Ken Bates wakes up this morning to find yet another group dedicating their time to his demise. This time however, it’s not a group of angry football fans or some investors he’s annoyed during his “colourful” career. Instead, his new opponents are the holier than thou people of Christian Aid!

Quite what Christian Aid is doing investigating the financial irregularities and secrecy in football is totally beyond me, but a report predictably titled ‘Blowing The Whistle’ has been compiled by the organisation, in which, Ken Bates is highlighted as one of footballs shadiest characters. They say our Kenneth “takes secrecy to a whole new level”.

At this point, before the hypocrisy of the church gets a little too overwhelming, we may have to take check of what we’ve read so far. Just to be clear, this is group of church-goers, criticising football for not being totally transparent! It really does make you laugh, doesn’t it? Without wanting to offend anyone of any religion out there, secrecy is pretty much indicative of every religion. The skeletons hanging in the closets of Vatican City alone are enough to make Bates’ personal collection look pathetic.

I don’t want to start a religious war because my parents are both believers. I never followed the same route because it didn’t appeal to me, but the good the church (and these groups) does should be commended.

However, where religious types continually annoy me, is when they put themselves above others, looking down and pointing fingers. Football is none of their business. How about we (the football fans) compile a report on all the churches of the world. How between them, they’ve started religious wars, lied to cover up advances in science that don’t fit in with their own views, actively suppressed scientific advancement through means which would make Jack the Ripper cringe, not to mention the recently exposed cover-ups by the Catholic Church (and Pope) into child molestation. I know I’m generalising all the religious groups of the world here as one, but how is that any different from them generalising all the football world as one?

My point here, is that it’s easy to look on from afar and criticise the goings on of others. It’ s easier still when you’re an organisation dedicated to doing good, which very few of these “bad men” will have the courage to publicly humiliate. But, this simply isn’t an area of concern for Christian Aid, and I’d thank them to return to helping out the needy, rather than irritating the football world. That’s not to say I don’t want to see transparency in football, because I do – I just don’t see what the benefit of Christian Aid’s report is to achieving that goal. Sadly, it just seems like a poor attempt to gain publicity.

The full report can be found here.

  • Matt BB

    i think youre going to get some serious stick for this.. as much as i think youre right, for onething youre on none other than the repaer himself’s territory when it comes to religion…

    A little strange though them having an opinion on this, i dont recall the book of hooligans, or letters to Evertonians in the new testament.

  • timm

    Jesus saves! But Beckford scores from the rebound!!!

    • JB

      …. for Everton !!

  • Craig

    Goodness, what side of the bed did you get out of this morning TSS?

    If you actually read the article you’ll see that Christian Aid is simply using football as an example of the way “tax-haven secrecy… enables some club owners to hide their financial affairs, and even their identities, from supporters” and are doing so because this same practise “also facilitates massive tax dodging in poor countries.”

    My guess is that Christian Aid is simply taking advantage of the fact that the upcoming World Cup focuses attention on ‘everything football’ in order to make its own ethical point on behalf of the world’s poor.

  • JB

    The Christian Aid article uses football as an example of the damage that can be done by ownership and profits being taken out of a country for the benefit of the individuals moving the money and hiding their identity. They are highlighting a serious issue that in the 3rd world costs lives and keeps struggling economies crippled.
    The purpose of their article is not to clean up football, but to relate what is common in football to what is also common in the countries they are struggling to help.
    I think we should be careful about hypocrisy when we make such a fuss about football, just because it’s close to home and we enjoy it. Nobody dies or starves because we don’t know who owns our club! We just don’t like it.
    Perhaps you have commented without reading the article. The article is attempting to use something we all have a passion about to highlight a major issue.
    I don’t believe in a holier than thou attitude. I don’t think their purpose is to interfere with the running of football. They could have made the easy side-swipes at bribery and corruption, agents and managers exchanging brown envelopes – just as you took the easy swipes at religion. They did not. They highlighted a real issue and related it to something we might understand.
    Your article read more like you have a chip on your shoulder than being considered thought.

    • Hotshotlorimer

      JB is exactly right about this. The point being made is not about football per se but rather is highlighting the link between the the billions of pounds ‘lost’ every year through what is essentially accountancy theft and the effect on some of the world’s poorest people. Christian Aid is a huge agency working in poor countries as well as large economic research capacity, so it is in a good position to be clear about how these links work and have direct experience of their impact.
      We are rightly concerned about the ownership of our club, how it affects its running, where the money is going etc., but it is also important to understand the bigger picture of which this ownership behaviour is a part.
      btw, I don’t want to blow my own trunpet on this, but I’m a development economist only recently returned to UK after spending most of my working life in sub-Saharan Africa. I know this shit. I’m also, as it happens, a devout athiest.

  • DirtyLeeds

    Excellent! This is a bit like when elderly female politicians have a pop at the video games industry, claiming the likes of Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are responsible for the atrocities within this country. Whilst Christian Aid are not pinning their own failings upon a subject that they have little or no knowledge of, it is definitely a case of people in glasshouses…

    • Craig

      What utter rubbish. If you look deeper you’ll see that Christian Aid is one of a number (the majority) of agencies that seek to relate faith to solving real world issues. The vast majority of development work is done by agencies which are seeking to put their faith into practice in such ways.

    • Mark R

      Call of Duty ??? Grand Theft Auto ???
      Whatever happened to Ker Plunk & Subbuteo ?

      Christian Aid and Ken Bates ….Ken Bates and Christian Aid …

      Think my eyes are deceiving me …time for a cuppa.

  • Grumpy Old Man
    • Craig

      I think I see a lawsuit coming from Reaper relating to the graphic used in your article GOM!

      • Mark R

        The Reaper as Ken Bates…Ken Bates as the Reaper ??

        Reaper, say it isn’t true bud ?

        MOT

        • TheReaper08

          No panic Mark R, I can confirm that I am most definitely not the bearded one.

          Although I can see TSS getting behind this conspiracy with some of the debates we have.

      • TheReaper08

        My lawyers in the onshore tax heaven of Swindon are on it as we speak.

    • timm

      I wouldn’t bragg if i were you GOM,maybe it just goes to show that nobody actually visits your site?

      • TheReaper08

        I read it on the site when GOM publsihed it, I still venture over from time to time to see what life’s like when your very bitter.

        What cracked me up was Leeds and Bates didn’t even make number 1 on the list !

    • public enemy

      any way grumps turn your cmments on so we can all disagree with you on your site
      commenting on a site with an advert on the comments section for your site that we cant comment on
      DOES THAT MAKE SENSE LOL

      • Craig

        Ummmm… do you want to try again PE? I’m not sure I grasp your drift – and that’s before the evening glass of vino.

  • AndyBarx

    Simple question “Are they right in their comments about our chairman?” – if yes, they should be encouraged.

    Maybe a few prayers asking for Ken Bates to leave Leeds for ever wouldn’t go amiss either (method of departure is flexible for me!)

  • Matt BB

    Yes the document talks about the secrecy of tax havens which is already in the public eye thanks to the United Nations. It uses football as an example of that, and to be fair to Christian aid, if some of the African and south American players and clubs did a bit more for the countries in which they sit – and the same probably goes for the premier league, then we might all have a fairer playing ground in terms of wealth.

    It never fails to upset me that people earning a couple of hundred pounds per week go to watch players earning millions of pounds a year, who care not a jot for them or their struggles. It is the epitome of selfishness and un-Christian-ness. Thats not to take away some of the very good things that football does do. It gives people hope in sometimes miserable lives, it also ensures some very talented individuals can better themselves, and attracts wealth to often poor areas. Some clubs also have good track records working with local children and donate to charity.

    That said TSS youre spot on religion too has often played the role football does now, with a wealthy elite hiding their money from the masses, so an interesting comparison.

    • timm

      To be fair, none of us actually know what individual players choose to do with their money so we can’t really comment. I personally see a church or a religion as somewhere & something where people find comfort, & this is where comparisons can genuinely be made. I choose to visit the church of Elland Rd & gain comfort from watching (or worshipping if you like) Leeds Utd, we have a wealthy owner who expects us to put our hand in our pocket every week, the church of England is the nations wealthiest land owner but expects it’s flock to contribute money for roof repairs etc..I must say though that i’d feel a lot happier about my young lad being a ballboy at Elland Rd than i would about him being a altar boy in a catholic church?

      • Jon Burgess

        I agree! Who in their right mind would want their poor innocent child to be a catholic altar boy??? lol:)

  • Pete

    It’s nothing new for religion to jump on the football bandwagon – in 2006, my old local church had posters up showing a chalice with the slogan ‘The REAL World Cup’, and another with ‘Theo Is God’ (very clever really).

    Kenneth has wound up too many people to be worried by this though.

  • Paul C

    I have to agree with Craig here. The full report by Christian Aid is aimed at the uses of Tax havens and the effect they have on the poor throughout the world. This is not an attack on Bates in particular or indeed Football , Bates provides them with the comedic value to the story and will give people an understanding of the type of people attracted to tax havens whether in business or in government.

  • public enemy

    christian aid ,they might have churchgoers on their side but we have GOD or at least bates thinks he is
    looks like clarkeonenil has blown his cover “grumpy old man ” he is
    ive lost the will to read about who owns us its like barbara cartland she keeps throwing another story out
    the best way to end it is for the football league to bring in proper rules or bates to tell everyone himself ,when i say proper rules i mean rules bates cant skirt around

    • Craig

      Are you suggesting that Barbara Cartland is writing books from beyond the grave? The thought of Bates doing likewise chills the blood…

      • public enemy

        sorry craig no the thought is abhorant it was meant in the past tense ,i for one will be there to make sure the coffin lid is nailed on when he goes i recon he will go to the basement though

  • Agree with many comments commending the Christian Aid’s article whilst being aware of the church’s own failures (being a church minister myself). What I would add is about the comment made by TSS, “football is none of their business”. Whilst this may be partly true, perhaps TSS may want to look back in football history to see the pivotal role that the church and christians had in this country for developing football in the early 1900s and which have led to the setting up football clubs such as Fulham, Aston Villa Everton (ironically, given Beckfords recent move)and many others. Christianity can be surprsingly relevant even in this day and age! See this link for a full article from a recent Christian magazine on this issue. http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1nsso/Christianitymagazine/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yudu.com%2Fitem%2Fdetails%2F165212%2FChristianity-magazine–June-2010

  • leeds lad

    Although I do not consider myself religious, I feel you have overstepped the mark on this occasion, and with no good reason.

    Why alienate anyone who is making a valid point concerning Bates & Co. Any legitimate way we can raise awareness of the unscrupulous dealings of his regime should be encouraged.

    • timm

      To be fair to TSS, he’s only trying to spark a debate, & he’s admitted himself that he plays devils advocate. So, in his defence, it looks like a job well done.

      • Craig

        Sure, but please let’s acknowledge that there is a massive gulf between the hypocrisy and empty rhetoric of religious systems and the tireless efforts of countless individuals whose faith-in-action supports so much of the social and international infrastructure without which our societies would crumble to dust.

      • JB

        I’m not sure your defence is well founded in this case Timm. TSS concludes his article with:
        “But, this simply isn’t an area of concern for Christian Aid, and I’d thank them to return to helping out the needy, rather than irritating the football world. That’s not to say I don’t want to see transparency in football, because I do – I just don’t see what the benefit of Christian Aid’s report is to achieving that goal. Sadly, it just seems like a poor attempt to gain publicity.”
        The area of concern of the article is the problems caused by this practise in 3rd world countries, they are not attempting to clean up football.
        Relating major issues that often go unseen to popular culture – football in this case, is not unusual and is highly accurate.
        This is not Devil’s advocate – it reads like TSS taking a personal stance because of his own views – and he is perfectly entitled to do so on his own blog. He also always leaves the comments open so that those of us that disagree or agree with him can comment – as we are.
        I just feel that this article sounds like TSS read a report on the Christian Aid article, and not the article itself. His views are therefore open to criticism in this case because they are so wide of the mark.

        • Craig

          I agree with you JB but there is evidence that TSS read the article itself since the quote about Bates was not present in the report on the article.

        • timm

          Fair point JB, & to be honest, the original article is quite heavy going. It’s a shame really that organizations like Christian Aid have to use popular culture as a channel to raise interest in such serious issues. Whilst it’s my opinion that all conflict & famine is caused by either religion or Government, it’s still sad that Christian Aid etc.. have to make comparisons to football to try & get the public interested. It’s a bit like my local church putting jazzy posters up saying things like ‘Come along & get the ‘J Factor’ this sunday morning’!I see that as a sad indictment on the state of the church, but when Christian Aid do it i suppose it tells you a lot about their opinion of the general public? It’s a bit like the schoolteacher stimulating his pupils by making reference to football in a maths lesson.

          • Craig

            You have answered the very question you raise timm. “The original article is quite heavy going” simply by the very nature of the subject matter. If you, clearly a literate and intelligent member of the human race, find the depth of the issue offputting, how will Joe Average engage with it unless it is via cultural allusions that he already understands.

            Henry Mencken once said “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public” and the same thing is true of the UK.

          • timm

            I agree Craig. We live in a very materialistic age & when you consider that ‘The Sun’ is the biggest selling newspaper in this country & when i see all those people on shows like X Factor & Big Brother who genuinely believe they have a talent, it’s enough to make anyone realise just what charities are up against when they try to raise both awareness & funds from a society where many people don’t give a toss what happens outside their front door. I’ll never understand why the various faiths can’t dip into their own coffers a bit more though? Instead of relying on the generosity of people who can ill afford to donate.

          • Craig

            There are certainly some established religious institutions who have cosied up to power for long enough to feather their own nests but I assure you that there are many millions of Christians outside those institutions who believe it is deeply immoral to have such wealth stored away and not use it for the poor.

  • Charlie Big Potatoes

    Crikey, all a bit high brow for me!

    Here’s me concerning myself with who might be coming in at the right back? now I’ve got the Christians to worry about! Lol

  • White to the core

    I hate to be the bearer of more doom and gloom but if they are right (and i understand they are), we could be facing a large tax bill. Look at Rangers. The government are investigating along with the inland revenue a number of clubs (of which leeds are only one) who are using offshore accountancy to avoid paying their employees (the players) paye tax. This is a fact. Leeds along with others are set to be stung by a large tax bill in region of 15 -20 million £ for said tax irregularities (rangers already have been in last fortnite). The government are cracking down not just on football clubs who use offshore accountany but any rich buggers they can hit for cash to fill their empty coffers. Anyone known to be working in uk but getting paid through said offshore accounts /previous tax havens. Can we afford to pay such a large tax bill? I suggest not! Those religous bigots are just jumping on their soap box and commenting on said investigation.

  • White to the core

    I meant “accountancy” and “religeous” before i am pulled up by an prof’ types for my poor spelling. I must improve my speed typing , god damn it. (whoops sorry christian aidee peeps) Not!

    • timm

      You were right first time with religous!

      • Craig

        I think you’ll find it is ‘religious’.

        Not all religious people are bigots.

        • timm

          Oh yeah! Well he was closer first time then!

    • Jon Burgess

      Haha:)

  • Matt BB

    Well as I thought, criticise religion in any of tis forms and you will get a swarm of locusts.. to coin a phrase heading right at you.

    I guess on the face of it you cant see an immediate link, but there agtain religion touches everything where people are involved. I’m a Christian and I often wish that the church would actually do more than it does to change things in society, so this is an example I guess of getting what you wished for.

    The church definitely has a place to comment where there is alleged dishonesty as guardian of morality and fairness, as opposed to the government which is about the law and politics.

    The church does go out to the third world and help people in trouble and who have no one else to turn to, and in a way dont we all fall into that bracket? We dont have anyone on our side it seems when we watch the things at our club going wrong? I actually welcome their comments, but think that the compairsons TSS makes are valid as well.

    • TheReaper08

      I respect your belief but religion isn’t for me. I am one of those hypocrites that doesn’t believe but then asks God to help him win the lottery on a Saturday.

      Too many wars based on religion for my liking, I also struggle to come to terms with there being many different religions and Gods that people believe in, surely someone must be lying.

      • timm

        I agree Reaper. As i said before, my religion is Leeds Utd & i worship at the church of Elland Rd. I don’t mean for that to sound flippant or disrespectful, it just happens to be true. I also take more from the words of Joe Strummer & Bruce Springsteen than i do from the Bible.Interesting to see the Turkish government crying to the world about being wronged this weekend? I don’t profess to know enough about it all to take a view, but maybe they’ll be getting a taste of what they’ve been putting some people close to Leeds Utd through for the past 10 years? Im afraid they get no sympathy from me.

      • Craig

        I totally agree with your views on religion Reaper but, for me, there are too many nagging questions of meaning, identity and purpose to rule out the place of faith in everyday life.

        • timm

          Well lets all show a bit of Faith in Uncle Ken pulling off another coup by beating off Premiership opposition again to get McArthur!

          • Craig

            Ah, but faith is only as strong as its object – and mine doesn’t run as far as Uncle Ken!

          • Craig

            Sorry… pressed the button before reviewing my reply… I meant “my faith doesn’t run as far as the beneficence of Uncle Ken.

  • RoystonLeeds

    I’m enjoying this “football” blog very much. Apparently Christian Aid are doing “commendable” work to ease the plight of the world’s poor. Actually, they’ve played a huge part in subjugating the world’s poor and convincing them to accept the diktat of The West. I’m not talking about The Crusades here, I’m talking about modern-day Christians who, daily, tell the poor to accept their lot without complaint – Mother Theresa was not just a one-off example. If you want to save the world’s poor, fight imperialism. Although our religious leaders know that fighting imperialism would lead to their own demise so it’s unlikely to happen. They will continue to spout their holy nonsense while leading their flock down a blind alley.

    • Craig

      I’m sorry my friend but you really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. I’ve not seen so many non sequiturs in a single post for ages.

      • RoystonLeeds

        thanks for pointing out that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Your argument is so powerful that I’m not going to attempt to counter it.

        • Mark R

          Non sequiturs, Craig ? Brilliant.
          No idea what it means but I’m all for learning something new everyday.

          • Craig

            Wikipedia puts it like so:

            It is a comment which, due to its apparent lack of meaning relative to what it follows, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing, as in the following exchange:

            Q: How many surrealist painters does it take to change a light bulb?
            A: Fish.

        • Craig

          I didn’t actually make a point. I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading. To give two specific examples:

          Christian Aid have always been critical of the systems that create injustice (previous imperialism etc) and seek to empower those who have been disenfranchised by that era.
          Mother Theresa never told the poor to accept their lot without complaint but did expose the folly of becoming wealthy at the expense of the soul.

          Sorry if I was a bit blunt.

  • LAR

    may be the man above supports leeds.like the wise man said..SOME OF THE PEOPLE ALL TIME…as for bates its just a matter of time before his old sins catch up with him.

    • Matt BB

      I’m not as religious for example as my father, and dont attend church every sunday, but I believe the good points of religion outweigh the bad, the similarities between it and supporting a football team are shocking – blind faith, weekly donations to the cause, and pinning yourown hopes and dreams on something not in your control.

      Karl Marx called football & religion the opiate of the masses, namely something which detracted them from the job of getting on with life (well thats my understanding), anyhow this is detracting me from doing my job.

      • Mark R

        Brilliant.

        God, Mother Theresa, Joe Strummer, Bruce Springsteen,and Karl Marx.

        TSS – I salute your ability to throw the cat amongst the pigeons and bring such a diverse set of views and cultural references to one site.

        MOT

        • timm

          I nearly threw Johnny Rotten in there as well! TSS took a bit of stick on this one but i stand by what i said about him sparking a debate. I think this is probably the strangest one yet?! I just hope he hurries up & gets something else up before someone mentions the bloody Gaza Strip! Ah there’s an idea? How about the new home strip? Oh no, we’ve already done that!

        • Craig

          See GOM – this is what Clarke One Nil could become if you allowed comments! Read it and weep.

        • Craig

          I reckon TSS is currently covering his internet traces and checking into a B+B under the name “Smith” in case someone pronounces a fatwa.

          • timm

            No Craig he’s not important enough. Maybe a thinwa though?!

          • Craig

            I’d have to see a picture of TSS, or at least know his waist measurements, before I could comment.

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  • White to the core

    I’d like to think im a religeous man after all i send the old spam soldier to worship daily at the velvet alter and my mrs deserves to do penance for recieving swollen goods. Who doesnt enjoy a drop of the holy wine (or should that be whine).

  • SelbyWhite

    Makes me wonder when the CA “investigation” started, and when the bearded one found out that it was not going to categorise him as a saint! Would it be just before he published his comments about donating to the third world was a waste of money in his propaganda sheet?

  • public enemy

    just seen ENGLAND WORLD CUP 23 WAS QUIETLY CONFIDENT UNTIL HE LEFT OUT BENT AND TOOK HESKEY INSTEAD

  • TheReaper08

    I’ve sussed it. TSS has got absolutely nothing against Christians really, this whole article has everything to do with the fact that Leeds United only made to number 7 in the worst offenders list and as a result TSS is in a really really bad mood.

    This whole report contradicts TSS previous belief that the single worst footballing villain in the world is Ken Bates, after all even the Christians don’t believe he is.

  • Jon Burgess

    This is a great forum though. In a lot of other forums, TSS would probably have been crucified for sparking a religious debate. Glad to see so many open minded gentlemen and/or ladies on here:) I cant stand forums where people just fight and argue all the time. Kudos to the lot o’ ya:)
    PEACE!
    MOT!

  • public enemy

    just read on lufc official ,season tickets are up as are memberships .corporate boxes have nearly all sold out and match tickets have gone up asweLl as sponsorships .well mr bates !!!THERE IS NO F*”?&NG EXCUSE THEN IS THERE .SPEND SOME MONEY

  • yorkieboy

    so much for leeds being the big name and the big draw in champs it seems we are the only club not signing players .is it because we have a wage embargo i know its early on in the window ,but it seems to me that we always leave it late and end up with players noone else wants or players who are desperate to find a club .all this on the back of bates saying money is flooding into the club .its the early bird that gets the worm its no good signing new players in august we need new players in early no news is bad news .any decent rumours anyone ????????????