The war of words between Bradley Johnson and Ken Bates continues as the midfielder responds to a second attack in five days from the Leeds United chairman.

Johnson had previously responded to Bates’ attack in the Leeds United programme notes for Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace, but the chairman ignored that minor detail when speaking to Yorkshire Radio and criticised the midfielder for bringing his contract saga into a public arena.

Clearly annoyed by Bates’ own spin on the saga, and by claims that he was being greedy, Johnson told TalkSport that;

“The chairman came out with something in the programme which didn’t fight my corner and everyone’s got their opinions and the fans took it his way,

“My commitment from day one when I signed for Leeds has been shown in every game I’ve played. I’ve always given 100 per cent and I am committed to Leeds United.

“I love Leeds, I love the fans and I love the city and I want to be here. It’s not a case of I’ve turned down a deal because I don’t want to be here – I want equality.

“I’m not being greedy. I’m not asking to be the highest paid player at the club because I shouldn’t be. I just want equality.”

Ken Bates also criticised Johnson for missing meetings with Shaun Harvey and Simon Grayson, but the midfielder says he felt cornered by Leeds United and that his excuse was a valid one.

Johnson explains that contract negotiations are usually dealt with by a players agent, and that he doesn’t feel he should be attending contract talks without his agent present.

In Bradley’s defence – which is a stance I don’t take often – Ken Bates is a master at manipulating these situations and does seem to be trying to turn the fans against Johnson. Becchio and Kilkenny are in a similar situation, but neither have received public criticism from the chairman.

It does seem entirely unorthodox for the clubs Chief Executive and manager to be calling one-on-one meetings with the player after talks with his agent broke down, and I can understand how Bradley may feel the club are trying to manipulate him.

Contract talks are extremely complex, and the agent isn’t just an inconvenience who we can blame for all the wrongs at a football club – he is also the man who represents other players in similar situations and understands the legal side of the contract. It’s no different from the millions of people across the country who are represented by Union Reps.

There’s probably much more to this story than we currently understand, but what I can say for certain is that the agent knows the kind of money an average Championship player can expect to receive and I sincerely doubt he’s pushed for much more. We also know that Ken Bates has a pathological hatred of agents and a tendency to use them to turn the fans against certain players (Jermaine Beckford being a prime example last season).

Ultimately, I suspect Bradley will be forced out of the club in January because Ken’s teddy has already left the cot and he isn’t known for his ability to perform U-turns. I just wish we could part with a player amicably, rather than see them vilified by a chairman with an insatiable appetite for drama.

64 Responses

  1. Tim Campbell

    Yes it seems that Old papa smurf wants Bradders out in January and has thus turned up the heat a notch or two. I won’t lose much sleep over the loss of Johnson, and would certainly be up for some sort of swap deal to get Andy O’Brien here permanently

  2. Colin

    There’s some more comments in this Daily Mail article as well:

    You know what, it sounds like Johnson is getting backed into a corner – Leeds are meant to negotiate with his agent and when Leeds don’t like that then they go to Bradley direct, which they shouldn’t do.

    Fair play to Bradley, he’s got big balls for taking on Bates – that will have seriously would him up that Johnson has gone public again.

    I wasn’t taking sides before, but now I am – I am supporting Bradley Johnson against Bates in this dire mess.

    Now that it’s escalating to TalkSport and the Daily Mail, now it surely has to have an effect on the dressing room, especially those on expiring contracts??

    Go on Bradley, kick Ken in the crackers.

  3. Dan

    I can see both sides of this one, but in Ken’s defence (dont usually say that) I wouldnt expect Bradley’s agent to be that heavily involved if the player wants to stay at the club. If anyone remembers, Bradley actually debated joining us back in 2008 (was that his agent or his ego?).↲↲It may be strange for the CE to ask for a personal meeting with Johnson, however why would he not turn upto one with the manager? Johnson seems to think that all discussions are between the club and his agent… surely a player needs to take responsibility for his own future too?↲↲If it was me and I publicly stated I wanted to stay, I would make sure I was in those meetings with evryone else!

    • stotty

      I can understand the club’s position. These are hard times and next year will be a whole lot worse. A lot of clubs are already in a dire mess and there will be casualties for certain. Johnson says he only wants parity but for me he is not worth it. The club have to keep the finances in order and players need to be realistic. It is often the club’s in the worst financial mess who offer silly money to players.

  4. Camaac

    I don’t like to see us doing our dirty washing in public. If BJ is unwilling to accept the most we’re prepared to offer then we need to off load him while we can still get a transfer fee. But let’s not get into a slanging match as he’s less likely to change his mind and accept the offer. I think that if Simon wants to keep him then I’d like to see him stay and he says that’s what he want too. Lets try to persuade him gently not harang him.

  5. Christopher Gee

    KB likes to tell everyone that his preferred business style is to get the deals done quietly before going public with an announcement….except when it suits him not to. I still can’t see the benefit to the club of hanging out to dry one of its first team regulars. It doesn’t exactly enhance his price in the market and if we do let him go next month we’ll need to replace with a DM to back up Amdy Faye. OK he’s not the most talented player on our books but he’s certainly not the worst either.

  6. kev

    I think old Kenneth is walking a tight rope with the fans as we are not too bothered if Johnson stays or goes realy,but if Ken doesn’t get Becchio to sign then I think the fans will turn against Bates big time and wonder why no one seems to want to stay at the club, got to put it down to wages ??

  7. White to the core

    Whatever the truth is and as they say theres no smoke without fire. Do we really care? Bradley Pele Johnson is not good enough for Leeds or indeed this Division. We need rid of the talentless bag of proverbial. Im not even going to bother again going over his many failings. As i have said before he may well give 100% every match, just as i give 100% every time i take a dump the end result in both being a pile of shit! Im not interested in Johnsons whinings, he obviously is just trying to keep things rosy, win back some support until january when we can all party at the news of the useless lying tosser joining some Blue Square prem team where he belongs and those sat in row Z will be able to get a better view of the match as they wont have to wear a crash helmet any longer and keep ducking! Lets build a team fit for the prem and get rid of the plentiful supply of deadwood we have gathered in the past 18months.

  8. Joey

    I’m getting worried that this is going to affect our performances like the Beckford saga last season… at first I thought who needs Johnson but now all this going public I really am afraid that it might, by what Johnsons bein sayin he’s chummy with all the team and they want him to stay, theyve seen him being treated like this and I bet it will concern all of them :/

  9. Chris from Wakey

    The big re-sign test is Becchio and possibly Neil Killkenny. BJ is only OK – no more no less. Thing is that when Uncle Ken deals with things in his usual over aggressive manner he makes himself AND Leeds United look like a bunch of Tossers. Why can’t he just do a quiet and, hopefully, amicable deal, give the better players a bit more when they deserve it and cover the increased wages by getting rid of the dross. Mr Bates clearly doesn’t give a s**t about what people think of him but it would be nice for Joe Public to appreciate that after almost ten dire years Leeds United is on the way back up. Unfortunately if he has any good points he manages to make himself look like a “gobsh**e”

  10. Gryff

    Come on, BJ, if you want us on your side you’re going to have to tell us who you’re looking for equality with. It wouldn’t happen to be former-premiership midfielder Neil ‘Whining Ozzie Midget’ Kilkenny and Jonny ‘Captain Fantastic’ Howson, would it?

    If so, you’re frightfully out of touch with your position at the club! ;-)

  11. wortley_white

    Seriously Bradley, grow a pair! If your boss wants a meeting with you, you turn up. You don’t send someone else to do your work for you. You don’t get your mum to send a note. You’re a man, so man up. Seriously, if I want to ask my boss for a pay rise I go and talk to him, I don’t get my mate to do it for me. Don’t come bleating to the fans telling us how much you want to stay whilst hiding behind your agent’s skirts – so you’re not being greedy, your agent is, is that it? There’s an offer on the table – its up to you whether you accept it or not, not your agent or your mummy, so stop shirking responsibility, make your choice, stay or go. Just do it quickly so we can get back to the important stuff.

  12. TheReaper08

    Firstly let’s clarify one thing, I do not agree in anyway shape or form with the selctive way that Bates releases information when it suits him, nor do I condone any hanging of an individual or general discussing dirty laundry in public.

    Right then, does anyone really agree that an employer doesn’t have the right to call a meeting with an employee ? Really ? I might try that next time and see how far it get’s me. Bradley of course retains the right not to discuss personal terms during that meeting but the club can request a meeting with an employee whenever they like, end of.

    Secondly Bradley keeps stating he only wants equal pay and he isn’t being greedy, equal pay with who exactly ? I would hazard a guess he already has equal pay with some players on the books. What he wants is equal pay with the best players and for that he is being greedy as quite frankly he is poor bordering on mediocre, he has no conceivable right to demand parity with the best paid players.

    The clubs stance on wages is correct, remember this comes at a time when an average Chapionship club with average playesr (Ipswich) have just announced losses of £14m which is beyond me. I wish Bradley all the best for the future and ask him to pull the door to quietly on the way out.

  13. timm

    Exactly Reaper. I’m sure the meeting with Grayson was far more likely to be along the lines of how Larry intended to keep selecting him as long as he’s happy to play? I just cannot believe that a meeting between a player & his manager would have anything to do with contracts.
    I didn’t like Johnsons comment last week about how ‘he’ got us promoted, & when I look at his blingy cars in the car park I get the feeling that the lad really wants to be on the big bucks? I’ve no doubt that he’ll want to be on the same as our highest earning players. Time to move on I think.

  14. Mike

    It is time for him to move on, what is all this about?
    The club have made an offer, he has refused it so that’s it.
    It is not for the chairman to bad mouth him in public and BJ is not doing his case any good by by responding and as for picking up his parents from the station, is he so badly paid he cant afford to send a taxi?

  15. Mark R

    Hope you’re well .
    Well said in your post.

    Bates should know by now that dealing with disputes behind closed doors is the best route for any organisation.Self inflicted negative publicity and putting us in the media for all the wrong reasons, with a potential to upset other staff members. Bad form.


    • TheReaper08

      @Mark R

      Long time my friend, hope life finds you and yours well.

      Totally agree, I laughed off the first outburst but now I am genuinely concerned that this will impact the team.

      Fingers crossed we are wrong.


  16. Tim Campbell

    Is it just me or is the leeds united offical site merely Bates propaganda machine?

  17. md

    Bates vindictive criticism of players may well discourage players from signing and will not help team morale. How old is he?

  18. Bubiónwhite

    This has to stop … and stop now. The whole issue is distracting, disruptive and totally unnecessary. BJ was offered a new contract which we all know he rejected, as is his right. However, shortly afterwards SG publicly stated that he would continue to select him for the team in the same way that he continued to select JB at more or less the same time last season and how disruptive did that turn out to be … look how good our latest hero, LB would have been even earlier without him. Surely the answer for SG is to leave him out of the side and pick someone who wants to play for us and let KB continue to play his childish power games out of the public gaze until the matter has been resolved … one way or another. The whole issue drags a fantastic and proud club into disrepute.

    • Colin

      Best post in months – Grayson now has a problem – the thing is Johnson does want to play for Leeds and I think Grayson wants him to play too. Now it’s untenable for Grayson to play him after Bates shot his mouth off. Bates & Shaun Harvey have to negotiate deals with his agent and his agent only. If the agent (and therefore the player) doesn’t want to accept the deal then fair enough, but don’t then go direct to the player.

      We’ve pretty much lost Johnson now we’ll lose Kilkenny too. After this episode, we’ll probably lose Becchio.

      The club are damn right, this is like Beckford. And who was right? Beckford’s agent was right. He got him a much bigger deal at Everton – that’s the agent’s job. Who lost? Bates lost. And he’ll lose every future contract battle if he keeps mouthing off like this.

      This is starting to turn ugly. I listened to the Bradley Johnson interview and he clearly states that he wants to be at Leeds. That’s important. He hasn’t done anything wrong, but he’s been berated by his own club.

      • TheReaper08

        @colin I want to be at Leeds and from what I have seen I am about as good as Johnson, perhaps I should get top dollar as well? After all I only want equal pay (whatever that means).

        The club haven’t lost they have made an active decision, they aren’t debating this with the player. They offered a deal and it was refused, he was subsequently placed on the transfer list, end of.

      • Colin

        If it was end of,
        – why did Ken Bates publicly come out in the programme notes and have a go at Bradley (all the PM yearly wage nonsense)?
        – why did Ken Bates and Shaun Harvey personally try to make contact with him, despite his agent turning down the Leeds offer?

        If people want to come out and say Bradley Johnson is shit, then fair enough, but he’s not shit enough to be starting games for Leeds, so if everyone rates him so poorly then they should have a pop at Grayson for picking him.

        Now imagine a scenario where Reaper is Hughes or Bromby or Bessone and isn’t getting picked by the manager. I am Bradley Johnson and I’m getting picked as a starter for the first team, but I get a new offer that is lower than Reaper’s current wage. I want to play for Leeds, but I get this lower wage offer. Am I not in my right to have a pop at the Chairman in this scenario, if he chooses to publicly have a go at me for not signing the contract?

        I think that scenario is real.

      • TheReaper08

        @colin Like I said above I don’t agree with Ken going public on this, or I would agree provided he went public on everything and not just propoganda that suits him.

        I don’t want to get involved in tit for tat as that is for children like Bates and Johnson. I would like to point out though that Bradley’s I have got to pick my Mum up and I only want equal pay (still not been able to get an answer to what equal pay actually is) is just as pathetic as the rants from the bearded one.

        I repeat again, your employer has the right to call you to a meeting at any reasonable time, you of course retain the right to only discuss those things that are relevant to you at that time. He could have declined to talk about future contract details.

        I don’t agree with Grayson picking him, I think he is very limited and I suspect so do the majority of fans. In my opinon he shouldn’t be starting but I agree that Grayson’s position on the player clouds that. That said I genuinely believe that Grayson thinks he is the best of what we have available for the job he needs doing, this does not necessarily mean that he is highly rated or indeed wanted for the long term.

        Clubs up and down the land have different pay rates, one thing you can be assured is the best are paid the most and the rest probably have a mixed bag of rates with little pay parity. He has been offered a rise (described as substantial by the club) but that’s not good enough, he clearly isn’t one of our best players so he doesn’t deserve parity with them , no matter how deluded he is about his own contribution and ability.

  19. Colin

    Okay so i can post but it won’t let me add a link

    the audio of the bradley johnson interview is available on talksp0rt website. put the 0 in there instead of an o in case that word is banned?

  20. Colin

    Oh I could get so angry about this. He’d planned to pick his Mum up and then Bates wants a meeting so what does he do – leave his Mum or meet Bates/Harvey whoever? These guys have already politely told you to piss off anyway a long time ago. I say pick up your Mum.

    Bates/Harvey should only deal with the agent. Your “manager” is Grayson – if SG has an issue then fair enough, get rid, sack him even. But that isn’t the case. The facts are that Grayson wants to play Johnson and Johnson wants to play for Leeds. And that’s fine in my book.

    There is absolutely no reason why Bates and Harvey should have a meeting with a player without his agent.

    Should we lose Becchio, then I’d love to see all the same animosity that has been thrown at Johnson, thrown at Becchio too. But that won’t happen – all of a sudden all the current love Bates, hate Johnson Brigade will become love Becchio, hate Bates.

    If Becchio refuses the contract from his “employers” then he’s in exactly the same boat as Bradley Johnson. Are you going to give as much shit to Becchio as you’ve given to Johnson?

  21. TheReaper08

    @colin Unlikely Becchio would get the same response as 95% of the fanbase don’t think he is gash. I have never really rated Johnson and my stance remains consistent.

    As someone said earlier Bradley could have sent a cab but I think we all realise now that he thinks he is a little better than that. That is if it was even true as we seem to have accepted everything he has said so far as fact, well you have anyway.

    Johnson wants to play for Leeds but only at the right price, let’s not forget that slightly important element. Be careful not to hero worship a mercenary.

    Any ideas who he wants equal pay with ?

  22. TSS


    Well, he was actually quite reasonable saying he didn’t want to be the highest paid player but wanted parity. I can only assume he wants a pretty average salary for a first team player, which isn’t really unreasonable given Grayson plays him every game.

    I kind of agree with Bradders that he shouldn’t be attending contract talks with individuals because Leeds wanted to bypass his agent. Seems a little sinister on Leeds’ side I think? B&Q wouldn’t randomly pull a worker off the shop-floor because they didn’t like how much the union rep was asking for. Bates hates agents because he can’t bullshit them – they know what the going rate for a player is, and will hold out for that amount.

    Everything about this stinks on Bates’ part for me. He’s unfairly vilified Johnson using the Leeds United programme, website and Yorkshire Radio, whilst BJ has had to go elsewhere to have his say. Every politician starts by using propaganda to alter peoples opinion in the media – Bates is bordering on dictator like though as he’s trying to control the media too by abusing the clubs resources without giving Bradley his opportunity (haven’t heard Johnson’s 15 minute Yorkshire Radio rant yet have we? Nor have I read his reply in the programme…).

    I really don’t care if Johnson leaves, but can’t stomach Bates’ cruel attempts to outcast another player. As Reaper says, if this was Luciano it would be an entirely different matter, and Bates knows that so steers clear. Instead, he picks on the weaker players where fans opinions are already mixed. Credit to BJ though, he came out fighting.

    • TheReaper08

      @TSS So he doesn’t want to be the stand out highest player but parity with the highest players. Reckon he is one of the best then ?

      I can’t debate this with you as you are quite frankly so biased it is a fruitless exercise.

      Needless to say though that your B&Q analogy is quite frankly some of the biggest crap I have ever had the pleasure of reading, with due respect of course.

  23. TSS


    Leave my B&Q analogy alone! It was genius.

    Biased? I can’t stand either of them. But at the same time I can’t help but sympathise with Johnson because Bates started it all, turned the players against Johnson, then made out he brought it on himself by going to the press. The sheer cheek of the man was gobsmacking.

    You know I don’t rate Johnson. If anyone comes in for him in January, I’ll help him pack and drive him to his new home. But he is a constant name on Larry’s team sheet, so surely you can understand that he thinks he should be paid a similar amount to the rest? I don’t think that’s particularly unreasonable.

    I’ll be honest. I find it remarkable that he gets paid to play football at all, but clearly Larry sees something that myself and the majority of Elland Road keep missing and while ever Larry sees him as a first team player, he probably should be paid accordingly. If you were doing 40 hours on a till in B&Q and getting paid less than someone doing 20 hours, you’d be a bit pissed off. (This second brilliant analogy relies on you understanding that the 20 hour employee is the bit part players that have made less appearances than BJ has)

  24. TheReaper08

    @TSS Oh I understand the analogy and when I am doing annual reviews I will of course consider what you have said.

    Employee – I know I joined the company on £x a year and you have offered me a 5% pay rise but I am also aware that Doris is on more money than me so I want what she has.

    Reaper – You accepted the pay rate when you signed and are receiving the standard rate pay rise % for your achievements so sod off.

    I am the highest paid manager at my level where I work and quite frankly that is only fair because I am consistently the best ;) If someone has a good year do they automatically deserve the same pay as me when they may have agreed to join the company on £5k less than me ?

    I still justifiably maintain that Larry thinks he is currently the best player we have available, the fact that he still signs additional midfielders tell me he is unconvinced for the long term.

    And like I said at the very start I am not happy with the way KB has conducted this but I agree with some of the principles of the decision that has been taken.

  25. Colin

    I’m glad that you are so brilliant – “I am the highest paid manager at my level where I work and quite frankly that is only fair because I am consistently the best”

    I know that’s in jest, but it brings up an issue. Leeds United are a team, not individuals. Johnson never said he was a great individual, but part of a team that got promoted and are currently doing very very well in the league and he wants his piece of the pie.

    When England won the World Cup in 1966, Jack Charlton was not the best central defender, but he was part of a team that worked well. Likewise, Johnson is a team player and he’s only asking for some similar parity to his team mates and I think that’s only fair.

  26. Colin

    I’m pretty sure that my scenario is correct. There are players at Leeds who are not starting the first team, but get more than BJ’s new contract offer. If that wasn’t the case then his agent wouldn’t have refused the offer.

    It is obvious who he’s alluding to – Lloyd Sam.

  27. TheReaper08

    @colin So everyone in the team should be paid the same then ? I am sure that will work.

  28. TSS

    @TheReaper08 You’re over-simplifying Reaps, and failing to see the complexity of my quite frankly, genius analogy.

    I’m not saying everyone should be paid the same, nor do I think Bradley deserves parity with the highest earners. But he hasn’t missed a game so far this season, whilst the likes of McCormack, Paynter and Sam sit on the bench – all of which, I suspect are being paid more (as Colin also suggests)

    It’s all theoretical, I admit, but I can kind of see why he thinks he deserves to be one of the top earners – because Larry plays him enough to make him think he’s one of the best players.

    I negotiate my own contract too, and suspect I’m amongst the highest paid in my particular role (most people are afraid to discuss salary), but that has more to do with gift of the gab than it does hard work and commitment – I spend half my day on here!

    • TheReaper08

      @TSS Whilst I clearly admit I like things simple I do understand your point, I just totally disagree with it. For one and by your very own admission everything is based on theory.

      You also think that a player who is limited but get’s picked every game has the right to believe he deserves the same as the team stars.

      The concept that I play every game so I am entitled to as much as him is a quaint one but quite frankly nonsense.

      I don’t work hard either but I work smart, have great contacts and know how to get things done(often it’s other people that make me look good, a bit like our Bradley !).

  29. TSS


    The problem is that Grayson uses him as a key player, so he can and will demand a salary that is in line with the likes of Snoddy, Howson and Becchio. Whether he deserves it or not is a different matter entirely (for the record, he doesn’t).

    At the same time, we don’t know how bad/good Leeds’ offer is. If Howson, Becchio and Snoddy command £10 p/w whilst Gradel and Hughes get £5 p/w, where do we put Bradders? And more importantly, where does SG put Bradders in a list of his most important players?

    If you ignored his sheer wastefulness and limited ability, and looked at things based entirely on selection, he’d have to be up there with Howson and Snods. Grayson’s insistance on playing him every week suggests he values him a lot more than we do, which will inevitably change Bradley’s own valuation of himself and is perhaps where the problem lies.

    • TheReaper08

      @TSS I don’t think he uses or considers him as a key player, I think there might be around 4 of them in total and he isn’t one.

      And the answer to the above would be £5, as I am sure you already know this but most players have an appearance related payment made to them as part of a negotiated bonus structure, as a result he would end up earning more than Hughes anyway.

      • Colin

        after all you do need to spend big to get a good keeper. Spend big, you get Kasper. Spend peanuts, you get Higgs.

      • TheReaper08

        @colin Traditionally Keepers are among the lowest paid but can command some of the higher game bonuses through clean sheets.

  30. Gryff

    @TSS while Grayson does indeed play BJ in most matches (possibly to the extent of a key player) I don’t see the problem with what’s going on. Sure, I agree with you on Bates trying to do down the lad for whatever reason, but consider this:

    BJ is currently on £A.
    The average pay for the squad is £B.
    The going rate for a player of the same ability as BJ is about £C.
    The key players are on about £D.

    Sure, BJ deserves £D based on how much he is being used. But he accepted a contract on £A. Now with the new contract, why would Grayson opt to use BJ for £D when he could replace him adequately for £C?

    Whatever BJ merits at the moment, if we can get someone better for less, he’s priced himself out of the market. He may be key now, but in the long-term perhaps he will only be an average player? Then clearly he doesn’t deserve parity with the key players if that (which I believe is what you’ve hypothesised?) is what he’s asking for.

  31. TheReaper08

    Brilliant article on clarkeonenil this morning that sums the whole affair up superbly, hats off ot the editor for his irritant of the week piece.

    @TSS @colin Well worth a read and if I am honest it’s what I had expected to read first time round on TSS, if we could just see past the anti Bates stuff for 5 seconds.

    • Colin

      @TheReaper08 @TSS
      Reaper, I don’t think it was brilliant at all. The difference between TSS and Clarkeonenil is that TSS provides an open forum for discussion. Clarkeonenil is just a rant – no comments allowed (on the Bradley post anyway).

      I don’t go to the Clarkeonenil site as it’s not my cup of tea. I’m a TSS man myself.

      And the dig at Phil Hay that clarkster made was a bit harsh, at least Phil has met Bradders.

  32. TheReaper08

    @colin You don’t need to meet someone, if anything that influences you in a way that proffessional independant journalism shouldn’t be influenced.

    I am a TSS man but not being able to see the wood for the trees just because you don’t like someone is wrong. I think TSS let’s that influence things at times. What clarkeonenil did was admit but park that animosity and then look at the issue at hand. Irrespective of the comments being swithched off it was still an excellent article that summed the situation and the feelings of 95% of the fans up perfectly.

    • Colin

      We shall have to agree to differ brave Sir Reaps and reconvene in some verbal jousting at the Battle of Burnley!! :)

  33. Irving08

    I have listed Bradley Johnson’s attributes on this site before, so I won’t bore other posters by repeating them. One thing is crystal clear: if he goes he leaves a big a hole in our team. BJ is as important to this team as Paul Madeley was in his time to Don’s. His response to our authoritarian Chairman’s outrageous public comments only increases my admiration for him. Far from booing him, Leeds fans should applaud him for his gumption and self-belief: I only hope SG will match his courage and tell Mr Bates to play fair by Bradley. When (or if) Bradley does go, he will leave a gap that cannot be filled by anyone presently on our books or is likely to be in the near future.

  34. TSS


    It’s unfair to say I allowed my hatred of Bates to cloud my judgement, because I hold just as much contempt for the thoroughly useless Bradley Johnson.

    What I did, was try to give the story some perspective. Bates brought the problem into the public arena, turned the crowd against Bradley and then failed to give him a fair opportunity to reply via the Leeds United dictatorship media, forcing him to go elsewhere.

    A further problem is that no matter how we personally feel about Johnson, Simon Grayson clearly thinks very differently and continues to use him as a key player – only Howson has had more time on the pitch this season. By Simon Grayson’s own valuation of Johnson as an integral part of his team, it’s not unreasonable for him to ask for parity.

    It’s too easy to cast aside my opinion by calling it an anti-Bates rant, but by your own admission, I’ve been quite balanced with Bates lately because I can’t be bothered replying to peoples misguided views.

    You’re also being very hypocritical (as are most fans) because if this was Becchio it would be an entirely different story. Your own dislike of Johnson is clouding your own judgement Reaps.

  35. TheReaper08

    @TSS If Becchio did the same thing I would have exactly the same opinion. The only difference would be I would hope that the situation could be rectified as it is worth hanging on to Becchio.

    When Bates uses his radio station/match programme then Johnson uses news print and radio why do you feel you need to give it some perspective ? It is however very noble of you to sense an injustice to Bradley and act as his PR machine.

    It’s pointless me addressing the pay parity issue, I have tried based on my own footballing experiences/knowledge. There is no pay parity in football or any sport, never has been and never will be. He has the right to ask for whatever and the club have the right to turn it down.

    For the record I don’t dislike Johnson. Unlike others I don’t formulate an opinion on like/dislike when I don’t feel I really know someone, either in person or from personal actions. I just don’t rate him as a player. As a result the hypocrite tag is unjustified.

  36. Colin

    “I just don’t rate him as a player”

    Well Grayson does. And he played very well today.

    Reaper, you have you’re own opinions of players and they are consistently wrong – you rated Higgs and you slated me for having a go at him. You rave about Hughes. Both equally shit.

    What is your major issue with a player who is a starter for Leeds, who pulls in decent performances time after time?

  37. TheReaper08

    @colin Very rarely do I fell the need to swear but then very rarely do I ever read such bollocks so I will reserve that right for you.

    Gonna keep this real simple and if you feel the need for me to break this down even further let me know.

    I said Higgs was a good keeper when we were league 1, I stand by this. He was recommended to us by a PL club (at that time) and at the end of last season SG cut Ankegren but kept Higgs for the Championship. I don’t get your point considering you cite SG’s opinon on Bradley as a case for your defence. Either SG is correct on players or he isn’t.

    If you have ever read anything at all I have ever written about Hughes you will see quite clearly that I have stated he is very limited, it’s his attitude and application I admire and I don’t get how come you don’t understand that.

    And lastly on the case of our Bradley, even TSS states he is rubbish and so do 95%+ of our fans. You will find you are distinctly in the minority on this one.

    And you have the audacity to question my opinon on players.

    I think you have been owned.

  38. Irving08

    It disturbs me to hear Leeds fans rubbishing in such personal terms a decent working class lad like Bradely Johnson. I thought we were supposed to be a club of the people ? With atttiudes like some of those aired on this and other sites, it is a wonder how trades’ unions ever got started in England. Or is it the fact that he is ‘not one of us’, but a Londoner with balls ? As for his footballing qualities, it really doesn';t matter what we think: at least three reputable managers, Simon Grayson, MIcky Adams and Eddie Gray rate him. And my hunch,if he does go, is still that he will go to a Premier league side, or to one of our real competitors such as QPR or Leicester, where he will be played in his best position and, I predict, go on to be a very good player.

  39. TheReaper08

    Irvingo8 You know Bradley then ? I mean you must do to describe him as a decent working class lad. What’s he like and can you ask him to tell you exactly what the offer was from the club and what he was hoping to get.

    Also a bit of stretch to describe Eddie Gray or Micky Adams as reputable managers. That is unless by reputable you mean a good reputation of winning nothing, getting relegated or getting sacked.

    • Irving08

      I judge Bradley (a) by the wholehearted effort he has put into his work at Leeds; (b) the fact that he chose to meet his parents rather than turn up to a meeting with a bully (Bates); (c) his open and good natured demeanour.
      And, yes, I trust him enough to suspect that he is not being dealt with fairly buy the club. Most managerial careers, like those of politicians, end in failure; it is not peculiar to two of those I mentioned in my little list. But one thing they all share with Bradley is a passion for Leeds and that counts for something with me.

  40. Colin

    When Reaper get’s a bee in his bonnet about a player then there’s no way to change his mind. I agree with your comments 100% and I thought Reaper was very harsh in his comments about Gray and Adams. Take it with a pinch of salt. I think you’re right.

    Reaper – Higgs was recommended to us by a PL club. 3 things – 1) the club is Wolves. 2) The manager was Mick McCarthy (don’t need to say anymore) 3) When MMC recommended Higgs to Leeds they hadn’t played a game in the PL and he was so good that he never played for Wolves.

  41. TheReaper08

    @colin As usual your point on this argument is irrelevant. So you know Johnson personally as well then, perhaps you could answer a few of the questions I posted above. I didn’t think so.

    Higgs I can categorically assure you had built himself a great reputation in the lower leagues (which is we where we are). Wolves were and still are PL and MM is a PL manager. Ignore facts if you like and just go back to telling me how lovely Bradley is.

    And if you want to give me some good pointers about Eddie Grays or Micky Adams mangerial careers I am all ears, I suspect I might be waiting a while though……

    The only bee I get is when people speculate or deal in warm fuzzy unknowns instead of facts. I usually find though these people tend to change subjects or re-invent different arguments when they are rumbled. Like bringing up Higgs and then Hughes etc. etc.

  42. DARREN

    why can’t a club just say right we’ll pay u 20 grand a week take it or leave it end of if he takes he stays if he doesn’t he’s gone forget bonuses and everything else u get a wage and it would take contract offers a lot quicker to sort out is anyone else gonna pay more if yes go if no stay easy


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