Bates feels 10 years younger… and he’s calling the tune again…

The change in atmosphere around our great club has been palpable over the last week.

LUST have opted not to protest ahead of the Southampton game. Ken’s personally giving away shirts to children, and will for a small fee be pictured kissing babies of season ticket holders. Probably. The last part of course is perhaps something of an embellishment of the truth by myself.

Not even the departure of Andros Townsend and Fabian Delph could dampen our enthusiasm – Now Neil Warnock’s manager what could possibly go wrong?

You’d have to go back to pre-Majestyk incident Leeds United to find such levels of general positivity as TSS pointed out earlier in the week. But are we all getting ahead of ourselves?

Neil Warnock is no miracle worker, positive he may be, and probably a more experienced motivator and disciplinarian than Larry ever was, but the squad remains strikingly similar as I sit here on Thursday afternoon, to the one on Saturday. Despite noises being made about a recruit by the weekend, 24 hours to go and not a sniff…?

One can’t help wondering if Kens just `trousered’ (to use his colourful turn of phrase) the Townsend and Delph wage money.. Early days but I think we’d have every right to be sceptical.

The ticket prices remain too high, the issue of ownership of our club and lack of inward serious investment remain, and ostensibly all that has changed is the manager. Now it could be that Neil Warnock’s appointment is a sufficient statement of our intent to get promoted to satisfy we `morons’ but I wonder if it is a rather populist statement? And not based on good grounding.

The limitations that Warnock faces in terms of drafting in new players remain, we are constrained by the rules of the emergency loan market, and that works of course both ways. Moving on a grumpy Townsend was probably not too much of an ask – but Paynter, Connolly, Vayrynen – who’s going to touch them?

I found LUST’s statement concerning Warnock’s appointment interesting insofar as it pretty much says – credit where its due and they will welcome positive change from the board when it takes place, but in some respects had they not – then it would have been easy for Ken to label them `sickpots’ never happy with anything he does, and opposed to progress – their position was effectively made for them, like so many Rodents a-following the piper – Ken is calling the tune. And we all have little choice but to turn our `frowns upside down’ and follow.

Ken has pulled off a PR masterstroke, and if Warnock himself is to be believed a financial one, as he’s taken a pay cut and waived his contractual rights to take the job. He’s also managed to save even more money by all accounts with Grayson waiving part of his settlement to join Huddersfield.

Smurf Hats off to Ken Bates, he has cost us 6 points at a critical time with the rudderless HMS Redfearn limping into port against Doncaster, sold our best players from last season, seen his gates crash by over 3,000 per home game, sacked our best young manager for nearly 20 years, and has even this week presided over us losing loanees? In the wake of all of this the attention has remained firmly focused on the Warnock appointment and platitude after platitude has swamped the official website “When Ken Met Neil part One…” “The sequel”… and so it goes on and on and on..

Bates feels 10 Years younger apparently too.

I think my heads about to explode..

Now I’ll temper what is becoming a disjointed rant and say that I welcome Warnock’s appointment, and I really want him to do well, but the structural and commercial problems that beset Leeds United are still there. Getting into the play offs is also a tough call, this too is all down to Bates’ failure to back his last manager fully (and that includes moving out unsuitable players) which led to, an unplanned sacking, an inadequate deputy and 6 points lost. In summary we’re worse off than we were. We’d sunk so low that beating the worst team in the league was seen as some sort of turning point.

Now I’m expecting a note from TSS (David) suggesting I post this on Clarke One Nil, who have risen from the crypt of late, but i think in the interests of balance we need to be very very wary of Bates’ motives here. He has actually done very little indeed, and as a master manipulator has managed to come out smelling of roses. One can only hope that he really has had a road to Damascus type moment and realised that he can’t get by without the fans support, and this is step one on his long march. I really hope it is, but my current emotional state is similar to my 19-year-old self, trying to trust my then errant girlfriend – the heart says yes – the head says no!

I found myself on the Leeds Website Superstore hovering over `buy now’ this week, a present for my son but I quickly came to my senses – my internal message – Does A Lucas The Kop Cat ever really change his spots?

  • TSS

    You’re not right-wing enough for CON. I consider them our extreme right-wing alternative, with TSS being centre ground (naturally). I’m sure using that analogy MG would describe us as ‘extreme left’ but anyway… at best, you’ve hit centre-right with that one.

    • mattbb1

      I dont think i could outdo last weeks CON article on Neil Warnocks last days at Leeds! come on lll leeds, read that – and tell me I’m negative! I’m quite pleased with centre right, though worried it makes me the nick clegg of the tss fraternity.

      • Chareose

         @mattbb1
         Atleast you say something mate, Clegg has no personality – infact he could be an actor pretending to be a politician

  • l l l leeds

    for fucks sake, at least make it constructive! Am I the only one getting bored of this constant moaning?

  • morleywhite

    lonergan

    smith lees o brien pugh

    snodgrass clayton brown white

    mccormack becchio

    prob best eleven at the mo,its abit worrying realy we defo need warnock to bring afew proven players in to even hav a sniff of the playoffs.

  • Tyler75

    Good piece again Matt.

    We are absolutely right to continue to be suspicious about Commandante Ken; his track record of dishonesty, deceit and dodgy dealings, not only at Leeds but everywhere he’s been, are testament to this truth.

    However, I’m hoping (hoping and praying !) that the falling attendances, supporter dissent, falling revenue from season tickets and gradual falling away from the play-off places, has acted as shock treatment for the Smurfmeister and that he’s finally seen the football sense and business logic of appointing a Manager with gravitas and a track record, someone who can install momentum and energise the whole club – from a pure footballing point of view, I would have preferred Di Matteo but I doubt he would have had anywhere near the galvanising effect that NW has had already. I also think that Bates has backed himself into a corner, NW has already made it very clear that he expects to be backed, if he’s not he won’t be shy about telling the world about it and will walk – Bates would then be dead man walking at Leeds as nobody would of and stature would want to Manage the club and even the Bates apologists (and CON) would revolt – turning the ‘Beeston Spring’ into a fully fledged revolution.

    • mattbb1

      i see this very much as egypt, just after the first uprising, will there be change?

      • NorthEastLoiner

         @mattbb1 Too true matt, we think we’ve gone a step along the way towards where we want to be but only the next few months will tell us whether anything’s actually changed

  • l l l leeds

    and don’t you let me forget it!

    don’t get me wrong, i’m not a bates fan, but this non-moaning is getting boring now

  • TimPM

    On the Townsend and Delph money – Townsend left today, and Warnock does not sound amused. I don’t see how not getting a loan announced within 24 hours is realistically a failure on anyone’s part? And Delph had, what, two weeks left at Leeds? We’ll not have saved a massive amount on those wages.

    We don’t need an overly significant raise in form taking the season as a whole to get into the playoffs. And think of some of the despairing displays throughout the season. Some previously good players were cut out by Grayson. I’m not laying any blame at his door – as Derry said the other day, some good players come to Leeds and just can’t handle it. But the fact is that O’Brien was a decent Premiership defender, Bruce was a success at Championship level, Bromby was alright, Connolly looked good against the lesser teams, Sam did well during our first season in the Championship and sounds on Twitter like he wasn’t giving 100% under Grayson, Robbie Rogers might make a difference – and hasn’t played more than 5 minutes yet, Ramon Nunez looked great on the international stage playing centrally and was turned into a winger, while Snoddy’s already looked far better against Donny when Warnock took over.

    Just a slightly different approach or a little less pressure by not having the manager’s job on the line might help these players get some form back.

    Interested what you mean by commercial and structural problems? We’ve been making a profit year on year despite spending £20mil on the stadium and paying hefty wages for players who (whatever you think about them) weren’t getting games and were often proven so could command a good wage. 28 isn’t an unusual squad size but the experience we’ve got in our out-of-favour players is.

    On getting those lads gone, Bates placed that at Grayson’s door, yet he’s talked about Gwyn Williams putting his “talent” to that end. So he can’t keep the blame off his advisors if Warnock fails on that part. He’s saving money on Warnock compared to what he might’ve done a few years ago but nevertheless if Warnock fails and he so much as utters a lack of backing the fans will be apoplectic – so it’s actually a risky appointment by Bates, and I suspect that’s part of the reason why we took a while in appointing him (though possibly there’s severence at play there). The cohesion of people who have come together against Bates won’t go away, just because we turn it down to simmer.

    Don’t take me for trying to batter down anti-Bates now that I’ve got my preferred manager – I’m as sceptical as anyone else. But I think we’ve got to be careful when we criticise him we get the right criticisms in. A lot of what fans criticise him with (especially that ancient quote from an angry bloke whose new toy had just been ruined) will look asolutely farcical to outsiders and could be easily discredited…

    • mattbb1

      commercial and structural problems are :-
      a.) Lack of outside investment into the club, falling gates because of stupid ticket prices and a reliance on receipt of transfer fees to keep the club going.
      b.) What cash we do have having been ploughed into the east stand into the millions, when the strcuture that should have been invested in was the playing staff.
      c.) that means we will be saddled with a £7m debt, and no realistic means to make it pay for us – so thats probably one very large strcutural issue in terms of the corporate finances – and a massive commercial misjudgement.
       
      The song remains the same – so why is it that townsend wont stick around – more wages at birmingham…. so revert to point a. he knows realistically weither we arent going up, or that he wont be joining us as we are potless. for that actually yes i do blame bates on both counts as he’s derailed our season with his short term outlook.

      • Chareose

         @mattbb1
         Neil Warnock is a good manager but it could be argued he is also a “short term” option also as he has made it clear he wants to retire from the game soon.  Bates has successfully put a sticky plaster on the cut but in a year or so we will be here again.
         
        As i mentioned before what happens if we did (By a miricle) get promoted ????   Theres no way that Bates would ever invest enough in a squad cable of surviving relegation in the premier league………..

        • TimPM

          If the worst scenario happened and we did come straight back down we’d have £4mil per season extra to push us back up to what we’re fighting on now. That’s 77k per week or in other words about half of our initial season’s budget again. Going up even if we come back down is the best thinking in terms of getting up instaed of sentiment.
           
          I’m not saying It’d be fun seeing another demotion. It’d be sickening. But we shouldn’t stay in a corner for fear of things a long way in the future.

        • Chareose

           @TimPM
           I know where your coming from mate but im not sure yoyo ing is good for Leeds United……. the difference in wages between Prem and Champ is too big so wed be at risk of financial melt down all the time

  • number1inyorkshire

    too much thinking going on at the tss .

    this could be another mangle piece .only thing that has changed for most leeds fans is that the manager has changed .

    Bates is still the same person he was ,no one thinks any differently for the most part we still want him out .

    The thing that got grayson sacked was that he over complicated stuff lets be right it aint rocket science been a football manager .warnock will do the simple stuff he will play a right back at right back etc etc

  • TimPM

    One other thing, I’d just keep in mind that it makes zero logic whatsoever for Bates not to want Leeds promoted. If he wants a football club to play with, he’ll want it to be successful. If he wants a club to make money out of, he’ll want to greater income of the Premiership.

    • Chareose

       @TimPM
       The problem with that concept is that Bates has shown no grasp of how to get a Club like Leeds into the position you speak of………..investment in infrastructure should have occurred once we had money behind us in the Premier League not in the lower leagues expecting fans to pay extortionate amounts of money to watch shite………. Also football is about momentum, when we got promotion to the Championship we were on the crest of a wave so to hold that back for the sake of building hotels etc will just lead to stagnation and loss of players and capital income……..

  • mattbb1

    i just hope that LUST havent given up altogether.. i have this funny feeling however.

  • Chareose

    Good article………the point is however that at some point WE WILL need to get rid of Ken Bates for this club to acheive anything regardless of who we have as manager…..  Even if Bates has the clubs best interests at heart (which i seriously doubt) hes proven that he lacks vision and foresight…..but more than that WE CANT TRUST HIM, hes lied to often, manipulated figures and facts and insulted his customers openly……
     
    So like i said one way or another we are going to have to get rid of Ken Bates….the speed that that happens will dictate how long we have to wait until Leeds finally start to restore itself and starts challenging for honors in the top flight