Leeds Saved From Evil Property Developer Coalition TSS October 24, 2011 Leeds United 68 Comments It’s not hard to picture the smug smile stretched across Ken Bates’ face as Simon Morris was sentenced to 18 months for blackmail. My mind paints a picture of the lying, deceitful, megalomaniac property developer laid back on his sun-drenched Monaco balcony as Jeeves, his servant, fetches the 18 year old bottle of Scotch he’ll use to celebrate the demise of his former nemesis. Meanwhile, Simon Morris is being introduced to his cell mate Frank and his ridiculously large stockpile of Vaseline. Luckily for Morris, Frank assures him that he’ll be “looked after” during his time behind bars. “Finally, a lucky break” Morris thinks… Some may suspect sympathy from Ken. After all, he’s suspected of far worse with a list of allegations ranging from money laundering, to tax evasion, to destroying the evidence he (and his merry band of heavies) seized from the Irish savings bank he once owned, that – like most of Bates’ business ventures – didn’t work out too well, leaving a sizeable list of angry Irishmen digging through a list of offshore banks and shell companies to try and ascertain where their money went. But sympathy is not something we expect from Leeds United’s loveable chairman. His programme notes and next Yorkshire Radio interview will no doubt remind us how lucky we are to be owned by a crooked property developer clever enough to avoid criminal charges, rather than one whose amateurish mistakes saw him lose everything and end up in prison. As hard as it may be to hear another “I saved you” rant from Mr Chairman, he perhaps has a valid point in this instance! Morris and Bates’ vision for Leeds United wasn’t all that dissimilar in that their plans focused more on the property potential than they did the sporting sideshow they have to tolerate. In a parallel universe somewhere I suspect Simon Morris works side-by-side with Mr Bates, learning all the tricks to successfully dodge tax, hide money and exploit “grey areas” of law/football/ethics. Imagine for a moment that Bates and Morris weren’t sworn enemies and that a meeting of minds led them to unite, using their combined evil to build a property empire around the crumbling Elland Road stadium that surpassed both of their wildest dreams. With one evil property developer reaffirming the others narcissism, I doubt we’d ever sleep easily again. Unlike Bates, Morris is relatively young too meaning our torment could continue for decades to come with Mini Me taking the helm when Bates’ reign of terror comes to an end. With that in mind, perhaps the inevitable “I saved you” rant will be easier to stomach. Bates’ failure to spot a kindred spirit in Morris, whose resources could have helped fund his evil empire, is something we should all be thankful for. Mary PMSL. I have no idea how you get away with this stuff! John I think you are becoming very boring now,look at the league table,look at our financial situation and take a look at what Krasner and co did for us and the joke of a documentary on who owns Leeds United,incidentally paid for by us through the TV licence.Why not take the cops attitude We`re Leeds United we dont give a fuck!!!! TSS I have a season ticket in the Kop mate, and the attitude is by no means one of indifference – hence the “get out of our club” chants every game. How can you complain about the BBC using public money to fund a documentary in a sentence defending Ken Bates – the man who is suspected of robbing the tax-payer, public services and many small businesses of millions with his administration scam the Inland Revenue are still pursuing. You see the irony, surely? Banning the BBC and Guardian only made him look guiltier. If you can sleep easy despite suspicions laws have been broken at Elland Road, covered by offshore companies and shell companies then that’s fine, but your wasting your breath complaining to the rest of us – your in the minority I’m afraid. PS. What relevance does league position have? Can we complain when we’re doing worse. Also, you have no idea what Leeds’ financial situation is, none of us do, because like everything else, it’s shrouded in mystery. The public accounts we’ve all seen tell us nothing aside from what the company wants you to see – every business does that. That’s why they’re so vague. Irving08 As the man said, ‘I don’t believe you’. Go electric young man. LeedsForLife So it seems it was going to be Morris or Bates. Morris is a convicted blackmailer whose financial foundation has turned out to be non-existent. Bates has been convicted of nothing and the entire case against him is unsubstantiated rumour and accusation from people who just really don’t like him. And you want us to believe we’re worse off with Bates? The administration was not caused by Bates. The club was bankrupted by Ridsdale and Krasner did not improve that situation (and neither could he; he’s an insolvency practitioner; he was there because the club was already insolvent. Is that really so hard to grasp?) The small businesses lost money because they were unwise in giving credit to the club under Ridsdale – an easy mistake to make, it seems, but their mistake nonetheless. If any gave credit to the club under Bates they were even more unwise since the club had by then been in the hands of an insolvency practitioner who’d disposed of most of the assets. Small businesses don’t get money back from insolvent debtors – which Leeds Utd was when Bates took over. Administration was going to happen, whoever owned the club. Some of them would have let the club die of bankruptcy; Bates didn’t. Krasner clearly wasn’t able to prevent it dying. Morris has been proven untrustworthy, so it seems a fair assumption he’d have helped it along, in his desperation for money, and redeveloped the site by now: Revie Crescent and Bremner Close, perhaps? The Radebe Ramada? You say the club’s finances being shrouded in mystery is what ‘every business does’ (which is certainly the case and entirely legal, proper and necessary). So why are you implying Bates or the club are doing something hugely improper by that? Keeping the BBC and Guardian out is not ironical, it’s just keeping malevolence at bay. Would you let people who hate you into your home, when you know they’ll be economical with the truth about what they see when they stir up trouble for you? Tell you what, why not complain about stuff that might be real and might actually matter when the lads are out there on the pitch. How about how badly the team’s doing because of lack of investment? Regardless of what goes on in your bit of the Kop, the majority of Leeds fans don’t like Bates or the ticket prices but they don’t really care if he owns the club (or how) so long as there’s good football and progress back to the top where Leeds Utd belongs. oldschoolbaby Excellent, incisive, thoughtful comment. Paragraphs 3,4 and 5 are points that desperately needed to be made and explained. Mark Anthony No John, you’re the boring one. League position, financial situation, no alternatives blah blah fucking blah… Stop ignoring the facts and repeating Bates excuses. LeedsForLife Which facts are those, then? You mean the rumours and insinuations, unsubstantiated accusations, suppositions and guesses? The vitriolic bileous rantings of blind hatred, perhaps? If Bates is ever convicted of wrongdoing, you’ll have some facts to bleat about. Until then, you’re just pretending there’s something real to support your bitterness and hatred. Maybe you should stick to moaning about ticket prices. At least they’re a fact. Mark Anthony They’re more accurate than the facts you’ve added below. You should learn the basics before trying to belittle others. LeedsForLife So your previous reply to John wasn’t belittling, wasn’t it? So which basics do you think I need to learn about then? LeedsForLife On second thoughts, don’t bother, Mark Anthony. I’m off to the pub. chareose “look at the league table” jeesus its amazing just how simple minded some people are…… KEN Bates has NOTHING, ZERO, FUXX ALL to do with our league position, As Chairman hes invested sod all of the 5th highest season ticket revenue in the country on the football team ! The league position is down to Simon Grayson and Leeds Uniteds waning attraction that can still pull in the best of the bargain basement ! Can someone tattoo this reply to this guys forehead so he may finally catch up with the rest of man-kind…….. Irving08 Excuse me, but who appointed Simon Grayson ? As for responsibility, you have to give KB some credit for insisting (ever so obliquely) that we make better use of homegrown players. And I would conjecture that the salary policy to which he has held firm has at least prevented team spirit being undermined by prima donnas. Trig Its called freedom of speech! Something kb does not believe in.unless its him speaking that is. Chicago White Whats the difference between Morris & Bates ones a thuggish blackmailing abusive bankrupt businessman & property developer and the other is starting a 18 month prison sentence number1inyorkshire will we need to keep hold of our manager now after SVEN WAS SACKED lazza an ex player EW So of the ‘other bids’ to Bates for buying Leeds in 2007 we have Simon Morris on one side who is now a bankrupt and in jail, Cliff Stanford of Redbus who is also a convicted criminal and duncan Revie who turned out to have no money (or not the amounts needed). In short any of the other bids would probably have lead to us also being bankrupt and going through additional trauma. I think at the moment I prefer the devil we know despite not liking it. TSS You realise Bates bankrupted the club and put us through all that anyway, right? That’s the problem – he rigged an admin process after that and left us with the Inland Revenue and Government looking for their millions owed. Had the others been forced into admin I sincerely doubt they’d have been able to scam the process like Bates did and come out as owners of the club, that’s the difference. Irving08 So your complaint is that Bates is smart ? LeedsForLife Bates did not bankrupt the club. Ridsdale did. That’s why an insolvency practitioner was in charge of the club after Ridsdale and before Bates. Bates put the club into Administration to get the club out of bankruptcy. Mark Anthony Leeds had already been in administration, Bates did it again to clear the debts he, and he alone, had built up. This is the problem with Leeds fans, they make stuff up to suit their own agenda and Ridsdale is a convenient excuse for everything. LeedsForLife Hmm. I’m not sure which bit of what I wrote you’re actually disagreeing with or correcting. Or what the relevance of your point is. LeedsForLife Oh, yes, now I see what you’re saying. So it took two adminstrations to sort out the mess, you mean? It might never have been possible to achieve a satisfactory outcome of the first administration. It’s a complex process, of course, involving many parties with different and conflicting interests. It can only be achieved by getting all of them to agree, but that may mean having to go along with things some creditors insist on even though they are contrary to the long term interests of the debtor, the club. That way, bankruptcy is averted, but the debtor is still in trouble. I think that’s what happened. If the debtor is later able to declare that a second administration is essential, perhaps because the terms it was made to accept for the first one were too unrealistic, and can do it when it is able to dictate the terms of the second administration on the basis of “it’s this deal or we have to close our doors and you get nothing”, then that’s an opportunity for the club to come out of the process without an intolerable burden. Now, I’ve put that as a hypothetical proposition, because I wasn’t there to see it’s what happened, obviously. However, it seems to describe what happened. So do you think there’s something inaccurate in that hypothesis? Also… why does it matter greatly if it took two bites at administration to free the club of its debts? And… it remains the case that the club was already bankrupt when Bates took it over. He didn’t make it that way. Gryff That’s a purely technical point though. If he bankrupted Leeds it was because he couldn’t afford to pay off all our debts. He’s no angel and I’d like to see him leave, but those debts were racked up by one groups idiotic ideas while in charge of Leeds… h At last someone hits the nail on the head, Bates put us into administration to serve himself, wipe a debt he had run up out and retain control. ie club for nothing! number1inyorkshire leeds for life or leeds for bates as i will call you !!! SOMEONE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD mark Anthony i think when he said “we always blame risdale ” Thats a long time ago our latest plight ,admin,relegation ,etc etc ,has nothing at all to do with risdale ,its squarely at the hand of bates .there is a very public list of companies he has done it to . thats why bates knows he cant spend money because if he does it again at leeds he is finished ,because he has blamed everyone else ,look in the mirror is my advice to him .. finally on this Bates says “you cant borrow money for players but you can for building ” well let me tell you i run a business and wanted to extend not any one would lend money in this country and certainly not over £7 million to a man who has had more administrations than KPMG . That is our money he is spending not a loan . so the big thing we all need to remember BATES IS A LIAR Gryff TSS has always kept the Bates subject critical AND constructive. So long as it stays that way its not boring. If you’re not interested, skip to the next article! LeedsForLife Yes. I can’t help arguing with TSS because I’m sure he’s significantly wrong about something important, but I think he’s a real star for running the blog and just having the arguments. He may be wrong, but he thinks he’s right about something important and he’s doing his best to make his point and to argue it. Can’t do better than that. Better than ClarkOneNil was; he just seemed to get rude, sulk and delete anything he didn’t agree with. Sometimes, anyway. What happened to him? Tyler75 Its certainly worrying that although Bates rigged the admin process, we could have ended up with someone as bad and equally as interested in feathering their own nest at the expense of our glorious club. Its enough to send shivers down my spine to think that Bates could be the icon for a pack of like-minded worshippers – The Demonic Church of Bates – Hopefully he’ll gather his followers in the new Hospitality suite and go for a big Waco style ending. Tyler75 Also foreign ownership is no panacea – for every City, there’s a Blackburn and now a Leicester. With wealth comes impatience. Although MON has been installed as favourite for the Leicester job, its disconcerting that their owners cited Sven’s lack of experience at this level as a factor for his sacking. With his Leicester connections, how long before SG’s name appears in the frame if MON doesn’t fancy it ? Colin I think football is all about one thing – money. That’s what everyone’s after. As a result, the game is run by people who don’t really care about football, but care about themselves. All of them are as bad as each other. Players, Agents, The FA, The Football League, The Premier League, Sky, Chairmen, Board members, Journalists. Okay, I know that David Conn’s heart might have been in the right place and he genuinely had a concern, but you have to ask yourself the question why David Conn has spent so much time investigating and reporting on Leeds and not on someone similar like Luton Town. My guess is Leeds sells newspapers and gets internet hits = profit. Who was Krasner before he got his hands on Leeds? No-one had heard of him. He soon got his publicity. Even MP’s get on the act – I’m pretty sure that Damien Collins has never been to Elland Road. With a club like Leeds, you’re always going to attract goons. I’m afraid to say that all the gentlemen have left football. There are no more John Charles’ out there. He was a good guy and he ended up penniless and knackered and spent his last days in Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. Football didn’t care about him. We shouldn’t even be talking about this arsehole Morris. He’ll be out in a year. And then back doing what he does best – making money at other people’s expense. It’s not just Leeds. Money and bastards are rife in the English game. It makes me sick. Andrew M OK, I get that Bates owned LUFC all along (never doubted it for a minute) and I have no doubt he also already owns Thorpe Arch and ER, hence no interest in ‘buying’ back when he couldn’t bilk the Council out of lending him the money to pay himself. What I don’t really get – if I’m honest – is why supposedly intelligent people in government, the FA (questionable) and the courts don’t see it as clearly and do something about it. After all, his ‘administration’ ruse allowed him to walk away from millions in tax liability in what was nothing less than an outright fraud. No wonder he’s got that stupid smile on his face. Wouldn’t you?! LeedsForLife Because Administration is not a ‘ruse’. It’s a highly legal and moral process that allows a bankrupt business to survive and its creditors to get a bit back instead of nothing. Becoming bankrupt is what’s wrong, not going into Administration. Blame Ridsdale for that; Leeds was already bankrupt when he left. oldschoolbaby I think. though I`m not sure, that I had a comment containing the word psychopath deleted. It wasn`t meant as a term of abuse. I was attempting to point out that a LOT of successful business people have a bit of conscience missing from their brain hardware. MOST businesses have psychopaths in the hierarchy. Successful people regardless are normally characterised by energy, optimism and work ethic. They`re not usually affable, visionary, public spirited people blessed with too much objectivity. Which is a long winded way of saying I`m sorry but a lot of the Bates out fans are somewhat naive. Should we not expect a tax exile to use offshore companies to manage his business dealings ? Do you expect an old man to come up with a bold new plan to redevelop Elland Road ? Or could you not anticipate him simply regurgitating the, frankly stupid, ideas he had during a previous business venture ? Do you expect a grumpy old man to hold out an olive branch to the fans ? Or do you expect him to be a grumpy old man OF COURSE WE DESERVE BETTER BUT, people have to realise that not many people, outside of the Man City boardroom, have the spare cash to buy Leeds. The banks won`t lend anyone money to buy Leeds and thank God for that. The absolute nightmare scenario would have been a Morris like character having bought Leeds with borrowed money. I don`t think I`m exaggerating in saying that would have meant the complete demise of Leeds United Unpalatable as it might be we have no alternative to Bates. In my view we need to focus on his positives ( and there are some ), unite behind the club and March On Together Tyler75 I think Bates is more sociopath than psychopath ! oldschoolbaby My point isn`t really about an adamant assertion that Bates is a psychopath. We had an Iraq War. And no one thought about what we would do when the war was won. Now we have a Bates out campaign. And I can`t see much evidence of thought as to who might take over. My point is more to do with the fact that a kindly, benevolent, extremely wealthy Leeds fanatic replacement is basically a pipe dream Matthew Its probably worth noting to those saying look at the league position that it doesn’t mean anything at this time, we can easily drop to the bottom few with a few losses and self destruct, it shouldnt be a basis for Ken Bates supporters to say lay off him lol number1inyorkshire there is no evidence that any of the people mentioned above were ever gonna buy leeds ,alright they were linked in the media and of course morris was here before but thats all we know .. Bates might be better than that lot ,we will never know in real terms ,but there would have been others and they WILL have been better .. bates bankrupted our club and put us in admin .who did he ask about that ,who did i say shall we put em in admin to ,remember he didn,t know them ,and he could have lost them millions … this is all a virtual world of who ,what and why noone will ever know . the only thing we do know is we have got bates and in my opinion we got the bum deal .. darren27 A part of me agrees with the boring comment. Bates charging £36 a ticket for a home game is a real issue, for sure. But outside of that we are stuck with him and potentially in an ok shape. ok for leeds is good compared with times gone by. But looking at why we are in ok shape is of great credit to grayson…. I went to the Peterbrough game and went through the team with my mate after and correct me if i’m wrong but Ross is the only player in that team who commanded a transfer fee….the reason i say that is due to this website (don;t get me wrong I love tss!) continuously giving grayson stick for his tactics, substitution decisions and so on (probably the same fans around me who we slagging lloyd sam off on sat despite him, in my opinion, being the game changer). Why don’t we look at where we are now and (ticket prices aside) look to put all of our energy in to getting behind the team and simon grayson? number1inyorkshire i would rather have SAM than snodders just my opinion . Irving08 A somewhat eccentric assessment, don’t you think ? According to an article I read today in the Scotsman, Snoddy has the most assists of anyone in this Division. Personally I would pay the entrance money to watch Snodds, playing at his best, alone; amongst other attributes, he is one of the few genuinely two footed players left in the game. I like Sam and, in some circumstnaces, would play him before Pugh; but he cannot hold a candle to Snoddy who is, by some way, the most skillful permanent player on our books (I rate Keogh too). Matthew On the subject of transfer fees, we paid Manchester City for Adam Clayton, the exact amount I can’t quote offhand though, wasn’t much though. Also although he wasn’t playing, we got Lonergan on the cheap from Preston, had Preston still remained in the Championship we would of been expected to pay at least an extra 0 on the amount we paid. And we’l be buying Danny Pugh in January, not for much though. John I never said i was a fan of Bates and since he took over i refused to pay his ridiculous prices and gave up my season ticket for the simple reason i couldnt afford it ,but didnt Bates take the debt on from Krasner who sold everything that wasnt nailed down,and which the docu conveniently forgot to mention took a nice little sum out of the club along with his very law abiding allies i.e Morris and Richmond ,wasnt Levy another one.Where does Mr Ridsdale come into this who is still on tour now at Plymouth, a man who where ever he goes bankruptcy is sure to be threatened.Bates is Bates but at least we know what he is unlike the other snakes you seem to not recognise.Back to the docu and one statement mentioned ,Bates bought Chelsea for a £1 and sold it for £17 million as if he had done something wrong Sounds good business to me lets hope he does the same here but doesnt sell to a dodgy Russian ,ooops only Bates is dodgy Matthew Bates also left Chelsea with a huge amount of debt with his Chelski hotel. He isn’t the lord and saviour of Leeds United, if he fails again he’l leave Leeds with a huge debt too, and where is this mysterous billionare going to come from when our club is on its knees when Bates is done? LeedsForLife Pleae explain why you think the club will have big debts. Do you think it has them now? Or Bates is going to become spendthrift? number1inyorkshire leeds for bates its exactly the same model at leeds as it was at chelsea they were in over £100.000 000 in debt and ready to GO OUT OF BUSINESS WITHIN HOURS IF NOT MINUITES .. where will bates get his money to build his unneeded hotel etc etc .that will cause debt which noone else will take on . the only good thing about the recession is noone will lend to him now especially at his age Matthew Thanks for answering him Number. You pretty much gave every valid point there, fact is if Bates gets his way, we’re going to be in trouble just as Chelsea were. EYLeeds Still can’t believe that any Leeds fans can defend Bates’ running of our club. He has lied repeatedly to the fans and shows absolutely no respect to us. I completely appreciate the need for financial prudence if we are to progress as a club in the long term but we could have achieved that under an owner who doesn’t treat the supporters like dirt. Bates’ obtuse attitude has probably scared off plenty of investors and his unprofessional manner is a disgrace and an embarrassment to Leeds. I agree we are probably stuck with him until he has built up a big enough nest egg at our expense, but he could at least show some respect to the loyal fans who are funding his lavish lifestyle. Irving08 Bates, we all agree, has an unattractive, bullying side to his nature. But a liar ? You mean over the ownership ? So far as I know, this is just an allegation, and he therefroe benefits from the presumption of innocence. And he should he be proven to have been the owner of this, that and the other all along, we could still have a substantive (ie not procedural) debate about his ownership. In other respects, he has has always seemed to me to be refreshingly politically incorrect, whatever one thinks of his views. The side of him that I personally find objectionable is a tendency to bully. Skippy26 I am also a season ticket holder in the kop and the earlier statement regarding getting the so called Cockney/Ch***ea bastard out of our club isn’t even sung by a majority. So opinion is divided and not even 50/50. Our squad is strong enough and evidence is showing we have the team to launch a decent promotion challenge. SO LET SUPPORT OUR TEAM AND STOP BLEATING ON ABOUT THE SAME OLD SHIT. MOT Pingback: Leeds Saved From Evil Property Developer Coalition – The Scratching Shed | Property Developer and Investment News() The Loan Ranger DO ANY OF YOU ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED AT YOUR CLUB if it wasnt for krasner, morris and co bates wouldnt have even bid for leeds you idiots he rejected the chance when they were in the debt they took on even though they didnt have a pot to piss in between them it was them that negotiated our debt down to £5m in case it slipped your notice it was also them that didnt reclaim their loans to the company when bates took over originally but it was ken bates that took is into 35m debt after that, a dodgy administration, we are still saddled with some commitments from and relegated us to league 1 with a 15 point deduction. since then he has continued to syphon money from the club, under invest in the team and improve a stadium he doesnt own. really how thick do you have to be to not have noticed any of this???? it doesnt matter whether we are 1st in the league or last oldschoolbaby I may be thick but I am blessed with curiousity. If Krasner specialises in insolvency wasn`t it his job, and actually to be expected, that he negotiate the debt down How, exactly, did someone as notoriously tight fisted as Ken Bates accumulate £35,000,000 of debt ? Likewise. if he`s intent on syphoning off money ( presumably to pay for a coffin made of dried unicorn phlegm ) why bother with any stadium redevelopment at all ? Your accusations seem mutually contradictory to me LeedsForLife Reducing debt is certainly what an IP would be expected to do, and Krasner did it thoroughly. He did not go so far as to shut the business down, though he must have known how thin the ice was; in his own way he did the club a great service. Unfortunately, Krasner sold off so much of the assets that he rendered the club unfunctional, with a hopeless manager and a squad of unsellable overpaid mediocre disinterested journeymen players, and with nowhere near the ability to survive in the Championship. Having done that, he didn’t have any idea how to continue operating the football club; that was beyond the limit of an IP’s expertise. When he’d sold off all the assets he could the club was still heavily in debt. It was still very clearly and chronically insolvent, as it was when he took over. He could have declared bankruptcy, closed the club and sold any property the club still owned to settle some of the remaining debts, or he could have passed what was left, with its large remaining unpayable debts and trading liabilities, to a new owner. The only credible one willing to take on such a monumental basket case was Bates, and if he hadn’t taken it on the bankruptcy and closure were probably inevitable. Of course he waited until Krasner had got the debt down as far as he could. Why wouldn’t he? He’d have been daft not to. And it suited him to take over the club right on the brink of disaster (and maybe to take it even closer to that brink), because he could use that to force the hands of the creditors so the debt was effectively written off, the essential step to returning the club to viability. Krasner had done a lot to reduce debt, but he’d thereby reduced the club to an unfunctional level, without actually off-loading all its trading liabilities (big wages and interest on debt, for example). It was inevitable, therefore, that the succeeding owner would have to increase debt to keep a very unviable business operating while he turned it into a viable one. Bates did that turnaround by wheeling and dealing to off-load the debt – which a hard-nosed businessman with the right skills could do, but an IP could not. It wasn’t pretty or nice, but it was what the club needed. john I seem to remember Krasner and co taking a million pound out of Leeds before they left,didnt they sack the groundsmen but had pink champagne in the board room for the match day refreshments, something Big Bad Bates reversed immediately after taking over.You got to remember Ken is 80 and vastley overweight so be careful what you wish for i dread to think who he will leave it all to when the inevitable happens , maybe someone who knows nothing about running a football club … and before you reply remember no debt , strong squad and in the top 5 ,he told us at the very begining that success wouldnt happen overnight.A couple of fridays ago we went to Doncaster and played some of the best football for a long time and we were winning and what do we get in the background,chants of you chelsea bastard get out of our club,that could almost equal the scum fans shouting for the heads of their american owners ,cos what have they won since the yanks arrived. Matthew People would tolerate Ken Bates if the ticket prices were fair, and if he invested in the team, there’s a reason fans despise Bates, and its not just because he was at Chelski. Si The debt was created by bates and the other 2 offshore companies which he no doubt owned that made up 75% of the cva. This wasn’t real debt, it was fictional debt and was created in order to gain control of the process Simples Beene So in the event that Leeds have a succesful season, I presume many posters on this site would then be dissapointed? Or you would carry on regardless? oldschoolbaby Fictional debt ? That`s an interesting concept needing further explanation. Yes, we all know there are issues on which Bates needs to be taken to task. Statements of the obvious don`t tend to further debates. But he`s a driven man who thrives on confrontation. The baseless criticism and mindless abuse will only make him worse. Genuine issues such as ticket prices and the viability of hotels will get lost in the white noise. LeedsForLife Spot on! I try to argue strongly that Bates’ takeover of the club very probably saved it from extinction, his wheeling and dealing and tight management have turned it from a ruined basket case into a very viable business and football club, he’s been highly beneficial to the club and he still is, but I can’t say I think he gets everything right. Ken Bates isn’t a model of innocence – and thank god for that, because the club desperately needed and still needs someone to fight tough and mean on its behalf (even if he benefits by that at the same time). ‘Bates Out’ is stupid, because there’s not the slightest sign of a useful alternative. If Bates walked away today, as many of the posters on this blog would presumably like, the club would be in a desperate mess and highly vulnerable to exploitation by less scrupulous people than him who would be far less prepared to fight for the club’s interests. The uncertainty would wreck the growing confidence and immediately plunge the club back into trouble. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t important things to worry about right now. Ticket prices. Attendances. Contract renewals. Ground development versus squad development. If all the effort that was put into just hating Bates was directed towards supporting the team and reminding him that there are some immediate matters that we think he’s getting wrong, we’d have better club morale and a better chance of success on the pitch, and we might even be able to get the old man to engage with supporters instead of forcing a wedge between him and us that makes that impossible. Irving08 If I may be permitted to moderate this fascinating debate, I would say that Leeds for Life and OldSchoolbaby have won fairly comfortably. I think the debate should now move on to the substantive question (my phrase) of the club’s business strategy. Here I see clear issues around which a ‘centre’ can be built such as ticket pricing, the balance between purely footballing and other considerations (hotels), to name but two. Mr Bates and his colleagues need to be challenged in a business-like and grown-up way on such topics. We could, for instance, ask him to allow some of our thoughtful posters to put their point of view in the club’s programme (excluding the ‘historical’ question of the club’s ownership). We could call ourselves (after a Russian political grouping of the 1990s – the analogy is not far-fetched), ‘The Alliance of the Constructive Forces’ (sounds better in Russian). LeedsForLife Constructive dialogue between Bates and fans would be great. Unfortunately, any open dialogue cannot exclude those who would quickly turn it into a destructive one. He knows that, so he’s not likely to get involved. A moderated dialogue could cut out the don’t-think-just-hate-Bates people who would ruin it, but who would moderate it? The Official Website could easily accommodate a Q&A section, where questions could be submitted and moderated (by the club) against stated rules (eg must be polite and not personally offensive). The club or Bates himself would be able to cite ‘business confidentiality’ or ‘subjudice’ if it didn’t want to answer a question, and we’d soon get the idea whether they really want to engage constructively. Irving08 Of course, moral issues remain – which is the strong ground of the radical, thoughtful opposition. But perhaps these can be parked, to be raised obliquely – say, in inviting Mr Bates to debate his heroine, Ayn Rand (to understand Bates at the rational level, strongly advise bloggers to borrow her last novel, Atlas Unshrugged, from their local library). Bates is an auto-didact, surrounded, I surmise, by lesser men; he needs the challenge. Maybe we should do block booking for his Xams dinner with the lovely Valerie…. oldschoolbaby Not convinced we will reach the top of his to do list, especially with the 90 day rule. If he wanted to invite us to Monaco I`d have to check my social calendar. In truth I probably have a little more sympathy for the anti – Bates lobby than it seems. What really riles me is that if you didn`t know better you would think, to hear them go on, that there were Saudi princes, Russian oligarchs, the board of Microsoft and the Kaiser Chiefs with their piggy banks queueing to the 621 all desperate to throw money at the club. Just a hunch but I think the hotel development stuff is an itch he has to scratch. I`m more annoyed about the ticket pricing. Why more corporate facilities when we`re heading for recession? If we`re to make football affordable for those with limited disposable incomes then logic would dictate a limited return to terracing. Bates relishes a fight. He came from a humble background. He must have some affinity for the working man and young people saving hard for a mortgage deposit. Taking on the government and football authorities on this issue would win him a lot of friends where he needs them most Chris Worsman oh no is that 3times he’s saved us now Andrew Pinder the stadium is coming on great, the team not too bad either Chris Worsman stadium or hotel? leedsrus Whoever wrote this just think this man has a family and feelings like the rest of you. If you knew him well enough you’d realise his born and bred in Leeds as are all his family. His Father his grandfather were avid Leeds supporters. Its these comments that make me ashamed i’m from Leeds.