Match day started at Leeds City Square where hundreds of disillusioned fans gathered to campaign against Ken Bates’ ongoing reign of terror. “Bates Out” chants were echoed repeatedly as the 800+ strong army of Whites fans marched towards Elland Road, determined to make their voices heard.

The numbers involved make it hard for anyone to dismiss the overwhelming feeling of disillusionment shared by almost the entire Leeds United fan base. This wasn’t a march of some thuggish youngsters looking to cause trouble, it was a group of concerned, mostly season ticket holding, lifelong Leeds United supporters who had simply had enough. They’d ran out of options, and in LUST, they’d found someone willing to speak for the majority. A banner under whose name the Leeds United fans could be represented.

Of course, this is but a small minority of fans who feel they’ve been pushed to extremes, and numerically speaking they only account for around 5% of yesterdays attendance. They’re the ones that feel inaction is no longer an option, but the feeling of disillusionment is not confined to those on the protest march. A recent poll on the Yorkshire Evening Post website, impossible to dismiss simply because of the numbers involved shows 84% blame Bates for the current league position. It was even more damning before the YEP changed the poll from “Who do you blame for the current situation at Elland Road?” to it’s current wording – at that stage 92% said they held Bates responsible.

The irony of the Leeds United fans protests was hard to ignore. We were marching to a stadium where we intended to hand over large sums of money to the man we were protesting against for wasting our large sums of money. It was money we knew would have no effect on the underfunded team we were all there to try and support. The unavoidable reality is, those of us marching continue to fund the ongoing madness. It’s a bit like the American’s providing whichever oil-rich-third-world-country they decide to go to war with next with weapons and ammo.

But football is a bizarre world, only here can customers be regularly abused and keep coming back for more .Our irrational sense of loyalty doesn’t allow for an alternative.

After the protests ended, there was the small matter of a football match to turn our attention towards. Neil Redfearn had stuck with the same team that played Bristol City and the same kind of performance followed. Only this time, two red cards wouldn’t come to our rescue.

A strong penalty shout was about all The Whites could muster in an instantly forgettable first half. Robert Snodgrass was being doubled up on down the right wing and Aidy White wasn’t having much more joy down the left. Leeds lacked a certain creativity, an unpredictable spark that could turn a game on it’s head in an instant – a Max Gradel for example?

If you think I’m summarising a little too much, the sum total of attacking threat during the first half was Adam Smith forcing a save just before half-time, two wayward attempts on goal by an out-of-sorts Luciano Becchio and a long range strike from Brighton that was saved by Andy Lonergan. Aside from Ross McCormack’s penalty shout, that was it. Leeds were posing no real threat in the final third, nor were Brighton.

The second half saw a slight improvement, but more for Brighton than it was Leeds. Andy Lonergan made a couple of strong saves, most notable of which was a great reactionary save to deny former Leeds loanee Sam Vokes from close range. Leeds picked up a little from there and created a couple of half chances, but it was substitute Craig Mackail-Smith that opened the scoring with just 15 minutes remaining. 0-1.

As I’d predicted moments earlier, Becchio was the one to restore parity for The Whites. Often seems to be the case with Luciano that when he’s looking a little below par, he pops up with a crucial goal. It was an instant response from Leeds with the Argentinian heading home a Robert Snodgrass corner. 1-1, and two teams with a habit of scoring injury time winners were heading for a show-down.

Four minutes added on but the visitors wouldn’t need them. Adam Navarro scored in the first minute of stoppage time and the response from Leeds was largely non-existent. The late flurry of attacks we’ve relied on (and indeed secured a lot of our points from) this season was nowhere to be seen – that was perhaps the only noticeable difference between the final few performances under Simon Grayson and the Neil Redfearn brand of football. Well, that and his reluctance to make a substitution.

A poor game overall with Leeds getting exactly what they deserved. That’s not to say Brighton performed much better, they were equally poor if anything, but as the home side, Leeds should really be looking to dominate these fixtures and they failed to do so. Had Leeds been in control and were simply caught twice on the break, then fair enough, but they weren’t. At no point throughout the fixture did Brighton look under intense, or even moderate pressure from Leeds. They just turned up and took their chances without any noticeable battle in between.

I don’t want to sound overly critical of Neil Redfearn because he’s in the job for the next two games and I’ll give a fair chance to whoever is managing the team – whether it’s on a temporary or permanent basis. But it’s hard to see what he did differently from Simon Grayson? If anything, Grayson would have probably won this with a late flurry, Brighton were there for the taking and we were void of any attacking threat.

More concerning still is Redfearn’s post-match comments where the caretaker manager points to ongoing problems with the defence, fails to mention our lack of any discernible attacking ideas and then states we didn’t deserve to lose. Sorry Neil, but we did. And it’s this kind of pandering that excuses poor performances, the message to the players is “unlucky” as opposed to “not good enough” – which it damn well wasn’t!

It was an almost sleep-inducing performance of the worst possible quality without an end result. If the plan is to go out and win every game 1-0, then fair enough, I can handle the depressing George Graham-esque football if it gets us promoted. But Redfearn’s comments when he took charge were that he knew what the problems were and was confident he could fix them. Nothing has changed!

“Back to the drawing board” was Redfearn’s response. No Neil, it’s back to the youth team!

[starratingmulti id=2 tpl=12]

  • trueyorxman

    I’ve totally given up on this season. Roll on a week on Monday when Warnock fills the hot-seat, if he cant breathe life back into this club then no-one ever will

    • Chareose

      @trueyorxman

      Unfortunately I disagree that WArnock is the answer to all our dreams and that everything will magicly go in the right direction onces hes here. Having one insulting, argumentative and out of touch twat at Elland road is enough (Bates) without a second (Warnock) being added……… Though Warnock will fit in with Tossers like Harvey, Williams etc, They all talk out of their rear ends

  • Dje

    The only positive I can take form the result is that it stops us complacently offering Redfearn the job. This is not to say he shouldn’t get it, only we should consider it long and hard and not on a few results, lucky or otherwise.

    That said, with the chairman showing so little ambition in our club and squad, I’m not sure what ambition is to be found in whichever manager we finally appoint. Frankly, I’m not sure I have the heart to give a fuck until we get rid of Bates.

    • henrymouni

      @Dje I felt the same way Dje.

      I was worried we would win the three games and Neil would get the job!!

      He is too close to this squad, and even suggested he was happy with the lads we have.

      A new man will look at things afresh, with no ‘friends’ at the club to accommodate.

      We MUST get some defenders in, and a strong midfield player.

      Otherwise we can kiss this season goodbye.

      I know I have asked this before, but what does Gwyn Williams do??

      He has been spouting that they were thinking of sacking Simon after the Barnsley game.

      They said that Simon was responsible for recruiting the squad, but surely him and KB were responsible for signing Simon!!

      So they were equally responsible for Simon’s ‘failure’!

      So why is Williams still with us???

      • RickHx

        @henrymouni @Dje

        2 things to say to Gwyn Williams, Harvey and Bates. First, we already had decent players in Howson, Gradel, Johnson, Beckford, Kilkenny all who would have happily signed long term contracts if the club had been willing to pay the going rate. secondly, We were in for numerous players in the summer, Andrews, Clingan, Bowyer, Montgomery, Sharp to name a few, all were signed by our rivals or stayed at lesser teams (no insult intended) How can the manager be blamed for all of them. Bates said Grayson had a transfer kitty and could spend it anyway he deemed fit, but then refused to allow him to spend it on one player. Do the club really believe we are so gullible

        • TimPM

          @RickHx @henrymouni @Dje I agree with all that.

          Of course Williams uses his ‘contacts’ to find players like Snoddy and Becchio. But his job in negotiating contracts shouldn’t be ignored because that’s where we’ve really fallen down in the last couple of years.

          Being an ex-Chelsea scout (and assistant manager to Ranieri at Chelsea) he’s going nowhere. Ken’s your uncle.

  • pete58

    it’s has been fairly obvious for a long time, that the reason the perverse little cunt bought our club, was so that he could destroy it!

    • Panamaleeds

      @pete58 Agree

  • TSS

    His wage demands would be far too high, surely?

  • TSS

    Still think O’Driscoll is a good shout personally. I’d be encouraged by his appointment as LUFC manager, we have a few attacking players that would benefit from his style of play I think. Too many hoofball specialists on the list and I’m not sure that suits anyone but Luci.

  • Panamaleeds

    Would Mick come on loan ??? I doubt it !!!!

  • TSS

    Brighton was the toughest of the three in fairness, they’ve been in incredible form since New Year, but they weren’t all that good. Honestly think we’d have taken something from that with SG.

  • EYLEEDS

    I can’t criticise anyone for attending the match yesterday but crowds of 20,000+ mean that Bates can just ignore the protests and keep bleeding the club dry.

    We love our club too much not to go to matches but perhaps we need to organise one match when we all stay away to show him what will happen to his cash cow unless he starts investing in the team or at least starts treating the fans with some respect.

    • TSS

      @EYLEEDS I can’t see you getting enough people to agree. They refuse to take it out on the team, and understandably so.

      • Chareose

        @TSS @EYLEEDS

        What team ?? Loanees and freebees and some players already planning a move elsewhere ?? I agree with Lusts approach but it needs to go hand in hand with declining attendances or we will be here for years

    • RickHx

      @EYLEEDS

      We have already paid for the games til the end of the season, so its not really a protest that Bates will take notice of.

      • EYLEEDS

        @RickHx Yeah I know, but even if it didn’t hit him in the pocket it might make him take the threat to his income for next season more realistic.

        It’s just pie in the sky I know, but we have to do something that will make him take the unrest more seriously.

  • The WhiteLizard

    I read in one report that Keith Curle, Warnock’s right-hand man, was at the game. Can anyone verify that? If so, it does look like maybe we are waiting for Warnock v QPR over compensation to be settled.

  • It is absolutely breaking my heart the way our beloved Leeds United is being run. We can’t stay away from Elland Road because he would just get rid of our decent players and would’nt give a toss if we went into administration or even folded . He does not care about Leeds United and cares even less about our fans. We need to keep supporting in our numbers and back the boys even if it means paying his extortionate prices just in case someone comes in for us and buys the club from Mr Bates. I can only travel down to about 10 home games a season and i have paid 97 quid for 3 tickets in the Kop next Saturday , i really begrudge paying that much money to see our very average squad play in this average league but i will support them until my dying day , i just hope that we eventually some knight in shining armour come over the horizon to rescue us and we see the back of this man , who has hated Leeds United for decades !!!!! – i live in hope

    • skillysdad

      @Cumbrian White

      couldnt agree more,but at the moment its bloody hard work watching the way we are playing

  • trueyorxman

    Poyet is the man and he said all the right words after yesterdays game about the cluband the city but we all know why he wont be coming, so f**king annoying.

  • Tare

    Tare

    • Chareose

      @Tare

      well said !

  • Tyler75

    The Kaiser Chiefs are on tour at the moment and apparently have ‘Bates Out’ spelt across their speakers !

    My personal preference is for Di Matteo or Curbishley, however if McCarthy or Warnock came I’d definitely be encouraged as neither are yes men and would only come on their own terms and an opportunity to re-establish a club like ours is something both would relish. MOT join LUST.

  • Tare

    Hell is well below the zero so if no one is looking for it, there is now rapid solution for LU promotion so tell me the recipe. Task master KB has his credentials possibly so how to proceed; some “MMM£s” to spend perhaps…..

    Tare

  • Chareose

    “most fans are unwilling to sign up yet to a Bates out agenda” Irving I find your constant defence of ignoring the Bates regime as odd but this statement is the most rediculous yet………What would it actually take for your to accept that the MAJORITY of Leeds fans want Ken Bates to leave ?? Have you perchance seen the results of all the polls conducted on the question ????!!!

    Considering the state of the club, the lies, hypocrasy, deceipt, lack of funding, the insults towards I would think that ANY LEEDS fan who DOESNT want Ken Bates OUT of Leeds United is actually Clinicly INSANE !

    • pete58

      @Chareose never a truer word spoken!

  • TimPM

    @Panamaleeds Poor Prem record aside, he’s actually a reasonably good manager. Got promotion with Wolves & Sunderland, did well with Ireland before Roy Keane fecked it up for him by being an utter c**t.

  • Chareose

    @TimPM @Panamaleeds

    I have a lot of time for Mick Mcarthy…… wouldhe want the leeds job with our current owner ?? I doubt it….. Could Mick do a job at leeds united with a good owner behind him ??? Hes got a mixed record but perhaps Leeds & MCarthy is a unique combination…. might work

  • Bluesman

    I don’t believe that they will ever pay for a decent manager anymore than they will bankroll a transfer fund! Technical director – what technical director do we have. One one can’t build on quality and agrees to sell some of the best players. No investment in the team, no investment in the squad! What are they saying now? A big appointment, but not necessarily in name. Bull! Not in terms of finance more likely. They are like my Arse!!

  • BarneyWhite

    we need to Boycott the Soton game – I am pig sick of attending home games at er – it is dire, atmosphere, performance the lot . The season in petering out to to nothing – being honest we all knew this would be the case back in August. Can’t get excited about the next manager – with Bates nothing will change.

    I admire those who continue to support “the team” but it is doing no good – The only solution is to stop paying up. Soton should be a start – 15k would make him think. It is pub for me. I am so pleased I have not renewed. my season ticket will expire in May and that will be it for me until he has gone. It’s sad but I cannot justify supporting the Bates regime.

  • Ron_Galea

    Losing at home to a fellow mid-table team is not good enough. Giving Redfearn the reigns was never going to provide the impetus for a promotion push because the players know him well. We need a shake-up or this season is forgettable.

  • Oh dear

    Wow what an imporessive protest, about 6 people singing, 2 holding banners and a couple of old folk walking the dog. I bet old Captain Birdseye id trembling over there in Monaco.

    With such a show of force as this I expect regime change to be somewhere around 2019 !

  • DrD

    Less than 500. I was at the tail end. Don’t think we are doing any good! Bates will be gone by 2015 or so. Either support the team or stay away and we have to put up or sxxx up. Need a manager now as the season will be over in the next 3 or 4 games. Then we lose remaining decent players…

  • NorthEastLoiner

    Poor performance yes but no player or team wants to hear public criticism from their manager. Redfearn has shown by his criticism that he’s not up to the job, do you hear Fergie or Wenger openly criticising their team. The next training should be the time for home truths but in public the manager should take the blame. Redfearn should get out now and let someone with balls take over

    • TimPM

      @NorthEastLoiner I have heard most top managers criticising aspects of their team when their team isn’t performing.

      If Redfearn put a team out there and he feels they didn’t put in enough effort then he’s well within rights to criticise them.

      • TimPM

        @NorthEastLoiner Not that I’m saying he’s a top manager, mind!

  • RickHx

    “Banner going round a full pavilion”, hardly a place to find anti Bates campaigners, who vow not to give him anymore of their hard earned

  • NorthEastLoiner

    Interesting that Gus Poyet in a BBC interview said he would love to manage Leeds (a big club) but the time’s not right. I’m taking this as ‘not with Bates still there’ shame in some ways I think he’d be great for us but I understand him not wanting to come at the minute he’s experienced Bates at first hand already.

  • Not keen on Ken

    Having read this, why would KB want promotion anytime soon, it would cost a small fortune …… One day before the 28 day period was due to end, Bates altered his offer to ensure it was not challenged. He altered the clause stating that if Leeds made the premiership in five years then the creditors would receive an extra 30p in the pound, extending this period of time to 10 years, and increased the amount they would receive from 1p in the pound to 8p in the pound straight away.[24][25] The 28 day period was due to come to a close on 3 July 2007 at 4pm (BST).[25] With just minutes to spare HM Revenue & Customs challenged the CVA. This left a very uncertain future and possibly liquidation of the club.[26] Bates had previously stated “If there is a legal challenge, it could take two or three months to get to court and be decided. In the meantime, who is going to pay to run the club? So far it’s been funded by the ‘new Leeds’, but if there is a challenge, the ‘new Leeds’ won’t do it because it’s a risk. The implications are that the club would close down. It would mean liquidation. Leeds United would cease to exist, and the loss of 500 jobs would be a further drain on government resources.”[27] With the intention to challenge the CVA announced by HMRC, Simon Franks announced he was determined to buy Leeds United through his Redbus investment vehicle. He commented “We are absolutely committed to gaining control of Leeds United and to rebuilding the club, We have already told the liquidator that we will cover short term liquidity problems and that will be standing by our bid and will increase it given certain information. Our bid was significantly better than Ken Bates’ and we are in a position to move very quickly if we are offered the right commercial terms.”[28] Following the challenge by HMRC the club was put up for sale by KPMG, with only offers before 5pm (BST) on Monday 9 July 2007 being accepted.[29] Former Leeds commercial director Adam Pearson also stated he intended to make a bid for Leeds however Ken Bates has stated that he will take legal action if any other bid than his own is successful.[30] After the deadline had passed it was revealed that Simon Franks and Simon Morris had joined forces to bid for the club.[31] After Much deliberation KPMG revealed that once again they had chosen Ken Bates’ bid.[32] The league eventually sanctioned the sale to Bates without the club going through a CVA under the “exceptional circumstances rule” but imposed a 15 point deduction due to not following football league rules on clubs entering administration.[33] On 31 August 2007 HMRC decided not to pursue their legal challenge any further therefore accepting Bates’ final offer.[34]

    • mattbb1

      well yes, it is 5 years over this year in July, so whilst promotion would net £20m a year it may cost ken something like £500k-£1m cash, but thats peanuts in the greater context so something is not right here. I’ll say it again, he’s in financial trouble in my opinion, the good news though is that it means he is ripe to be ousted if anyone made a half decent offer for the club.

      • TimPM

        @mattbb1 I’m a bit bemused too. Even taking the full thwack being due back, we’d still be 140K p/w better off for promotion, at an educated guess. Which would secure 3-4 reasonably good Premiership players while allowing for changes to existing contracts.

        Of course it could all be a misunderstanding. A £9mil budget (including ALL staff means £6.5k average wage, but lets say with youth grants, etc., it’s more like £5k p/w.) could be exceptionally high for a none para payments club. Grayson might have just overspent on our current squad. Afterall we only have the old finances to look at. Back then we didn’t have the likes of Hull, Burnley, etc. demoted without re-promotion. And I seem to recall that the para payments are handed out amongst the Champship if those clubs go back up within their 2 years? And O’Brien was a Premiership player, Bruce was a proven Championship player that Grayson was excited about, Michael Brown had been in the Premiership just before we signed him as a panacea to our lack of experience in the middle, and Paynter was supposed to be a great Beckfordesque find for us for the Championship.

        Then again, whatever way you look at it for the entire wage bill of the club to be roughly £9mil p/a, considering in League One our gates were something like £11.5million… Don’t know if that’s before tax but I doubt it. Add to that roughly £12mil(?) arrived at from player sales over the past 3-4 years and it’s looking much more likely that there’s an inexplicable black hole in the club.

        But then that cash must have gone somewhere. £7mil on an East stand, anybody?

        • mattbb1

          @TimPM i dont even think the trasnfer money has gone on the stand, i think thats been financed by a loan, and Bates has said as much. I think we all might get into some kind of trouble making assertions, but one suggestion may be that the money has simply gone back to those backing Bates, as a payback on their investment, and that that is embodied in the nett expenditure columns to advisors and professional services? or to agents, an unfeasibly high number for a c lub as mean as we are. We could be frivolous and say that hes waiting for the 5 year period to end and has been stockpiling the cash? but realistically the cupboard iswell and truly bare.

  • Tim Campbell

    @Chareose @TimPM @Panamaleeds

    Mentioned McCarthey when Larry was sacked, purely because I really think the guy would love the challenge of making the club he supported great once more

  • Chareose

    @Chareose

    You mean hes measured and thoughtful because he comes from the same school as you ……… “The lets be thoughtful and measured by sticking our heads up our own asses and ignoring a problem until it becomes a bigger problem ” school of thought…………………..I only wish I had half your wisdom and patience Mr Baby :o)

  • MikeLeeds

    Probobly deserved a draw yesterday but thats it – we did twice the running of Brighton which shows what a good job Poyet has done there. The only positive was that the ball was on the floor as opposed to being in the air……. I suppose while there is a smell of the playoffs you pray for a turn-a-round – it wont come with Redfern though – its Warnock in the next week – ten days or its all over for this season

    Coventry away…… the bottom club…… confident of a win ….No

  • Chareose

    @Chareose

    you cant asess a problem until you accept there is one so dont give me all that pompous rubbish. Irving still thinks everything can be rosie and YOU have ONLY just started to change the tone of your posts from the same line. God knows its taken you long enough to catch up with an inferior intellect like me

  • mattbb1

    as much as redferan is a likeable guy, bates is now not even trying to hide his contempt for Leeds United by allowing him to continue after Saturday. So hes got a cold and wants to stay in Monaco, boo hoo, is that convalescence worth £20m?… Bates may well be waiting for Warnock or McCarthy to become available, but then why on earth did he sack Grayson? I’m sure we would have beaten Brighton with him in charge, he might for instance have played Rogers, or at least put him on the bech, and bringing on Nunez? cleaely Redfearn is out of his depth. I think either Bates has completely lost the plot, or else hes run out of money.

  • henrymouni

    IF we were, by some miracle, to get promoted, all income would increase dramatically.

    Crowds up 60%, from what they are now.

    Club shop sales and season ticket increases (“you have to pay if you want the best players” KB).

    Sky money, with parachute payments if we come back down.

    TV appearance revenue – big leap.

    League position money.

    Fair weather fans packing the ground for the big games.

    Club sponsors would have to pay a lot more!!

    Matchday billboard advertising charges would rocket.

    The saleable value of the club, and the attractiveness to investors would soar!!

    There is no sensible reason why KB would NOT want promotion this season!

    KB’s belief, however, that it is “‘Club’ first and team second” is seriously flawed!!

    He said that to Ben Fry last week, or the week before.

  • Snowjoke

    Wise words, osbaby. But before the debate becomes too heated for me, could I change tack by asking whether anyone has news of Robbie Rogers? Our Yank, who the previous Manager suggested was in line for an early debut, didn’t get off the bench at Bristol, didn’t even get on it against Brighton and seems to be disappearing off the radar. This would be a surprise and a disappointment as, in a video clip running on another site, he looked a very interesting player – gliding effortlessly past several defenders before thumping in a peach of a 25-yarder. Yes, I know selective video clips can be misleading but, if this bloke is the real deal (and he came to us highly recommended by Jurgen Klinsmann, no less), he could be making a vital difference to our serial, lacklustre performances. it would be regrettable if Rogers was destined to become one of those mystery “invisibles” in the LU squad whose name is never called.

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  • TimPM

    @mattbb1 With Pugh I think we need to remember that he’s always been a winger, doing a good job as a central midfielder.

    Now he comes to Leeds, where many a death-defying backflip was had before Blackwell randomly kicked him out, and he’s asked to play left-back.

    It’s like Bradley Johnson all over again!

    • TimPM

      @mattbb1 Well, given he grew up as an attacking midfielder or a winger, it would be truly bizarre to put him in central defence ahead of O’B or Bruce.

      He supports play well, he sniffs out loose balls, he does the rights things that alot of our players don’t do because they’re youngsters. Stick him in central midfield when Delph is gone and I think we’ll have a more measured approach. Apart from anything else, Clayton would be able to focus more on playmaking if Pugh was beside him mopping up spills etc.

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  • southwestdurhamwhite

    leeds united have tonight signed a new shirt sponsor….’in association pampers, piss at the front, shit at the back’…………….we need bates out, protest on staruday and dont spend a bean at the club, programmes, shop etc until the old coot is gone, he is becoming a very wealthy man from our loyalty