The ups and downs of LUFC: Sky, Bremner & Yeovil Town TSS April 8, 2010 Leeds United 49 Comments Billy in way of Chelsea Village, Leeds TBG's 'Visit Beeston' campaign Old Kenneth has been busy annoying the Leeds United faithful again with his plans for the East Stand involving moving Billy Bremner to a “temporary location”. The Beaten Generation and Love Leeds Hate Bates have vented their outrage at proposals to stick the statue of our clubs hero in a carpark opposite the East Stand so Bates’ builders can get on with the job at hand. With the anti-Bates feelings once again growing amongst Leeds United fans, his sheer disregard for our clubs heritage and lack of concern for supporters feelings is demonstrated quite spectacularly once more. His hotel aspirations on the side of a stadium the club doesn’t even own are once again taking precedent over the teams future. Friends of the site at The Beaten Generation have long been protesting for a Ken Bates-free Leeds United and their most recent campaign ‘Visit Beeston’ couldn’t have been timed much better. The campaigns slogan ‘Build us a team, not a hotel’ sums up current feelings quite perfectly. Full plans for the East Stand can be seen here on the Leeds City Council’s website. That Sky apology The ruthless, money-hungry, monopolising capitalists of Sky Sports have issued an apology via the Yorkshire Evening Post over their failure to show the one minutes silence for Chris and Kev at the Yeovil game on Monday which reads; “We always try to give the utmost respect to a minute’s silence, or applause, before a live match. “But we were not aware that there was going to be any tribute at (Yeovil]. “Nothing had been mentioned to our production team and our reporter at pitchside was also unaware, as were match officials and club representatives. “We can only apologise to those upset by this turn of events.” Despite the contempt I hold for Sky – mainly because they charge me a fortune and have the worst customer service I’ve ever encountered – I am willing to accept their apology, especially since a spokesman for Yeovil admitted the remembrance was ‘fairly impromtu’. I know a lot of Leeds United fans have remained angered despite this apology, but I honestly don’t believe Sky would be stupid enough to offend so many fans by deliberately ignoring it. Furthermore, the production team did show pictures of our ‘turn you backs on football’ campaign and made sure to inform the audience at home of its significance. Normally, everyone does hate us (and we don’t care), but Sky simply want your money and would do nothing to deliberately jeopardise that. Thanks to Yeovil Town Nice to see a lot of Leeds United fans have been writing to Yeovil Town this week to thank them for their support in remembering Chris & Kev. Both teams wore the black armbands once again and the minutes silence was carried out by the club and impeccably observed by both sets of fans. The club and its fans deserve all the credit they receive for ensuring the official 10th anniversary of Chris & Kev’s murders didn’t pass by without recognition. Yeovil was one of the friendliest and most family-orientated clubs I’ve visited this season. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all Leeds United fans that made the journey when I thank Yeovil for their efforts regarding Chris & Kev and the friendly welcome we received before and after the match. I wish them the best of luck for the remainder of this season and for the future. Colin So I take it that we own the ground around the stadium, but we don’t own the stadium and pitch?? I guess if you’re building where Bremner currently is, then you have to move him temporarily – can’t see any other option really. TheReaper08 I think your missing the issue Colin, the majority don’t want progress under Bates whatever it might look like. If the majority were happy with the current regime and this was being advocated as a way forward for the club it wouldn’t be an issue. Colin True, true. TSS Even people I know who remain stricht Bates-apologists see these plans as lunacy. Why on earth would you build a hotel on the side of a stadium you don’t even own? TheReaper08 Perhaps because you do own it, did you ever think of that ? Is it beyond the realms of possibility that a man who shrouds himself in offshore mystery could find a way to re-purchase the stadium using let’s say a business based in the Cayman Islands ? Bates might be many many things but I wouldn’t class one of them as stupid. Colin Reaper – I’m afraid Ken doesn’t own the stadium. I checked the records and it belongs to an investor called Ben Kates. Looks like Ben beat Ken to it. TSS Of course it’s crossed my mind, it’s just not something I often announce in fear of being called a conspiracy theorist. But if he does, that just adds further insult to injury as we’re paying extortionate sums of rent on it to fill his pockets further whilst the club still fails to benefit. The more tangled this web becomes, the more it simply seems he’s extorting as much cash out of Leeds as he/they can whilst they can get away with it. Craig How about us fans coming up with as many conspiracy theories about who owns what and where the money has gone that Ken feels obliged to come out and tell the truth on the basis that it can’t be as bad as the rumours? Craig On the other hand it seems that has already been tried and it has got us nowhere! ILKLEYWHITE Sacrilege, Billy’s statue is there FOR A REASON, it symbolises the “never say die attitude of LUFC” and is an inspiration, it is pretty much the first thing you see when you come to Elland Road and to move it is a criminal act, I have always been suspicious of Bates true agenda, I really think he is doing a “Glazers” which is to undermine the fans, try and remove any objection to his rule, there is no discussion, no fans committee, remember the outrage when Huddersfield Town fans painted the statue blue, he should remember that before he starts to tamper. The hotel, it seems, is to be built at any cost, so we can expect (even if we go up) another season of loan signings, top prospects sold on, journeymen, because any money Leeds had (from our overinflated season ticket prices and general high pricing in general) has gone into the hotel, not the team. TBG Thanks as always for the mention, TSS. The plans you link to relate to the proposed conference & banqueting centre on Lowfields Road. Documentation for the East Stand hotel/aracde/nightclub development (floor plans, elevations, cross sections, and background papers) can be found here. It’s heavy going but please, Leeds fans, familiarise yourselves with them. TSS My pleasure as always mate. Thanks for the correct link and good work on the Visit Beeston campaign. The posters are simply brilliant. There was one stuck to a cubical door in a services on the way home from Yeovil on Monday, so people definitely putting them to good use. I would have taken a picture had my iPhone not broke for the third time in four months. TBG Unlucky! There are many free “Visit Beeston” downloads to be had here and a top-notch T-shirt to buy here. But that’s enough gratuitous plugging. There’s a lot of hard work being done by Leeds fans all over the country on this issue: see “Build us a Team, not a Hotel” on facebook, for example. Pingback: uberVU - social comments() footballname Ilkleywhite, are you an idiot? I ask FOR A REASON that I shall spell out below. Before jumping on the LLHB band wagon actually think about what he’s suggested doing. Moving the statue to the front of the main stand. It’s obvious to tell from your post that none of your football opinions are you own rather the tripe you have read on other message boards. Did you ever see Billy play? I doubt it. Is your “disgust” at this a massive over-reaction? You knows it, son! TSS I think you’ll find most peoples disgust actually comes from the amount of money being spent on an unnecessary hotel rather than a team to take us forwards. Who is this progress for exactly do you think? It certainly isn’t Leeds United FC. The so called “progress” we’ve made under Bates so far reads relegation, two administrations, countless fines, failure to repurchase any of our assets, a squad half made up of loan signings and free transfers, the sale of any half decent prospect to the highest bidder and record breaking ticket prices (amongst many other things). We’ve achieved nothing from Bates’ leadership. No investment is being made in the club whatsoever and I doubt any profits from Chelsea Village, Leeds will be invested into our squad either. I’ll bet money now the owners of the hotel are a seperately registered company independent from Leeds United FC. The movement of Bremner’s statue to a “temporary location” simply shows the lack of respect he has for the club. Anyone that understood Leeds United fans would have addressed this issue long ago and set concrete plans in place to ensure his statue remains in a prominent location, rather than just sticking it in a carpark until you can think of somewhere better to put it. Colin Bit harsh on the “progress” – don’t think there was much he could do about the relegation and administration. And we wouldn’t have to repurchase our assests if Krasner hadn’t sold them off. One big area of progress was turning a financial basket case disguised as a football club into a profitable entity. I suppose Ridsdale and his board all worked non for profit as well? Those guys (it wasn’t all Ridsdale’s fault) financially destroyed Leeds. I rather doubt that he’s living in a 2 bed Semi because he ploughed all the profits back into Leeds and forgot to put any in his own back pocket. footballname Bang on Colin. Bates may or may not be a crafty con-man, but he wants this club to do as well as it can to get as much profit as possible from it. All owners do. Why do people think the world would be any different? Some of you lot need to get real. TSS Don’t get me wrong, I aren’t pinning all the blame for our demise on Bates. We’ve had more conmen through this club than I care to list, but anyone who thinks Bates has the clubs best interests at heart is insane. There is no long-term plan because Bates is knocking on and doesn’t have a long time. Himself and his illusive partners seem to be raking money in whilst the club continues to dwell in League One. I fail to see how anyone can defend his record. TheReaper08 It’s quite easy to defend TSS but trust me I am not spoiling for a fight, I just prefer to deal in fact. There has been a lack of investment in the playing squad that is true, however do you know that funds were requested by the manager to develop the current playing staff ? do you know what was/has been put in the pot for what looked like a return to the CCC ? Do you know if the master plan states that the current playing squad should be good enough to get us out of this league ? Do you believe the current squad is good enough to get out of this league ? You believe that Bates doesn’t have a long term plan because he supects he might die soon ? I suspect Bates doesn’t think this and he believes he can find a way to cheat death just as he has found a way to cheat many other things. It’s don’t believe that Ken and his cronies are syphoning off the type of cash that we are making, it’s small change to a multi -millionaire with his feet up in Monte Carlo. TSS To be fair Reaper, Bates claims all his wealth is invested in various interests and actually has little in the bank. I wouldn’t be surprised if the **** has made a deal with the devil for eternal life. We all have a rough idea of the amount this club has taken in from player sales, ticket prices, compensation etc. We also saw profitable accounts last year so why no spending? More to the point, why no Thorp Arch? The money is definitely going somewhere. We aren’t just sitting on it waiting for the right time. If we had money to buy next year, we’d have made life this season easier by making a start. TheReaper08 Great point although not an argument that you can win, as I said above it really doesn’t matter what Bates does as any decision he makes will never ever be enough to appease the majority. The idea of developing what is a ramshackle stadium with wasteland surrounding it is a very good one, after all it’s no coincidence that the most succesful clubs in this country make most of there money from non match days. As long as the long term witnesses the great statue returned to prominence then I don’t see a problem. And again I re-iterate if this was anyone other than Bates it wouldn’t be half the issue. By the way Colin your post to me above, Ben Kates = QUALITY. timm Well said Reaper. This Bates thing is just like the Beckford argument which keeps dividing us. If someone’s going to tidy up our ground & help us make money from somewhere other than matchdays then i’m all for it. How can we lose? Even if the money from all those reps & Scandinavian fans doesn’t go back into the club we’ll still find ourselves with a great stadium & we’ll be sure to be included in tournaments such as the World Cup & that WILL help the club.Regarding the signings, i’ll just repear myself yet again, Gary Mc Fu**ing Sheffrey! On paper that was the biggest coup by any L1 club in the window. If you don’t agree then tell me what was? Does the fact it hasn’t worked have anything to do with Bates? Do you think anyone else in L1 is on as much money as him? How does this lack ambition? I can’t stand the man but look what happened the last time we had a chairman we liked? You know, the bastard that sang marching on together with the fans & then bought himself an Aston Martin out of our petty cash tin! & regarding taking the Billy statue down to protect it from damage, what’s the problem? Do you cover your sofa when you paint the lounge? & the sooner they get it away from that god forsaken ‘away corner’ the better! If we go up & he shows no ambition & doesn’t back his manager then i’ll be the one at the front of the protest, but not before. ILKLEYWHITE Here Here, we dont want a hotel, we want a team that will take us up and move forward, this last decade has been hell, we have been the laughing stock of the entire league, and I for one have had enough, it just seems that any player that comes through the ranks is sold, the money is not spent on the team, when Delph went last year, I (foolishly) expected some transfer funds to be available, to SG, but no, so, I thought, well maybe the money is earmarked for Thorpe Arch, no, Ken Bates goes to the council and asks for a loan, they turn us down flat, if you look at our team, it is made up of loans, free tranfers, and the like, how can we proceed, if we dont go up this then it will be our fourth year in League 1 ILKLEYWHITE Footballname Don’t call me an idiot, you are entitled to your opinion as I am entitled to mine!! I find your tone insulting, I have watched this team for over 50 years, and don’t call me son… I never insulted anyone on these pages, YOU come on here and insult me, it is YOU that doesn’t know what he is talking about. For your information, I watched Bremner play, and, indeed, he was a personal friend of my Dad. West Stand Rebel Reaper I like your posts but you do go on about “do we know whether SG wants to spend money on his squad or is he satisfied with the status quo” I’ll be honest I’ve never heard of a manager who didn’t want to spend on players and improve his team. Now don’t get me wrong spending tens of millions on players like Ridsdale was lunacy. We now have the opposite of that in that in two seasons we have spent less than the gross receipts from one match. This despite selling our best players and having a cup run this season watched by over 280,000 paying spectators at premier league prices. Ask yourself after £35m was written off in administration does this really show committment to the football club. TheReaper08 No I don’t believe it shows financial comittment to the club and to be brutally honest the lack of investment in the training ground, the stadium and above all the playing staff is at best depressing. I also agree on many other points such as membership and ticket prices. However I want to know beyond doubt that the manager was refused funds for players before I start raising it as an issue. There is a fundemental difference between asking for a player and being told no to a manager wanting to sign just about anyone who is any good because he can. I suspect like most fans I wish for a good wholesome Leeds based business man with some cash(not Arab billions)to look after, develop and restore the good times to us and our beloved club, if you see him/her point them in the direction of Elland Road. In the meanwhile I am not going to halt progress whoever small it may be just because I don’t like the current owner. TSS Struggling to see quite how we’ve made progress to be honest with you. We’ve dropped a division, been in administration twice… etc… etc… After three years in this God forsaken division we still look like failing to escape it and I’m struggling to see the silver lining. What has always annoyed me about Bates is the way in which he regained control of the club. Other parties were interested and had proved funds, but thanks to the efforts of the creditor he had in his back pocket, we were stuck with him. None of these parties were ever going to do business with the man following that scam and quite understandably so. I imagine it’s put many others off too, after all, the only person he could find to buy Chelski was a clueless Russian mobster. TheReaper08 I accept that progress on the pitch has not been forthcoming but we need to link the football to the business. As the two are intrinsically linked you can’t usually sustain one without the other. As a result you have to acknowledge the point made by Colin above in that from a business perspective a club with a positive balance sheet in this day and age is a very good thing. If not for any better reason than it makes us a much more attractive proposition for a genuine investor. Paul C I have often read Bates’ comments about how he is frustrated by the lack of investment from local business people in Leeds. We should not forget however the way Bates has behaved towards local business people connected to our club. The best example is the way he treated Melvyn Levi. A long time director who Bates referred to as a SHYSTER! and had his address and phone number printed in a programme for goodness sake. The cost of that libel case (assuming the clubs vicarious liability for actions by its directors.) is estimated at £1.5 million (Expensive for the fans to accomodate Bates big loud offensive mouth.) I personally do not blame the local Leeds business community (especially anybody from the Jewish community) for not wanting to be on the same planet as Bates never mind in the same boardroom. The full judgement of the High court case is available on the internet, it is a fascinating read and within in it reveals the way our club is run and how he ended up in charge. As for there being any progress under Bates stewardship , I see none at all. I dont count Billys Bar or paper profits that are never seen in terms of investment. I prefer to look at where we are now and the distinct possibility we will still be there in August. I am obviously in the camp of Bates Haters , I would add though that this has not always been the case. When Bates first became involved I thought he was the right man for that time in the clubs history. I could not care less that he was associated with Chelsea or whoever, my opinion of him has changed over time though. The more that has been revealed surrounding the events leading up to and during administration , his various court cases, his business history, him stating one minute he owned the club then the next he didnt! , the secrecy of the owners etc etc but most of all the fact that he has failed . Initially I turned a blind eye to his obvious faults so I accept my responsibility for that but no more. timm You refer to being in the camp of ‘Bates Haters’ as if the opposite is ‘Bates Lovers’. I can’t bear the man, he comes from a time in football that has long since gone but we’re debt free & we actually turn a small profit (although this won’t continue if we don’t go up). Surely if we go up then someone somewhere must see the potential? We can live in hope! paul (whinmoor) KEN IS DESPERATE TO GET THIS OFF THE GROUND, DID YOU KNOW HE STILL OWNS 80%OF CHELSEA VILLAGE LONG AFTER HES GONE, AND THE SAME WILL HAPPEN HERE, THE MAN WILL BE HAUNTING US LONG AFTER HE HAS GONE IF HE GETS HIS WAY. TSS Heard that before but never actually seen proof of it? Colin It is all about money and I honestly think that there’s not much of it around at Leeds. I don’t think that there’s much more that the Bates led FSF (Forward Sports Fund) consortium could provide to the manager. Firstly on Bates – he’s come in for some stick on this post. All I’ll say is that he’s been chosen by FSF to front their consortium. If they wanted someone else, they make the decision and not the fans. His successor will probably be Shaun Harvey. Have you seen him? Do you like him? Do you think he’s any better than Bates, because I don’t. Onto the money. The only way that LUFC get any money to spend is if FSF provide it. If a hotel is built then FSF own that and hopefully it makes profit and some of that goes to FSF and some of it will allow FSF to use some of it on LUFC. Likewise, ventures such as Yorkshire Radio provide revenue also. The problem is (and this is what we have to realise) is that a successful football club doesn’t make you a profit. What you need is the owner of a football club to be making a tidy profit so that they can spend some of it on the club. Alternatively, you need a sugar daddy to back you up. Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona don’t make a profit from football. They’re bailed out by their owners. When we got relegated to League 1, Hull City stayed up and made it to the Premier League. Great. But not really. They have transfer embargoes, they’re struggling to pay their players and so can’t buy any new players. They’re staring at relegation to the Championship. And although they’ll get their parachute payment, it’s not enough. Newcastle were relegated last season and Hull stayed up. While I’m not comparing the two on class or support (NUFC are obviously much bigger), Newcastle have said that they lost £500,000 a week for being in the CCC, even with the parachute. Hull City are knackered. Why? Because they spent big on players to get them into the top flight. Which is exactly the same model that a lot of posters are suggesting we do. That’s not going to happen with Bates in charge. The owners of Leeds are finding revenue streams outside of football and that’s what’s needed. I reckon there’s only a handful of clubs in the CCC that can financially hold their own. You can spend now and enjoy success, but you’ll just be a Hull City and make up the numbers in the Premier League. Alternatively you can sort out your revenue streams so that it puts you in a position to challenge the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. But it’s going to take a long long time. There’s a few things we have to remember and I’m ready to be shot down in flames but here goes: Leeds have the highest wage bill in League 1 so we have spent on players (whether they’re the right players is something else) Rental on TA and Elland Road is about £1.9m per year. That’s a lot and ok maybe we could have bought TA back and that is worth it as hopefully that’s another revenue stream through getting players cheap and playing them or selling them off (a la Delph), but ER is an asset that doesn’t provide a profit and we certainly can’t afford to get that back just yet. In L1, to get a good player to come to us, let’s say we pay a player £9,000 a week – that just under half a million a year just for that player. Wages are expensive!! And I think there’s a lot of things we’re doing well – Macron is a money making deal. The deal with Netflights (now owned by Thomas Cook) is one of the most lucrative contracts outside the PL. And hosting the Rugby League GB vs Aus games and potentially being a host World Cup 2018 site are massive. Sorry to go on, but I think it’s just going to be a long hard slog back to the top, just as it was when Sgt. Wilko took us from the low end of the 2nd division back to being the champions of England. It took us a long time then and it’ll take a long time again. And don’t forget, most importantly, let’s replace Higgs with my personal favourite Casper Ankergren!! MARCHING ON TOGETHER!! Craig Very sensible post Colin. Did you really hear that Newcastle lost £500,000 a WEEK from being in the Championship? If the number of noughts is correct I assume you mean ‘lost’ as in forfeited rather than ‘lost’ referring to debt? craig coulson Fantastic fantastic comments from firstly TSS and everyone on this list i applaud you all. Finally we as fans speak and all of this is true, i too welcomed bates when he first arrived i too thought he was what we needed at the time, but what has followed since January 2005 has been utter disaster relegation administration 3-4? years in this hell hole of a league, and still no progress where it matters on the pitch i don’t see billy’s bar conference center’s? hotels? thorpe arch gate? as any kind of progress( who will want to stay in a hotel in Beeston when the city center is less than 3 miles away from the ground?) I said on this site a few weeks back with who we are and what we can attract and what we earn gate reciepts wise we could have signed much better than what we have done since being relegated in 2007. We have not paid any money out for players since January 2008 all we keep being given from Williams is free and loan signings and forgive me they are free and loan because they are not good enough, Leicester last year and Norwich this year have flexed there muscles and bought quality players to escape the hell hole first time, If Captain birds eye is as he professes to be a business you would plough money into the team to get back to the PL not into a rented property! i have rented property in the past,and the last thing i thought of doingwas spending money on it, if you get back to the PL it is worth £50 million plus so why not aim for that because the plain and simple fact is we will never get to that level again without investment! Jason Crowes will never get us back to that level. The thing with birds eye was he thought he would be able to get us to the PL within a couple of years after taking control but he was way off the mark he invested 10 million of Abramavich’s money and he wont leave us in peace until that is recouped Delph fee? 5million operating profit from 2008 where did that go? the kids city and everton stole? Birds eye is an ego maniac and all our great club is doing is massaging that ego so he can write his programme? appear on sky sports news? I think if promotion is not secured come May serious serious actions have to be asked of him and his puppets because in 5 years no progress on the pitch will have been achieved we go backwards every year not forward! and 4 years in the hell hole is just unacceptable! and it will be time for all Leeds fans all over the country/world to stand up to this regime like the scum. Liverpool, Newcastle! we have got to stop taking it up the Arse where this is concerned and club together and unite in one and protest against this,TSS is right going back to cousins conmen have raped this club and i for one am fed up of it. Colin Errr, okay. Newcastle did protest about Ashley and he’s still there and have just got promoted. As for Liverpool, no-one would wish Hicks and Gillet on anyone and there’s one key difference between you and the Man Utd protest – they have a backer willing to take on the Glazers. But I’m right behind you Craig. You go for it. You offer Ken Bates £50m for a 3rd division club and I’ll throw in a tenner. Then we take over and can both sit down and decide whether we sign Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery or play it cheap and sign Ruud Van Nistelrooy, because I don’t think Paul Dickov is quite cutting the mustard. timm Well said Colin lad. Absolutely spot on. When this military style coup to overthrow Bates has succeeded, who’s supposed to take over? Because i for one haven’t seen anyone put their money where their mouth is when it comes to our club. Just a few self promoting arseholes who used our great club to get some free exposure.. Im actually getting totally fed up with all this now. Let’s just get promoted & see whether our chairmen continues to back the manager, & i say continues because we have by far the biggest wage bill in L1 & you don’t get that by not backing a succession of managers in the transfer market. craig coulson Errr ok Timm, Continues to back the manager! i wouldn’t think our wage bill is higher than Norwich and Southampton.(teams who spend money) But each to their own if you think the manager has been backed by signing free transfers from Northampton and Cheltenham(both 4th divison teams) TheReaper08 I think what would be more appropriate is what proof do you have that he hasn’t been backed ? No manager has ever complained at any club that Bates has not backed them in the transfer market. craig coulson I think you have the wrong end of the stick Colin, i wasn’t saying Bates be bought out! i was saying getting back to the premier league is worth £50 million in Tv money alone! Protests i am not saying a military coup i am not naive! i was saying a protest to let these people know our feelings like the above teams mentioned not just moaning about it on websites. Colin Craig – I was being a bit narky before – sorry. £50m is a lot of money but modern football is in such a mess that i don’t think even that is enough. If you look at Newcastle, let’s say they have a squad of 30 players on an average of £15k a week then that’s £23m just on wages. And I’m probably going a bit low on the £15k number when you have the likes of Smith on £60k a week!! Newcastle will probably need to spend another £25m on new players at least just to stay up and that’s £50m gone straight away. A wage cap would help but I can’t see that ever happening any time soon in England as all the best players would just go abroad. As an aside, on the signing of new players – although we never seem to buy many players (or the ones we do sign are from poor teams), why do we always end up high up on the list of payments made to agents?? That really annoys me. Paul C As Yorkshire Radio has been raised…I cannot see how Yorkshire radio can ever be seen as a revenue earner for the club. Wasn’t it Yorkshire radio who suddenly and miraculously became a creditor at the time of the administration ? and then kindly voted with Bates taking the process over the 75% required for the CVA (of course before HMRC blocked the move)…a bizarre deal but it surely means the club makes zip off them in fact the club has to pay them for their services! Thats not revenue thats a liability…. Colin I should have said Yorkshire radio/LUTV – they make their money by charging mugs like me £40 to listen to audio commentaries!!! Colin Just doing some rough calculations and I reckon we’ve bought 8 players this season: Gradel Higgs Crowe Grella Somma Kisnorbo Dickov Bromby (i think we had grella and somma on loan before and signed them for this season? not sure) So Bates/FSF stumped up the cash for SG to buy 8 players and get 5 on loan (Doyle, McSheffrey, Lowry, Watt, Collins) which is a lot of new players in my book. Incidentally, I work it out that we’ve played 26 different players in the first team in league games this season and I haven’t included any players who have left or have been loaned out. Craig How many of those players did we actually pay money for Colin? Isn’t it just Bromby + Gradel? Having made that point, I’m not one who thinks we should splash the cash in this division and be left with yet more players on the books that won’t get a game next season if we are promoted. TSS No, we should have been building for next year like Norwich and Leicester have/did. Colin but didn’t Norwich and Leicester just keep their CCC team? Don’t think they bought a huge amount of players this season? Craig Bryan Gunn bought heavily which was one of the reasons he was under such pressure. Mind you, I think they had too because they shed the high earners from last season.