Austerity, austerity, austerity: it’s all we hear these days, banging into our skulls like a claw hammer on a piece of string or Ken’s regular Yorkshire Radio diatribes.

A not unintentional link, as you may have already assumed.

The bearded one’s spent most of the last decade largely out of step with the times – living a life of sun, sea, and tax-evasion somewhat akin to an older, less sanguine Ray Winstone in Sexy Beast, with a few added court cases and hotel/leisure facility master plans.

Judging by his track record of desperate stabs to stay in the public eye as a media rent-a-quote on almost any topic, you can safely assume he’s seething with resentment while the younger, richer, hipper, but invariably less garrulous rule football’s roost.

But things are changing. Roman’s been throwing away billions in bad loans, top division outfits with proud histories can’t find a sugar daddy for all the coquettish glances on earth, and the a-word just chimes on and on. It’s gone from individuals to entire nations being urged to batten down the hatches, tighten those belts, sew up those wallets…oh just stop f***ing spending, alright.

We know how that feels. We can only assume the fabled Warchest was buried for safe-keeping on a Greek island.

With the Keynesian economics of spending your way out a recession clearly out of vogue, Ken, on the other hand, is surfing the zeitgeist like a man half his age.

Recent stats you can find buried lower down in this blog proved what we’d all suspected anyway: our turnover’s massive, our wages as a percentage of that are low, and when sales and purchases are totted up, we’re well in profit on that front too. Who cares that the defence is still more than somewhat shaky, we could use quality competition in the middle and more pace in the side, when we’re kerching-ing it in during a global meltdown, right? Right?

Ken’s like Robert Peston and Martin Lewis rolled into one – he’s got this recession game down. While everyone else is getting bailed out, Ken’s sitting up on high accusing the masses of being freeloading morons.

What’s nonetheless surprising, though, is that he doesn’t seem to be reaping full advantage of his moment to shine – a chance to project himself as some kind of recessionary hero for the masses.

This age of sweeping cuts and entrenchment seems to be calling for a mean, sweary Santa telling us all there will be no presents this Christmas, it’s all for our long-term benefit, and we should be thankful for him stepping in to tell us this before we reached the abyss.

Ken doesn’t often miss an opportunity to puff himself up to anyone or no-one listening – Christ, the guy went to the trouble of buying our football club for seemingly exactly that reason. Incidentally, this leaving of a quiet life of ill-gotten gains for ‘one last job’ – to our bad luck – also quite nicely mimics Ray Winstone in Sexy Beast, but I digress.

What I’m saying is this: if Philip Green, a fat, tax-dodging, Monaco-loving curmudgeon can be appointed as an advisor on national spending, then there’s little reason why our fat, tax-dodging, Monaco-loving curmudgeon has been overlooked for such high office, despite his obvious credentials in grinding the bargain basement.

Maybe the reason he hasn’t made his pitch for immortality is simply the fact that Ken’s all about Ken, and anything that could potentially detract from Ken – the macro-economic issues of the world at large, for example – would only muddy the waters.

Why be Austerity Hero first and Ken second, when you can be Ken first and Ken second, on a radio station owned by Ken with Ken as producer and script editor? Yes, it’s all for one and one for one at the lighthouse in the economic storm that is Elland Road – Atlas Shrugs, Grayson works his balls off; we lurch on with him, more in hope than expectation.

  • Chris from Wakey

    It is not unreasonable to state that Mr Bates does not seem to a likeable (or liked) man. It is also reasonable to state that Mr Bates runs Leeds United for his own financial gain and that the fans / morons (me included) are only a means to achieve his own targets. Or to put it another way – Uncle Ken doesn’t really give a s**t about Leeds United it’s just a way to earn a (very generous) living.

    On the other hand. We are now fifth in the table in spite of a pedestrian squad who very often show a marked reluctance to get in oppositions faces or pass the ball to their team mates – although we do have a few really good players it must be said. Yes some investment in one or two quality players would give us a great chance of promotion even though this might mean less money spent on executive suites in the East Stand.

    But the point I am trying to make is that other teams in this division who have spent money like lottery winners aren’t doing as well as us, and Uncle Kens deal with Schmeichel and Lonnergan only consolidates his austerity approach. Maybe Ken, in spite of his natural objectionable-ness, might just be right?

  • Henry V

    After they way other teams looked down on us after the ‘meltdown’ it is nice to be financially sound at last.
    Since our demise, many other clubs, in all Divisions, are looking over the precipice!
    Ken’s firm grip on finances is needed at this time, as the World heads for another recession.
    Our team does need a few additions, and that is up to our manager to pick the right ones.
    I believe we will strengthen, with the Chairman’s full backing.
    I wish we could hold on to McCarthy in goal.
    You know what you get from Ken, and rather him than the ‘chicken pluckers’ at Blackburn.

    Onward and upward.

  • bremners barmy army

    the fabled warchest is sat waiting at the cryogenics facility in Switzerland awaiting his bloated old laser sighted corpse. Monaco’s Kenneth Ebernizer Bates Scrouge is taking it with him and thats a fact me heaties. Signed captain Birds eye Bates

  • Len

    It’s quite refreshing reading something where the comments aren’t ill-informed Bates-bashing. Yes he’s a horrible man, but he’s also not just kept us solvent but financially stabilised us (albeit through his own greed).

    Bates in!?

  • Dje

    Isn’t Ray Winstone is line to play the part of Ken Bates in the forthcoming, ‘Being Ken Bates’.

    I know John Malkovich was originally casted, but he is sadly too tied-up at the moment starring as Roman Abramovitch opposite Boris Berezovsky in the fabulous ‘Oligarchs at War’ production (currently at High Court, London, to tour later in the year).

    • number1inyorkshire

      lets get some one we like more than bates at least to play him not winston he is a hammer let me think who do i like more than bates .
      Fred west is dead ,i know someone with a beard —Josef fritzl i prefer him to bates ..

      • Dje

        Sepp Blatter is interested – but only if there’s a black & white minstrels number somewhere in the production [“Boy, I looves zem guys, der zo funny, yar!”]

  • Will23

    Atlas may well shrug, but Bates is no John Galt.

    And as for “Marching on with Grayson” that is very much less in hope these days given he is unable to fashion anything resembling a coherent football team, but only one reliant on moments of individual skill and/or luck rather then anything skillfully engineered on the training pitch.

    Thankfully for Grayson, so far, whilst the sum of our individual parts has not formed a team, we can still get enough results to keep Grayson from the dole queue.

  • mattbb1

    If we did get a benefactor in to replace Bates you do have to hope that it isnt some fly by night exotic type, like Leicester have. I mean what motives are there for buying loss making businesses – then compunding their losses by spending more than the businesses receipts?

    That said Ken seems to make more than enough out of Leeds and we seemingly see that evaporate every year. I dont see him as a pioneer – although Im sure he would like to see himself in that mould, just as someone in it for himself.

  • San Miguel Malaga

    I still find it amazing how the Bates apologists stick to their guns. Yup – the bloke sent our club into administration, with all its 15 point conseuquences, after getting on old mate to be managaer, who was totally out of his depth.

    He then threatened to make sure our club ceased to exist unless he was voted back in. And this is without forgetting local businesses he screwed, HMRC etc etc.

    Since then he has balanced the books by selling any semi-major talent and all youth talent we have had. In a dire league, where just a slight bit of shrewd (as he portrays himself) investment in just a couple of players would give you an extremely good chance of going up AUTOMATICALLY and thus bring in 60 million quid for just one year in the top league – he instead chooses to spend it on improvements to by far the most impressive and modern stand in the entire ground. The one which needs it least of all.

    I won’t even go into his antics with ‘morons’ etc.

    Yeh. Fantastic running of the club. Plus we can add the club’s first-ever spell in Div. 3, which should have been one year, but in the end thanks to one man’s dealings ended up being three. Etc. etc. etc.

    Yeh. Just fantastic.

    Don’t say that ‘cos other clubs have spent more this season and are doing even worse justifies Bates’ seven years of disaster. It doesn’t.

    And personally, when it comes to money and owners, I’d much rather be a Blackburn fan right now.

  • Ron

    Let’s not get head of ourselves. Ken Bates will be investigated by the HMRC before the year is out. The warchest may just be spent on legal fees.

    • Gryff

      No change, then?!

  • Matthew Jolly

    Batesy aint it about time u did the honorable and pop your clogs or crash that fucking yaught of yours

  • Andrew Morton

    January transfer window will be crucial for Leeds, it will show where we are heading. Come on ken, time to back SG like the Leeds fans do.