At the time of writing, our latest poll shows 90% of 2,251 Leeds United fans have no confidence in Ken Bates’ ability to take this club forward. Protests were held last Thursday and ahead of our Championship clash against Ipswich Town on Saturday and after seven years at the helm, the vast majority of fans are ready to take action.

Quite what that action should be however is a highly contentious and unresolved issue. As ever, Leeds United fans are at odds with one another and struggling to find common ground. Some think the protests should be as vocal and visible as possible, hoping to garner media attention and force the issue into the minds of the general public, whilst others believe such efforts are in vain; that Ken Bates will soldier on regardless and that such actions risk destabilising an already shaky team.

The truth is, both sides make a fair argument. Whilst I’ve seen nothing to suggest the performance of our team is in anyway affected by unrest in the stands, it’s impossible to dismiss that argument completely. I’m sure the players know this isn’t about them and if they did have a problem with the protests, wouldn’t they have released a statement calling for calm by now?

We can’t say for certain either way. We’re all just throwing opinions around in a non-constructive manner and it’s achieving nothing. That includes the protests themselves.

The trouble is, the protests send no clear message. The only reason people gather on mass to shout about something is because they know the local/national media will take an interest and their message will be spread to a wider audience.

Working in London, I’m ideally placed to gauge opinion from the wider public. This morning, I arrived at work and the general consensus seemed to be that Leeds United fans were throwing a mass tantrum because their captain has been sold.

Is that the message we were trying to send? Because I can fully understand why people have come to that conclusion.

The problem we have now is the same problem we had last time. There is no leadership, no organisation leading the charge and spreading the fans message. In creating a club owned Leeds United Members Club, Ken Bates sought to put an end to the democratic fan organisations we’d relied on previously. It is these organisations that are best placed to gauge opinion, speak for the majority and work on a constructive plan of action.

There is no hidden agenda, any Leeds United fan can join, voice their opinion and then everyone unites behind a common goal. It’s not perfect, no one ever claimed democracy was, but it’s certainly more constructive than the haphazard approach we’ve taken so far. You’re not always going to agree with the majority decision, that’s life, but fans should stand shoulder-to-shoulder regardless. I doubt there’s ever been one example where employees of a company unanimously agreed with industrial action, but they’ll stand together all the same.

After seven years, we may finally be making some progress. Many fans have turned to the Leeds United Supporters Trust for leadership, who in turn balloted members and found the majority were in support of the “Bates Out” campaigns.

As the wheels of democracy slowly grind into action, LUST has arranged a strategy meeting for 19:30 tomorrow night (Tuesday 24th of January) at The Magic Sponge where members and non-members alike can gather to voice their opinion and try to agree on a way forward.

For me, this is how it should have worked all along. A democratic supporters club has finally stepped up to take the lead and offered all fans the chance to have their say. Whether you agree with protests or not, I strongly recommend you attend the meeting tomorrow night and get your point across. After all, there’s little point moaning once something has been decided.

Democracy rules and whatever plan LUST sets out tomorrow night, I’ll back it to the hilt – regardless of whether I agree with it personally. That’s the only way we can address this issue in a constructive and positive manner.

Marching On Together! 

Photo Credit: Alex Knight Photography

  • DanSumpter

    but we ARE throwing a tantrum because our captain has just been sold, if he wasn’t sold, there would have been no protest on thursday night or saturday…. I know there are other reasons that we protested but that seems to be the Catalyst…

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @DanSumpter It was certainly the final straw for many people, but the wider public seem to think it’s the only issue. This campaign has been festering for seven years now, we need to get a better message across than we are at present.

      • DanSumpter

        @TSS yeah i know, just saying that in a way they are right… that’s exactly what it was. I for one don’t agree with all the protests n stuff but i do agree that the LUST is the best way forward in dealing with grievances against Ol’ Kenneth.

        • paulclarkeonenil

          dont want to sound ignorrant but where is the meeting ?

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @paulclarkeonenil The Magic Sponge, 19:30

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @paulclarkeonenil Not got the foggiest. Medical is obviously tricky when he’s already carrying an injury, there may be some negotiations over terms of his contract too but they’re in the unusual position of not needing to rush so it’s not all that surprising really.

        • Gryff

          @TSS@paulclarkeonenil Hearing the rumours of the inbreds who think themselves in the know, Howson agreed terms on Fri/Sat.

          Don’t know what the holdup is but nobody I’ve heard is too concerned?

        • mattbb1

          @Gryff@TSS@paulclarkeonenil lets be brutally honest, i cant imagine joining Norwich is setting Howsons pulse racing, he will be in no hurry to do this, if i was a cynic.. I’d say he probably also wants to deliver that message to the fans. He hates Bates probably more than the rest of us now. He has every right to say – actually no – I’ll stick around and see out my contract, I wonder if he will?

        • Gryff

          @mattbb1 Unless he likes sheep? And farmers? And weird accents? And 50 fecking buses for every stretch of road? And an inability to leave or arrive without first spending 24 hours driving along country roads or taking a two-mph train?

          The feeling getting to Peterborough is always similar to me as when you get a train from Holyhead and finally get to Chester – back in civilization!

        • mattbb1

          i have to admit that if I was in his position and really wanted to stick it to Ken Bates its exactly what I would do. Hell get his games from March onwards, and then a premier league move end of the season – the only loser is Ken Bates.

  • mattbb1

    i also think that if anyone in that group has the skills to engage investors – then they should step forward. I cant sadly go, with my 7 week old son, wailing almost as loudly as Ken when he gets a bill from the WYorks Constabulary for matchday policing. But definitely the right thing to do to get this moving. I note we are after Richie Wellens according to SSN to replace Howson… that on its own will turn the remaining 5% or so against the bates regime.

  • mattbb1

    apologies, for carrying on but there needs to be almost an exec committee formed, including those with the requisite professional skills, Solicitor, Accountant, Banker and a package created whereby we :- A.) Prove there is a sufficient amount of turnover and cash in this business to make it worthwhile investing in b.) Prove Bates is making a royal hash of it, and is not a long term bet c.) Engages said potential investors, ensuring they are fit and proper. This way we effectively line em up for Bates, hes no fool he’ll take the right price, but him being him, 99% of people have no doubt got bored and given up after 6 months of him.

  • http://www.hebemedia.com/ leehicken

    I agree with everything you say here and a lot in the comments above. Speaking as a Leeds fan, LUST board member and ambassador for the city, there needs to be a considered approach to what we are trying to do. The problem is much bigger then the Howson issue and I would argue that it is also much bigger then the immediate financial position of the club, there is something wider here and it needs to be addressed. I hope the meeting tomorrow night begins to form the basis of the strategy to push Leeds United forward.

  • derrysdouble

    Surely the best way of exposing Bates is to uncover who owns the ground and who owns them

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @derrysdouble The problem is how?

      These offshore companies hide trillions of pounds of assets and cash. Governments can’t break them, how on earth do Leeds United fans plan to do that?

      • derrysdouble

        @TSS Howabout the fake sheikh approach, a fake investor ??

      • Gryff

        @TSS@derrysdouble Luckily we wouldn’t have to, if we could get rid of Bates? We have an agreement to repurchase the Stadium (and I think TA, which doesn’t matter as much) no matter who owns it.

        We just need Bates out.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Gryff@derrysdouble I presume that is void if Bates has since repurchased it? Or are we working under the assumption he’s owned Elland Road – or at least owns stakes in it – all along?

        • derrysdouble

          @Gryff@TSS yeah I was just think we get somebody in waving wads of money around and get him in with Bates and see what pops outa the old braggarts mouth. If we could find out he’d definitely lied about that all along then there would be uproar and maybe even contempt of court issues

        • Gryff

          @TSS@derrysdouble Well my reasoning (based on how I understand the situation) is that Leeds United has an agreement for repurchase. If Ken Bates bought it back, it would have to have been through LUFC and we’d know about it.

          Either way, he hasn’t and so surely if he sells LEEDS UNITED (sorry no bold key) would still hold the buy-back agreement. After all, the sale was from Leeds United and whoever bought it, not Ken Bates and whoever sold it?

          In that case, Ken Bates is doing a Dr. Strangelove – “Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy… the fear to attack”. I honestly don’t see why buyers would be scared off by not knowing who owns the facilities if I’m right.

          BUT it’s the fact that they do seem scared that’s important.

        • Gryff

          A @TSS After all, the sale was from Leeds United and the purchaser; not Ken Bates and the purchaser*

  • Macca007

    I’ve been scratching my head for several days with regards to how things could become more co-ordinated and have real impact rather than one off media sensationalism which becomes unattractive to Sky et all as time moves forward. The LUST approach is very sensible and will at least provide me with the personal justification I’ve been searching for renewing my West Stand ST – cant stand the thought of Bates pocketting a large % but there again White Rose Centre on a sat afternoon is equally problematic, why should I give up a 43 year old labour of love (thats not the wife!!). I cant be there tomorrow as I’m in Scotland on business BUT if its agreed that funds are needed in the form of say a membership fee to make the approach have max impact then I for one will be pleased to write a cheque!!! Lets all march forward together UNITED on this one

  • derbyshire white

    Problem is that having stripped the club of every asset it owns Bates has ensured there is little to interest a potential investor in the company other than the gamble of acquiring some more overpaid footballers who might be able to get us into the Premiership. Its clear Bates is not a reluctant high roller who needs to be persuaded to spend more. He doesn’t have the means of a Mike Ashley for instance. To make matters worse in his dotage he actually seems to welcome the publicity, good or bad, as it gives him a sense of importance that compensates for his relatively limited wealth and status in the game. If Bates were persuaded to sell up for £15m what would he do with the money? Build a statue of himself in Monte Carlo? He’d prefer to have 10,000 people in a crowd outside ER chanting Bates Out with all the national press in attendance. I fully support this campaign but we must avoid giving the old bugger more of what he enjoys most.

  • Gryff

    I still say that we we need a government petition. Even if it is slighty vague, getting over 100,000 voters who will come largely from one area (a key area which happens to include Ed Balls’ constituency) will make us a very attractive prospect to politicians wanting to make their name and keep themselves safe for when the boundaries shift in a couple of years.

    I really think it’ll help, even if it doesn’t solve the problem single-handedly. We could do a more targetted petition afterwards if we got any proper evidence or legal help?

    Can’t attend the meeting, though, as I’m darn sarf for a few more weeks.

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @Gryff The problem as I see it, is that the Government petition will basically be read as “We’re not keen on our chairman, can you oust him for us without legal justification? Yours Sincerely, An Angry Leeds Mob.”

      • Gryff

        @TSS lol. You’re not far wrong!

        It’s importance would be simply that A) we are worried that a businessman is screwing over HMRC – like the initial investigation was (this sort of thing, of course, not helping the country’s books) and B) at the same time damaging the local economy of Leeds – a key area for politicians and for spreading wealth in the North.

        And that would give the politicians an excuse to get on his case. It might not come to anything, but we’d have lost nothing and would almost certainly get in Parilament again and thus in the news. And you never know if you’ll get a breakthrough.

        It’s not a difficult thing to organise, especially if LUST set it up, and it would be iconic if nothing else.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Gryff I see your point and agree in principle, it just needs doing right. The right concerns need to be raised, the right wording used and an argument made in a suggestive manner that’s difficult to ignore. We shouldn’t be above fighting dirty, if we need to use sensationalism and win the battle through a smear campaign then so be it, but you still need the right people leading the charge. Preferably a lawyer.

    • NorthEastLoiner

      @Gryff I think the Ed Balls link might be key here. He’s not got much on at the moment, just waiting for Ed M to give up and retire to ‘consultancy’ so he can assume the leadership. Maybe he’d be open to honing his campaigning skills plus guarantee a seat for life in Leeds by getting involved in the Bates Out campaign. A few more parliamentary inquiries and resultant media pressure looking at Bates finances might along with other protests have the desired effect!! So come on Ed represent your constituency!!

      • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

        @NorthEastLoiner@Gryff Getting an MP to back any protest is always a good start, I agree. They’ve shown support in the past too.

    • LeedsForLife

      100,000? What colour’s the sky in your part of the universe?

      • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

        @LeedsForLife We’ve had 98,000 unique visitors this month alone. They won’t all be Leeds fans obviously (some will have found us when other clubs are mentioned in articles) but there’s definitely more than 100,000 out there. Leeds is an enormous city alone, but it also has the surrounding areas where I come from to feed off too. Massive reach overall.

        (Site stats link: http://twitpic.com/8at1im)

        • Gryff

          @TSS@LeedsForLife Agreed (on all replies I think).

          100k @LeedsforLife because that’s what it takes to get your petition argued in Parliament.

          Ed Balls definitely needs all th extra popularity he can get at the moment. Actively working against tax havens, especially on behalf of all us flat-cap factory workers would be a good start for him!

          Agree it needs doing right. But someone (respected & with links to people at LUST, etc.) also has to grab the initiative.

        • Gryff

          @TSS I’m loving that pic TSS. My little hobby is getting about 100~ views each time I publish something new lol.

          It’s not the size… :-D

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Gryff It builds mate over time. NewsNow is a big contributing factor but Google News gave us another huge boost when we finally got accepted for that after 2 years of trying.

        • Gryff

          @TSS lol. Don’t think I have the dedication to hit the hights of TSS.

          A bit of fun, a bonus when people read & keeps me in practice in terms of writing (as you may have guessed, I can be a bit Brian Blessed-y so I need to keep in practice to keep to points/not waffle extravagently lol).

          No marks for the easy gag about the quality on there! ;-)

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Gryff I didn’t have any aspirations for The Scratching Shed in all honesty, it just worked. Someone suggested submitting to NewsNow, so I did, and things escalated from there. Bit of a fluke in all honesty, think timing was key as Leeds United sites were few and far between at the time. Rivals had crashed, most others seemed to be a general rehash of the OS and the rest were entirely stat and history based.

        • Gryff

          @TSS Heheh. Even if I had had aspirations: I’m pleased to see a lot of other sites have hit NewsNow since November.

          Plenty of outlets for Leeds fans to get a varied input from.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Gryff Agree, it’s always good to see more sites springing up, although we did have a few before that quickly vanished. There was a survey about football bloggers not so long back that revealed most gave up in the first 12-18 months and very few made it beyond the 42-48 month range we’re now in.

          Of those that did, almost all the remaining writers said they had considered or were considering calling it a day.

          So basically, four years is the general lifespan and most quit sooner than that.

        • LeedsForLife

          But you only had 2000 ‘Bates out’ voters. If those 98,000 were interested, they’d have responded to your survey, wouldn’t they?

          Only 2000 people have said ‘Bates out’, and the majority of people who think that way probably visit your site and have voted, so 2000 is probably most of the entire Bates out population.

          Surely your own figures mean 2000 want Bates out and 96,000 don’t or don’t care, don’t they?

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @LeedsForLife You honestly think 2,000 fans is all that want Bates out? Do you ever go to Elland Road, or away with Leeds. Away from home every single fan is calling for his head and at home, the entire Kop (always packed 7,000 people) and at least half of the remainder are calling for his head. So average attendance of 24,000 – the 7,000 unanimously dissident Kop which leaves 17,000, let’s say half of that number 8,500 and add the 7,000 back on which is 15,500 of a 24,000 attendance regularly calling for his head or 65% if you like. Add to that those who believe the chants upset the team so stay silent and you’re looking at above 80%. You clearly don’t go to ER or you’d notice the distinct absence of a “We all love Ken Bates” posse.

          But let’s ignore my subjective maths that are based on being a fan and attending every game (so being in an excellent position to gauge opinion) and look at what LUST said – a totally independent organisation open to ALL fans with no set agenda. They simply serve the opinion of the majority as do all supporters clubs. After balloting members they found an “overwhelming” percentage of their members backed calls for Bates Out.

          2,500 (as it is now) is those that bothered voting. Nothing more, nothing less. Those against him will be equally inclined to vote as people like yourself who for reasons beyond my comprehension, still support him.

          Also 98,000 unique visitors isn’t what read that one post (the official site would be lucky to get 20% of that per post) – it’s how many have visited this month, but I know you don’t like to let facts get in the way so will let that one slide.

    • H

      @Gryff Ed Balls is a scum
      fan!

      • Gryff

        @H And a politician desperate for quick boosts to his approval ratings.

        He’s a politician, doesn’t matter what his allegiance is!

        • Gryff

          a @H and if he was a no-go, then the Tory counterpart could pressure I’m sure. Leeds & the area around it has plenty of MPs.

        • H

          @Gryff fair point

      • LeedsForLife

        @H@Gryff H, you can omit the ‘a’ and the ‘fan’. Of course, he’d support a cause that would damage Leeds United.

        • Gryff

          @LeedsForLife@H Sure, I don’t like him either.

          But to get rid of Bates, who is parasitically leaching Leeds (in my personaly opinion), I would be perfectly willing to work with him.

          He’s no chance in hell at the polls, after all.

  • leeds60

    Where is the meeting held tomorrow

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @leeds60 All the details are in the link above mate, but it’s 19:30 @ The Magic Sponge.

  • Rab_rant

    Today I heard that a number of countries are placing oil sanctions on Iran. It is usually a political decision that is made in the hope that change can be made. I think the whole crux of the matter is finance, and since Ken Bates primary goal and objective is to make money, whether it be by selling Gradel, or Howsen, or by desperately giving incentives for buying Season tickets, his main aim is to rack in the money.

    He would say the money is needed to keep the club alive, since the banks and the city council are not predisposed to make any loans to him, but the feeling prevails that somehow he is siphoning off the money into his own off-shore account, since we see so little investment in the team.

    I think he glorifies in all the negative attention he gets, and even blames the protesters for the dire straights of the club, citing that those who dissent are putting off investors. I fear that the shouting and chanting will have little effect and the only way forward would be to institute financial sanctions. Don’t go to home games… loss of stadium revenue… don’t renew season tickets… refuse to patronize the bars or restaurants at the ground… don’t buy programmes if you do go to games.

    The danger with this scenario is that it might precipitate relegation or administration. but at least this type of action would have teeth to it and not be ineffectual, and barring a heart attack may be the only way to remove Ken as chairman.

  • AGEARY1

    Hi, you say you work in London, I’m also a Leeds fan based in Central London working and living. Do you know of any groups we’ve got to get to the aways?It gets a tad boring travelling alone!

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @AGEARY1 Just moved down here mate, haven’t really settled yet but plan to join one myself soon.

      There was a website with a list of branches but it seems to be down at the minute.

  • Whitemafia

    We need to starve him out , it’s the only way I am afraid. Nothing matters more to KB than ££££s. It will make things worse for now, but I don’t think there is an alternative. If you love your club, be cruel to be kind, withdraw your backing for now, show him we can hurt him.

    Also, how about some sort of fighting fund, we could all chip in a couple of quid, and maybe take out some adverts in the broadsheets with our issues, ten for Ken, or maybe hire a financial investigator to help us find out what is really happening at ER.

    Never in all my years of support, even the dark days of the mid eighties, have I felt so helpless, as my club is ripped off by the worst Chairman in football!!!!!!

  • LeedsForLife

    90% of 2251? That indicates that at least 91% of the Saturday crowd DID NOT indicate any lack of confidence in Bates. If democracy rules, maybe you should be speaking up for that 91%.

    So there’s a couple of thousand whingers. This is West Yorkshire, where being miserable is in the blood. Most of those couple of thousand would be unhappy whatever’s happening at the club.

    I’m not happy, either. I don’t think Howson is any great loss – in fact, I think it’s a good thing – but I’m worried about the ambition being shown in contractual negotiations. Nevertheless, I’m not seeing any other club in the Championship (except Saints, I suppose) being run significantly better, and most are certainly being run worse. Those who want rid of Bates and/or Grayson don’t seem to me to have any idea who would be better, or even that such people exist.

    • Gryff

      @LeedsForLife Thats bollocks mate.

      2,251 responded – both positively and negatively. Political polls rarely take in that number of responses and are used by major news agencies as a clear indication of opinion.

      To play your own game: what it shows is that of 9% of the ER crowd on saturday, over 89% were likely to have been against Bates. That’s a huge chunk.

      • LeedsForLife

        @Gryff What quick responses! Not sure which bit is bollocks. No more than 9% of the crowd reported dissatisfaction in this survey. 91% didn’t, and that’s a much huger chunk. I don’t think that’s too tricky, is it?

        This was not a political poll. The size of a political poll is set by the number of people polled, and they are selected to be an un-biased sample. This was a survey of unlimited size, carried out among a group that is anyway a focus for those unsympathetic to Bates. Despite the lack of a limit, only about 2000 reported dissatisfaction.

        The intention is not to wind you up, but to point out that you cannot claim to speak for anything other than a small minority of fans.

        • Gryff

          @LeedsForLife This is because TSS did not stand by the gates with a laptop getting fans to fill it in upon exit.

          We have over 2,000 responses and of those responses the vast majority are disatisfied with Bates.

          @TSS looks like you were right, he really IS thick.

        • LeedsForLife

          @Gryff@TSS Just because I disagree with you or you don’t understand what I’ve written does not make me thick.

        • Gryff

          @LeedsForLife@TSS

          Look. It’s simple fact:

          There are over 2,000 results.

          Of those 2,000 results over 90% are dissatisfied with Bates.

          That means that the LIKELIHOOD is that of the fans at Elland Road, over 90% were against Bates.

          Your logic was that because 2,000 is only around 9% of the attendence, that means that the other 81% don’t agree.

          This wasn’t a tickbox questionnaire asking only for replies from fans who don’t like Bates.

          Your argument is just completely illogical. Not an “I don’t agree” illogical, a 2 + 2 = 5 illogical.

        • Dje

          @LeedsForLife Come on, 2,000 pollsters is not a snip by any imagination. I’ve just been working on an IPPR survey that looks at English reactions to Scottish devolution. It is being used in nearly all the daily national newspapers today as entirely representative of the English in the UK (nb. I had nothing to do with it, so aint bragging). They only polled a total of 1,600 people.

          And yes they do biases it – they try to get representatives of both sexes, classes, occupations, ages, races as close to the UK national composition, and do so by knowing what time of day certain groups are likely to answer a ‘cold call’ and which regions, even streets, represent certain types.

          Equal to your argument that the TSS survey doesn’t represent 91% of fans at Elland Road on Saturday, to what extent do those 91% – or even the 100% – at Elland Road represent Leeds United fans? There’s fans the world over, there’s fans who might only be bothered to occasionally go, there’s plenty who can no longer afford to go.

          You might have a point to some extent that true pro-Batesites might not bother calling by the TSS, being sick of hearing the old man slandered, but it remains indicative with a margin of ?+/- for error. How much that ‘?’ is unresolvable but considering the level of disagreement and bickering on almost everything on this site I doubt that at most Bates would have scored more than 15% if all anti-TSS Leeds fans had come calling.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @LeedsForLife@Gryff there was no surprise to me in that poll it was a captive audience to a poll of pretty much like minded people .the grayson poll was no surprise either .

          but if we take a straw poll of the amount of people singing the bates out song on Saturday and other songs then that was 60-70% ,then there is the amount of people who were stood outside protesting the % of that would be smaller ..

          polls are only valid for the minute the person asks the question neither are they an exact and could be loaded to gain an outcome by the question asked

        • LeedsForLife

          And you think I’m thick!

          Whatever.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @LeedsForLife@Gryff Mate, I’m not one for personal insults but you clearly aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. You’re making yourself look an absolute idiot, not because we don’t understand you, but because we do.

          ALL, and I mean ALL surveys to represent absolutely anything are based on a small percentage of total people. Our survey accounts for more than 10% of the total attendance at ER on Saturday and probably 1% of Leeds United fans in general. If you ask a large enough sample size of people a yes or no question, then that sample size will be representative for the entire fanbase. That’s a fact.

          As part of my degree I had to study the broader social science discipline. We used surveys and opinion polls every day to show how people felt in relation to one thing or another, and for the entire British public (60+ million people?) we used less than 2,000 people as scientific evidence to back-up a theory or make an argument. Governments used smaller sample sizes, so do market research firms. They don’t do this to ignore the other 59,999,000, they do it to get a representative sample of the entire country.

          I don’t know why I’m wasting my time, I’m give you the benefit of doubt and conclude that you’re an incredibly talented WUM. Not the idiot you’re making yourself out to be.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Gryff@LeedsForLife@TSS what do you think the result would have been outside elland road with the same amount of pollsters if the same question had been asked ,you have to agree on here it was always going to be that result on here i voted NO myself i also voted no for grayson i do not think a poll on here is representative really however ,i think the outcome would be more at elland road voting against bates

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @number1inyorkshire@Gryff@LeedsForLife I disagree it’s biased on here, but will concede a margin for error of 10%. This is because 90% of our hits come from general Leeds United news feeds (NewsNow and Google News). The other 10% come directly or follow us on social networks so will most likely share similar views. Those looking at headlines from a generalised Leeds United news feed are only biased by their support. That’s why we end up with Bates apologists on here constantly.

        • Gryff

          @TSS@number1inyorkshire@LeedsForLife Although even then, just because people follow you doesn’t mean they agree with you.

          You’ve swayed me a few times, but I’ve disagreed with a few things on this site – still read it as it gives well-written and thoughtful input on the club and a forum where people are always giving both sides of the coin.

        • LeedsForLife

          And that was for Gryff, not number1inyorkshire.

        • LeedsForLife

          @TSS@Gryff But when they use a small sample size they don’t limit it to a small very specific group that is manifestly explicitly biased about the questions being asked. On the contrary, they try very hard to do exactly the opposite, to prevent their poll being worthlessly biased. Presumably they did tell you that on your degree, too.

          A social science discipline? Isn’t that an oxymoron? A bit like ‘military intelligence’? Sorry, I know that’s rude, but I’m not minded to let that sort of thing pass. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, sometimes, and a lot of qualifications are bunkum. I don’t suggest yours are, of course, but your apparent willingness to ignore elementary statistical method to make a political point does make me wonder.

          I’m not a WUM, and I’m not stupid. You are making a simple mistake in thinking that if a few obviously like-minded people agree with you then most other people do too.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @LeedsForLife@Gryff My degree is in psychology. Social science studies society and human behaviour so is an important aspect in that.

          Regardless, to suggest an anti-Bates agenda governs the people that come to this site is ridiculous for reasons explained below that 90% of our visitors come from a general Leeds United newsfeed (mainly NewsNow and Google News) where no individual agenda is served.

          Moreover, isn’t the fact you’re here spouting nonsense proof positive that Bates apologists come on here regardless of my own personal beliefs?

          PS. Suggesting that the other 89% of the attendance were indifferent towards Bates does make you look stupid. That’s like saying half the country is indifferent to tax because they don’t vote. I’m sure they have an opinion all the same.

        • Dje

          @LeedsForLife

          Your little dirge on the social sciences was a curate’s egg and not worth responding too.

          You really are overplaying the ‘few obviously like-minded people’ claim. As previously explained, 2,000 in any poll is never a few as a sample. Your premise rests entirely on you considering this site for, and exclusively so, for ‘like-minded people’.

          Maybe it is the subtitle of ‘Dissidents since 2008′ that accounts for this? That’d be understandable, but until a week or two ago is was ‘Gary Speed, R.I.P.’ and one did not exist prior to that. This is not a dissenter-only LUFC site in any way. The emphasis is on debate and long posts, and tis what distinguishes it from a number of other Leeds United sites.

          This is not to say that there aren’t other Leeds United sites out there that court comments and debate amongst its readers. There are. But you have to consider why they have half a dozen or so comments – often good ones mind – and these days articles on TSS are anywhere from 50 to 200 comments long (and some are long!) within a few hours.

          Why? It’s not because there is an anti-Bates door policy, but because, on the contrary, anyone can write what the f*** they care to. If that doesn’t offer the best platform to resist a clique of ‘link-minded people’ then I don;t know where else you are ever going to find a least subjective opinion poll on the matter.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Dje@LeedsForLife Yes it did, it said “We’re Leeds United, we glow-in-the-dark!”

        • Gryff

          @TSS@Dje@LeedsForLife A highly politically charged statement, TSS.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@LeedsForLife That’s what I was going for lol

        • LeedsForLife

          @Dje@LeedsForLife Dje: Yes, the stuff about social science was trivial, and deliberately so as a response to several postings from TSS and Gryff accusing me of being thick because I don’t happen to agree with them. I’m not, and I find that mode of socialistic argument deeply distasteful.

        • LeedsForLife

          Dje: Okay, let me try it a different way. TSS claims 98,000 different visitors this month. Now that’s not a bad sample size. He claims that he’s getting broad spectrum views, not just the Bates haters. I accept that, but it doesn’t change the fact that this site does represent a focus for the Bates haters, and they are proportionally over-represented. Okay, so 98,000 mostly supposedly unbiased people come here, and of those just 2000 stated lack of confidence in Bates – and that 2000 does include those who are anything but unbiased because they hate Bates for being himself.

          So either this is a survey presented to a biased clientele, and it therefore lacks any semblance of adequate integrity and credibility, or this is a survey presented to a wider and much less biased clientele, and it shows only 2% stating their lack of confidence in Bates. Take your pick; either way this is all very silly.

        • Dje

          @LeedsForLife You mean 98,000 unique visits PER MONTH. That poll has been up for about 24 hours. 98,000 divided by 31 days in January = 3,161 unique visitors over any 24 hours. I’ve just looked at the poll is at 2,470 votes. At best that is 700 hundred people who, for whatever reason, didn’t bother voting. I seriously doubt you can claim that in a private vote those 700 people wanted to vote for Bates but were too intimidated on a so-called anti-Bates site to vote. It just doesn’t make sense.

          I still don’t get how you can call this site biased against Bates, there is just too much disagreement – and certainly was prior to the sale of Howson – for it to be read so one-dimensionally. Considering when there is disagreement over the internet you usually end up with factions, and splinter groups/sites etc, I think you’ve got to ask yourself why there is no factionalism here , and , more importantly, why there isn’t a single pro-Bates dominated Leeds United website on the internet?

        • LeedsForLife

          Dje: I think TSS will confirm that the banner has, at some time, explicitly proclaimed the site to be fundamentally anti-Bates. A preponderance of postings are written by people who clearly just don’t like the man (which isn’t a crime, of course, but isn’t enough to justify unbalanced rantings), and would not acknowledge anything positive about him under any circumstances.

          I don’t think opposition to Bates is a bad thing – in fact, it’s essential to some extent. I just wish it was always based on reason, instead of all too often very clearly being about hatred, and I wish it was more constructive instead of morale-sapping.

          And I think this site weakens its own credibility somewhat by refusing to acknowledge Bates’s extremely important successes while criticising him for his many mistakes and accusing him of possible improprieties – and also, today, by abusing statistics to unjustifiably claim support for discontent. There are ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ – so perhaps Bates isn’t the only one who can be accused of being a liar.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @LeedsForLife Au contraire, we’ve praised Ken Bates for numerous things in the past – the header you refer to was actually self-deprecating following a rant from someone much like yourself. I don’t make a habit of praising him, granted, but then he seldom does anything I deem worthy of praise.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @LeedsForLife@Dje Your original argument was pretty stupid. Credit to you, you’ve made more sense since but are still wrong.

          And I actually gave you the benefit of the doubt saying you were the best wind-up merchant I’d ever encountered.

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @LeedsForLife OK firstly, you’re changing your point so often I’ve had to respond numerous times.

          DJE pointed out that by dividing that number you get closer to the unique visitors of that one article. I’ve just checked and he’s pretty much bang on. So that argument you’ve lost. Accept it, move on. The poll is a fair representation of the fanbase with a 10% margin for error based on those that visit directly which I’ll concede, may be more against Bates than passive visitors.

          Secondly, at no point has anyone on this site ever slagged Bates off without giving cause and evidence (widely accepted facts and quotes aside). We’ve gone to great lengths to dissect his figures and offer comparison points to other clubs – how much fairer would you like us to be?

          We do take what Bates says, the figures released by the club and the ongoing events and look at them in as objective a way as humanly possible. If you don’t like the outcome, then the site isn’t for you, but unless you wish to offer some evidence to these alleged “unbalanced rantings” then that’s another point you’ve lost.

          The header was a nod to the t-shirt we released which was in response to Bates insulting the fans. It read “Proud Dissidents since 2008″ and there was another one that read “Your Number One source of anti-Bates propaganda” again, this was a reaction to the chairman and somewhat self-deprecating. Can we not have fun with the chairman’s madness now?

          I don’t care if you feel we serve an anti-Bates agenda, I don’t like the man I make no bones about it, what I do find offensive is that you think I lack the necessary intelligence and am too stubborn to look at things objectively and admit the man occasionally does good. Any “unbalanced ranting” has been backed up by evidence or solid reasoning.

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @LeedsForLife As @Gryff just explained, a poll takes a sample sized amount (over 2,000 more than most national polls!) and uses it to show general opinion. You’re clearly on some kind of wind-up mission because you really can’t be THAT thick?

      • Dje

        @TSS@LeedsForLife@Gryff That or he is an Aussie? Compulsory voting in elections and all that. If general elections worked over here on his basis then we’d be in a perpetual state of non-government governments. Hmm, bring it on!

        • Gryff

          @Dje@TSS@LeedsForLife Don’t blame ya’ fella.

  • Box

    Was there some mp from Leeds who was making noises a while back about bates ownership of Leeds? He was going to try and take it higher. You could try and get him involved?

  • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

    Well said. That’s the kind of reasoned argument the meeting tomorrow needs.

  • airforce5

    Good post. Well said Mattbb. I respect those who voice an opinion but we have to be conscious of the players, morale of the team, potential signings and potential investors. Negative vibes have to have an effect on the players, it can’t be ignored. Grief has been handed out to players which makes it easier for them (and esp. their agents) to listen when other opportunities come knocking – we don’t need this re-occurring. The LUFC brand has value, value we as fans have created and must continue to nurture. It might not feel like it right now but LUFC is ours, the fans. One way or another Bates will eventually be gone. LUFC does feel vulnerable right now so its our responsibility as fans to keep her right. Lets get behind the team, speak as one voice and be conscious not to do too much harm in what we perceive to be the right thing. We wont get a promotion push with negativity flying around so lets get our heads together and give the lads something positive to play for.

  • number1inyorkshire

    with all due respect to LUST sadly they are out of touch if they were not there would be the 38.000 in their ranks instead of the bates members club .

    What it needs is for the people within the official members club to get together .now i am sure lust members will be lufc members ,well they will if they have season tickets ,but you can not have it both ways ..

    .LUST bates will just brush off ,he has many times me too but .regional members club secretaries getting together from the official members club will get him to sit up a little .

    sadly LUST you have honorable intentions but you will be wasting your time .

    who is the lot at the PEACOCK ???

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @number1inyorkshire LUST are stepping up to lead, nothing more. They’re not restricting anything to their own members, they’re just offering an outlet for discussion, direction and for the media to contact. We’ve needed that all along. The LUMC cannot provide that, nor will it ever attempt to. It’s just a con to rake more cash in on ticket sales.

      • Gryff

        @TSS@number1inyorkshire I agree. It’s not worth joining up in the official members club just to voice opinions against him – he wouldn’t listen to those either!

        LUST might be the key ingredient we have lacked previously – finally a figurehead to get behind.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Gryff@TSS i am not suggesting any body joins the lumc thats not at all what i am saying especially to try get to bates .

          BUT love it or loathe it that members club has taken money away from the others .

          The other members clubs at leeds are useless i am sorry if that offends people who are genuinely trying to make a difference they will not..

          During our financial meltdown the likes of Ray Spence appearing on the news was at best bloddy awful .

          Half of the people behind most of these groups, though not all ,and bates had more or less said so in his program notes don’t even go to the games at home.

          Bates will spend his notes in the program ,to just riddicule them and has done before ..

          Bates like his LUMC getting some of those to stand up and make a noise will make him listen ..

          I hate ken bates he is a pariah that is causing unrest between the fans ,he is doing that deliberately in my opinion too and i really applaud anyone who is trying to unsettle him .but sadly i feel it is beyond the groups mentioned although it is a start ..

          But if the people who have signed up to his regional members clubs got

          together the top brass in them and started to show unrest it might rattle him more .

          genuinely good luck to LUST but i do not think Bates will lose sleep over them i wish he would and i do not know what will, well i do nothing it seems what a C~#T

  • The White Stuff

    Hi all, I’ve not heard it mentioned for a while, and shoot me down for probably being pie in the sky as I am far from being an expert in high business finance but how about tentatively investigating a global fans buy out? I do realise this is probably very far fetched but before crucifying me, let’s first look at some figures…….. How much would you surmise the old git would need for him to relinquish the reins? Conservative estimate £30-50m? So say £40m divided by say 65000 fans (10000 season ticket holders, 5000 sometime homers (18yo+), 10 – 15000 regular / UK sometime awayers, 15000 Premiership watchers only, 5000 stayawayers, 5000 foreign sometime (one-time) visitors / non Leeds fans, 10000 foreign non-visting fans) Buying one share would cost each £615. Also you can factor in local / international businessmen, wealthy fans who would probably like to get involved , Any thoughts……..?

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @The White Stuff Don’t think he’d sell regardless, for the same reason I don’t think he’ll sell if/when we get promoted. He loves being the centre of attention too much, the money is an added bonus to him.

      • The White Stuff

        @TSS Mmm….so you reckon we’re lumbered…..? call me defeatist, and as much as I would love him to go, I think you’re correct we are stuck with him….(I am already refraining from purchasing anything on the premises) I can’t shout out against him because we don’t have an alternative..?..what worries me about action against him is techically he could pull the plug and not only would we all be a laughing stock, we would lose our great club………

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

          @The White Stuff Financial pressure is the only reason he sold Chelsea. They were in a worse state than Leeds and that’s the only out I see for us too.

        • Tyler75

          @TSS@The White Stuff alternatively 1) the authorities eventually catch up with him and he’s banged up and his assets sequestrated 2) he gets a fish finger stuck in his gullet and shuffles off this mortal coil.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @The White Stuff GOOD idea although something has to be for sale, to be able to buy it

      Although everything has a price leeds aint for sale it is as simple as that really

      • The White Stuff

        @number1inyorkshire …ok then so we just need to find a hitman……………..(JOKE!)

  • paulclarkeonenil

    after reading the comments and all have good intentions, what we need to do to start with is cut off as many financial avenues for bates as we can. there is no point in screaming bates out at billys statue then getting your breath back with a beer in the pavillion or billys or in the ground. these are all essential income avenues that keep him ticking over. if boycotting the match is a bridge too far then at least dont spend another penny. i myself am a season ticket holder of the last 24 years but sadly this is my last until the current regime relinquishes power, this saddens me as leeds is a big part of my life,but feel i have been whacked with the stick too many times. my advice to people is to stop going and do not renew season tickets. sometimes you have go backwards to go forwards.

    • Panamaleeds

      @paulclarkeonenil Agree 100%

  • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

    @AGEARY1 Cheers Si, I’m sure I can pull your email from comment. Will get in touch if I’m struggling when the time comes. MOT

  • mattbb1

    to quote edmund burke – for evil to succeed all it takes is for good men to do nothing – quite apposite i thought as Bates is totally relaint on people shrugging their shoulders and saying – whats it go to do with me – but we the fans have the power to do something – we all have an opportunity here to get shut of Bates and get an investor in who we deserve.

  • BarneyWhite

    It is clear the vast majority want Bates out but the issue is how to go about it – lots of opinions but no organisation. I personally want to see positive action. I don’t agree it effects the players – They know how bad things are and so does Larry. They know our gripe is not with them. They are professionals and will get on with it – it is their job. If it they are god enough they will secure a lucrative move at the end of their contracts.

    I favour the following:

    A complete boycott of everything LUFC bar the match ticket.

    An identity – red scarfs printed with “Bates Out” and “Why Lie Kenny” – we need to galvanise support – a visible common goal.

    Still support the team but let the bastard know what we think – Bates Out from the 7th minute for 7 minutes?

    One game boycott ?? – let him know this is serious and we will not accept his administration any longer.

    Don’t renew – at least until things change.

    Whatever we do it must be with one voice – I hope LUST can achieve this

    • Tyler75

      @BarneyWhite I think you’re on to a loser with the ‘red scarf’ thing; otherwise all good suggestions. Also how about picking the televised Soton game to get as many as possible to attend the game and fill the ground with anti-Ken chants, Ken masks and if we can sneak them in, Why Lie Kenny ? banners. A near full-house would also have the added effect of helping the lads to defeat the league leaders.

  • number1inyorkshire

    There are many a Churchillian battle quotes on tonight ,god bless us all

    Sad though it is unless noone goes at all ever again and i mean everyone he will not listen .

    There will be 20+k a week tuesday .lust have a week to rally the troops to get noone to turn up ..

    Then what if noone turns up week after week he will default on his rent payments ,so lose the right to play there ,

    no money going in will result in redundancies .he will lose money but so will the club and he will wind it up .

    I can not tell you how much i hate bates it is really beyond comprehension ,but with all the good intentions of LUST .and others no credible answer to him has come to the fore ,i as i have said only buy match tickets ,nothing else other have stopped going altogether .

    i think the answer is to just carry on and ignore him ,do not let him come between us and our club .without the fans he has nothing ,but without the club neither do we .

    IT IS OUR CLUB NOT HIS ,WE NEVER ASKED NOR WANTED HIM AT LEEDS, HE HAS NEVER BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE WELCOME FROM THE MAJORITY OF FANS CARRYING ON REGARDLESS IS THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT HIM , HE CRAVES THE ATTENTION AND WE ARE FEEDING HIS HABIT

  • bop

    First time on here , so big high five to everyone . I agree we need Bates out he is an excuse of a man , and i’m ashamed he is at the helm of our great club . BUT who will we get in to replace him , that’s the 64 ,000$ question . As far as boycotting games i don’t get it ? where will we be in 5 years ???? premiership ???? league 2 ????? what i do know is i’ll be there , this club doesn’t belong to Bates it’s ours and no one will stop me from making the pilgrimage . I have a friend whose a Hull supporter , he can’t understand what’s going on , and can’t believe that Leeds supporters could actually be scuppering our chances. What about manure they’ve the hobbit Glazer in charge they’re unhappy ,so i understand , but they still go, what about Liverpool and Hicks / Gillet , Newcastle with Ashley . Yes a Saudi billionaire would be great , but they haven’t got the best human rights record so what would the stay away gang do then??? , are we really going to do a character appraisal of the chairman before attending games , and what if we get one of us aka Ridsdale , well we no the rest . Am i naive enough to think we should get back to supporting the team and win lose or draw making the ER experience it used to be . Chatting to a mate the other day i realised just what we’ve been through in the last 10 or so years , relegationS ,promotion, play off finals, administration , oh and a Champions League semi -final , supporting Leeds is many things but never dull , so keep the faith and for those who define supporting a team as just that i’ll see you at the next game , at least until the world stops going round , M O T .

  • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

    My objection to it is that I’ve already paid. Bates will find that hysterical, water off a ducks back.

    Let’s see what the general consensus come up with tomorrow and go from there.

  • lufcwhite

    If Ken was to “kick it” in the morning…. what would happen to our club?

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

      @lufcwhite Has he got kids? Depends on his will I guess. We’ll probably end up with Harvey and be just as fucked.

      • lufcwhite

        No idea, I’m listening to everyone going on about it and was just wondering what the actual consequences of that would be.

      • lufcwhite

        No idea, I’m listening to everyone going on about it, and was just wondering what the actual consequences of that would be.

        • Gryff

          @lufcwhite Somebody who isn’t Ken and probably wouldn’t care about keeping hold of the club?

    • Aideylufc

      Mrs Bates? Lol

      • The White Stuff

        @Aideylufc Is there a Master Bates?

  • http://www.thescratchingshed.com/ TSS

    Agreed. Aside from those that will refuse to renew and the longer he stays, the lower our attendances will drop in my opinion

  • AGEARY1

    @TSS That would be great, I’m available at adam_geary@hotmail.co.uk

  • David Lloyd Hudson

    a very well written piece. Unfortunately I cannot be present for the meeting but am willing to back the results of the democratic action plan and offer my help where possible. MOT

  • The White Stuff

    Re. Proposed action for live Sky game against Southampton

    “Seven Against Bates” ……How about a seven minute boycott (one for each year of Bates’ tenure), everyone stays outside the ground Chanting slogans, etc, and we all make our way into the ground on seven minutes? Cue cameras hopefully get to see large crowds outside the ground and no home fans in it ……..embarrassing for Bates if noting else……..

    • Aideylufc

      I think it’s a good idea, altho only communicates are unhappiness to Press, I’m not sure Ken would care, you still paid him after all!

      • The White Stuff

        @Aideylufc Agreed to a point, although we still get to see most of the game, support the team, AND Bates realises there are more than just a ‘few’ ‘morons’ protesting…….

        • Aideylufc

          Bates knows its not the few, it’s the many, he has too, but he knows us fans are to loyal, we keep ploughing the money in, & I think that’s the problem. It’s hard to suggest not getting in there & backing the team, it is, like I said in my post it’s not fair on the players or Grayson, but the aim is to impact Bates, & he ain’t bothered by bad press, in fact he thrives on it. For the long term good, we may have to hurt ourselves somewhat.

  • Aideylufc

    I agree with the article completely, we need a goal, we need a plan/strategy, we need a leader, & we need action! But as with everything a huge majority must follow to really have an impact, we have to march TOGETHER! People say it will affect the squad, boycotting will look like we’ve abandoned the club & it will cause unrest. It probably will, but if you look at other teams & squads in this division I honestly think we’ll struggle for play-offs, its a hard thing to say, & if we did does anyone think we’d get through? That isn’t to say i wouldn’t be ecstatic if we did. But looking at how we’ve performed this season there have been times lady luck (& Snoddy) has carried us. We as fans have experienced ups & downs, we have stood by the club, we have to be some of the most loyal fans in football & no1 is asking us to stop supporting, stop wearing the shirt, stop loving the club! The thing we have to do is communicate to the regime we aren’t stupid, we aren’t MORONS, we know the money we invest (premiership prices) we know how strong our fan base is, we know we get decent television coverage (for championship), we buy the new shirt every year, we have a rough idea of transfer money in & outs, & we can work out that the investment is in no way proportionate. If Bates actually ran the club like we wanted we’d ignore his excentric rants, the Chelsea ties. But it ain’t going too happen. To affect him, we have to impact the club, it’s not a nice idea, but honestly what else do we have? Money is the one thing Bates cares about, he ain’t interested in our opinion of him that’s for sure. Protest to the media, empty Elland road for Bates. Yeah it’s not fair on Grayson & the players, but Bates don’t fight fair! Least he can’t argue it’s the few not the many, as we know when he comes under fire from the press himself.

  • paulclarkeonenil

    i will be going as im a s.t holder and he already has his grubby paws on my dosh, what he hasnt got and isnt getting is my s.t money for next year. with this i appeal to all fans when i say do not renew. when this club starts to cost him money he will be gone of that i am certain. he is just riding it out for every penny he can get, as soon as that goes pear shaped we will have rid. the longer we fund the longer he will be here, he would be daft not to.

  • Leedsmad1973

    Just a thought, but wouldnt it be better if we all petitioned HRMC to reinvestigate KB’s dodgy dealings when we went into administration for the second time?

    If enough of us kicked up a stink and brought it to the publics attention that HRMC are owed so many millions by Leeds but dont seem to be doing anything about it, it will surely shame them into action.

    Then with a good forensic account in place they can begin to unravel the web KB has spun around the ownership of Leeds United. And if underhand dealings are brought to light, it will KB who will be doing porridge for his wrong doing, and not the club who will be punished.

    This way we get rid of the cancer once and for all and our club can move on without having that millstone around our neck.

    MOT

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