#05 – I will buy back Elland Road

One of the first promises Ken Bates made in 2005 was that he’d repurchase Elland Road to ensure the long-term future of our club. After all, without any assets all you really own is a pretty looking badge and a few sheets of paper that say a few players will run around for 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon wearing whatever illuminous sponsor-heavy shirt you put them in.

Some fans would argue Bates already owns Elland Road – I mean, why else would you spend £7m on the East Stand and millions more on bars and the “best conference facilities from Newcastle to Manchester?” As I’ve said many times before, you wouldn’t bolt a conservatory onto a council house.. Maybe Ken Bates would?

#04 – The Fabian Delph money will go towards the repurchase of our training facilities

When it quickly became apparent that Leeds United could not keep hold of youth sensation Fabian Delph, The Whites fans reasoned that his sale was for the good of our future – that if it would secure the repurchase of our training facilities as Ken Bates claimed, Fabian Delph wouldn’t be the last Academy sensation to grace the hallowed truth of Elland Road, and that, in this instance, the Chairman’s long-term thinking was not only justified, but also in the best interests of Leeds United Football Club.

Imagine our confusion then when, despite the Fabian Delph money and additional funds from the compensation received on other youth players, Leeds United had to go cap-in-hand to the council to try and secure an 11th hour deal. The council had issues with the lack of transparency at the club and decided against the bail-out, meaning Leeds United would continue to pay extortionate sums of money so the players had somewhere to train.

More ridiculous still was that only a few months after the failed repurchase, Ken Bates decided our training facilities had fallen into a state of disrepair and that Leeds United would be better off starting afresh elsewhere. “I didn’t want to play anyway, I’m taking my ball home…”

#03 – I don’t know who owns Leeds United (It’s not me, honest)

Following administration, Leeds United were repurchased by a mysterious offshore trust whose owners wished to remain anonymous. Ken Bates remained on as Chairman of course, because these new owners had seen what a stand-up job he’d done so far in getting Leeds United relegated to the third division for the first time in their history and putting them into administration – I mean, who wouldn’t want that kind of prudent leadership?

Many fans speculated that Ken Bates had in fact repurchased the club himself but was unable to admit it because this would make the repurchase of Leeds United F.C following administration slightly illegal. Ken Bates denied these claims, stating that he didn’t know who owned Leeds United and it most certainly wasn’t him! This was a vague, yet consistent statement from the Leeds United Chairman right up until the point he appeared in a Jersey court and told the judge he did in fact own shares in the club – something he later retracted. Understandable really, we all forget whether we own multi-million pound businesses from time-to-time, right?

Somehow, despite not knowing who the owners of Leeds United were, in the summer of 2011 Ken Bates managed to purchase the club from them. We don’t know the exact details, but in my mind, the Leeds United chairman had a secret “bat phone” to contact these illusive owners. When he said he wanted to buy the club he was instructed to deposit a briefcase full of cash in a busy public park somewhere in the Cayman Islands. Looking as inconspicuous as humanly possible when you’re Santa Claus’ living double, Ken Bates donned a hat, sunglasses and long, sandy-coloured overcoat to make the drop. Sure enough, a few days later these mysterious and not-at-all-dodgy owners, mailed him the papers stating he now owned Leeds United. A gentleman’s way to conduct business in the 21st Century if ever I heard it.

Of course, the alternative view is that he simply drew up some papers switching the ownership from the offshore trusts (him) to… well… him. Damn conspiracy theorists ruining my 1950’s spy-montage.

#02 – The mysterious transfer warchest

£150,000 spent on a goalkeeper, whilst £1,5m was received in transfer fees and the Fabian Delph money miraculously turned up in the shape of some East Stand executive boxes. This appears to be the sum total of the transfer “warchest” Simon Grayson has to work with. Scared yet West Ham? Yeah, you should be…

Not all hope is lost though, because Ken Bates says that we can attract a better quality of player to Elland Road because of our “competitive wage structure!” What do you mean Ipswich Town outbid us for Keith Andrews? Pass me the razor-blades!

#01 – “Without Ken Bates, there would be no Leeds United Football Club”

The sheer ridiculousness of this statement shouldn’t require me to add anything further, but it seems Ken Bates’ propaganda has been well and truly absorbed by many Leeds United fans.

To those who still believe Ken Bates “saved Leeds United” let’s track back. When Ken Bates’ mysterious offshore backers bought us out the second time, there were several other bids on the table which all offered more money than Ken Bates’ and were the preferred choice of every creditor, except the mysterious offshore one (you’ve spotted the theme, right?) that somehow decided they’d prefer Ken Bates in charge of the club despite the fact they’d lose several million pounds on the deal. HMRC were quite upset by this, as was everyone else, so much so that a CVA couldn’t be agreed and Leeds started the following season on -15. Job done, Leeds United saved!

As for the first buy-out, it’s quite possible Leeds were facing administration if Ken Bates didn’t come in and “save us.” The only problem with that one is that we ended up in administration anyway! Hardly my idea of salvation. Had Leeds gone into administration under Krasner, this would have given potential suitors the chance to purchase Leeds United, rid them of debt and invest wisely to get us straight back into the Premier League where they could sell for a huge profit. Instead, we got Bates and three years of League One football. Good times.

It’s also worth noting that the only person who ever suggested this club could cease to exist was Ken Bates, when he threatened to put us into liquidation if he didn’t get what he wanted. All hail our saviour, hey?

44 Responses

  1. Paul1019

    TSS Thanks mate. Especially for point #01 and the 'He saved us line' I thought I was going mad!

    I thought I was living in a different reality , I remembered all of this, as you described it , in quite some detail but an awful lot of my fellow fans were trying to convince me of a totally different reality ,another world were Ken Bates was a decent man , was not an obnoxious oaf and actually saved the club.

    it was like 'lost' I was having to seek medication to try to blur out my reality. I am so glad somebody else backs up what I knew to be true. Thanks for that . Trouble is you will never convince the numties , they have their memories , totally wrong of course. I was right all along , the emperor really didnt have any clothes on…yikes thats a horrible thought

    • TSS

      I end up in arguments with people claiming he "saved Leeds United" all the time. It can't be good for my health.

  2. leeds_lad

    Oh come on TSS ……… only 5 ? BATES OUT ! The parasite that is Bates must be removed from Leeds now !

  3. pabs1983

    I want to know why we haven't been subject to a buyout, or even speculation of one. Leicester and Blackburn both have relatively new owners, who want to invest money. Surely when they were looking for clubs to invest in, they would have been able to get Leeds (no stadium/training ground/etc.) for the same kind of money (if not cheaper).

    We must be more attractive to potential owners than Leicester as our fan base is already huge, we are a single city club (even more potential fans) and we have rich history.

    • @superjhoops

      No, because our asking price is £90m, despite our independent valuation being £45m.

      Furthermore, we don't own our stadium or training ground, so a buyer wouldn't be purchasing any assets.

    • TSS

      I'm planning to avoid any mention of Bates. I want it to be – by and large – a celebration of our history, not 200 pages of Ken Bates rants.

  4. dalesteel

    Ken Bates thinks he is a good business man, Maybe at running an haulage company, but anything that requires more substantial commercial knowledge then no! He is stupid!

    Let me explain…

    Here is a man whom grand scheme for Leeds is to build a nice new hotel. For those of you who don't know Leeds, Elland Road is situated in the less than glamorous part of Leeds….. Beeston. Therefore anybody with a brain, is going to take a trip into the centre and see what glamour is on offer there, where there is something to do, other than to stare at an empty stadium!

    Still I digress, What sort of businessman makes enemies within the atmosphere he trades. Week in, week out all you will here from the bearded one is more self endulgent tittle tattle slagging off Fifa, FA, Managers, Players, Agents, even complaining about the cost the police charge??? This is fine, until one day simon sees a player he really wants, but guess what we cant get him because Bates has managed to rile his agent to the point of no return???

    These my friends are not the sign's of a 'good businessman'

  5. TimCampbell43

    Kenneth Bates Esquire looks very like Count Dracula in that picture without the fangs. They fell out after sucking all the lifeblood out of our club

  6. pabs1983

    Yesterday i made a comment on a post about Ismael Miller been available for loan, and today bates is slagging off a agent of a big striker whos club made him available until xmas.

    Could it be that this striker, who in my eyes would be perfect to keep paynter out of the team, is the one whose agent bates has no upset?

  7. TimCampbell43

    Can anyone tell me is there any danger of our match on Saturday being cancelled because of the recent unrest? Hopefully that yob mindset has'nt reached as far as Leeds.

    • TSS

      Nah, wouldn't have thought so, Leeds has been fine.

      West Yorkshire Police wouldn't allow it to escalate that far anyway. Have you seen the manner in which they treat fans – regardless of whether they're involved or not – when it kicks off at ER? There'd be no "containment measures" or any of that nonsense, they'd go in with full force and kick seven bells out of the little tossers.

      • TimCampbell43

        Quite right TSS I'm from Northern Ireland and am well used to riots of another sort. Its made my blood boil to watch all these incidents on TV and in some strange way I believe our beloved Chairman would be the ideal man to front a committee to deal with aforementioned knobheads

  8. @LUAmericas

    We don't need 5 things #1 is all we need you also forgot when it looked like Bates may loose the admin fight to another group he & his cronies stated publicly they would liquidate Leeds United rather than loose why the Bates apologists ignore this fact is beyond me.

  9. Mark__R

    Old man Bates is from a different era of football ownership, when transparency was not something to be aspired to. In todays world transparency in business & communicating openly with clients / the market is standard practice. Being bloody minded and not caring how he treats the media and fellow football industry colleagues reflects poorly on himself and the club, and is the road to isolation. KB lets himself and the club down on these fronts. The forthcoming BBC documentary will reinforce this and he'll become even more defensive.
    There are so many questions around his ownership, investment into the squad, influence on player recruitment, his former Chelsea colleagues as part of the Senior Management team, what happened to the Delph money, the cup run money etc. He could turn it all around tomorrow by being honest about all this and answering the fans questions. Principly why did he buy LUFC and why try and hide his ownership ? What are his objectives ? He needs to convince the fans he understands and knows what our expectations are, and how we'd like the money from match tickets and LUFC merchandise invested . Anyway .. time for a cuppa. MOT

  10. Peter T

    Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says the club missed out on adding a new striker to the squad until January because of the greed of the players agent.

    Should be
    Tight fisted Chairman screws up the playing side again


  11. number1inyorkshire

    lets be right all football clubs are insular leeds no more or less than others on most things ,undisclosed fees for a start need to be outlawed .
    I am 100% certain that kw b has broken admin,laws as are many more people ,,and there has been more than 1 tax evaded ,he never saved our club he has raped it ,,.
    i hope that protest and many more work although it does have to be law abiding and civilized .
    we should all be writing ,emailing local mps ,hmrc,and anyone else who can kick off an investigation into bates and his takeover at leeds ,this is the one thing that can bring bates down
    i won't be there sat good luck chaps and chapeses ,let battle commence

  12. Carl Pearson

    Just out of interest when this crusade is over and bates is gone , then what? Because I hear no rumours of potential buyers queing up , if someone does get the money together what are they buying we own nowt apparently ? What about money for players ? Bates spends little we know that but how do we know anyone else can/ will? Everyone is talking about ending the Leeds &bates business partnership ? But nobody anywhere seems to have another plan in place , if there was a concrete offer or genuine interest from elsewhere that would improve things I think most would be over the moon but there isn't is there? It's a serious question I'm no expert I know what I read that's all !

    • oldlufc

      One of Bates stated priorities is "To attract investment". Until recently no-one knew who owned Leeds Utd so how would you be able to invest. It is OK Bates saying the club is now financially sound but where is the evidence, does Bates really own ER and TA? If Bates now has a 70% controlling interest who has the other 30%?

      There are just too many unknowns at the moment for anyone to come forward and 'buy' Leeds Utd. This is a major reason why what has gone on at ER needs clearing up.

      Just ask yourself, would you do business with Bates?

  13. catterickwhite

    We can all whinge till blue in the face but until we as fans do something about it nothing will change. I for one am making a stance – the only way we will ever get rid of Bates is to hit him were it hurts, in his pocket, therefore i am boycotting future games. This decision is not reached lightly cos i love leeds united with all my heart & soul, but its cos i love leeds so much that i have decided on drastic measures. I am not so naive as to believe that many will follow my stance and i understand why,but i truly believe its the only way to rid our club of this lying, thieving leech! Marching on Together

    • Tony C

      DITTO ! hitting him in the pocket is the only way to get his attention £25-30 a ticket + £4.00 quid a program
      x 5 -7,000 x 22 GAMES = Around 3.8 million that would get his attention
      expecting the loss of Snoddy or Max before the transfer window closes the old Bates trick of selling at the death and saying it was too late to get anyone in and the undisclosed fee disappearing or is that just me being cynical ???

  14. stevekinsey11

    Is it just me or with the collar and the fangs does KB not look freakishly like an aging vampire in the photo at the top of the page here? Been sucking us dry so long now nothing would surprise me ;-)

  15. oldlufc

    The bearded one was desperate to ‘invest’ some of the money he received from Abramovich when he sold up at Chelsea. So desperate that he tried to buy into Sheff Wed but they were wise enough to reject him. So he turned his attention to Leeds United who were desperately seeking new investment at the time. If I remember correctly, Bates ‘bought’ into Leeds United with an investment of circa £10M, he is also on record as stating that he did not conduct ‘Due Diligence’ at this point, the sign of a shrewd business, I don’t think!. At this time the debt was down to circa £20M after the previous regime flogged off everything from TA, ER, players and of course got rid of Ridsdale’s beloved goldfish! Approx 18 months later, after a series of public announcements criticising the former board for anything and everything Bates put the club into to administration with debts of £37M. The administration process was flawed, not least the emergence of ‘new’ creditors, i.e. Yorkshire Radio, at the 11th hour to ensure a CVA was obtained but this was challenged by HMRC. To get around this ‘difficulty’ the CVA route was abandoned for a ‘straight sale’ conducted with improper haste, even though this contravened FL rules and was to have significant consequences with the 15 point deduction. Almost immediately the scam of “I don’t know who owns the club” started” coupled with classic lines like “I don’t take a salary”. It was the ‘unknown owners , the major offshore creditors, who refused to do business with anyone but Bates. Other potential bidders were not allowed to see the ‘books’. How KPMG did not see through all this nonsense is beyond me, how the football authorities allowed Bates to take over the ‘Golden Share’ to allow Leeds to compete in the Football League is also beyond. You do not have to be Einstein to smell a rat in all the shenanigans at ER. Does Bates strike you as a person who would work for free? How many of us do not know who we work for? I believe, the major offshore creditors and Bates are 1 and the same, he may well have a couple of ‘partners’ in all this, hence the reason the recent purchase was completed so quickly.

    Putting the club into administration was huge gamble because Bates and Co stood to lose an awful lot of money if they had to accept 50p in the £ or whatever the agreed price was from another buyer. However, if Bates retrained control…………it would ensure the major creditors get all their money back

    The PLAN

    1. Ensure Bates retains control of the club – done

    2. Fleece the fans, by playing on their loyalty, for every penny you can – done

    3. Limit investment in the club to the bare minimum – done

    4. Siphon off any income generated from transfers, TV money, Cup Runs, Membership schemes – done

    5. Dress the accounts up to hide the fact that money is flowing out of the club – done

    6. Keep the fans happy by throwing them a titbit every now an again – ongoing

    Examples include:

    The priority is to buy back TA/ER

    We are going to redevelop ER

    Simon has a transfer warchest

    The club is now being run properly and is making a ‘small’ profit

    7. Temper serial 6 with:

    Greedy players and agents are the reason for the lack of transfer activity

    Leeds City Council caused the buyback of TA to collapse

    The ‘official’ Supporters Club has never done anything for Leeds United

    Anyone expressing anti-Bates sentiments are ‘dissidents’

    Ban the Guardian and now the BBC from ER

    As much as I welcome the recent recommendation, and that is all it is, by the Parliamentary Committee I firmly believe that any inquiry, if it even gets off the ground, managed by the football authorities will not uncover the truth as they are as culpable as Bates in all this bearing in mind that they are on record as saying that they were satisfied with the answers they were given regarding the ‘ownership’ question, not that they pushed that hard to get answers.

    The retention of control of Leeds Utd, and subsequent events. should be subject to a SFO investigation. Bates. if he has nothing to hide should welcome this as it will clear matters up once and for all!

    Although dubious of Bates motives post administration, I gave up completely on him after the -15 points debacle when he told us that the club had a strong case, wasted £m’s on legal fees and was less economical with the truth in failing to mention that the alternative would have been a further relegation to L2. Now I do not believe a word he says – unfortunately many still do – after all he did SAVE Leeds Utd – yeah right!!!!

    • Tony C

      Top Post Fella, it tires me out listening to all these "Bates saved the club arguments" he's a crook always has been going back to the 60's and the British Virgin Islands and the Allied Irish bank and he's still at it you can only put the facts out there if people want to believe they will or they will stick their head in the sand

  16. @leedshippriest

    Bates is an odious crook of the highest order. The pro-Bates lobby among the Leeds fanbase need to wake up from their self-imposed vacation from reality, and stop supporting the dirty little man.

    He did not save Leeds United, but let us suppose he did for a moment. How long can he lunch out on that ? How long before his lobby will stop and criticise Bates ?

    The fact is that the only "success" is a promotion to the Championship under Larry, but all that achieved was getting us back to the same League status as we had before Bates.

    The pro-lobby will be telling us next it's down to Ken we beat the Scum

  17. Irving08

    All the same I do not oppose him. I'd rather have him in charge, if it can't be us, than (a) a Russian oligarch, who has stolen publicly owned assets and the pensions of millions of Russian citizens, (b) an oilman from the rectionary and corrupt feudal kingdom of Saudi, (c) an American sports money man, with no roots in our game, who will have to pull the plug when the dollar finally ceases to be the world's reserve currenc (d) the Chinese government (via a suitable holding company), In other words, Bates may be a so and so but he's our so and so….and actually I think protest is self-indugent and injurious to the team. Get back to the football is my advice.

    • ross mccaramac

      bates is nothing to do with leeds and i dont give a f about other clubs owners. any protests have been a long time coming. BATES OUT

      • lufcnutt

        BATES OUT…………The Old B$%$%%^d…..Come boro we should all stand up and scream till the roof comes down…..half time no pies just we want bates out…..?

  18. David Wetherall

    It was nowt like that in my time at Elland Rd. Howard would not have stood for it. Bates does not care about people, ask the harding family. The man is a leech. What worries me is the punishment Leeds may recieve when its proved shortly that he owned the club the whole time…. He knows hes on borrowed time so why would he invest a penny. Sell what assets there are left though? Yes

    • number1inyorkshire

      your time David what does that mean ,are you telling us you are the real David wetherall of leeds united fame and Bradford city hero .
      i doubt a man in a fantastic job at the FA would be so outspoken regarding living chairman or otherwise at a current football club

  19. Leeds aren't we.........phill

    Well done TSS this has just re-affirmed what I already knew and followed in much depth several years ago!! I have gone to great lengths to try and convince people that bates never saved us and merely took “advantage” and as you say, we went into administration TWICE and was relegated for our efforts with a points reduction!! Is this what those fickle fans call saving us!!!

    Bates out…….

  20. Gibbun

    These are all interesting points, but can anyone tell me what will happen when Bates dies? He's 79 now, he's can't have that long left. Is there a natural successor or will it go to a bidding process?

  21. mattbb1

    Leeds is a privately owned company, so it will form part of Bates Estate. HE may have left it to someone or else its just open to offers. I imagine like Doug Ellis at Villa, Bates will hang around until he feels like he can do no more. There are f course (coughs) other investors and they may make offers for Bates share. Step forward Ben Kates, Kan Betes and the exotic Teak Holdings. I think though he'll have sold well before then.

  22. Peter

    Proud dissedents t-shirts need an update, moron is the flavour of the day it gets worse than Leeds United marketing on here;)

  23. RedGenesis

    Ah, if only there were a fit and proper person’s check on owners. Sorry Leeds, you’ve been shafted. The sooner Father Christmas is meeting his maker (which ever one it is) the sooner you’ll be safe from his clammy hands and return to the Premiership… good luck!


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