Self-proclaimed "saviour" of LUFC

Highlights of an interview with Ken Bates before the Hull City match (09/11)

Davide Somma

The first major topic is Davide Somma who had signed a new three year contract that day. Fans had been expressing concerns about the length of time remaining on his previous deal, fearing a repeat of the saga that saw Jermaine Beckford join Everton for free.

Bates denies there was ever a possibility of him leaving and says the only reason the contract talks had taken so long was complications caused by agents working on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bates explains that the South African was signed to an American agency following his time in the USA and that when they wanted to negotiate a new deal, the American agency had to appoint a British agent to sit down with the club. Basically, it sounds like the two agencies have been sending carrier pigeons between themselves across the Atlantic so the deal took a little longer than Leeds would have liked.

Ken Bates said Davide was very eager to extend his stay at Elland Road, reaffirming the South African’s own words on the official site that he was delighted to be playing in the Leeds United first team.

Soon to be ex-Leeds players

Bates seemed uncharacteristically happy with the agents handling of Somma’s contract talks (aside from the delays), but soon reverted back to his old self when he was asked about the other players whose contracts expire in the summer.

Ken described the expectations of players agents as ‘unrealistic’ saying that some of them would be leaving Elland Road as the club are unwilling to meet their demands. Continuing with the ‘all agents are evil’ theme, Bates described them as short-termist and said they didn’t have the best intentions of the player using the Beckford saga as a prime example (although he has since scored for Everton).

Bates wasn’t pressed too much on who the individual players were, but it’s easy to speculate Bradley Johnson is one of them after he turned down a three year extension only last week.

Other pearls of wisdom…

The bearded maestro was also quizzed on Leeds United’s turbulent start to the season to which he revealed, he was very happy with our position so far especially when he considered the amount of players we’d had injured. He also said he was ‘forever baffled by football’ when asked why he thought our home form was so much worse than our away form.

43 Responses

  1. les irwin

    bates is at best an idiot if he thinks he will attract players to get back to prem on no wages he is living in cloud cuckoo mind @ 78/9 not long now

    • stotty

      No one should be taken in or comment on these pathatic politically correct stage managed in house interviews.
      Anyway, he mumbles so much I would never know what he is saying.

  2. RoystonLUFC

    Our much-maligned chairman has saved our club from free-fall into oblivion. I can’t even remember the names of his predecessors who screwed on a level on par with Dinsdale. The rot stopped when Ken came in. Ken’s a bastard; a hard-nosed, business-man bastard. So what do you want? another Dinsdale? A Krasner? (insert all those other forgettable names who were to steer our club out of the mire…). You think we can become a Chelsea or Man City, but without the backing of a multi-billionaire? Get real. We are back to the Wilkinson days and Bates is a veritable expression of this. We’re not to be held hostage by some jumped-up Ronaldo or John Terry; We are not Barca or some team from Madran: We are Leeds. But we almost became Leeds Park Avenue. KB halted the decline and he will guide us back to the top… but not by depending upon the angel Abramovich, but through his ability to tell piss-takers like Johnson where to go. I know my views might not be popular but I think an injection of reality is occasionally required in these discussions.

    • leeds-lad

      How easy it is for Bates to deceive people like yourself !! ….. Ok, yes Bates has brought financial stability to the club, but this has only been achieved because he got us relegated, took us into administration and didn’t pay off the greater part of the £121m of debt that was owed. Even the administration process was “borderline” legal, as Bates claims he had no links with the controlling party, which was only prepared to support his bid. Other interested bidders would have paid more, and invested more, in taking the club out of administration, but effectively this was a “closed bidding process”…….. All Bates has done since is use Leeds United as a “cash cow”, with minimal reinvestment from our “undisclosed” owners, of which he claims he is not one !! ……….. Bates knows every legal loophole, is far to clever for the football authorities to exert any control on his actions, and worst of all, is continually deceiving gullible supporters like yourself. Please realise that Bates is not our “saviour” and eventually the shortcomings of his secretive regime will be exposed.

      • TheReaper08

        @leeds-lad Leeds entered into adminstration with debts of around £35.5 million or just over 29% of the original estimated £121 million debt.

        And however you look at it borderline legal is still legal.

      • Colin

        @TheReaper08 @leeds-lad
        I see both sides – it’s like me meeting a girl on her 16th birthday and inviting her back to my place to show her what I look like wearing my Leeds top and nothing else.

        As you say, borderline legal is still legal, but probably not quite right.

        …but like Ken, I did it anyway.

  3. TheReaper08

    Has anyone watched the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy ?

    Ken Bates isn’t a good football chairman, Ken Bates is the devil…..

      • TheReaper08

        @colin So I guess you either don’t know what I am talking about or your Lenny’s biggest fan…

      • Colin

        “Has anyone watched the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy ?”
        I didn’t see it.

        Better pass it to the video replays panel :)

      • TSS


        I’ve seen the Waterboy and agree with @Colin that Adam Sandler is about as funny as Lenny Henry – just to clarify. I’d spend the day sticking pins into my testicles before subjecting myself to either of them.

        You can categorise Sandler’s jokes into two categories – those heavily reliant on silly faces and those heavily reliant on silly voices. Essentially, it’s comedy for the intellectually challenged and the mentally ill. At this point I’d usually add ‘no offence’ for those who disagree, but with such limited intelligence, I doubt they’ll realise the above was offensive.

        PS . The Waterboy was a piss-poor attempt to create a film similar to Forrest Gump.

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS Interseting “I’ve seen the Waterboy and agree with @Colin that Adam Sandler is about as funny as Lenny Henry – just to clarify. I’d spend the day sticking pins into my testicles before subjecting myself to either of them.”

        And the people watching the films are supposed to be mental…..

  4. Colin

    One of the key reasons football club owners hate agents is because agents don’t put up with the bullshit that comes from the clubs when they tried to screw over players, which often happened before agents were on the scene.

    If I was a player and had to negotiate a new deal with Bates and Shaun Harvey, I’d want the best agent I could get my hands on. But I’m not, I’m a fan, so I guess I want the best negotiator to nail down an agent and his player and Bates is probably one of the best in the business at that.

    I’m such a hypocrite. I don’t know what I want. Anyway not that it really matters. Bates does the negotiating at Leeds, and even better, he does it all for free…isn’t that right @TSS ?

    • les irwin

      sorry colin on this we disagree watch the better players who have other options walk away from leeds for nothing like beckford for insatance because bates is too tight .we all know fotballers are on too much money but i would follow the dollars if it was me as iam sure you would .in league 1 it was easy to say if a prem club comes calling for your players it was easy to let him go its not as easy in championship because you need them to get promoted and to keep you up when you do bates will sell our better players ,all those players who are out of contract wouldnt be bought they are not worth buying but its worth taking a punt for johnson for free somma would have been cheap ,

  5. Mike

    Quite right but old greybeard has his faults, he tolerates Larry because Larry is a toadie.

  6. Simon White

    KB did not ‘save’ Leeds United, he took us into administration and through a legal loophole was able to regain control. KB wants promotion on a shoestring, miracles do happen!

  7. RoystonLUFC

    mikelufc: hee hee, I know what you mean. But I’m not prepared to stir the “Larry” nest as welll as the “KB” nest”!
    I think the respnse to my post has been revealing: everyone hates Ken but no-one wants to go back to Dinsdale, Krasner, those-other-ones, etc.
    Criticism is easy; construction criticism is much more difficult. I would suggest that if you hate Bates but you have no other suggestion, shut up or put up; if you have a brilliant idea, let’s hear it.

  8. Woody

    I’m with the bearded one om the issue of agents. They’re only out to make money and they’ve ruined football in the process. Players these days are vastly over-paid. Most football clubs are in serious financial problems because of the enormous wage bills. If other club chairman stopped being held to ransom by players and their agents, then the problem might be solved, but I fear it’s too late to reverse the process. I think it’s time the EUFA introduced a wage cap. The inflated pay of players is having a negative effect on football across Europe, it’s time something was done about it.

  9. les irwin

    ken bates is the devil ,lets be right the football is a hindrance to his building empire it will be that ,that gets bates his money back ,he will throw the club in as an added extra ,alright the football is what gives him a guarunteed income his bread and butter ask the chelsea lot he is not intrsted in football when he says he wants investment he means i want someone to buy players and sell em for me to build a hotel .the academy crap going round roughly translated means get me 1 or 2 decent players a year who we can get for nowt and sell for 4-5-6 million like delph for instance
    when the small print is looked at the administration i feel will come back to haunt us barely legal i think isn’t enough bates will be proven to have links eventually and that will be a rough old time for leeds alright he may be long and gone by then but it will not be nice
    bates saw an opportunity at leeds ,he took it into admin got us relegated and lied about other people it has cost us millions in law suits etc he didnt do that for us he did that for himself and if he is the great saviour how come he is still the most hated man at elland road he robs us blind every week sad thing is we allow him to not because of him but because or the team and our loyalty to the team and as it goes most of them have no loyalty either

  10. Mike

    Shut up whining number 1.
    We have a club and we have no alternatives, if we do where are they? all the rich gits in Leeds and Yorkshire had their chance, but no one came forward.

    • TSS

      @mikelufc & the rest of the Bates lovers.

      I can accept Bates is here and we’re making gradual progress whilst the finances remain stable (so we’re told). But nothing irritates me more than the suggestion he saved Leeds United. LUFC is much bigger than any single man and it would have continued to exist regardless of his interference.

      Can we also address this absolute nonsense people keep coming out with that Bates was our only option. Bates cleverly made himself the only option because he’d manoeuvred himself into a position where key creditors would only work with him so no one else could buy the club – it was impossible! Hence the court cases that followed. There was other offers on the table, who were all offering more than Bates, but because the creditors would only work with him we had two options – Leeds either went under or he took control. How anyone can praise him for putting us in a position where the club were almost extinct is absolutely insane and extremely short-sighted.

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS Bates cleverly made him self the only option second time round, something the mentally challenged seem to forget (as I a couple of Adam Sandlers films I thought I would join in the personal insults).

        The first time round when we were begging for salvation and the goons had sold off all the family silver, where were they all then ?

        Strikes me there are lot of people with tiny brains only capable of remembering post Bates and not pre.

    • leeds-lad

      Mikelufc ….. What utter b0ll0cks !! ……. take some time to read the below comment about the Administration process. There is a lack of pressure to remove Bates because too many fans (like you) do not understand what went on during the Administration process when our so called “saviour” saved the club. NO ONE ELSE WAS ABLE TO BID FAIRLY !!!!!

    • les irwin

      mike im not whining just stating the facts ithere are palenty of people on here telling you the truth if you are too blind or stupid then you are in denial ,bates didnt save our club ,had he paid off all the debts and then paid the tax man for the time he was in charge fair enough but he didn’t what bates did was and this is a fact keep us going in the championship where we got to the playoffs against watford LOST didn’t invest took us down with old boggle eyes and as soon as that was confirmed he put us in admin at a cost of millions to people my friend lost 34.000 quid to bates now because that bates put us into admin knowing we were relegated and he thought we would get a 10 point deduction which we did that pissed the league off so they gave us anoher 15 point deduction which cost us an instant bounce back in real terms although we got to play offs .he didn’t buy back the training ground and him gobbing off has cost the club several million pound .and just about every chairman in the world of english football hates him .leeds united would have been bought by anyone it wouldn’t have gone out of business the records tell you that lesser clubs than leeds have stayed in buisiness because no club has gone bust so there would have been others and if anything now he is holding investment back
      he wasnt the saviour we were the paying punter don’t know if you go mike and pay but in the time bates has been in charge he has had around £10.000 or so maybe more from myself and my 3 sons he is taking money out not putting it in when was the last time we bought a noteable player for money but we spent 2 million on a new pavillion
      bates is a cunt and a full weight one at that and for me the sooner he fucks off the better BUT OH NO THERE WILL BE NOONE ELSE
      get real get rid
      soory for the xxx language tss but bates makes me boil

  11. Mike

    Just go back a little further to Krasner….
    Only Bates came forward with less than one day to go before extinction.
    Bates paid £10 million if I remember it right, so If my memory has not failed me once again then Bates saved us.
    Everything that followed is just Bates survival stuff.

    I am not a Bates lover, I am against all his extra curricular activities, I am against his mean ness with transfers and wages, I will never forgive him for not securing Thorp Arch, his lack of respect for fans is also unforgiveable but despite all the negatives no one else is coming forward.

    • leeds-lad

      It clearly does not suit Bates ( or whoever owns us. haha ) to sell the club at present. Every time that any potential buyer is stated in the press, his immediate reaction is to hurl insults at them, despite they are usually in the public eye as “well respected and well financed” businessmen. ….. All Bates is after is “investors” to stump up their cash rather than to use his own resources. …… So stalemate, because who would do business with Bates, …. not even Leeds City Council with Thorpe Arch !!

    • Colin

      I’m with @mikelufc on this one. And the other thing to mention is that some of the other bidders were no angels either, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of the other bidders never had the money to put up anyway and KPMG saw right through them and discounted them as viable options. And that was Ken’s strong point – he actually had the cash and proved it to KPMG.

      • les irwin

        kpmg didnt see through anyone the people owed the most money fsf and various trusts owned by bates ????? said they would accept no money if bates took over that left kpmg with no choice it meant then because of that bates could offer more money in the pound to others .kpmg we LEGALLY OBLIGED to get as much as possible for creditors in affect bates was spending his own debt
        i can not ,will not ever understand why people don’t understand that bates is milking our club

      • TheReaper08

        @colin You are spot on, it’s probably soem of the characters on here that had there tools in there hands at the prosepct of local businessman Simon Morris taking over.

    • TSS


      Again, he wasn’t the only person to come forward. It was just a rushed sale and Bates was the first to act. The suggestion Leeds were going to be extinct the next day is absolute nonsense.

      • White to the core

        Spot on. Bates is a dispicable, lying, goon. A manipulator in chief. Of course there was interest in Leeds. Just the bearded scumbag had twisted the situation to persuade the administrators that his bid was the only one the creditors would accept. No surprise as he was one of the major creditors and knew he would get the money back in time, whilst wiping out a large part of the debt. For f**ks sake who in their right mind would accept an offer of 10p in the £ when the others offered 40p in £! He is your architypal tight fisted, corrupt businessman lining his pockets, breaking the law and noone in their right mind will deal with him. Unless they have just dropped out of one flew over the cuckoos nest. Those that see him as some kind of saviour are also deluded mentally crippled pratts unable to see the facts for what they clearly are. Lets hope they still have their heads up his fat spotty arse when the likes of Becchio go on a free, or when our squad is the laughing stock of the championship due to his shyster ways!

      • TheReaper08

        @White to the core I will try and say this really slowly because it is supposed to be the rest of us that are dim but so far all you intellects don’t seem to be able to answer.

        Ignore the administration, who stepped up when Krasner & the Prof had sold off everything and we were still up the creek ? Where were all your saviours then ? And why oh why does everyone on here with a piss poor argument resort to insulting others, it really is the lowest form of intelligence when you don’t agree with something.

      • leeds-lad

        OK ….. here is what you clearly do not appear to understand : When Bates “saved” ( haha ) the club from Krasner and Co , what he did was secure a deeply debt loaded club at a minimal cost, but with a “longer term” dodgy strategy to screw it for unreasonable profit . …. Do you really think that other investors where not waiting to buy the club during an “open and fair” administration process that would have resulted at that time. The club would certainly not have gone out of business, as is always the case in football club administrations. ……….. If administration had occurred when Bates first bought the club, other investors could have bid in “fair bidding process”, with the likelihood that Bates would not have paid a reasonable price…….. However, Bates did buy Leeds United and through his “love” (haha) for the club took on a massive debt. ….. There the plot thickens, as it appears there was always a strategy in place to dump the debt if it became necessary ( oh yes, ….. through the “administration” he apparently saved us from ). As you will be aware the “unknown” majority creditor would only accept the offer made by Bates, despite this offer being no where near what others where prepared to pay. Also, KPMG could not even clarify what had happened to the £8m season ticket revenues that had been banked (somewhere) for the following season, so could not even supply other suitors with any financial info . …… So in summary, a suddenly profitable Leeds United “cash cow” was bought very cheep by “someone” for virtually fuck all !! …………. How disparing that you find this acceptable.

      • TheReaper08

        @leeds-lad Problem is I understand it alright it just appears that you don’t. So the other investors didn’t approach the incumbent owners to purchase the club first time because of what exactly ?

        Going back to the very beginning prospective bidders didn’t have to wait for administration to bid, all they had to do is step up make an offer and takeover, they didn’t because they weren’t there. I am not sure just why that is so difficult to understand but you keep drifting back to the later administration which is not relevant. I am already aware of the underhand tactics involved in the later administration, in fact I totally understand the whole process.

        The question to clarify yet again is quite simple, when we were in trouble first time around and the leeches like Krasner and Mckenzie had sold all the assets, had been paying themselves exorbatant consultancy fees, had no idea how to run a football club and no working capital to run the club where were your saviours then ?

        To help you (and whisper it round these parts cos it ain’t popular) there wasn’t anyone, just a Mr K.Bates.

  12. Paul C

    I personally have given up now as far as Bates is concerned , we are stuck with him until he decides he has had enough or nature takes its inevitable course.

    I have to hand it to him though, he has outmanouvered everybody , brushed aside all opposition , brainwashed tens of thousands of once sensible yet suspicious Leeds fans , made a laughing stock of the courts , the administrators , HMRC & the other creditors .

    No matter how much I loathe him and his business tactics he has seen them all off, I just hope that when he does finally disappear the club is still there functioning and there is no Robert Maxwell scenario to play out.

    • leeds-lad

      Reaper ….. you really do not get this …. “I said that if Leeds had gone into administration when Bates first bought the club, that would have been a better option. Bates simply bought us and then still took into administration ( and many other problems ) at a later date. The club would have exited the initial administration with “other” owners, ….. as is always the case in football, and been Bates free.
      I understand your views on this matter, totally disagree, and DO NOT WANT TO DISCUSS IT FURTHER AS YOU ARE PI$$ING ME OFF.;;;;;…. ps : how is Monaco at this time of year ?

  13. Ross

    On the wages issue, I dont believe Uncle Ken is being “tight”, I find it hard to believe that there are many championship clubs who would pay higher salaries than us (Cardiff, QPR?), and would any of those few clubs who can pay more than us be interested in Johnson, Kilkenny, Becchio etc???! I highly doubt it. on the contract talks bates is doing the right thing. None of the players going out of contract are worth being blackmailed for let them see what they can get elsewhere, playing in front of tiny crowds at lesser clubs.

  14. love leeds

    what tss said and leeds-lad is clear as day light and plain to see how can other people disagree.

    whats more worrying is when he approached leeds city council for a loan to get thorpe arch back they asked for financial details of the owners and thats were the deal stopped as bates would not say,and now we are paying rent on the place. Also that shows thats he could not get a secure loan from the banks which means the owners credit is shit.

  15. KohSamuiWhites

    I was delighted that Somma signed a new deal.I believe he will emerge as a real talent for us.Not overly concerned if Johnson resigns or not,When we return to the Premiership he should be surplus to requirements anyway.The Ken Bates discussion is a really interesting one.I know a lot of Chelsea lads,and they,re as divided as we are on the pros and cons of a chairman like KB..Is KB a dishonest,sneaky,liar who knows how to play every angle,of course he is.Is peter ridsdale a naive arrogant fool who shouldn,t be let near another football club ever again,of course he is.I know which one i,d rather have in charge.KB,s legacy at Chelsea was he sold them to a multi millionaire and made his money on the way,if he does the same thing at Leeds i won,t be complaining.

  16. KohSamuiWhites

    Sorry forgot to add the “Waterboy” is a full on dog shit film.Fully concur with the genitalia comment above.

  17. love leeds

    to KohSamuiWhites
    when bates sold chelsea , chelsea were in 95 million worth of debt under his ownership they were close to doing a leeds utd.He got lucky that time.


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