This article is a guest contribution written by Matthew Brown-Bolton. If you’d like to have an article considered for publication here on The Scratching Shed, please use the online form. 

Touching the void.

Ken Bates’ departure is far from certain. As many have pointed out :-

A)    He’s an obstinate individual who enjoys going to court

B)    He’s an obstinate individual who enjoys going to court

C)     He’s an obstinate individual who enjoys going to court

Add to that the fact that Russian Oligarchs and DotCom Billionaires are thin on the ground, even moreso now than in the good times of 2005.. and you do tend to give credence to the doom mongers who see no future other than with Ken at the helm of the leaky ship. Lack of investment in the team, a continued drain of talent, and total disregard for the view of the fans.. the prognosis isn’t good.

The other point that gets raised is one of the more difficult ones – What happens when Ken erm.. Expires. Well it happens to us all, as difficult a point to talk about as it is. The answer is quite complex. And yes somewhat morbid to discuss, but I think it bears investigation. And bear with me as a non-expert in probate law.

The nub of the answer is relative to the ownership structure in place. Ken Bates – according to the press is the majority shareholder and owner of the club. If that is a simple equation, and hes really just the guy who owns the business – then on his expiry the club ownership passes to the executors of his estate.

If Ken is a petty sod, he could have gone as far in his will as to divvy up the club, and liquidate its assets to remunerate the beneficiaries of his will. More likely though as a businessman I’m sure Ken would understand the inherent value of the business and ensure its maximum value is realised either via passing ownership to his Wife or Children most likely.

There are 2 recent examples we should pay attention to

  1. Southampton FC. Southampton was rescued from administration by a Group `controlled and owned’ by Markus Liebherr in July 2009. He of course died in March 2010, but it was announced the following August that plans had been made to assure the long term security of the club. It ostensibly then continues to be run by those in charge of the vehicle he created to run the business – and a good stick theyre making of it too.
  2. Marseilles – In 1996 after some years in the wilderness (or should that be the maquis?) Marseilles shed their UEFA imposed punishment and returned to Ligue 1, backed by Adidas owner Robert-Louis Dreyfus, they were soon mixing it in the Champions League, and spending vast sums of money on players. Louis Dreyfus by trade was a corporate turnaround expert, cognisant of good business practice, Marseilles remain profitable based on the principles he set out. Sadly for the Provencales he lost a long battle with Leukaemia in October 2009, and like Liebherr died at the tragically young age of 63. In this instance the ownership of his shares passed to His wife, Margarita. A former Russian Businesswoman some 20 years his junior.

Her tenure has been `colourful’ to date, sacking the chairman in October last year, and lambasting the players. (sound familiar)… She shows no signs of moving on. Given the proximity of Marseilles to Monaco, one wonders if she’s attending personal seminars in football club chairmanship delivered by our own irascible scamp of a chairman? If she starts striking `vampire’ poses outside the Stade Olympique – Marseilles fans better get worried.

I can’t imagine Ken or a minute would put his own personal fortune at risk, so albeit this is guesswork – I’m going for something like Option 1 as the most likely avenue we’d end up going down, with Harvey appointed as the `trustee’ to run the business.

I can’t see Mrs Bates as our chairwoman, though judging by her obvious vast reserves of patience and good grace I can’t imagine she would be too bad a bet! The other interesting trend I’ve noticed is simply that both Louis Dreyfus, and as per my article yesterday Doug Ellis, both started `putting their affairs in order’ when they realised their health might not enable them to carry out their duties.

Obviously I and the rest of us just want Leeds to be sold to someone else, and wish our Kenneth many more years of well, `Rude’ health. 10 More Years , 10 More Years.

Written by Matthew Brown-Bolton

Picture Credit: Alex Knight Photography

  • Dje

    I’m hoping Ken has already partitioned up the club, 50/50, and siphoned half of it off under a new tax exile moniker for his good lady wife: all to avoid Death Duties (I can’t believe my hope for my club is Death Duties, Lord where did it go wrong?).

    All we need now is some smooth operating, GILF-loving, Leeds United supporter to toyboy himself out to Mrs Bates and gold dig her into a divorce from the old sod and just to charm that 50% of her Leeds United share out of her with some sob story (one about his childhood football club now on hard times might do it).

    Come on fellas, take one for the team!

    • mattbb1

      @Dje like your thinking DJE – though i take it youre not volunteering?

      • Dje

        @mattbb1 She’s too young for me; be like cradle snatching!

        • mattbb1

          @Dje@mattbb1 well that would be immoral…!

    • Ron_Galea

      @Dje I’m actually relocating to Monaco on Monday, so send me a photo. I’ll have to wrap a Leeds scarf around my eyes, but a man’s gotta do what a….

      • Dje

        @Ron_Galea You can’t miss her, she’s the old leather handbag hanging off a right c**t’s shoulder.

        • Fuckoffbates

          @Dje

          At lst a POST!

          Wish it had been mine, well done Djed

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Dje @Ron_Galea actaully spoken to her ,mrs bates that is ,she was an English teacher and to be fair to her was a very pleasant lady ,however thats probably because she was mopping up after the abuse her beloved gave me ..lol

          however there is queen and country and all sorts of noble stuff to do but we have to remember its only football ..

          in my industry we have the pints scale and she comes in on the dial at paralytic on the test run …..

  • TimPM

    I’m slightly worried tbh. The chairman has rolled out the players for a rally cry. Good, I think we need to get behind the team more than we have recently.

    But suddenly all the Bates hatred that promised to spur the fans into actually pushing through those lazy sods in Parliament or elsewhere to investigate Bates, has turned into resigned bemusement.

    Seriously. One week? That’s poor!

    • mattbb1

      @TimPM give LUST a chance, Tim, though i agree when you get a chance – you take it – and it worries me a little that we might not. there should be a shout out to any investors in that statement or persons who believe they have the funds to support the club – though that might preclude getting any positive reposnse from the current board.

      • TimPM

        @mattbb1@TimPM I have high hopes for LUST, but I have seen how successful Bates’ temporary glasnost can be in diffusing our just grievances – and plenty of fans seemed taken in by his recent Radio-Bates interview…

  • Ron_Galea

    Rumour on a West Ham blog saying Leeds have turned down £4m bid for Snoddy. Leeds want £6m.

    • mattbb1

      saw that too… bye snoddy

    • Chareose

      @Ron_Galea

      Ron…….remember “we wont sell anymore players” …they woulnt lie to us would they ?!!

      And poor old Ken, i bet 4 million was tempting,…… you could buy lots of champaigne and a new super yacht with that money……..I Bet that hurt to refuse

      • Ron_Galea

        @Chareose I will barely mutter the word “Fuck” if I read he has signed. Although, I suspect it will be to a premiership club. Surely Ken does not want to sell to a rival and incite a riot?

    • Paul S Wales

      @Ron_Galea Unfortunately everyone has their price even Ronaldo. £6M will see him go

  • morleywhite

    How come at the begining of the week grayson was talking about been close to two signings that were capable of going straight in to our starting 11 using the jonny cash,Now all of a sudden at todays press conference he dosnt sound to confident at all?sounds to me the players who were close hav done the usual and turned us down either that or Ken and simon hav come up with a ploy to say we were close to signing a couple of good players costing money just so more people would renew there memberships and then on the first of feb we wil get the usual we just missed out on a couple of players at the last min.

    I hope im wrong but im getting use to the lies now and dont have no trust in our current chairman and manager.on a Fulham site aparantly Chris Baird is been tracked by Leeds i hope this rumours true decent right back not to old at 29 and also knows Snodin and Maik taylor from Northern ireland so maybe some truth there?

    • number1inyorkshire

      @morleywhite jonny cash ,thought he was a c@#t from preston well it wouldn’t be the 1st one we have had lol

      • Dje

        @number1inyorkshire I was thinking more Nashville!

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Dje Thats rogers

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire Kenny? Or THE Robbie?

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Dje kenny looks too much like BATES so ROBBIE .

          but i hope kenny, doesn’t sell our players to town ..

          Can not believe i have been sucked in to country and western humour …

  • number1inyorkshire

    snodgrass will be a leeds player Wednesday .if a premier league team doesn’t come in with a good price

    unless its stupid money 8mill + ..

    Bates has sold players we all know that BUT never to who he believes to be rivals ..

    every player has a price 6-8 million is a good price for a championship player but snoddy if anywhere will go to the premier league .

    why would he go to west ham .they will not go up .

  • number1inyorkshire

    In other news ……. can’t believe we are talking now about the will of our glorious leader ,what next .Simon graysons divorce settlement ..

    bloody hell can some one come up with something lighthearted

    sorry the death of bates is the light relief we crave …..

    • mattbb1

      @number1inyorkshire hey look i got my fair share of abuse for the `alleged’ shaun harvey email…

      • number1inyorkshire

        @mattbb1 you deserved it LOL !!!!only joking

  • number1inyorkshire

    Doom and gloom .

    to be fair i,m with grayson on this one .

    Man up o’brien is my opinion ….

    • Gryff

      @number1inyorkshire Don’t know the full story with O’Brien though? Some media type was claiming at the time it was a personal rift with Grayson, others that it was the fans slagging him off (and we did pretty constantly).

      Either way, he must have a pretty good reason for it to have been postponed this long. Weird that he wasn’t willing to go to Bristol Rovers?

  • number1inyorkshire

    whats the difference in the bates offshore tax havens etc that we are trying to rid ourselves right now .and the Russians oligarchs who are if anything worse .we sometimes should be careful what we wish for pompey have had more Russians than the dover benefits office …

  • TomJDavies

    Given how dodgy old Kenneth is, I’d be highly surprised if he was the majority shareholder. Which, upon his death could cause all sorts of issues if the club lied to the FA about the ownership.

  • number1inyorkshire

    there is no clean money thats the point ,there will be someone who will be fantastic at leeds .i hate bates but even i prefer him to any of those Russians that pompey have had recently .And i would bet all the pompey fans would ,,

  • Ron_Galea

    Is anyone else worried that the window is closing and there has been no defensive signings? It’s groundhog day again it seems.

    • Chareose

      @Ron_Galea

      yeah its odd but Grayson doesnt seem tio like defenders, he seems completely obsessed with attacking players………or is it that decent defenders are so rare that they ACTUALLY cost money and cant be found as a free transfer?

      • Ron_Galea

        @Chareose I am not a football manager, but it seems painfully obvious our defence has been our Achilles heel for the past few seasons. I will not be shocked if the signings Grayson is hinting at are trialists and we sell Snoddy on Tuesday. Never have a team needed one or two big personalities to push on like we do now. Unfortunately our biggest personality is 80 years old.

        • TimPM

          @Ron_Galea @Chareose Apparently he’s in for another central defender before he lets Bruce go to Galaxy.

          Also nearly got a central mid sorted “apparently”.

  • Chareose

    I know its a favourite obsession of mine and i have probably accused people unfairly of being fake fans, posting pro bates sentiments as a PR stunt but having surfed the blogs this week im pretty certain it is going on. http://lufcjames.footballunited.com/2012/01/26/time-to-get-behind-the-lads/comment-page-1/?doing_wp_cron

    On the blog above for example, any posts that were anti bates have been voted down massivly and hidden. The angle of the posts is done in order to make them look like real fans (if im right and im just guessing). Its basicly what I WOULD do if i was paid by Ken bates to fight a PR war on the forums, you would be nieve if you did not think that this sort of thing goes on and Bates is certainly capable of doing it.

    • mattbb1

      I/m not sure that constitues evidence as such, but itdoes seem rather skewed, and to not show posts that have a `low rating’ seems odd – everyones entitled to their views. Is Bates waging a cyber war on us? he’ll just accuse us of paranoia, the answer to this of course is to visit the sites whose integrity you trust – and be vocal about what you believe in. I’m wondering whether we set up some kind of facebook stunt where all those anti bates hold up a #7yearsoflies placard on the 7th minute of the game?

      • TimPM

        @mattbb1 I’m fairly certain it goes on. Bates is good at PR (until he opens his mouth) and rolling the players out is a masterstroke because while that’s “his” cry it’s impossible not to go along with him without looking anti-Leeds.

        Just got to admit you think we should support the fans, and then ignore the issue. We all want to back our players, we don’t need to be lectured about this from every gullible blog out there that’s willing to follow the lead from YEP& official site.

  • ramblinjohn

    Interesting article but I would make one point. Russian billionaires may be thin on the ground but not so thin that it stops then buying Reading…READING ffs. I can’t believe Leeds isn’t in principle a more attarcive proposition – the problem for them is you have to deal with Bates. It’s saying something when even Russian wideboys steer clear.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @ramblinjohn A russian billionaire would buy leeds if i twas up for sale ,it aint so he can not buy it SIMPLES!!!!

      just also for the record madejski has been touting reading about since before they were in prem ,it will not be bought til end of season and there is time for it to not happen ..

      it was not a quick fix and it also proves money doesn’t always buy brains

    • TimPM

      @ramblinjohn Also, Leeds is a northern city. London is a home of cosmopolitanism and every facility somebody with too much money might want is in London (along with all the poor immigrants who can barely rub 2 pence together).

      Yep, it’s the New York of the UK. Why would any billionaire want a Yorkshire club? I love Leeds, and I love Leeds (lol), but that’s the way a billionaire would look at it surely?

      • Dje

        @TimPM *coughs* Yanks bought Manchester United and Liverpool, a Saudi was taken with Man City.

        • TimPM

          @Dje BBC’s moving to Manchester!

          It’s not Northern anymore! It’s North-Birmingham!

          … Okay, no. I take your point :-)

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TimPM @ramblinjohn i know a chap who is bringing a multi million pound company to leeds from London ,he aint gonna buy leeds by the way ,he is a liverpool fan so its not always about london .

        These people do not come into these clubs cos they like the place ,who the F#@K would like manchester ,or even cos they are fans ,its a business ,money making opportunity they want .in the right circumstances leeds would fit the bill perfectly .

        But the 1st thing that has to happen is that it has to be for sale ,Bates will take your millions all day long but you will not get anything in return .it aint for sale ..

        it just isn’t for sale ..

        • TimPM

          @number1inyorkshire @TimPM @ramblinjohn @K Well, I agree with you about people without any money looking to turn LUFC into a farm.

          But I thought we were talking Russian billionaires- who wouldn’t care about profit/loss!

        • Chareose

          @TimPM @number1inyorkshire @ramblinjohn @K

          Unfortunately I think Number1 is right…….it seems illogical but Bates doesnt appear to want to sell us. Now also consider his obvious dislike / hatred for all things Leeds United and we are not a very good position are we.,….. What is needed is an approach from a number of different angles to exert preassure. Lobbying of the government, attempts to find potential buyers and I hate to say it Boycotting of the club. I know some have now discarded that as an option because of the damage its doing to the team but is there really any other way of getting rid of the man who DOES NOT want to sell Leeds United ???

          He needs preassure applied on him to accept offers and walk and there is a finite amount of ways to do that

        • Chareose

          @Chareose

          your missing the point, if the club cant oporate on the income its generating then Bates will have no choice but to spend or leave. Hes at Elland road to make money after all and if hes not theres no point being here

        • Dje

          @Chareose I entirely agree. Unfortunately he’d slash and burn first: halving the wage bill and using the £5m or so saved on that to self-finance himself. Teetering above relegation is ideal for him, but I bet he could make our U-18s survive well enough on a coupe of hundred pounds a week each in League One and still butter off the profit.

          My biggest faith is in him self-incriminating himself: either about our dubious financial arrangements, slander against an individuals, or my favourite: pushing his Little Englander right-wing views just that bit too far and having the FA throw the book at him for racism. They won’t of course, as they’re spineless, but fit-and-proper our Bates aint. MOT.

  • number1inyorkshire

    sometimes the reaper is not all we have to fear ,just reading news now stuff ,and the yorkie post lorimer

    column is getting some contributions .he is not flavour of the month ,right now and people are letting im know .he has for me lost his status right now being a puppet mouth piece for bates .

    please EDDIE GREY get out before its too late

    • Dje

      @number1inyorkshire Lorimer lost it years ago, No1. Probably just too pissed to even know.

      I still like Eddie Grey, but yes others are getting f**cked off with his apparent acquiescence to the Bates regime too. I think he is taking a pragmatic position of keeping focused on the football and supporting Grayson over lack of transfer funds etc. Some see this as Bates apology, but I think if the word came down from high to ‘blame Grayson for our recent troubles’ he wouldn’t.

      It can’t be pleasant being a former great but unwittingly getting caught on the opposite side of the cavern opening up between the club regime on one side, and the fans on the other.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @Dje i listen to yorkie radio ,only on my way home in car after the game ,

        Eddie gray still has his credibility but it was getting thin last time out, obviously after howson etc ,but he did a real propaganda job for bates on the wage bill etc

        He has his opinions of course .but i,m no legend so mine do not matter his do and he is

        LORIMER always made me wonder how he got the gig ,he has sat at the top table with 2or 3 lots now he had F all to put in he clearly gets a lot out ,but integrity ,honesty and legend status have gone …

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire Yep, Eddie Grey is starting to talk through gritted teeth – (he usually starts sentences such as “we are told” or “if we believe what is being said” (diplomatic then) – but the difference remains between Grey and Lorimer that Grey exclusively wants to talk about the football and is interested in Grayson, Howson, Snodgrass, and wages only come into it when they have an impact on our squad and potential recruits.

          Alternatively, Lorimer is an inexcusable Bates quisling. He’s happy – and I’m sure, you are right: for a fee – to talk up each and any aspect of what Bates brings to the club. Unforgivable. Firing squad material.

  • mattbb1

    when we played carlisle in the league one play off first leg, i met quite by chance Allan Clarke outside the ground – and i wonder what he would have to say on matters. I live in Birmingham now, have done for 12 years, and Clarke was as blunt a midlander as youd meet. He told me it was a `disgrace’ we were in League One, I asked him did he think we;d win (we ended up losing) He said well we better, that DOn Revie would be turning in his grave. THats the type of honesty we need from ex-pros – shame on you lorimer.

  • Dje

    Colin, when one is too busy dismantling a side, one does not stop to ask others to join in.

  • Dje

    He’ll be gone in the summer, not next winter. Bates will cash-in.

  • Dje

    Maybe Smith is failing on his hospitality skills? Just can’t get the staff!

  • Dje

    Even if Snodgrass burns out between now and the summer, he’s still had a great season with us. Why gamble him having a bad first half of next season or demand a transfer? The price will only go down, just as the length of the contract will diminish. I’ve no doubt that Bates will be kicking himself that he didn’t sell Howson this summer rather than now. I’ve no idea what he would have got, but he’d be looking at £2m up front rather than the £750,000 we got for playing him an extra 17 or so matches.

    True, if we somehow get promoted then all bets are off. Snodgrass may well be willing to stay. But if not then he’ll want out as – some of our kids coming through, aside – we will 100% have a weaker squad this time next year than the one we have now, with less chance of going up.

  • number1inyorkshire

    we could sign Alan Smith seems like their chairman is taking a punt for 4months and paying his wages .for me it will cause unrest at stadium mk .,.he is not worth 6o k a week now ,in fact he never was .

    Glad he has gone there cos it means he aint coming to us, just my opinion before the abuse starts ..

    i knew this would get the posters going on here

    • Dje

      @number1inyorkshire Fair point, No.1. But equal to it is that he aint come here but we don’t (YET!) have anyone coming here in defensive midfield either. So I find it hard to see how we have gained from this?!

      • number1inyorkshire

        @Dje well we have not gained or lost .infact it has nothing at all to do with us at leeds .

        we will have some players in between now and monday ,the calibre of which shall remain to be seen ,but they will come .

        just an interesting development last time bates spouted his evil ramblings he said that ,grayson ,harvey and williams had been at a squad meeting to discuss new recruits etc .Bates takes all the stick ,fair enough harvey gets quite a bit but grayson and williams come away scott free they are part of this too

        • Dje

          @number1inyorkshire I don’t see how that is Bates tkaing all the stick, No.!? That looks to me the complete opposite: Bates saying or next installment of a failed transfer policy is entirely the responsibility of Williams, Harvey and Grayson (ie. any one but himself).

          —-

          I am only interested in the calibre, No.1. There is not a chance in the world that a high calibre will be coming in with 72 hours remaining on the transfer window. Think about it. If the player is any good they will be wanted by their club. To dislodge them you have to offer them

          a.) a lot of money (HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

          b.) enough time in the transfer window for the parent club to line up an adequate replacement. We have left it to the last 72 hours and are relying on other clubs to take an attitude to their good players on diminishing contracts to cash in for very modest amounts – alla Howson. But other clubs aren’t as thick and short-sighted as Bates is.

          They wont come.

          It’ll be same old same, and blaming the lack of quality out there.

          We’ll get a loanee or maybe a few ‘fringe’ (Grayson’s words) players who are released on a free and come in early February.

          Sad to say, our greatest team boost is looking like THE Robbie Rogers – largely on account of no one having a clue what sort of player he is.

  • Chareose

    Thing is I think its the wrong line to be……spending your money on leeds united and “getting behind the team” is short sighted, we will be here again in the summer and more misery from the fans. Surely its better to get this over with, commence the revolution and force Bates out NOW rather than wait until we are relegated from this division and have lost entire generations of child suporters.

    I hope all the fans who failed to realise this now look back on this with shame for failing to act……..

    • Dje

      @Chareose To be honest we should have acted LAST summer. As it is, whilst we should be spending these months organising LUST etc, I’m inclined to keep one foot in the ‘wait and see if we somehow get promoted this season’ camp. That’s not quite get behind the team, as much as partitioning anti-Bates away from pro-LUFC ( a thin line). If we don;t go up this season then it really is time to act. Grayson will be out and we really need to put the pressure on Bates and ‘enlighten’ our next manager not to fall for the same cul-de-sac of arguments that Grayson has been willing to wander off down.

      • Chareose

        @Dje

        so Bates gets rid of grayson in the summer AFTER we fail to get promoted. He employs a new manager, suddenly theres a renewed surge of hope, Bates peddles the usual promises about transfer money and even pumps out a million quid for the man to spend making him feel loved and special, before you know it we are holding off again clinging to hope, but less fans going to games and a slow slow agonizing death………….

        Good for you DJ and your dreams but they are dreams, wont happen in the current circumstances.

        • Dje

          @Chareose I disagree. We are stagnating but we don’t need to embrace stagnation. I still believe our hopes of getting rid of Bates are

          i.) he dies (out of our hands)

          ii.) We get promoted and some Russian billionaire suddenly realises we exist and Bates takes him to the cleaners – just like he did at Abramovich – but at last we are rid (sort of out of our hands, but at least down to 20 or so football players more than Bates)

          iii.) We protest and try to hit Bates financially by lowering attendances and thus revenue. Hoping that he sells up when he no longer makes a profit on us. (entirely in our hands up to the point of Bates making a profit. We are only half the story, we are the income. There’s the expenditure too. I’m sure Bates could make Leeds pay enough for him in League Two in front of crowds of 8,000. So where is the end game? There is only measured risk, all else is a dream).

          As to the manager, new or old, there is a deep set cynicism about Leeds United amongst the fans now. There isn’t a mangers name out there that would bring a surge of hope, not without expanding the wage bill and transfer kitty. The best thing to come from the end of Grayson is an honourable walkaway from his post and spilling the beans in a very public manner about exactly what is going on behind the scenes, especially regarding the finances. It’d put pressure and suspicion on Bates amongst all managers applying for the post. Even if he employs another yes man like Grayson, it will be glaring obvious and no surge of hope will come of it. So what would be there to lose?

        • Chareose

          @Dje

          Perhaps * on the last point but I really dont think Bates is that bothered about selling and I think buyers are frightened off by him and the complex ownership of all the assets involved. Bates needs preassure put on him to sell, otherwise he will keep us skimming along as we are selling the odd player in order to top his own profits and fund his property empire

        • Chareose

          @Dje

          and your really dreaming if you want to wait for him to pop his clogs, he will live to a hundred and by then Leeds will have lost generations of fans. We cant wait that long

        • Dje

          @Chareose The complex ownership of the LUFC assets is, the way I see it, as much an opportunity as it is a deterrent. If a buyer wants to get their hands on LUFC then Bates will want to cash-in on each asset separately in order to cash in on the full jigsaw. The problem becomes for Bates when he has sold one asset – say the ground – and is then weakened and somewhat at the mercy of his rival who now is the landlord of his main incomes operating location. If you want to hurt Bates financially then treble the rent he has to pay for Elland Road.

          Alternatively, if you want to pick of assets it may well reveal – through all the complicated paperwork that he has, shock horror!, lied to the FA about the ownership of the club. Find that out and you have him over the barrel. We wont do it, but a serious money man (often of dubious morals and money making history) will get him.

          Personally I think the strategy of Leeds fans has to be a combination of all three: a hope Bates dies/sells up (the random card), a hope we get promoted and he cashes-in (the hopeful card), and that he suffers financially as attendances wain etc (the depressing card). The problem is, and I’m yet to see a suggestion of how it is resolved, is how to push for promotion but hit Bates financially.

          If we go down the route of exclusively wanting to hit Bates financially it will be a slow death. Rather than hoping to see a sub at halftime we’ll be waiting for a the match attendance to be read out and hopeful that it is ever lower. It isn’t much of a stretch form that to start wanting us to lose so that we slope down the league and Bates misses out on his Npower league final position bonus. After that why not push for League One and see if he struggles with even less revenue? At which point, why are we bothering wasting our time being football fans (regardless of LUFC)?

        • Chareose

          @Dje

          I beleive it has to be a combination of a number of factors to get rid of him. I agreed with LUSt that we should be actively seeking potential buyers ourselves and giving them the fans backing but everything indicates that Bates isnt that keen to sell Leeds united and certainly not whilst hes building his property empire on the back of our ticket income……. Also any owner is likely to inherit a complicated tangled mess of ownership similar to Portsmouth AFC where Bates will own facilities and the new owner will own some of it thus crippling the ability of the club to move forwards.

          You need to combine real preassure aswell as the search for a new owner….. a bloody leaflet campaign, a few moans about Bates on blog sites and increased sales of Bates out t shirts may ease your own private sonsciences but will acheive exactly FUCK ALL. The government could apply preassure but thats unlikely so that leaves what exactly ???!!! the only other form of preassure is boycott ! hitting Bates financially……….

        • Dje

          @Chareose The real hope there is finding the investor. Leeds is worth less now than Chelsea was when he sold it to Abramovich. There are still Abramovich’s out there, just the ego of billionaires and English football has slackened.

          My argument is that any boycott hits Leeds United financially more than it hits Bates financially. Lower the income and he will lower the expenditure at the club. His profit will therefore be the same, only Leeds United will have less money spent on it than at the moment.

          Equally, if we lower the income at the club we alos lower the market value of it. Why would Ken sell when he knows the market value of a boycotted LUFC is lower than it should be under a non-boycotted LUFC? He will ride out the storm, taking annual profit from us all the same. Strain as we might, he will be laughing his face off at us.

          As we all know, it is a Catch-22 situation: we will be cutting off our nose to spite our face.The answer is still to be offered, IMHO (but at least we are asking the right questions).

        • TimPM

          @Dje @Chareose Well reasoned (both sides).

          Dje’s is my worry with boycotting. It’s a good step to show we won’t tolerate him turning his football club into a property development company but I’m not sure we would have much success long-term unless he decided the grief wasn’t worth it.

          There are plenty of other clubs he could buy, of course…

        • TimPM

          @Dje @Chareose And on facilities – we know for a fact a bloke called Adler from Manchester owns Thorp Arch.

          And even if we didn’t, the club has buy-back guarantees on both facilities for a few years yet – making it a non-issue if the purchaser had another bit of money, surely?

        • Chareose

          @TimPM @Dje @Chareose

          tim, bates would not invest in elland road if he did not have some element of control over the stadium

        • TimPM

          @Chareose @TimPM @Dje I’m not for a minute saying I think he’s squeaky clean, but there’s a difference between TA and ER.

          ER is owned by an anonymous group in an off-shore tax-haven with past links to Ken Bates. Make of that what we will.

          TA is owned by (Jacob?) Adler, a Manchester-based businessman.

          It would be fairly difficult for Bates to extort money out of the club through Adler, surely, since it would be quite easy for an investigative journalist to spot?

          Unless I’m missing something? (which is entirely possible- and don’t say a brain!)

  • Chareose

    again your clinging to this vague hope that upon promotion to the premiership Bates will suddenly want to sell and lots of rich buyers will suddenly appear as knights in shining armour.

    • Dje

      @Chareose This is the only objectionable knowledge of how Bates sells his clubs and moves on (for a profit). Show me an example of Bates being pushed out of a club by either fan pressure or diminishing revenue and I’ll sign up for that exclusive strategy. Until then, promotion has to be a reasonable strategy – or at least part of a combined one.

    • Chareose

      @Dje

      lets see if you still feel the same way in the summer mate

    • Dje

      @Chareose Fair enough. Although my points are made out of despair, not an inherent optimism that quietly-does-it-and-we’ll-be-rid-of-‘im. Unfortunately I can’t see that despair being appeased any time soon.

    • Dje

      @Irving08 I like your glass half-full approach, Irving. We have a fair-to-good squad (the spotlight is Snodgrass, the hopes are with Lees, White and Clayton. Beyond that we are light), but we are still about to go into Tuesday’s match with the worst defense in the top half of the Championship and strikers who currently can’t finish. I’d say we’ll be there or thereabouts come May, but once again we look to have missed out on pulling up our shoelaces of a squad in the transfer window and I’m sure it’ll haunt us.

      Tuesday could be our make-or-break night to be honest. It’ll be a hard match. We could have the morale boosting win you say, but we could get utterly stuffed too. Beyond that it is only a few hours before the end of the transfer window. Imagine us a couple of goals down at half-time and underperforming, and the whole crowd aware that we have failed to bring in anyone new on a permanent contract aside from THE Rogers, and are reliant on two loanees once more. It could really get ugly and I fear team morale could be utterly sunken by it.

      As you say, best to get back behind the team for that one (even if it might need to be through gritted teeth).

  • mattbb1

    the total lack of activity both on the transfer front, and in terms of anti bates protest is disappointing beyond words. By the way we are sll d0oing our bit on here, every post, eveey article on here decrying the current regime – is visible on most search engines, so you could argue were doing our bit in terms of attracting an investor? but we do need to do more in this respect, the hard bit we all cant seem to reconcile, is yes Bates needs to go, but we need to get rid, and replace him with a new owner.

  • TimPM

    I’m not one of these blokes who was anti-Bates from the start and revels simply in being loud and aggressive. Unlike certain others.

    But I also think LUST is of a limited use. It would be excellent as the outward face of Leeds (the enduring Leeds, not the current owner) particularly with Nige as our face.

    But it has to poll members, it’s sending out olive-branches and acting very slowly. We need to unite, yes, but not only through LUST. We need legitimate means of action but also to keep the general anti-Bates buzz going, otherwise we’ll be resigned again to more of the same and only get up in arms WHEN Snoddy goes. If there’s not popular support pushing them, LUST won’t do anything.

    For me, LUST would have been perfect to get a quick government petition going, to liaise with media about giving us more coverage. It hasn’t actually achieved anything from what I can see other than possibly one article in the Guardian?

    Apart from anything else, if we get coverage we get seen. I can’t remember who wrote it but someone further down said about a Russian Billionaire suddenly realizing we exist. That’s what we need – some recognition. Not all that many people who aren’t avid fans (but nevertheless are rolling in money) will even realise there’s a large majority of fans who feel just grievances and want a new chairman.

  • TimPM

    @TimPM Poor Ben; at least give him another lesser job?

    He’d make a good P.A?

    Not a proper P.A. Just let him call you Mr. Chairman a lot and tell him he’s a good boy? :-)

    One flaw I can think of in your purchase is that the facilities would be very tough to buy (apart from maybe TA?) if you were to do it not as LUFC?

    The whole point is it’s only easy to deal with anonymous groups when you have a contract with them, surely? So a purchaser of ER would have to represent LUFC?

  • Dje

    @Matthew “when he’s in the final year and has a few months left on his contract, thats when teams will be desperate for him…” yes, because that’s when you pick up players on the cheap! Admittedly you are less likely to sell a player who is just starting a long-term contract, but for good reason: they are on a long-term contract and it will cost ALOT to tempt a club to sell such a player they have so much faith on to have offered a long term contract in the first place.

    Or are you telling me if we had sold Howson last summer he’d have only have fetched £750,000 – or on your logic – less?

  • Dje

    Tsk, priced out the market once again!

  • number1inyorkshire

    leeds would have matched that and more ,personally i do not believe it unless the geaordies have paid him up ..

    Can;t see any truth in that rumour ..

    • TimPM

      I think MK Dons were probably the only bidders.

      With Smith I still think he would have added something to the team but after Joey Barton at QPR and with the fans fed up enough as it is I suppose it would’ve been a big risk for Grayson to take.

      If he proves himself at MK he’ll be out of contract so no more 60k anywhere, and you never know, we might get him back. If he doesn’t then that would just confirm a good decision I suppose?

      A little disappointed all the same. MOT

    • number1inyorkshire

      sorry colin i was meaning about them only paying 2k of his 60k ?? ..

      leeds would have paid smith 10k at the begining of the season and more so this story makes no sense ..

      i know some would have liked him back at leeds that might happen in new season ,

      but i think he is at his level now

    • TimPM

      Got to agree with Matthew there. As much as I reckon he’d have been a good signing, clearly nobody else at our level (or above) thought so.

      If MK Dons paid 2.5k p/w for him then clearly most managers with professional scouting teams think he’s a bad bet even on a loan. If MK Dons are paying more, then it’s less open-and-shut as to whether he’d have helped us?

  • number1inyorkshire

    nothing on news now or any where regarding transfers in .interesting to see if one of our signings will be delph til end of season ..

    we are not going up right now or at the end of this season ..

    we are devoid of any quality other than snodgrass and delph when he is fit ,at the end of his loan at the mo

  • number1inyorkshire

    don,t think robbie rogers will start tuesday ,maybe a cameo from the bench .grayso pretty much has said he is not fit enough to start

    • TimPM

      @number1inyorkshire He was originally going to fit into the team quite quickly but I guess he’s only just got the permit worked out.

      Best not to rush a new player- just like injuries.

      Be interested to see how Townsend does…

    • number1inyorkshire

      @TimPM yes it seems grayson has back tracked a bit with rogers although he has travelled quite a bit this week,not been that impressed with townsend over all ..

      to be honest i never was with watt either last season .

  • number1inyorkshire

    Does anyone know what’s happened with Conolly Gordon bleeding Bennett ,why is he falling out with all the defenders .Is it because they think he doesn’t know what he is doing.

    i have never known anything like it

    KIDS and loans are not the answer lees has done ok ,Zac Thompson has ,but he aint a right back .

    getting stuffed by an improving brum side tomorrow having made no quality signings will be massive for leeds and grayson ,,

    today should see some go out and some come in if they are gonna play tomorrow .

    • number1inyorkshire

      missed a little punctuation between Conolly and Gordon sorry ,,

      Don’t worry Conolly Gordon Bennett is not out new right back ,although he can’t be any worse than what we have …..

    • OzWhite

      @number1inyorkshire You’re likely to hear more over there than I am in Australia, I get all my information off sites like this, are we even linked with anyone?