Turning seven seems to have caught the imagination of the Leeds faithful just now. Perhaps the horrors of the era have reminded us of the David Fincher film of the same name.

At age seven you’re definitely starting to look like a fully formed human in preparation for puberty to destroy all the hard work. The seven years since we were allegedly ‘reborn’ into fiscal conservatism via the bearded one have been largely an ugly, pimply, socially uncomfortable experience from day one.

That’s not to mention the few signs of actual development, having ‘progressed’ from roughly where we are now to, er, roughly where we are now. Kind of like treading water with added relegation.

If we’re assuming the start of Bates’ tenure as some sort of ‘ground zero’, something epoch-beginning, it seems that quite a lot of us think it’s been an epoch defined by the telling of blatant porky pies. Like the one that the overwhelming majority are hundred per cent behind every business/ football decision he makes.

There’s a groundswell of frustration – a feeling we’ve been held in an increasing contempt and constantly told what’s good for us; enough loyalty assumed to guarantee profits regardless of what drivel is spun out of the club in our direction.

But genuine dissatisfaction is undeniably something that’s hard to meter via social media and message boards alone. What’s firing down broadband cables is often more dramatic than what’s happening in the stands (certainly more than what’s happening on the pitch…)

While #7YearsOfLies is getting significant traction, I’ve generally experienced slightly uncomfortable scenes when people try instigating Bates Out chants at games. It’s hard to tell whether there’s significant voiceless pro-Bates numbers, or simply folk browbeaten and waiting wanly for success to return. It’s understandable.

Of course much more came in the years immediately before these seven in question than most clubs experience in their entire existence, but you could argue, at least there was actual stuff happening then – it had a certain gallows excitement. Now we’ve found ourselves lodged in a state of stasis, there seems to be just a small number of tedious key themes meted out on repeat: financial stability, big squad, big bad agents, excessive wage demands, improving facilities.

Then there are those things never mentioned: the great botched Thorp Arch buy-back, where the money from the sale of pretty much everyone good went, the needless drain of an in-house propaganda machine in an age where everyone’s a goddamn publisher.

Weekly radio interviews have made for masochist’s cliché bingo: “irons in the fire”, “war chest”, “saved the club”, “balance the books”, “anyone we want we get”…

At the start of these seven, we had a few exciting players in spite of our mire, but now the only thing we have to look forward to is loaning our exciting players back from where we packed them off to. Most of us have stopped hoping the outstanding two or three we’ve presently got on our payroll will see this as a place where their ambitions will be fulfilled.

It’s been seven years – it kind of feels like a lifetime of lowering expectations. Maybe the seven years thing is a lie too – can someone do a check on the dates once more?

You can only hope that righteous anger, satire, protest et al will build to something, but it’s hard not to feel like Ken just laps up the pantomime villain role with relish – perhaps even keeps that pulse going still stronger in his eighth decade. The dissatisfied are the moronic minority, after all.

It does seem apparent that any gesture other than either wads of cash to the inflated value he perceives the asset-less club has or his face against the wall probably won’t register – but it doesn’t hurt to keep trying.

Here’s to seven more years. By the end of that it’ll likely be just him and the Gary Speed Suite.

  • White Stuff

    Do the reserves still play at Elland Road and can you go and watch them, or possibly the under 18’s???? I was thinking if we could get enough people to boycott one game and instead go and pack out Elland Road for a reserve game. This would make a massive statement to everyone, but still show everyone just how many passionate, amazing fans we have that are simply sick of it and want things to change before they start spending hard earned money on Ken Bate’s cash cow! Love Leeds, sick sick sick of Bates.

  • WoodyUK

    Sullivan, Richardson, Kilgallon, Gregan, Crainey, Walton, Derry, Douglas, Pugh, Healy and Hulse is probably a better first team than we currently have to be honest and throw into the mix Cresswell, Kelly, Lewis, Blake, Wright and Stone possibly better depth as well but we were wallowing in debt, moral was rock bottom, youth setup was being dismantled – thoroughly depressing time. Yes there have been blatent porkies (Deph £8m -> war chest etc), yes there have been stone wall silences, political answers (answers that have no bearing on the question) and definately sloping shoulders and pass the buck (i.e. why spend millions on executive boxes but fail to buy back either Thorpe Arch or Elland Road and save exhorbitant rents – Council’s fault, Ridsdale’s fault, Krasner’s fault etc). Even though I am certain Ken Bates only concern in Leeds United is to reap as much financial gain as possible from the club I am genuinely confused as to why he will not invest a few million on players capable of taking us over the final hurdle and into the land of milk and honey (Premiership). When he’s got us there I have no problem with him building executive boxes or spending money on LUTV and Leeds Radio – football first, Bates projects second.

  • WoodyUK

    Sullivan, Richardson, Kilgallon, Gregan, Crainey, Walton, Derry, Douglas, Pugh, Healy and Hulse is probably a better first team than we currently have to be honest and throw into the mix Cresswell, Kelly, Lewis, Blake, Wright and Stone possibly better depth as well but we were wallowing in debt, moral was rock bottom, youth setup was being dismantled – thoroughly depressing time. Yes there have been blatent porkies (Deph £8m -> war chest etc), yes there have been stone wall silences, political answers (answers that have no bearing on the question) and definately sloping shoulders and pass the buck (i.e. why spend millions on executive boxes but fail to buy back either Thorpe Arch or Elland Road and save exhorbitant rents – Council’s fault, Ridsdale’s fault, Krasner’s fault etc). Even though I am certain Ken Bates only concern in Leeds United is to reap as much financial gain as possible from the club I am genuinely confused as to why he will not invest a few million on players capable of taking us over the final hurdle and into the land of milk and honey (Premiership). When he’s got us there I have no problem with him building executive boxes or spending money on LUTV and Leeds Radio – football first, Bates projects second.

  • Dje

    “More Than Just A Hashtag” is definitely gonna me my next album title, for sure.

  • Altrincham Andrew

    How about season ticket renewal boycott?? Hits him in the pocket.

    Totally agree about the frustration. Supported Leeds since i was 9 now 50 and never been so annoyed and sad at whats happening to us. Leeds is a massive”brand” but we’re untouchable as no one will put up with the dealings of Bates.

    As Chairman, if he cared, he would be proactively looking for real Investors to “speed up” our return to the Premiership. Instead he quotes cases where the money injection ( Leicester ) hasnt as yet worked. Leicester will make the play offs ; we’ll hover near the trap door.

    Sorry Ken but not investing in the team will have a pay back. Success is built around investment and good coaching; need both to suceed.

    Who fancies NOT renewing?

    • Dje

      @Altrincham Andrew Sadly hitting Bates pocket hits our club too. If you want to destroy him then you’ll need to destroy the club. That said, I reckon it would best not to renew season tickets and just opt for a match by match approach for next season (it doesn’t cost much more). It’d stuff Bates financial projections for the coming season and remind him not to take us for granted.

      Once you’ve paid full whack six months before the next season (ie. at the exact point where you are thinking we might just be in the Premiership so I guess the vast amount of the season ticket might be valid), Bates can take advantage and not give a stuff about us ‘morons’. And to be fair, we are for continually playing into his hands.

  • Dje

    “More Than Just A Hashtag.” Definitely gonna be my next album title.

  • MarcButterworth

    What is the point in this continual moaning and griping ???? Yes, we all want Bates to fuck off and die but it’s not going to happen !! He is here to stay so get used to it…. Nothing we say or do will change how he behaves. He’s 302 years old for fucks sake. He’s been there and done that… He’s seen it all before and doesnt give shit… Quite the opposite in fact…. He loves the attention. He lives for conflict, the sad little man.

    He will do what he will do so we might as well just get on with it and support the team. it’s like standing on beach watching a 100 ft tidal wave coming at you. You know it’s a shit situation, but there is FUCK ALL you can do about it.

    And you know you wont stop going coz it’s in your blood and you cant do without the fix.

    • The Grim Reaper

      @MarcButterworth it will never happen if only people like you are supporting the club thats for sure, he might have more front than brighton beach but this last letter alone shows he is starting to worry.

      The time now is to forget the team because our suppport alone will never get them to where we need to be, so lets stop wasting our breath and give this old goat the full treatment. Because if enough interest is created and enough pressure is heaped on him, he is going to get the message and start to think about making a move at the moment hes getting it too easy and is just sitting there fleecing the club. (because it seems some of you daydreamers still think hes going to put money into this club)

      It says something about the way this club is going when blackburn fans can get slated for their treatment of steve keane, even the scousers eventually hounded out hicks and gillete with a little help and our kop can barely raise a whimper against this disgrace of a man other than to say get behind the team ra ra ra.

  • silkyswift

    WTF is going on here …the situation is beyond farcical …Lorimer reveals on Friday evening that Delph deal is almost sorted and today we hear that Leeds have not approached Villa …and where the F%$K has Grayson disappeared to … Bates show some bollocks and extend the season ticket renewal date to mid Feb and prove your interest in this club moving forwards before fans are once again hoodwinked …Grayson late December “we will move to bring players in quickly and i may need more than i thought ..players who will be in the first eleven … not just squad players ” Same old …

    • Dje

      @silkyswift Yeah, I was also wondering where Grayson has disappeared to: not been heard since the Crystal Palace game – only Snodin. Snodin’s remarks today: we might bring in one or two. We need at least three players so thanks for nowt Snodin.

      • TSS

        @Dje@silkyswift I don’t know why people think this is unusual. Grayson has never been particularly outspoken, you just haven’t noticed it before now. You don’t need to speak much when you have Bates as chairman.

        • Dje

          @TSS@silkyswift Grayson usually has a post-match word or two. I thought he had a supposed knee injury, not tonsillitis. Even the LUFC was speaking on behalf of Grayson today (in regards to Rogers transfer) when they usually like to pop in a quote or two from him. I’m not saying there is anything untoward in this, just a little out of the ordinary.

        • Dje

          @TSS@silkyswift Grayson usually has a post-match word or two. I thought he had a supposed knee injury, not tonsillitis. Even the LUFC site was speaking on behalf of Grayson today (in regards to Rogers transfer) when they usually like to pop in a quote or two from him. I’m not saying there is anything untoward in this, just a little out of the ordinary.

  • Rodge

    Message to ken bates Bates. You have to speculate to accumulate

  • Rodge

    Message to ken bates Bates. You have to speculate to accumulate

  • The Grim Reaper

    Everyone who receives a renewal should return a letter asking for an explanation of this letters contents.

    everything is going up??? i dont thinks so ken everyone is having to shave their costs at the moment, companys are pricing things low to encourage spending. and thats exactly what they should be doing to encourage growth something bates has missed since he took over.

    the rest is just nonsense always remember living the dream never took us into adminsitration or league 1 that was KENNETH BATES and his cronies

  • mattbb1

    So now Clayton thinks we’re sh1te, totally unambitious and has turned his nose up at the £4.32per week on offer at leeds… so thats Howson, White, Clayton, Snodgrass, O’Brien all on the way, and Billy Paynter not moving, well anywhere….. surely we have some wages to offer when Kens ahem… paid all his professional fees to Ben Kates Solicitors, Kane Betes Accountants, and The Whitebeard Investment Trust. SIgn me up for the seven years of lies protest now, Ken youre a disgrace and youre destroying our club.

  • Tim Campbell

    There is one undeniable fact in this life – you are born and you die and kenneth is no different unless the rumours of him being one of the undead are true – would sucking the lifefblood out of our club qualify him for such an accolade. The comparisons are downright scary!!

  • mattbb1

    @TSS one thought did occur to me the other day that i thught worth sharing – why not create a `searchable’ advert to investors for Leeds United? We arent subject to the Fuhrers media ban, and i think if the real truth of the matter and scale of investment is out there we might get the tractin we need – the investors would also generally have a mandate of backing from supporters – what do you think? I’m happy to contribute to that.

  • Christopher Deighton

    With your team not against .

  • Richard Ford

    I think bates is doing a good job to be honest

  • The Scratching Shed

    LOL. We’re back where we started 7 years ago via League One. Yeah, stand up job there Kenny, he should be knighted.

  • Richard Ford

    we are 120 million pound out of debt and have a stable club, did you only start sporting 7 years ago becuase i remember what happened before that and it wasnt pretty

  • The Scratching Shed

    When Bates arrived his takeover – in his word – saved us from administration. We had, according to him, £6m of sustainable debt. The Nutty Professor had sorted most of that out. 18 months on we went into administration with £35m worth of debt. What exactly did Bates save us from? The administration that happened anyway? Himself? I know my facts mate, think you may need to check some of your own and stop believing every word that comes out of his mouth.

  • David Kendall

    the only thing to learn from the painful past Richard is that we must never go there again. Do not stand by and witness a return to League one or worse which is surely where we ar heading.