Dear Judas,

No, that’s just the bitterness talking. Forgive me, Max, as we forgave you for the one-man insanity exhibition in the must-win game.

Just why Max, why? Why now, when we’ve so few points and so many corporate facilities in development? Did we not make you feel loved? Surely we made you feel loved – you were just like us: unpredictable, volatile, blessed with a small man syndrome driving your quest to best the rest.

We’ve been through so much, forgiven so much. We thought our acceptance of past indiscretions would make our bond stronger, but you exit at the first sight of better weather and cuisine – and well, it wounds us deep.

Question marks still remained as to whether our bond could hold out against the odds – we were realistic. But we hoped in our heart of hearts that you’d at least give us until the end of the season to see if we could make it – to move from healing into growth takes time, Max.

As partings happen like ships in the night, and especially in the mists of what the Leeds United regime tries to pass off as transparency, it may be impossible to ever know the full reasons for your decision. But you will get to use Twitter again, so perhaps this is the most fatuous line of all in this lost love letter.

You should know that your bland platitudes on exit were not enough. You can say ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ a million times but we’ll still look at ourselves and wonder if we could have done anything more to make you turn around with a tear in your eye and decide that money, combined with a bit of language and culture, is not everything.

It would be wrong to suggest we will never love again. We will keep loving no matter how this shakes our belief in commitment. We are lovers at Elland Road; we cannot be anything else. We must try and face the pitfalls of falling for diminutive goal scoring wingers with a brave countenance. We quite fancy El Principito, if we’re truly honest.

We’ll always remember Norwich, that beautiful dive at the Emirates, the one man destruction of QPR, and your silly hair dos. Oh, the silly hair dos. Ramon also has quite a silly hair do. Just saying, Max, just saying – yours were bloody good, some of the best we’d seen.

With your exit, we lose a reflection of ourselves – the wild person inside that takes on all comers, often one man too many, but valiantly so; the one that could quite easily petulantly lash out when they seize the initiative off us; the creative force we want to be, that can change a situation in a moment and will keep going until that one time the stroke of genius comes off.

Yes, for a while, you were the embodiment of what it is to ‘be Leeds’. It is a great thing to have been. We sincerely wish you all the luck in finding a connection so profound at a club who copied their name off a 90s indie band. As the aforementioned Britpop outfit put it best: only love can break your heart. Adieu, Max, adieu.

  • Matt

    Excellent. Let's hope he comes back on Twitter and you can send it to him!

  • @OlMaGough

    You had me at insanity…

  • dangoldthorp

    Lovely. A simple "fuck off then" might have sufficed to be honest, but lovely all the same.

    • TSS

      That's what I was going to write, but Gary managed a full letter.

  • NF

  • Carl Pearson

    Just another mercenary out the door !

  • Sean

    Now that I've calmed down after last night's initial news of this transfer and thought about it properly I'm not feeling quite as aggrevated as I was. If you look at it purchase price approx 300k, a season and half of pretty good football including some very memorable performances and then off to pastures new for probably 3m+ I'd have to say it has been a pretty good investment and benefited all parties (maybe not as much as it could have but who knows the whole story, not me). We always get frustrated when good players leave but that's football life (we're by no means the only club to be affected by it, much bigger clubs than us also have to take it on the chin). Good luck to the little man, hope he does well in France, thanks for the memories and also the possibility the club can use the cash to strengthen and grow – at least I won't have to see his grinning face playing for a prem club or championship side rubbing my nose in it regularly. Now all that remains to be seen is whether this cash will be spent to bolster the areas of the squad that need urgent attention – over to you Mr Grayson.

  • MB73

    Grayson out, Bates out, harvey out

  • Captain Cas

    More proof that Larry never gets anything wrong. Not only have we a better squad of players than last year but we are also keeping all our best ones. Haw haw haw.

  • Michael Lord

    I was saying on another forum this morning that until we get back to the Premiership we can expect to lose our better players. The lure of better money and a higher standard of football speaks volumes and let's face it we would do the same if placed in the same position…..that is unless you absolutely love the club your playing for and you have already made your money.

    • TSS

      Yeah. Never easy to accept, but it was inevitable.

      I've been saying he'll leave all summer. Ever since the "please guide me God" tweets and unconvincing statements from the club began. (Left it late mind, I was almost wrong!)

      • Sean

        The please guide me God tweet spoke volumes for me and even though straight after he stated he wanted to sign a contract but none was available I remained unconvinced that he saw his long term future at the club unless they offered him silly money salary extension. I remain firmly in the not 100% Max fault, not 100% Ken Bates fault – just a fact of championsgip football. Some people think that just because the fans love the player that the player must also love the club and the fans back but the reality is that for players like Max who start from relative poverty and have many relatives to help and support to better their lives that money is a massive driver for them. No matter how much they like our club as an environment to work in and as much as they like the adulation of our fans the driver will always be money for as long as they can get it and the more money the better. I have no doubts that St Etiene can pay him more money (though I doubt Sochaux could have) and also the likes of Leicester and West Ham who supposedly were also interested. The lad's done well though for us and we've made a very healthy profit so no harm done and good luck to him.

  • Paddy1992

    Goodbye and good luck max.

    This is just another indication of a club too wrapped up in it’s past. Time to forget the glory days I’m afraid and start accepting reality. Not just for us as fans but for the club as a whole. We need to start spending. Just saying were Leeds united and were a big club doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. In league 1 we were a big fish in a very small pond but it still took us 3
    years to get out of it. Now were in a relatively small pond but there are bigger fish than us in it. Being a big club is no longer about history and former glories, no longer about following in the footsteps of legends as u walk through the tunnel and onto the hallowed elland road turf. It’s simply about how much Cash u have. Another season of mediocrity is upon us so why wouldn’t he leave? The choice is simple sign a contract and watch all your mates leave and be left playing with o’brien and brown or go somewhere that’s trying to match your own ambitions. It’s a no brained.

  • Gaffers

    half a day left. Do you really think the money will be reinvested ? Nope, it will disappear into the void as always !

  • Heats

    Can hardly blame anyone for this, he put the request in and wasn't shoved out the door. Bates/Grayson/Harvey can take no blame for this one. At least hold off the balme game/ name calling/ ousting/ general bs until we haven't signed anyone til 2014/2015 season (which is inevitable). Whats the difference between this and me leaving my current job to go to a better company for more money?

  • from the bunker

    i can stomach players leaving, its when they are done so close to the transfer window with little time to replace them. our squad is paper thin now, defence is still a worry, none of them have really ever plaid together(before this season), i think paddy, O'Brian have got injuries in them, the midfield is an injury away a winger missing, and another injury up front and we will struggle.

    when your down on your luck things go against you like injuries sendings off the like, but you make your own luck and in our case (or should i say mr bates case) we have made the squad our luck!

    lets hope for some transfer deadline day hope!

  • Tim Muz

    My opinion is that it has been left late so re-investment is difficult (a classic Mr Bates ploy), I hope to god that I am wrong and we spend big today but I think pigs flying are a more likely prospect!

    • We don't need to spend "big", just show some ambition.

  • Sean

    One thing I am completely unsure about is Lemande's statement for Sochaux when he stated that negotiations were at an advanced stage and that they'd had an interest for weeks. Advanced stage with who ? Ken Bates said Max would not be leaving unless a ridiculous offer came in – the offer from Sochaux £2m which was fairly awful and instantly rejected. If the negotiations were at an advanced stage but the offer was £2m and was instantly rejected by the club (after which Max penned his transfer request) were the negotiations in fact with Max' agent – this would have been a clear break in UEFA rules. Also I guess the question of what is a ridiculous offer – Simon Grayson stating Max was worth 3 or 4 times £2m – did the club in fact get anything near £6m-£8m ? Simply putting a price on a players head in my view is inviting someone to come and get him at that price but I could just be being synical.

  • Dean

    Max Gradel, like any player not playing for his home town club, but his future first, can't blame him for that. In terms of salary, he is worth a lot more that the rumoured cap of £9,000 per week at Leeds. He could I spupose have earned more from us in the Premier Leauge but how realistic a prospect is prmotion while Bates maintains his current no-spending policy? Not very I'm afraid. The transfer fee will go straight in Bates's back pocket along with the £8,000,000 we supposedly got for Delph.

    How much longer do we have to be grateful for Bates "saving" us??

  • gary

    time to boycott games,bates has lied and lied to us fans he is conning us selling our best player when he said he wouldnt ,what happened to the two foreign midfield players we were supposed to be signing last month as stated on lutv, the man is a liar and a joke simon grayson must seriously be considering leaving , time to boycott games this is the only way to get to this big fat liar

    • Dean

      Unfortunately I doubt a boycott would help. Rumour has it Bates owns (via a trust or some other vehicle) the freehold to Elland Road, so he will still happily collect the rent even if noone turns up. What does he care if we go into administration again? He'll just buy the club back for a quid again won't he?

  • Grenville Hair

    I'm hearing from a couple of good sources internally that Snodgrass is going for £4m by the end of the day.

    • Dean

      Hope that's not true. No Gradel and Sndgrass equals no hope of anything better than mid-table. Feel sorry for Grayson by te way, he's a good young manager and a Leeds fan but he's being asked to do his job with one hand tied behind his back. Must be tearing his hair out

    • jay

      Would not surprise me at all…sadly.

  • jay

    Another cash boost for Bate's pension fund…and another kick in the bollox for us leeds fans.

  • Grenville Hair

    I know people don't resign these days – not when they're earning six-figure sums – but Grayson would be perfectly justified in just walking out. It's old-fashioned asset-stripping, plain and simple. The money will be in Bad Santa's account in Grand Cayman before you can say 'pointless executive box'…bring back Bill Fotherby (not really, but that's how bad things are)

  • Matthew

    I can't wait for him to come back on Twitter, if anything I, like everyone else want to wish the man luck.

  • trueyorxman

    The real supporters should boycott the Scum game, how would that look on TV, an empty ER!! It won't happen though as all the 'fans' who fill ER once a season when we play a big cup game will be there to enjoy seeing a 'big' team, wankers

    • Bowden

      I was just thinking the exact same thing; especially after seeing the prices. Isn't the fat wedge from Sky enough Bates you cunt without putting the prices up nigh on 40%!?! I love Leeds, i've been to 373 games and i'm 29 years old, but I will not purchase anything to do with the club whilst ever that crook is still at the helm. We've got a load of bad lads in Leeds, surely someone would do him..

      • ross mccaramac

        at some stage the club will have to invest if they want promotion, with bates the question is when, if ever? i think until the motel is finished, we are aiming for mid-table security every year. boycott scum game.