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!