Ken Bates sensationally reveals that Max Gradel was told he could leave at the end of last season after spending the summer reassuring Leeds United fans we wouldn’t be selling our star winger.

On the bright side, Mr Chairman does reveal the club are currently in talks with Ramon Nunez over a new contract.

Click play below to listen to the full interview. For anyone unable to listen to the interview on their device, please see Fax Man’s post on The Square Ball blog.

Courtesy of @MojoLUAFC

  • Peter Evans

    wow, kens a douchebag!

    • abcd

      no shit sherlock!

  • mojoluafc

    Well he said what i thought he`d say but this isnt in a bates out negative way. He`s explained what went on and i believe him. Im not pro bates so dont bang onto me about facts gone by, im just talking about THIS interview and the situation we`re in NOW regarding the transfer deadline.

  • Pleased to hear Bates reveal how much we got for Max and that it is available for Simon to spend.

    • TSS

      It's a strange one that, isn't it? Almost like he's been listening to fans and decided to extend an olive branch. The whole tone of his interview is a lot less smug than I'm used to as well.

      • mojoluafc

        I suppose he`s running a business and us fans are an integral part of the company, im open to all views but i believe if Ken said he has given Simon £100m some ppl would still hate him.

        • neil1964

          Well, that was the latest excuse for not signing anyone. We`ve had excuses for the summer debacle of transfers which just follows on from the January transfer window last season. Bit of a pattern dont you think?

          • mojoluafc

            There is a pattern, one which lufc aint a bottomless pit, we tried that before.

          • neil1964

            You would have to put your hand in to find out if it was bottomless.

          • Gryff723

            Well, true. But at the same time Grayson's been very close (in his view) to signing 3-4 players. So clearly cash has absolutely nothing to do with our failure to sign anybody.

            I worry about Grayson. He's good with a squad, but when it comes to transfers I think he lets players and agents give him the run-around. Might be wrong, but it's the impression he gives what with missing out on a host of players every time.

            Puncheon, Kakuta, etc. We could've had a legendary team and that doesn't come cheap. But the new plan of attack was to leave everything to the last minute, when player/agent demands would drop. Well, it failed completely.

          • felix slackbladder

            Gullible. The word was created for many of our fans. Bates holds sermon and you lot hang on his every word. Any wonder nowt ever changes. I heard all the lies and bullshit i expected. “Simons pot” the mighty “warchest”. When will you all learn. The day Leeds united is rid of that laser sighted decieptful bag of shit is the day we will continue our journey to the premiership where we belong with Bates butt against the wall in Broadmoor!

          • neil1964

            The ONLY thing that gives me hope about Bates is that surely Leeds United is worth more to him in the Prem than Div 2. Just wonder if he knows that.

      • I have to say that, although I want Ken Bates out simply due to the fact that he's made himself the subject of so much mockery and legal investigation in equal measure, I never believed the worst of all that's written about him. You'd think he was the devil incarnate judging by what some people write!

  • All sounds fair but can you believe a word the guy says.

    • neil1964


      • mojoluafc


        • neil1964

          You dont have to look too hard to for his untruths. But at least he owns the club now when he didnt before.

  • Whitefanman

    How much did we get for him then.

    • dalesteel

      £1,750,000.00 from my gathering

  • Durhamwhite

    I can't read this on computer, Is there a link?

  • Help

    Where's his interview?

  • mojoluafc

    Its the audio link, press "click play to listen to the full interview".

  • nostradamus

    Cheer up lads all is not yet lost;who says we have weak spine? The answer to all our weaknesses already exists at Elland Rd.
    Goalkeeper K.Bates (nowt gets past him)
    C.Half K.Bates (always puts the boot in)
    Midfield K.Bates (in total control gives nothing away)
    Striker K.Bates (never misses a cheap shot
    Referee K.B ates (i'm in charge, One wrong word and you're off lad.)

    • TSS

      Haha, brilliant.

  • Durhamwhite

    A really despise this bloke mind ya, a take anything he says with a pinch of salt and sadly graysons starting to sound the same to BATES OUT

    • TSS

      I like how you managed to write that in a Geordie accent! Kudos.

      • Durhamwhite

        A do try TSS you Yorkshire lads are the same ya write how ya sound, BAD SANTA OOOOOOT

  • Chareose

    Lets take ken at his word……………..its still not good enough, we arnt selling ourselves, we are not attractive to players and thats down to the chairman and manager to sort out….

  • kev

    Well to be fair to the old coffin dodger it's about the most sincere interview he has done in about 5 years at least and I agree with TSS that he doesn't seem as smug and arrogant as usual,maybe he's realised that the fans have had enough and the moneys gona stop rolling in if he's not careful,he still has a long long way to go to put right what is wrong !!

  • mojoluafc

    We have a pay structure and we`re sticking to it, its too low imo but the limit has been set.

    • Matthew

      The wage cap to me suggests Ken Bates is trying to syphon money off the club for whatever reason.

    • Chareose

      Im sorry mojo i dont buy that argument, never have……it comes from a position of nievety. Do you think Jason Punchean would have signed for peanuts ??!!! They know how it works perfectly well so i dont buy all that crap………………… ALSO CAN WE BURN THIS ON A FEW RETINAS = only the top 4 premiership clubs have higher ticket prices than us…………there is no excuse for this price to be so high ESPECIALLY when we are selling players and not spending any money !!!! So the old excuses about us being poverty stricken and sticking to our guns is just complete bollocks

      • Matthew

        I agree, I would also agree with the higher prices if we kept hold of our best players, and brought players in. There's no reason why we couldn't of signed a dozen players before the window closed that are of decent quality and not freebies.

        I'm sure people want to play for us, we're Leeds the best fking team in this league in every way, but I think the problem here is, we can offer someone say 12k, and someone else could offer 16k if not more, if we don't budge, what reason do they have for signing?

        We're on TV a lot yes, but all footballers care about these days is money.

        We need to meet players in the middle and give them a reason for signing for less money.

        • Chareose

          Yeah its called a sign of ambition……….a chairman that doesnt slag everyone off, a chairman that is humble enough to sell the club and himself to prospective players, a chairman who is humble enough to explain his plans to the fans properly and win them over…………….

          To be honest even if he did explain his property development ideas it still wouldnt make financial sense given the financial rewards that promotion offers……..the only logical answer is that hes trying to tart us up for a sale…….

          • Matthew

            Although I agree with you, I see little point of Ken Bates being chairman to begin with, he doesn't want to invest and he's just sucking money off the clubs name. Where is the passion? If you're going to be a chairman of any team, you should support the damn team and believe in the team enough to speand money. Not take it away.

          • Chareose

            Our future will begin when we find a new owner, then i can see players and agents being far more interested in Leeds United. Just a real shame for Larry, i beleive the guy is genuine and he really cares about the club but unfortunately his era as manager coincided with Kenny Bates

          • Matthew

            Again I agree, speaking of Grayson, I fully believe with a decent chairman behind him, he could have us in the top 10 of the Premier league pushing for a europe place.

  • NDG

    He is full of shit ! Max will be back playing in England within 18 months i bet u, how many frenchies go home whilst they are lining their pockets in England. The uproar if he had gone to a rival club was too much even for that thick skinned old dinasaur. BATES OUT


    Still find it far too convenient that we free up some spending money for Grayson just as the transfer window closes. Anyone worked out what our net transfer spend is over the last few seasons? Grayson should have a mini ‘war chest’ by now but is still looking in the bargain bucket for signings.

    Don’t trust anything Bates says.

    • Matthew

      Judging by the players that have left recently(Grella and Bessone) we have saved no more than 15k a week. Grella would of been on league 1 wages, Bessone would of been perhaps near enough 8-10k a week as Swansea wernt high wage payers.

      I'm guessing Michael Browns wages have sucked a lot of the savings from Kilkenny and Johnsons and a few other players wage savings.

  • JMO

    We will be signing 5 loan players at least……………….QPR did same and there is no reason why we can't go on a decent run…. MOT ''Keep the faith''

    Wayne Bridge, Jonjo Shelvey will be 2 of them I reckon.. :@)

    • ross mccaramac

      not sure how many more we can have. (o'dea and keogh already) three, i think. dont have to spend big money/wages to get in good players, trying other clubs apart from villa, blackburn and leicester and crap from n. ireland might help as well. the squad assembled has too many similar players no decent rb, lb and 1 dm. we will do well to finish mid-table this season. not saying we're that bad but lots of others have strengthened. please not sanchez watt again!

  • tim campbell

    So much for getting about 3-4M for gradel. Still £1.75M would still buy a couple of half decent players. Surely there must be some talent lurking in the lower leagues waiting to be picked up. Some scouting network we have!

    • Matthew

      Actually there is, that would involve Bates sending scouts to some league 1 and league 2 games. Not joking I've seen a dozen decent goalscorers in that league. Okay we're not after goalscorers(Forwards) but there has to be a dozen if not more untapped players in lower leagues we can bring in.

      We did it for a dozen of our squad members, like Beckford, and Snodgrass in the lower leagues of Scotland, I have no issues with the club picking up quality players from the crap leagues, they'l all be on low wages, and our wages would seem like a pot of gold to them.

      • tim campbell

        Think it was dalesteel from about half way up this page chareose. I never heard the amount myself.

      • tim campbell

        Matthew I agree its not that I have given up on the chance of us signing real quality from the higher leagues, but you get the feeling that a guy with potential from the lower leagues would give 110% to have the chance to play for us

        • Matthew

          As we can't compete for high quality players from this league and above. I think whilst Ken Bates is in charge anyway the lower leagues and freebies are all we will get as far as recruitment goes.

          Lloyd Sam is a good example of a quality player from a crap league, he signed because he had ambition and wanted to play for Leeds. As you said, dozens of players like him out there, we just gotta find them lol

    • Chareose

      Tim whos mouth uttered the words £1.75m ??? I beleive he was honest about Gradel but can you honestly beleive anything Bates says about money ????!!! Actions always speak louder than words mate………….

      Cant wait for Simon Graysons autobiography to come out in a few years time…….think of all the bull shit it will unearth

      • Matthew

        I agree, if anything Ken Bates has no credibility at all. He likely pocketed almost all the money off Gradels transfer.

        I don't believe Gradel went for 1.75 million, especially as the team who bought him signed him on a 4 year deal, you only do 4 year deals on players of value and players of value don't appear for 1.75 million from Leeds.

  • ellisno9

    He's dumb, he's blind, he's the pilot and were going down!

  • derbyshirewhite

    Just be grateful Becchio pulled his hamstring as the summer started or the old bastard would have had him melted down and sold to the highest cash bidder yesterday

    • Matthew

      No. Becchio is contracted to us till at least the 2013/2014 season.

      He signed a 3 and a half year deal late 2010. That means we have him till 2014.

  • Andy (Rotherham)

    Another failure Mr Bates….the fans are tired of your constant propaganda. If you were more transparant, there would be more trust and more interest, which breeds excitement and bigger crowds….just what we all want for this club, instead we have depression and cynicism.
    The game v Man United was a chance to show some compassion…but what do you do ? – You charge A category prices for a Carling Cup Game – Not for me !
    I was not present during the recent 'protests', but all the same, what right have you got to call them, and by association, all of us, as morons ?
    You are arrogant and self centered and slowly ruining this club Mr Bates…please go

  • Paul Daniels

    You either Believe what he said or you don't but either way here we are. We will do what we have the last 4 seasons and loan in players hopefully a center back and a striker with a nose for goal. I don't see any reason we can not go on a run of 10-15 games unbeaten. I understand the dislike for Bates, I am in the same boat but all this negativity is going to start affecting the moral of the team. We need to band together and support our boys. Bates makes a lot of good points in the interview we have a very good team and when we get Bechio back and a solid back 4 established (Loan, ODea, Kisnobo, Lee's) we will be fine.

    • Matthew

      Why do we need another Striker? Becchio is back in full training.

      • Paul Daniels

        Regardless of Bechio returning we still lack a second poacher that can come off the bench and get 10 goals a year. Nunez will do that from a deep position but we need to replace Somma's goals from last year.

        • Matthew

          No, I don't agree.

          I think you're over estimating the value Somma had on the pitch last season, he was underused and was mostly a supersub that came on and banged the goals in, he barely had many games last season.

          I believe Nunez and McCormack will make up Sommas scoring total.

          Now if we're speaking about replacements. We need one for Max Gradel.

          • number1inyorkshire

            you can never over estimate goals in football mins on pitch to goals for somma last year was as good as anywhere in football .
            same grayson had the same reasoning as yourself ..

    • number1inyorkshire

      there can only negativity from within ,they as footballers do not care what we think not one of them ,if there is negativity it is because they have seen one of the better players leave with his 18 goals ?? and the same has happened before they want to get to prem .for that they need better players .

      they will see no one coming and ask why ?? then think i will have to leave for better football ,,snodders next

  • Gryff723

    Very disappointed to have lost Max so cheaply, but to actually know the price he went for is a big consolation.

    Feels a lot better. Recently Leeds has been acting more like China than a football club…

  • mojoluafc

    I think Ken was confused, Luco is back in light training and wont be in the Palace squad.

  • mojoluafc

    Why do i have to log in everytime on my flash all singing all dancing XPS with windows 7,yet i get logged in automatically on my old faithful dimension on xp. ???

    • lar

      i have the same problem…dont think any knows.

    • Matthew

      Lately I keep having this weird problem of comments not fully loading. Like I could load a news post with 58 comments and only see 50 till I've refreshed the page a few times. No idea if its just me or a site error, I guess TSS can look into it if its an issue for anyone else.

  • number1inyorkshire

    Bates has been reading tss etc and he knows the fans are pissed and he knows we have a right to be grayson has 1.75 million plus wages of grella +bessone +gradel plus all the others that left +schmeicel 1.5 mill .

    they know the fans are pissed and what with the moron stuff they are trying to appease us ,this nothing more than we expected i feel well i expected it and grayson what he said too its the machine .
    what he fails to see is that the world comes right into most peoples front door or i phone etc we are more and better informed than we were we do not believe his propaganda or bullshit it was too little too late ,

    surely puncheons agent didn't just not ring .

    there was no plan b its too easy for him to say these things without other names or the players involved saying stuff too
    so nothing changes for me same old , same old groundhog day

  • tim campbell

    It was never this hard when I was Leeds Uniteds manager in football manager 2011 :D

  • Ron Galea

    "Simon's box"????? The only box we've seen is a hairy box which Bates rams his fists into every time SG attempts to buy someone. Groundhog day indeed (number1inyorkshire). All Bates and SG have done by coming out and saying anything is putting pressure on themselves to pull down a couple of quality Premier League players. I'm getting ready to ram my f*cking head through this screen if we don't.

  • Ken B

    Calm down you lot, I've spoken so now be good morons and spend your money on tickets, pies and shirts. I might even bring in a loan player or two to tied you along till I sell Snodgrass & Clayton in January.

    • Matthew

      Snodgrass and Clayton have over a year left on their contracts, if anything Bates will probably sell them both come this time next year, if he can't get them to sign new ones.

      Gah its so fking depressing.

    • number1inyorkshire

      ken b you really are pulling my strings now .
      but i have grown to like you over the last few hours .you are the voice of reason keep up the goo work

    • pnxb1019

      Come on Ken B …be honest!!! Nunez will be sold too in that January window. (Last day I bet too!)
      Good thing though is your supporters will still defend you , spend money on over priced tickets …you really do have it made don't you. I can hear you laughing at the numpty morons from here! You little tinker ;)

  • Rodge

    Blah blah blah. Bates your ruining this football club

  • Timothy Wilson

    1.3 mill net? Did I hear that right?

    • Matthew

      One newspaper is reporting around 2.5 million was paid for him.

      • number1inyorkshire

        by the time the levy to league and 17%to Leicester ==22%are paid it ==== 1.75 million so it looks like 2.5 mill was paid for him

  • krustytheclown

    il be forever grateful to ken bates for buying the club and stopping us from going out of bussiness, but having said that i think its also time for him to go we need some 1 to come in and reconise how big this club could be with a bit of money put into it, we have a great youth system and fantastic fans and if prices where a little more reasonable we would be selling 30,000 plus each game, we are a premiership club and no1 will argue that we just need the right man at the helm to give us that little push.


    ffs, Bates didn’t save our club! How come people still think he did? TSS, can you please do a blog explaining how Bates took us into administration and threatened to liquidate us.

    Been wondering why Bates has revealed the Gradel fee and I bet it is only because of the Leicester sell on clause that will no doubt have been made public allowing us morons to work it out.

    I still maintain that we should have told Gradel he was seeing out his contract and worked on getting him to sign a new one over the course of the season. £1.75m is not a good fee and we would have been better having him another season and letting him go for free.

    • number1inyorkshire

      its him trying to say it was good money 100.000 paid 2.5 mill paid for him 1 year to go .trying justify it to us cos no one came in and he also said it goes into SIMONS POT !!!!?????.
      that could have also been the public figure a number for Leicester it could have been more ..

    • mattbb1

      i think that wouldnt half be a good piece of journalism. And a good reminder as to that shocking episode where we couldnt sign any players for an entire summer (a bit like this summer) where the HMRC were on the verge of winding us up, and where at least 2 other serious bidders offered more than Bates, but were told by Astor Investments that they would only accept Bates bid and thence the voting process for the CVA was weighted towards Bates.

  • TonyYeboah21

    First time i've listened to Bates and believed him. He makes a valid point. We are lower down the food chain (especially when you factor in West Ham, Leicester and Brum distorting the Champ this year) and as such have to accept players good enough for the Prem will go there if offered a chance – Like Puncheon.

    Also the new 25 man squads should mean plenty of bargains to be had in the loan market we genuine prem players needing a place to play for a year and hopefully Leeds fits that bill nicely. Lets face it Citehs reserves could win us promotion. Lets see where we are in a weeks time…


  • mattbb1

    This suggests that we were expecting Max Gradel to go. So on that basis why all the bluff about we dont need to sign Mendy? or the much trotted out – we dont need to look at the forward positions.. I think like all good bullsh1t this is sprinkled with truth, but what i get from this, and from Graysons statemwent is that Ken has kept the dosh away from Grayson right up until the last minute and personally I think thats disgraceful. This is Bates' doing, and we're sat here with a threadbare squad as a result.

  • Craig

    Understand why Puncheon would choose a Premier club over Leeds but QPR on a 3 month loan makes one wonder what we offered him ?
    Puncheon re-joined the Saints after Blackpool's failed attempt to fight off relegation.[10] On 31 August 2011 Puncheon joined QPR on loan until 2 January 2012.[11]

  • Been

    If we missed out on Puncheon I’m glad we didn’t buy anyone.

  • jay

    The word of ken as usual is utter bull-shit!

  • Irving08

    Time to rethink the recrutiment strategy, I think. Grayson and Bates should take a leaf out of Lambert's book and eschew searching for players who, evidence suggests, are out of our reach, in favour of young players from a lower division with promise, for whom Leeds would represent a carrer advance.

    • normangunston

      entirely agree. Our best buys – Beckford, Gradel, Nunez, Somma, Becchio – have been the result of scouting players who desperately want a chance to step up and prove themselves at Leeds. The "Premiership quality" experiment won't work with our current budget anyway.

  • Irving08

    Excuse the typos !

  • Tyler75

    I think he doth protest too much – since when has Bates ever been transparent about finances ! I doubt very much that £2.1m gross, was what we got for Max (why would St Etienne put him on a 4 year contract if that's all they spent ?) and he will only pay Leicester anymore the absolute minimum in sell-on fees than he has to. Also no mention of a sell-on clause ?

    Would Clinigan and Lichaj have started instead of Lees and Clayton ? I also think we've got enough upfront without Max once Luciano is fit. However SG does need to address left-back and central midfield cover for Clayton and Howson in the loan market or with frees.

  • number1inyorkshire

    just listened to grayson saying he wanted to sign puncheon to replace gradel so what does that say about nunez or sam

  • TSS

    I don’t think it says anything really, I think he just acknowledges we’ve lost a key player and need to get numbers in. I don’t see that as a reflection on Sam who has always been a back-up and Nunez who can play a range of positions.

  • Odie Curran

    One word… Cunt.

  • Odie Curran

    One word… Cunt.

  • Arnar Ellertsson

    thats two words… but I agree

  • Domenico Peluso Massimilliano

    lying bastard…get out of our club!!!

  • Michael Wells


  • Richard Ford

    I actualyy belive what he saying for once

  • mlord

    Shocked at the number Gradel was sold for together with the trading terms particulary given Sochaux offered 1.8 M plus 500k in additions 24 hours earlier.