it his all. Payday awaits. timm Happy Days! It was the same with Chris Kamara, Peter Haddock & John Mclelland too, they were world beaters for us but not superstars, just great team players. A bit like Steve Bruce at Man Utd, he was the key part of a brilliant back four but he was a million miles away from getting the England shirt.Like you say, it’s all about the chemistry.