The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay has today called for Leeds United fans to cancel the protests planned for tomorrow’s game against Middlesbrough at Elland Road. 

Hay argues that disquiet amongst fans is often most prevalent in times when Leeds United are struggling on the pitch, citing the disastrous 2006-07 season as an example. He does however dismiss claims that the protests at Southampton were born of frustration from a poor performance, acknowledging that Leeds United fans were already voicing their anger at Ken Bates in pre-season.

Any suggestion that a fans revolt against the owners leading to poor results on the pitch can be instantly shot down by the success Manchester United have had under Malcolm Glazer. Aside from the regrettable jeering of Andy O’Brien on Tuesday, Leeds United fans have gone to great lengths to ensure both Simon Grayson and each and every player understands our protests are not in anyway caused by themselves, but by the confused priorities of our Chairman.

Hay’s article also reveals that ticket sales account for 63% of our turnover, which is a remarkable stat when you consider how much Bates likes to harp on about his business model being one that makes money 365 days a year. To hear Bates drone on about the “best conference facilities from Manchester to Newcastle” and the (allegedly) vast sums of money Leeds United make from the prawn-sandwich eaters, you’d think the noisy fans sitting in the cheap seats were nothing more than an inconvenience.

In today’s Yorkshire Evening Post Bates once again speaks of a high wage bill to try and excuse our lack of spending. This argument would perhaps hold more weight if he hadn’t spent the entire summer moaning about the wage demands of Simon Grayson’s targets.

Leeds United fans have reached the end of the line with their willingness to accept Ken Bates’ tired and predictable excuses. When hard-working fans like myself are contributing over 63% (inc. merchandise etc..) to the club’s revenue, we don’t want to see that money wasted on a bunch of pointless executive boxes the club can’t fill. We don’t care about conference facilities, we had plenty of watering holes before Bates arrived and we definitely don’t want a bleeding hotel in one of the most rundown areas of Leeds.

All we care about is the team, and as such, we expect a proportionate sum of OUR hard earned cash to be ploughed directly back into it.

Phil Hay makes a lot of valid points in his article. In fact, he shows himself to be more in touch with the Leeds United fans psyche than the club has been for many years. His calls to cancel the protests are understandable, but what do we do instead Phil?

Our frustrations with Ken Bates have hardly materialised overnight, as you yourself acknowledge. You say in your article that our actions must be ‘deeply regrettable’ for the club, but do you genuinely believe that?

Why then, are we branded “dissidents” and “sickpots” by our Chairman whenever we raise our concerns – those are not the actions of a club who think our disagreements with them are ‘regrettable’. Those are the actions of a club who think are disagreements with them are irrelevant. Those are the actions of a Chairman so arrogant, he believes anyone who dare question his judgement is nothing more than a mindless idiot.

The truth is Phil, that as fans we’re tired. Tired of spending vast sums of money for little reward. Tired of being insulted by our chairman. Tired of our concerns falling on deaf ears. Tired of being beaten to players by the “mighty” Ipswich Town. Tired of the legal worries and much, much more besides.

But most of all Phil, we’re tired of our Chairman dismissing the views of fans before proceeding to put some Peter Mandelson-esque spin on them that is then reported to the wider public. Does our opinion count for nothing?

Those frustrated with the current regime have tried everything to get our points across. Tomorrow’s protests will symbolise a disillusioned fan base who have simply ran out of options.

Only a “dissident minority” Bates tells us. I guess we’re about to find out.