Ken Bates And The Paying Of 28 Scandal TSS February 15, 2012 Leeds United 60 Comments Ken Bates’ latest excuse for Grayson’s sacking is that with a squad of 28 we shouldn’t be signing new players, and Grayson’s work with the current squad has not been good enough. Question-marks already hang high above the last bit of his statement. But what about squad sizes? I have a deadline to meet so let’s keep this short: I’ll take the bottom three clubs, the three mid-table clubs (which includes Leeds), and the top three clubs who aren’t newly demoted. Bear in mind players signed and not yet played will not show on these stats. So Kenneth has the benefit of the doubt on each club. Doncaster Rovers – 33 43 players have been named on matchday this season. 10 players have since left the club. 33 players in the squad. Nottingham Forest – 25 34 players have been named on matchday this season. 05 players have since left the club. 30 players in the squad. Coventry City – 26 30 players have been named on matchday this season. 04 players have since left the club. 26 players in the squad. Derby County – 28 30 players have been named on matchday this season. 02 players have since left the club. 28 players in the squad. Leicester – 30 30 players have been named on matchday this season. 00 players have since left the club. 30 players in the squad. Leeds United – 28 33 players have been named on matchday this season. 05 players have since left the club. 28 players in the squad. Southampton – 27 28 players have been named on matchday thsi season. 01 players have since left the club. 27 players in the squad. Cardiff – 27 27 players have been named on matchday this season. 00 players have left the club. 27 players in the squad. Reading – 30 30 players have been named on matchday this season. 00 players have left the club. 30 players in the squad. So what do these stats tell us? They tell us that it doesn’t matter whether you have a squad of 25 or 33; if you’re players aren’t good enough you will be relegated. They also tell us that those clubs who go on to reach the playoffs or promotion are far less likely to sell players and have to bed new ones in place of old. Reading have kept their players; Cardiff have kept their players; Southampton have offloaded one player. Even the mid-table teams have not chopped and changed to the extent forced upon Leeds United by our inability to sign our best players to new contracts. One extra factor that may explain why one or two are scratching their heads, is that young players will show up on the more frequented pages like Wikipedia. And this again reflects teams’ budgets. Big-spending clubs like Leicester have 8 unused young players in the senior squad. Relegation-embattled clubs like Doncaster Rovers are using every player at their disposal. Leeds falls into the latter category. We have only Will Turner of all our youngsters who is yet to make an appearance for us this season. But even that does not tell the whole story. Teams like Leicester and Southampton have paid to get experienced players as well as young stars, and keep them. Leeds have youngsters (Aidy White, 20; Tom Lees, 21; Zac Thompson, 19) and young loanees (20 year old Smith to come in for 19 year old Thompson, 20 year old Townsend to give competition to 20 year old White on the wing). At 24, Robert Snodgrass is one of the most experienced players in the Leeds team and the one we’re looking to for leadership. Beside him is 34 year old Michael Brown, 40 year old Maik Taylor, 32 year old Andy O’Brien, 30 year old Paddy Kisnorbo. This is where it goes wrong for Leeds. The oldies get injuries, or struggle to keep up with the rigours of a 46 game season. The youngsters make mistakes, and when the game goes the wrong way they’re more prone than experienced heads to panicking. Yet on the wages offered by Leeds, the only experienced heads we can afford are the cast-offs from other Championship clubs. Players who are too old or injury-prone to be considered worthwhile for other clubs to employ. We have a larger squad Southampton – technically – and a similar squad to Leicester – technically – yet the numbers cloud the clear problems for Leeds. Run your eye over our squad, and try to name half a team who are good enough for promotion who have more than two years’ first team experience at a decent level. We’re relying on youngsters to do it all for us. Our young players deserve a chance, but it’s unfair on them to place the pressures of promotion on their still developing shoulders. Of course they’ll come out saying the believe they can do it: who didn’t at that age? But the old hands on our Board – including Peter Lorimer – should surely understand that it’s not a good idea to place all our hopes on them. They’ve shown under “Redders” that when the going gets tough, they’re nowhere to be found. Even if they have talent and skill. Ken Bates laughed at Simon Grayson’s attempts to sign a new player: “The first time I said ‘no’ to a player that Simon wanted to buy was last Thursday when he wanted to sign a player who was going to cost us £600,000 a year. I said ‘but you’ve already got six centre-backs, all of who you signed’.” He was, in fact, being misleading, as the player Grayson had wanted to sign was a central midfielder. Not to mention that O’Dea had been signed as much as cover for left-back. The player would have cost ££600,000 per annum. That’s roughly £11.5k per week. Reasonably expensive, but about on a par for a good midfielder who will help gain promotion. Don’t forget, it’s only a season since Bates was laughing at one club’s signing of an unproven product of a top Premiership academy on £10k per week – widely thought to be Jay Simpson for Hull City. Yes, £10k was laughable – because it was going towards an unproven player. That suggests £10k to a proven player is acceptable. Yet Bates is now laughing at Grayson’s attempt to sign a player on £11.5k? Is £1,500 per week really that much in the mind of Leeds United’s chairman? It’s about the equivalent of 50 fans (well less actually) paying £36 for an away ticket. Yet Bates was happy to charge ridiculous prices, pull them away from the Cheese Wedge, stick them into the crappy West Stand, and has thus seen regular boycots of Leeds matches by visiting fans. He says our squad is too big. We have 6 central defenders. Does he suggest we play Alex Bruce in midfield? Or O’Dea? He says our squad is too big: but it’s the same size as mid-table, unambitious Derby County. And who do we have in central midfield? A 34 year old who will almost certainly be leaving at the end of the season, a youngster who will leave in the next month, and Vayrynen and Clayton. Zac Thompson as cover. Hardly a promotion winning squad that you’re paying for Mr. Bates. And this is what’s so strange. Ken Bates flip-flops on just about every issue. He first laughed at spending £10k p/w on an inexperienced player, and now laughs at spending £11.5k p/w on any player whatsoever. Remember Max Gradel? “Ken Bates sensationally reveals that Max Gradel was told he could leave at the end of last season after spending the summer reassuring Leeds United fans we wouldn’t be selling our star winger.” That’s a quote from this site as Ken Bates revealed all on transfer deadline day this autumn. And Simon Grayson on the same day? “The most frustrating day I have had as a manager”. I’m not surprised, Simon. And then, as The Square Ball’s latest podcast pointed out, Ken Bates spent half of a radio address expounding the expense of loanees, before using Arsenal’s Henry as an example of why loanees work: “He’s a free player, free transfer.” No he’s not, Ken. You just said, loanees are bloody expensive! It’s this confusion of contradictory statements that makes Ken Bates such a strange man to consider. Either he’s utterly thick, or he’s massively out of touch. Given his willingness to quote figures at us as if they will absolve him of all wrongdoing, when in fact they prove his double-standards and ill-considered strategies, I’d suggest the latter. Which is worrying. Written by TimPM. Appearance data: Stat Bunker. Photo Credit: Alex Knight Photography. GilFisher Why are you dismissing Ken’s YR rant about the central defender in favour of his programme notes rant about a midfielder? We don’t know if any of it was true. The fact is that SG brought in several Central Defenders and Central Midfielders (Bruce, O’Brien, Brown, Varynen) in recent years for similar wages as the one he was allegedly trying to bring in at the deadline. Any reason to think he would be any better? That was Ken’s point (I think, who the fuck knows.) But by and large, Ken just spews a load of rhetoric and to rely on parts and dismiss others is folly, I think. I like having a young squad that can grow and mature as the club advances through the leagues. I much prefer it to the recycled veterans that Blackwell tried in this division. But I think it is paramount to keep the young players you think can (possibly) contribute at the PL level and we haven’t (Delph, Gradel, Howson, Johnson). It’s funny, because if you look at each departure on its own on a micro level, it may be defensible (Delph – too much coin to refuse; Gradel – too many wingers, needed investment in the centre of the pitch…which didn’t happen; Johnson – many thought he was not good enough for the next level….proving us wrong; Howson – big wage demands on a club that couldn’t justify it on an injured player); looking at them (the departures) as a body of work, it is completely unacceptable. TimPM @GilFisher Well, I didn’t have time to find all the different links! The thing is, he never said it was a central defender. He simply mentioned central defenders in the same breath. In my personal opinion, it was to discredit Grayson. Yet Eddie Gray had said we needed a big bloke in central defence the day before on Leeds’ radio station and everybody seemed to agree with Grayson. So now it’s a central midfielder. Well that’s just as indefensible! We’ve sold an ever-present part of our midfield, and he’s refused to fund the replacement. CraigSweaton Perhaps he thinks that we’re all ill-educated oiks oop north, and that throwing confusing figures about will leave us all feeling cowed and stupid? Tim Campbell The whole thing stinks of wrong doings, misinformation and ultimately in bates case, the need to feed an oversized infated ego Ron_Galea When £600k is a lot of money, it’s time too walk away. How embarrassing. TimPM @Ron_Galea Haha. He’s getting more ludicrous and surreal in each address! GilFisher @Ron_Galea 600k is a lot of money. especially if it will be relegated to the end of the bench after three games. Ron_Galea @GilFisher Intent and ambition are often worth more than the notional dollar amount. We’ve all worked for companies who didn’t invest or cut costs at every opportunity. The mood plummets and no one is motivated. Nice touch Ken. GilFisher @Ron_Galea Intent and ambition are worth something. But to say i question whether this 600k was worth anything. our youth are more effective than our 600k players….we need more intent and ambition than that. Howson and Gradel would have been 1m pound players….and they would’ve made a difference. TimPM @GilFisher @Ron_Galea Yes, but would it? Clayton was brought in and has played virtually ever game. Ross McCormack was brought in and he played him even when he was out of form last season. Now he’s played 27 matches and come on from the bench for 3 games. We’ve played 31 matches. He signed Darren O’Dea and despite injury he’s played 24 matches. Danny Pugh is another new signing who’s played 24 matches. Andy Lonergan 20 despite injuries. Andy Keogh 17 before Wolves asked too much for him. He’s made plenty of signings. Not all signings come off. But his recent ones have appeared frequently. And they were good signings. But well done for attacking the straw man. GilFisher @TimPM @Ron_Galea What Defender was going to push O’Dea and Lees to the bench? Or what midfielder was going to push Delph/Clayton to the bench. None worth 600k. TimPM @GilFisher @Ron_Galea £600k per year. He was talking about wages. GilFisher @TimPM Of course it’s wages. What’s your point? TimPM @GilFisher Well, plenty. Frankly put. But if you want a clear list you’ll have to contact their agents. Alternatively ask Grayson. But I doubt he’ll speak out. GilFisher @TimPM I’m not sure what you’re on about. GilFisher @TimPM Why should I ask the agents and Grayson when you seem to know. Who could have been brought in for 600k that would have sent O’Dea, Lees, Delph or Clayton to the bench? TimPM @GilFisher Fine. First name to come up with regards £10,000 per week:James McClean. http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Sunderland-James-McClean-to-have-pay-tripled-after-bursting-into-first-team-article865063.html Wouldn’t be good enough for our first team according to you. But never mind. You can get a job of the Leeds board, I’m sure. GilFisher @TimPM Somebody takes issue with something you write and you hurl insults. GilFisher @TimPM No room for reasoned debate here. I’ll move on. TimPM @GilFisher No. I give a dig. Just as you digged at me in the previous post. I have been courteous. You made an unfair remark about Simon Grayson’s record and I asked if that was fair given the stats. First off you said £600k p/a is a lot to pay for a player, then you ask who would be good enough for Leeds on £600k p/a. Shifting the goalposts of your argument betrays the fact that you have no real opinion on the matter and simply wish to pick fault. I have done your errands, finding examples of players said to be on £10,000 per week, even though that was an unreasonable request. GilFisher @TimPM No worries. I wasn’t digging at you though. Couldn’t understand what you were responding to at first, then I did and responded properly – but couldn’t seem to delete the original comment. Not trying to pick fault. It was a worthwhile exercise overall – good info. I have two points: 1) Can’t rely on anything Bates says. 2) 600k pounds to a club and/or business of this size is nothing to scoff at. TimPM @GilFisher lol. Fair enough. It is a decent amount of money, though also the kind of wages I’d hope we spend to replace Howson. Is this the point where one of us snubs a handshake?! WoodyUK @TimPM @GilFisher Guys surely it all depends on who the player was and as we don’t know it’s very hard to say it’s the right call or the wrong one. Again we hear so many things and no one know what’s the truth. Was he a midfielder or a central defender – was he £600k a year salary or £2m over the course of a 3 year contract – was there a fee or was he a free – was he old or did he have years left in the tank and a good chance of a sell on fee at the end of 3 years. Ron_Galea @WoodyUK @TimPM @GilFisher Alas this why the managerial appointment is so important. We need an alchemist to get us promoted with our current squad. I know £600k is chicken’s feed, but look at the clubs around us and above and look what they’ve forked out. We’re just not at the races (again). Ron_Galea Isn’t chicken’s feed! Fucking iPad DARREN1965lufc stop attending matches , stop giving him your money . this isnt leeds united anymore its ken bates ltd . BOYCOTT AND HE WILL HAVE TO SELL Tyler75 @DARREN1965lufc He’ll just use the old ‘shortfall in income’ excuse to sell Snods and Clayton. It needs to be a targetted boycott of a particular game as a demonstration – Southampton looks favourite as its on Sky DARREN1965lufc @Tyler75 well Elland Road LIVE ON SKY would be the perfect setting really . demonstrate LIVE on sky BATES OUT ILL GO WATCH EM WHEN HES GONE WoodyUK @DARREN1965lufc I’ll be attending as many homes as I can because I’ve already paid for the privilege this season. Next season I will be able to pick and choose – part of me is relieved and the other part is totally devastated but in my heart I know it’s the right thing for me to do (proud to be part of the 30%) Mushy Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right. Don Revie had a squad of about 18 players and he did o.k. TSS @Mushy Totally different era of football. Ridiculous comparison to make. Everyone else is doing it because that’s what Championship football requires – it’s all relative to the division. As are wages – and on both counts, we’re average (ie. mid-table). Would be an absolute miracle if we made play-offs under current circumstances. Mushy @TSS @MushyGood management isn’t restricted to “eras”. Revie built his team on academy players, has-beens and freebies in the early years. Surely there are managers around capable of getting the squad we have already playing like a team with organisation, passion and commitment? mattbb1 @TSS @Mushy those who doubted grayson are seeing just what he brought to the team now, they are mostly average standard players, on poor wages – he at least inspired some good performances from them. What made me alugh was redfearns telling us after coventry that he had delivered some `home truths’ at half time. That worked.. WoodyUK @Mushy Far fewer games played at much slower pace than the modern game. Also Revie’s squad was filled with class players that knew how to control a game with their passing without running around like school kids on speed. Mushy @WoodyUK @Mushy I take it you’re not speaking from memory about the “old days”. My memory my be fading with age but if I recall correctly in the 1969-1970 season the Whites played 42 League games, 9 Fa cup matches, 8 European cup matches and a couple in the League cup. More than 60 matches in a season. The reason there were so many cup matches is because in those days you kept on playing till a side won. I spent a small fortune travelling and up and the country that season. There were no international breaks, there was only one subsitute allowed and they played on heavy pitches with a heavy ball. But as the four Yorkshireman say: “and you try and tell the young ‘uns of today that, and they won’t believe yer”. :0) mralchemy Guess we will find out what is happening on Monday….I think he will go for MM Matt7702 Attended the “Leeds on the road’ on 13th Feb at Cov. Williams and Lorimer spent most of the night blaming Simon Grayson about the state of the club position in the league and the quality of current players. It was shocking really. Never heard such deceit in my life. The best statement I ever heard though was when questioned about season ticket prices and selling tickets cheap to fill the stadium to create the ’12th’ man, our legend Peter stated that they had tried that before and season ticket holders had complained that as the tickets were a lot cheaper, they found themselves sat next to different class of supporter who couldn’t normally afford to get in and it spoilt their day!! Priceless. We have a class system in the Kop!! I absolutely love it!! TSS @Matt7702 Christ, I really have heard it all now. Lorimer should get out while people can still remember his playing days WoodyUK @TSS @Matt7702 I think many people lost respect for Lorimer a long time ago when they realised he had turned into Bates’ fans friendly mouth piece. You can expect nothing less from any employee who toes the party line or loses his job – what other reason does Bates employ him other than to be the friendly face of Leeds United (a legend from a bygone era that most people thought had LUFC running through his spine like a stick of rock from Skegness). I’d listen to Eddie’s comments with far more interest than I ever will from Lorimer again – even if I don’t agree with everything at least I know they are his thoughts and opinions rather than what he is told to say by his boss and the press officer. WoodyUK Really enjoyed this article and nodded my head at nearly every paragraph. No one can say that all Grayson’s signing have been good (not by a long shot) but I get the feeling he was constantly reacting in the transfer market (i.e. Forssell, Vayrynen, Brown, Rachubka just before season start and constantly coming up empty in January) and we’ll never know why this was the case – lack of available funds or unable to attract the players. We can’t afford Keogh but Milwall can, we can’t afford 600k a year wages for a central midfield player – it’s more than slightly embarrassing. Two January transfer windows passed us by without decent re-inforcements when it was apparant to all but the blind that we were 2 or 3 players short of a play off worthy team. You lose three critical and key members of your squad (OK some will say some negatives about Johnson and Kilkenny but they were regulars that were shoe ins for most matches) and replace them with inferior players and you will struggle. Townsend is no Gradel (loan or permanent) and Brown/Pugh are not as good as Kilkenny/Johnson let alone Howson. The best clubs with the deepest pockets will pick up the best free transfers – and our pockets seem to have stitching just below the opening. Tyler75 …….or he is in the advanced stages of senility oldlufc Bates is in a No-Win situation re the situation at ER . If you accept his line that he backed Grayson with funds, then he has failed miserably and have to ask why he persisted with Grayson for over 3 years. He employed Grayson, and before that Wise, McAllister and Blackwell, backed his transfer policy and is therefore as much to blame for the club’s current position as anyone. Equally, if he has not backed Grayson, how does he expect the club to compete, and just where has all the money gone? Bates is like a lot of others involved in football, not the financial “wizard”, the astute, clever businessmen he claims to be. After 7 years, of his stated priorities, how many have been acheived? 1. Promotion back to the Premiership – NO 2. Buy back ER – NO 3. Buy back TA – NO 4. Attract new investment – NO In any other walk of life he would be a disaster. Only in the shady, murky world of football finance can these people quite lIterally “get away with murder”. Only in football can they ‘fleece’ loyal supporters, go into administration etc no questions asked by the football authorities. This is the man who “bought” in to Leeds when debts were down to circa £20m only to put the club into administration some 18 months later with debts of £37m. The CVA process and administration were a complete farce leaving Bates in control. Unfortunately, there is no way he will sell up, he dare not open the books to any potential buyer for fear of letting the truth of what has been going on at ER under his tenure becoming public knowledge. TimPM @oldlufc Just to clarify for the lawyers. I’m sure you meant figuratively. Not usually a pedantic, but you never know with Bates! trueyorxman Boycott my arse there will still be 20’000 idiots there on Sat payin £30 to watch Donny Rovers…mugs! True Leeds fans are staying away from ER The White Stuff @trueyorxman My season ticket is paid for – I’m supporting the team, not Bates. Boycott the shop, bar, programmes, pies, etc ….By the way I object to being called a nmoron by Bates or an idiot by you. BATES OUT trueyorxman @The White Stuff trueyorxman @The White Stuff boo-hoo! Stop goin to ER if you hate Bates so much, dont give the f**ker nowt. Have you not noticed it doesnt matter how much the supporters give to the club it doesnt get fed back into the team. Next season will be no different to this, enjoy it pal GilFisher @trueyorxman How long have you been boycotting ER? trueyorxman @GilFisher not been since Barnsley pre-Xmas. Was just Sat there wishing I was somewhere else having rushed from work to get to an atmosphere free ER. Has it got a better since then? It dont sound like it. I want to go back but cant til the tide changes Gerry Cuningham I thought that Tim’s article was fantastic. I’ve been doing some calculations and I rekon that Grayson spent circa £2.5M in three years. A lot has been talked and written about the quantity of players Simon Grayson has brought to the football club. When you shop in Lidl instead of M and S you know what to expect re quality. We’ve been in Lidl now for the past three and a half years. The Grayson signings : 2008-09 : Richard Naylor – Originally on loan, Mike Grella – Joined originally on trial, Carl Dickinson – loan Lee Trundle – loan, Sam Sodje – loan, Liam Dickinson – loan, Darryl Flahavan – loan. 2009-10 Shane Higgs, Jason Crowe, Patrick Kisnorbo, Mike Doyle – Season long loan, Leigh Bromby, Davide Somma – Joined originally on trial, Max Gradel -Joined originally on loan, Sam Vokes – loan, David Martin – loan, Hogan Ephraim – loan, Tony Capaldi – loan, Shane Lowry – loan, Gary McSheffrey – loan, Neil Collins – Joined originally on loan, Sanchez Watt – loan (joined again for season long loan 2010-11) Paul Dickov – short-term deal. 2010-11 Kasper Schmeichel, Billy Paynter, Federico Bessone, Paul Connolly, Alex Bruce (no real chance allowed), Lloyd Sam Adam Clayton – Originally on loan, Ross McCormack, Jason Brown – loan, Amdy Faye -short-term deal, George McCartney – loan, Ramon Nunez – Joined originally on trial, Ben Alnwick loan – never played, Andy O’Brien – Originally on loan, Eric Lichaj – loan, David Gonzalez loan – never played Barry Bannan – loan, Jake Livermore – loan. 2011-12 Paul Rachubka, Michael Brown, Andy Lonergan, Alex McCarthy short term loan, Maik Traylor short term out of contract signing, Darren O’Dea (season long loan), Mikael Forssell (short term out of contract signing), Andy Keogh (loan signing), Danny Pugh) Mika Varynen (out of contract) Andre Townsend, Fabian Delph, Adam Smith. I make that 53 players. Many were undisclosed because Bates hates disclosing how much comes in and goes out. From all information out there I reckon I’m not too far away with the following : Money signings – Neil Collins in £350K Bradley Johnson in £250K Leigh Bromby £200K Max Gradel £200K Alex Bruce £300K Ross McCormack £350K, Adam Clayton £150K, Andy Lonergan £200K Danny Pugh out £500K –Total = £2.5M. Money Sales- Fabian Delph £6.5M rising to £8M Luke Garbutt – £600K to Everton o be expected Howson £2M to Norwich City Bradley Johnson F Kilkenny FOC Gradel £2M Schmeichel £1.2M Neil Collins £450K Elliott Kebbie to Atletico Madrid £500K – Total Potentially £14.75M and currently £11.55M Notable players who were allowed leave on frees : Beckford Nil (worth £3M) Kilkenny FOC B Johnson FOC Frazer Richardson (high wages) Minimum Profit = £9.05Million Ken Bates has always said that what money comes in ahead of budget (unplanned revenue if you like) goes into the manager’s transfer kitty. The following high profile games will have comes into that category, FA Cup and CC games v the following : Man United (2)+ Arsenal (3 times) Spurs (2) Revenue from these games estimated at £6M minimum. £15.05Million profit to the football club Bates has said in his Ipswich Town programme notes that he has spent £20M on the ground in the past five years. This is for a ground he “doesn’t own”. Where has that money come from ? It looks like Larry has provided most of that money. Many will argue that Larry has brought a lot of poor players to the football club and there is no disputing that. But just think about one thing for a second. Bates said during the week that he refused to sanction the signing of a player for Leeds who would be on £600,000 a year. That’s just £11,500 a week so you can imagine the type of quality our club attracts re wages when we bring in a free signing. TimPM @Gerry Cuningham It’s strange. You hear about him talking about spending £20million on the ground. I’ve not heard that myself so I don’t know if he ever did say that, but if it was true it would answer where our player sales have gone. And how much money is the ground making? Simply buying it back and cutting off the rent would make us more profit long-term than his redevelopments. And when it was sold it was thought to be £10mil roughly, with roughly a £1mil premium for the owner. If that’s the case, we’ve taken roughly 75% of the funds needed to buy our stadium back and used it to make a tacky museum and hotel. So how much will the stadium re-purchase cost, Mr. Bates? If you’re so genuine you can tell us that. And then we can ask you where our player sales have gone, and why they couldn’t have helped us buy it back along with your redev cash. OxfordWhite Boycot ER, go to away games to show our loyalty, Bates Out The White Stuff Because with YR / LUTV as sole outlets for his ramblings (sorry output) he maintains his dictatorial mouthpiece mattbb1 well yes YR is yet another white elephant, not core business draining the business of cash. Like the corporate boxes need mothballing, the radio station needs closing down, youd make more selling your rights to the BBC or Sky, yet more examples of Bates’ commercial ineptitude. He seems obsessed with the trimmings of the premier league, but doesnt appreciate his money would be better spent on a squad capable of delivering it. Spot on TimPM the squad is NOT 28/30 players. take out the loans, injuries, stop gaps, and players who will siomply not play for the cluib again and your tlaking more like 16-18 players. Case in point – you play McCormack & Becchio – which striker do you have on the bench? Forrsell? mattbb1 The YP reckons its not going to be Clark by the way.. and Grayson favourite to take over at Huddersfield, McCarthy has said he wont go straight back into management, so signs are pointing towards Warnock again as far as I can see. Might just pop down to Ladborkes.. Bluesman Good article, I hope Bates and Harvey read it. I am sure they will and then they will think that the Teams’s position and performance is not down to them – what bull! Can they bring someone in at board level who can helo them with this problem! The ability to be introspective is a wonderful thing! A new person could help them with this. Perhaps TimPM can help them because he sure knows more than they do! TimPM @Bluesman I’m too much of a basket case to help the board out! You do have a good point, though. Harvey is a postman who stumbled into football and Bradford. He’s now been trusted with one of the biggest clubs in the country. Williams was a scout for an average Premiership Chelsea team. He’s made as many questionnable decisions as good ones by the looks of it. Yet they’re both untouchable? If Bates was serious about the club he’d consider HIS team, that is the one constant in all of our failures since he took over. Bluesman @TimPM Well at least you could include it in your next article, because we need people who can talk the talk and walk the walk! Gerry Cuningham FAO TIMPM – From Ken Bates programme notes vs Ipswich Town on January 21st : “With the exception of the museum, that completes the rebuilding, refurbishment, and improvements of Elland Road wityh approximately £20M having been spent on the clapped out, decaying stadium I inherited”. (it gets better ) “We now have our own pub, a four star restaurant, a unique family hospitality lounge, ove 70 executive boxes, 7 new executive lounges, a state of the art TV studio and Radio station, and the best catering, exhibition and conference centre in Leeds. It must be because in December we served over 12,000 silver sertvice meals, more than anywhere else.” It goes on and on. So basically we have a guy putting £20M into a stadium he says he doesn’t own and ignoring what’s happening on the pitch, aside from the fact that he increased Grayson’t playing budget fromby 23% seems toignore the revenue he recived from Gradel, Howson and Sshmeichel. The man changes the goalposts almost as much as most of us change our underwear. Bluesman @Gerry Cuningham Seems to me that we are ok for a pie and pint but don’t get too excited about the football!! I hope his chefs are better than his defence, lol. Bates go and take your hospitality with you!