A Positive Week For Leeds United Football Club TSS February 21, 2012 Leeds United 40 Comments When Ken Bates announced Neil Warnock as Simon Grayson’s successor, I have to admit, I was totally taken aback by it. Warnock had been amongst the bookies favourites throughout the two weeks of speculation that preceded his appointment, but I think I can speak on behalf of most fans when I say, none of us ever expected it to actually happen. It wasn’t that he was wrong for the job, on the contrary, most of us felt he was probably the best option from a largely depressing list of names linked with Elland Road. But we’d all become so cynical of Bates, we expected him to hire a cheap, thoroughly underwhelming manager with absolutely no experience to speak of – possibly just to spite us! Nightmares of Ken Bates and Shaun Harvey mulling over the speculation and opinions of fans haunted me. “They want Neil Warnock do they? Let’s give them Roy Keane!” But alas, we were proved wrong. Ken Bates appointed the most experienced manager for the job and deserves credit for doing so. That’s right, praise for Ken Bates from The Scratching Shed – didn’t see that one coming, did you? I’ve said all along that I don’t like our chairman, nor will I ever, he’s a horrible human being. But that doesn’t mean I won’t hold my hands up and say “fair play Ken” when he gets something right, that would be counter-productive and incredibly petty. In this instance, Ken Bates responded to the demands of fans and has acted in the best interests of the club – there’s nothing to criticise him for. There’s no “but” either. Whether Neil Warnock is supported in the transfer market or not is a matter for another day, right here and now, the club have made the right decision and deserve praise for doing so. And that’s not the only thing they’ve got right this week. My primary argument against our ridiculously high ticket prices has always stemmed from a fear that we’re pricing out the next generation of fans. I’m sure none of us like paying Champions League prices for second division football, but it’s not as though I can’t afford it. My main issue with the pricing has always been that there’s no incentive for people to bring along the next generation of fans. It’s far too expensive for most people to do so, and when you’re watching a team stripped-bare of it’s best players getting outclassed by distinctively average Championship sides, why would anyone leave themselves short? This is why I applaud the free shirt for juniors promotion the club are running for our upcoming Championship clash against Southampton. The game is on Sky anyway, so the attendance will take a hit, and it’s not as if we were short of spare seats already. Any efforts made to fill those seats, particularly with the next generation of fans we are in danger of losing completely, is a winner in my book. Finally, I’m also pleased to see the club using their official YouTube channel to post up some of the content available through LUTV. I’m sure there’ll be some fans who complain because they’re paying for LUTV, only for the club to make it available free elsewhere but LUTV is a highlights service. Was anyone really paying to watch Robert Snodgrass being interviewed? Social media is incredibly important for businesses nowadays and Leeds United have been painfully slow on the uptake. Not only can Leeds United exploit the capabilities of social media to further boost their revenues by promoting offers and products, but it also allows supporters to interact with the brand online. As content is shared and exchanged in seconds across the web, the customers of the business are effectively creating free advertising – it’s a no-brainer. This doesn’t mean all is well and there aren’t other things that need to change at the club, but we all had our individual lists of problems and for me personally, the club have started to address a few of those. You can’t campaign for change and then refuse to give credit when the club start making some. Overall, this has been a positive week for Leeds United Football Club. Let’s all enjoy that for a moment and hope the club continue to build on the progress made. Marching On Together! CraigSweaton I agree and applaud you mate! To quote myself from earlier in the week….”I have this fuzzy feeling inside me, not indigestion the other one….erm Hope!!” TSS @CraigSweaton I know, right? I went to the doctors about it and he says this is normal for most football fans. I’m still going to seek a second opinion, but he did seem convinced by his own conclusions. It’s nice to be talking about issues effecting the team for a change, like the change of captaincy, rather than imminent doom. Tyler75 @TSS @CraigSweaton Its not the despair, its the hope I can’t stand – can’t remember who said that but must have been a Leeds fan ! TimPM @Tyler75 John Cleese. Clockwise! CasWhite It’s been a very positive week. Note sure how they’ll follow up on this. Maybe we’ll see a new centre-half or central midfield general joint. pete58 The wife wants a divorce , i asked her on what grounds, she said it was because of my sudden violent mood swing at the weekend, can’t think what she means. Although the world does somehow seem a better place. MOT. 8legs6legs Good article. Sums up eaxctly how I feel about KB, the appointment and the promotion for youngsters. I’ll criticse when I think KB gets it wrong but I will equally laud positive and progressive actions like NW being appointed. Bates in? Na; am not that pusuaded but well done anyhow! Tyler75 Spot on TSS – I dream of the day LUFC is Bates/Harvey free but credit where credit’s due, he’s done the right thing on a few fronts this week. However I suspect there was no master plan and falling attendances, increasingly focused fan unrest and flagging results, forced his hand. Momentum is everything in business as it is in football and as a successful businessman, Ken would go against all his instincts not to capitalise on it. To take the point about backing Warnock, he’s already been very clear that he’s got Chairman Ken’s full support. He won’t take any crap if he feels he isn’t being supported properly (and remember this is a short-term ‘project’ for Colin) he’ll walk and I suspect he’s already made that very clear to Kenny. DJD For the first time in ages I am smiling about the Whites. Cumbrian White Was at the game on Saturday and it was the first time in years that i felt a tinge of optimism for my club and inside of ER . I am not Mr Bates biggest fan but i am really over the moon with the appointment of Neil Warnock as our new manager. I just hope our fans really turn out in numbers and back the boys every inch of the way. I would also hope that the Anti Bates chants will start to die off a little and that Mr Bates will back NW in the squad strengthening that we obviously need . MOT MarcButterworth Was chuffed with the appointment of NW. He was my first choice when Grayson was sacked. It fills me with hope, as much because I just cant believe that Warnock would have taken the job if Bates had not convinced him that promotion was a genuine aim. No doubt Bayes will try his best to smash the new found optimism but I’ll ride the wave while it lasts and rumours like Derry coming back do nothing to dampen my mood… MOT jigzy84 @MarcButterworth I agree with your point re “as much because I just cant believe that Warnock would have taken the job if Bates had not convinced him that promotion was a genuine aim” Promotion has always been a aim of Bates you have to say he was right not to back Grayson if he didn’t believe in him. Tyler75 @jigzy84@MarcButterworth Can’t argue with Bates sacking him if he didn’t truly believe he could get us promoted or didn’t trust him with his ‘war chest’ so why didn’t he do it in the summer or before the January transfer window opened, thus giving the new Manager a proper tilt at promotion with his own players ? SamO1974 Why do people always say LUFC are pricing out the next generation of fans? It’s 11 quid to take an Under 16 which I think is very reasonable given the money that gets spent on kids these days. And the other myth is that you HAVE to be a member to buy tickets in the family stand! You don’t! All you need is a member or season ticket holder to buy your tickets for you. TSS @SamO1974 Some of us don’t sit in the East Stand, but it’s an expensive day out regardless of where you sit if you’re taking kids. Much more expensive than it is to take a kid to any big club in a 50 mile radius. SamO1974 @TSS I don’t sit in the east stand either. The cheapest adult ticket for Sat v Donny was £31 in the north and south stands which is ridiculously expensive. But for a dad to take his lad in the family stand for the same game would’ve been £27 (adult) + £11 (child) = £38 in total, meaning £7 extra to take the child. Football ticket prices are far too high. I accept that. But I don’t see how anyone can say LUFC are pricing out the fans of tomorrow. TSS @SamO1974 Because for a lot of our fans it’s upwards of £450 for them to get their kid an ST. My brother has an ST at Elland Road and his daughter has one at Oakwell because it would have cost him £500 to take her to Leeds, compared to the token sum his brother-in-law paid for her to go to Barnsley. I have a nephew I’d love to take, but I aren’t paying £300 for him to sit near me because I don’t know how quickly he’ll get bored of it. So at this moment in time he goes to rugby with another family member which costs about £50 a year and has plenty of entertainment for young fans like himself. We’re not competitive with other clubs, both football and in other sports and there’s no excuse for it considering how empty Elland Road is. Make the tickets cheap with any other ST (like most clubs do) and you instantly boost attendances and attract fans that’ll remain loyal for life. TimPM @TSS @SamO1974 I’m not sure he’s really running the club for profit. After all as you point out – he’s hardly got a use for the extra cash. And I’m sure he’d get less hassle making his money elsewhere… SamO1974 @TSS Elland Road used to be famous for it’s hostile, intimidating atmosphere. The kop and south stand were full of lads, not kids. Kids should be in the family stand where they can wave at that fucking cat all day long if they want. Have you thought that some people don’t want to be surrounded by kids? I certainly don’t. Rugby is a big pathetic day out for women and kids and football is slowly following. Is that what you want? I fucking don’t!!! If I was in charge kids would be banned from all parts of the ground apart from the family stand so think yourself lucky you’ve got Kenny! ramblinjohn It’s just good that there’s something to be positive about again – boycotts, silent terraces: nobody could have blamed the fans for any of that, given what we put up with – but the upshot is that Elland Rd is not what it was…a place where the crowd was the 12th man – Warnock is absolutely the right man for us and, whatever happens this season, we’ve got someone who’s passionate about his job and is a winner – that’s all we want. Best of luck to SG at HTFC too…I hope we don’t forget what he did for this club in the months ahead NorthEastLoiner Something else Ken can do to up my respect fro him from admittedly a very very low point is to sign us up to the Justin Campaign and their Football v Homophobia initiative. Some big clubs have already signed up and it’s important we’re involved in this as well as anti racism initiatives. jigzy84 @NorthEastLoiner the Justin campaign is a joke really all though firmly believe that they should be a anti Homophobia Campaign in football and the wider community, I can not accept that a guy who committed suicide who was facing deportation to the US for charges of Statutory Rape on a boy and who made false claims of sex with public figures. It is not right to use his name in the way as then you are also promoting all the bad that he did equally. Leeds Should start there own initiative or policy. NorthEastLoiner @jigzy84 @NorthEastLoiner Not saying everything he did was right but there are two sides to every story and not sure we should judge without evidence I understand the ‘boy’ was 17 and whether the sex was consensual or not is the issue, his suicide note states it was. As to his claims again not condoning but he was treated disgracefully after he had the courage to be honest about his sexuality. Do you see a Leeds led campaign having any effect, the more people and clubs stand up for this one the stronger the voice and this one has support already Arsenal Liverpool and Newcastle already signed up (and Millwall!) kentwhitestu I agree that ticket prices are expensive, I travel up from Kent to watch a game and the price of the ticket along with travelling makes for quite an expensive day out. Worth it when we win but a bloody long drive home when we lose. I think that 10 pounds should be knocked of the price of an adult ticket. That way for all those loyal fans who live miles away, they would be able to afford to come to more games and attendances would rise. I long for the day that elland road is a sell out everyweek and the atmosphere that creates is worth any drive. Keep the faith and with Warnock and his eye for a good player we’ll soon be there. MOT. TimPM It was fun watching the praise trying to distil itself from the bile! They’re moving in the right direction. Time will tell! jigzy84 @TimPM Bates has moved in the right direction since he did the right thing and took Leeds into administration. TimPM I know I was pretty much the only one of people I knew offline who believed the real possibility that Ken would show his ability in recruiting, but did no-one else online think Warnock was a real possibility?! I always thought there was a 50-50 chance… was worried at one point Clark was coming in though! @kentwhitestu yeah, when I’m away from Yorkshire it’s about £40 added to the actual matchday, and that’s if I plan a decent while ahead! It’s difficult though. You never know how the fans would take a drop. If they were grateful, they’d flock in and it’d be agood move. If they weren’t, then the club would lose all that money & not be able to put prices back. Who’d be a chairman, eh? 50,000 backseat drivers! A good week indeed. We’ve gone from rudderless indirection to a galvanised support ready to follow one of the most proven English managers in football at the moment. Let’s just hope when we hit our first hurdle the fans keep some perspective! TSS @TimPM “Let’s just hope when we hit our first hurdle the fans keep some perspective!” Don’t be ridiculous. mattbb1 is this jigzy for real? hes worth an article just for his posts on their own? Lorimer Out Before we all start getting over excited let us never forget that with Bates in charge this club will never go anywhere. I am told that LUFC owe 1.5 Million still on The East Stand and Caddicks who are the contractors are issuing a writ to get their money!!! Warnock is a brilluiant choice but dont be fooled. He will not be backed in the transfer market!!!!! jigzy84 @Lorimer Out Leeds don’t have a writ against them nor will they more nonsense conjecture. I’ve always been content and optimistic with Bates in charge I believe him to be one of the best performing chairman in the football league I agree with vast majority of what he has done or said. How can you say Warnock will not be backed Bates always backs a manager when he believes in them as proven my Blackwell and then Grayson in league 1. Warnock will be backed and Leeds will get promoted. TSS @jigzy84@lorimer You’re on acid, right? How is Bates the best performing chairman? Based on what? The financial catastrophe that was Chelsea? They were going under until Roman came in and bailed him out. How about the financial catastrophe at Leeds? He loaded tens of millions of pounds of additional debt on the club, put us in administration, got us relegated to League One and despite failing, still managed to con his way back in with your blessing? You’ve been listening to Bates’ “saviour” speeches haven’t you and ignoring the facts. number1inyorkshire @TSS @jigzy84@lorimer never let the facts get in the way of the blinded by bates fools . Bates has left destruction everywhere he has been over a 40 year career . The one thing that has done for Bates is the fact he is actually a pig ignorant , pig headed dictator who is hell bent on his own way which ever wrong way it is ,thats why no one will work with him number1inyorkshire just a point on ticket prices football is not competitive in any way at most grounds with other entertainment .pop concerts ,theatre ,festivals . Leeds united fans have every right to argue about pricing BUT some and a minority need to take a look at themselves, there are i reckon in a crowd of 23+k probably up to 1000 on the wrong ticket mainly kids tickets . now thats up to them but we all know that if ken offered season tickets at kids prices which i would say would be fantastic that adults would buy them and use them . I and my kids sit in the family stand ,there are supposed to be a kid with every 2 adults that is never the case .with groups of drunk males in there without kids . I would say that its up to the stewards to check tickets and the automated system has helped fraud but the fans need to take some responsibility too . a kid season ticket should be max £150 .. Donny kids on saturday were charged £24 its a disgrace ,football needs a future the kids are it welcome them with genuine family packages jigzy84 @number1inyorkshire I agree with you when fans cheat the club they rightly have to make it back unfortunately that means that the law abiding citizen is punished with more expensive tickets. It happens in all industries and they all recoup their money in one form or another Tyler75 5th most expensive prices in the country ? Cheaper season tickets at the theatre of prawns, Anfield, City ? Brighton have filled their new ground this season with season ticket holders (18,000) by pricing sensibly for adults and offering significant discounts for juniors – my mate pays less for his season ticket and his 2 boys than for an adult ST in the Kop at ER (with vastly superior facilities at the AMEX). As a result they are increasing their capacity 2 years ahead of schedule to cope with the extra demand. If you price realistically then you will have less of a problem with people trying to circumvent ticket buying restrictions. Also West Ham, Sunderland and may other clubs run regular ‘kids for a quid’ promotions throughout the season for less attractive fixtures. This not only pulls in future supporters but ‘lapsed’ or occasional aldult ones. The free shirt giveaway for Soton is a definite step in the right direction but should be part of a longer-term strategy. jigzy84 Yet again Ken Bates has proved to the minority what an excellent chairman he is for our club, I’m delighted that he is our chairman and I would like to give thanks for sacking Grayson, treating Redfearn with dignity and respect, hiring Warnock, and then providing excellent incentive for young fans, add all this to the additional season ticket renewal extended deadline. The fact will remains that when Bates believes in a manager he backs them as proven by Blackwell and Grayson in league one, Bates believes in Warnock and rightly so he will back him and Leeds will be successful which will leave the minority to eat humble pie and stay quiet for once. It’s nice to see a positive article about LUFC. TSS @jigzy84 Seriously, are you on some kind of wind-up mission? Points for persistence, I’ll give you that. Tyler75 It’s not a wind up – he’s Shaun Harvey and he believes this stuff – everybody is entitled to their opinion !! mattbb1 i have to admit the above is somewhat overplaying the hand – come clean jigzy – is bates `treating you with dignity’ and salarying you? personally when i see Warnock get backed then i will believe it, his appointment is a step in the right driection and i welcome it, but he has a long way to go – those season tickets you mention – perhaps make them cheaper?