Over the years The Scratching Shed has always drawn criticism from a section of the Leeds United fanbase for what is considered to be a hypercritical stance on Ken Bates. Some would, and indeed have, gone as far as to say that the writers of this site are so clouded by an anti-Bates bias that we refuse to accept other factors are to blame for what I personally consider to be, a failing Leeds United Football Club.

Case in point is Simon Grayson, a man who I defended to the hilt throughout his tenure at Elland Road. It was never all that difficult considering his win percentage and highly successful start to the job, but when things went off the rails a little, some felt I was allowing Ken Bates’ failings to cover those of Simon Grayson.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Reactionary responses always seem to cloud the bigger picture, and under current circumstances you can’t have it both ways. You can either accept that the side is underfunded and that mid-table is the best we’re capable of (which is what the majority have said all along and predicted long before Max Gradel and Jonny Howson were sold) or you can blame the manager for the kind of inconsistent form indicative of mid-table teams – thus excusing Ken Bates by default. If you expect better than what we’ve seen then what you’re saying is that the team is better than a mid-table outfit. Anything else is contradictory.

People can excuse themselves by pointing to performance levels and tactical observations offered with the benefit of hindsight, but statistics don’t lie. Nor does the league table. If the club has paid for a mid-table team, and we’re in mid-table, then Simon Grayson was living up to all expectations.

When Max Gradel, Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny were sold/given away and replaced by has-beens, frees and loanees there was absolute uproar. The fans knew the cheap replacements and loanees would not be of a similar skill level, or hold a similar level of passion for the club. Replacing a young heart-on-his-sleeve midfielder like Bradley Johnson with a has-been journeyman like Michael Brown was never going to be an improvement – and Simon Grayson can’t be blamed for that, he wanted Keith Andrews! But in an oh-so-typical Yorkshire Radio rant from Ken Bates, the Leeds chairman blasted his ridiculous wage demands and Shaun Harvey and Gwyn Williams brought us Brown instead. Andrews meanwhile ended up at the mighty Ipswich Town who, despite a lower turnover, higher wage budget and a similar amount of playing staff to ourselves, could afford him.

But we know all this. We know that our squad of young and hungry players has been systematically cast off and replaced by has-beens, unknowns and loanees because the club first failed to secure new contracts (Shaun Harvey) and secondly, failed to provide adequate funding for suitable replacements (Ken Bates).

So who should we be blaming?

Should Simon Grayson be held accountable for achieving mid-table with a mid-table team?

Should we not be questioning the distinctly average wage bill? The non-existant transfer funds? The constant sales of key players?

If you disagree with my assertion that Simon Grayson was underfunded, then fair enough. You’re well within your rights to complain about the performance. You’re wrong (see this link), but that’s beside the point – at least your opinions aren’t contradictory.

For the rest of you, you can’t look at the evidence, set your expectations to “incredibly low” then complain when the reality lives up to your own predictions. Doing so excuses Ken Bates and his minions, and that’s all Simon Grayson’s sacking was ever about. It was a simple ploy to distract the dissidents by creating division – Ken Bates has been doing it for years, just ask the Chelsea fans.

If you subscribe to the statement that Simon Grayson was sacked to give us a chance at the play-offs, then why are we sat here two weeks and six dropped points later without a replacement? If Simon Grayson was underachieving as much as Ken Bates likes to claim, then why wait until the end of January when there was talk of his sacking at the beginning? And why was every poor performance the managers fault before Simon Grayson was sacked, and now it’s apparently the players?

At this point in time, I actually think Simon Grayson’s downfall was that he over-achieved. The problems we’re now experiencing have existed all along, and always will whilst football isn’t the main priority of those running our football club.

When Simon Grayson led us to a 7th placed finish last season, it set the tone for everything that followed. It allowed the club to pretend the team didn’t need any further investment – “maybe a little tinkering around the edges, but nothing major” was the general theme of transfer discussion from the club – and has since been used as evidence we can do better, despite the sale of key players Max Gradel and Jonny Howson.

So are those of us that write this site overcritical of Ken Bates? Well, the crux of the matter is this – as a hard-working (well, working) customer of Leeds United Football Club, I expect a proportionate sum of my money to be spent on the squad I go to watch. I expect the biggest one club city in England to be aiming towards a successful future, and for the manager to be given the necessary funding to achieve that dream. I don’t want a hotel, I couldn’t care less about the museum and I managed to get suitably drunk long before Billy’s Bar and the Pavilion were added.

These things all come down to Ken Bates. A manager can only be judged by the funding (relative to division) that he receives, and in Simon Grayson’s case, he had a mid-table budget. Who else am I supposed to blame?

All I really expect is for football to be the priority. Is that really too much to ask of a football club?

  • AndyIII

    Excellent piece. I completely agree.

  • MARKJB66

    Totally agree with that 100%… Bang On….

  • totallychappers

    I only blame Grayson for not getting in a coach that that could sort out the defence. He was alright apart from that. All the rest falls at the feet of Bates.

  • totallychappers

    I only blame Grayson for not getting in a coach that could sort out the defence. He was alright apart from that. All the rest falls at the feet of Bates.

    • DanSumpter

      @totallychappers exactly, if our defence had been sorted last season, we would have made the playoffs AT LEAST. But as indifferent to Bates as i was a couple of months ago, i’m starting to see everyone’s point now.

  • TimPM

    Well I write for this site once in a while and a year ago I was fairly pro-Bates. I knew the sums didn’t seem to add up, etc. but he was getting us moving forward again.

    Whatever you think of the squad. He is no longer leading the club forward and, like he did with Simon, we should take any chance we get to ‘dispense’ of his ‘services’ and get a competent owner in.

  • TimPM

    To be fair, TSS, Grayson got us to 7th after being 2nd. It’s like with DOL – the team was youngish and collapsed in the later part of the season.

    We had a good team. I honestly don’t think playoffs was overrating the lads of last year. This year? Hmm. Playoffs is a possibility with this team next season.

    • RickHx

      @TimPM

      We were 2nd, but thats when you need to push on, a little bit of investment could have made all the difference, ask Norwich and QPR. Instead Bates gets into petty arguments over new contract with our core players.

    • Chareose

      @TimPM

      Where you are half way through a season proves very little, 7th was where we finished and to be honest I agree that Grayson over performed. The cracks were starting to show then, Grayson must have tasted promotion half way through the season but Bates just wouldnt release the purse strings……and so it fell away.

  • EYLEEDS

    Grayson did a good job with the finances available to him and whilst Bates keeps taking his annual profit out of the club we can only complete with far smaller teams in the transfer market.

    However, after hearing Grayson’s interview after the Birmingham match it was evident that he had given up and knew he couldn’t compete with the lack of support from Bates.

    In my opinion he should have threatened to resign unless he was backed rather than just accept the situation and because of that it was probably best he moved on.

    Grayson is a good manager and will do well at another club. I would welcome him back to Leeds if we ever get rid of Bates.

    • TSS

      @EYLEEDS Totally agree. My only criticism of Grayson is that he didn’t speak out. He was obviously trying to show some kind of professionalism at a club totally puzzled by the concept, but he did allow himself to become the fall-guy as a result.

      • dess

        @TSS @EYLEEDS

        TSS

        Your one and only criticism?

        So everything else he did he was spot on with.

        You see no problems in anything else that he did?

        There has been lots mentioned by other posters here but i will add that anyone who signs Danny Pugh is at least a little flawed and the signing of one of the worst goalkeepers I have seen at ER for a long time, a player he has worked with before and knew him well, wtf went on there?

        Well even if I had your love of Grayson I would have to have seen more than one little criticism.

    • Dav1dman

      I always felt that Grayson’s love for the club was exploited by bates. I think any other manager would have walked long before Grayson was chopped. Bates knew it was highly unlikely that Geatson would turn his back on Leeds, therefore he also knew he could get away with giving Grayson far less financial backing than any other self respecting manager would accept.
      I also think the sacking had a fair bit to do with the fact that Grayson finally publicly admitted that he hadn’t been backed in the post brum interview.

  • Nottswhite

    Spot on, I agree completely, but depressingly what can we do, other than withhold our money! Ken Bates is a master of distraction. Notice how he’s now pointing out the attendance record of members of LUST, without a hint of irony from a tax exile. Please keep pointing out the inconsistencies of his arguements and others will see what he is doing. He doesn’t want us to get promoted. It’s easier to make 2-3 million per year from the club in this division without the risk of having to do something to make us a better team.

    • Dje

      @Nottswhite I disagree about your phrasing of Bates not wanting us to get promoted. I am sure he does, for the cash windfall and the larger media audience for his dull little divisive opinions, but he just isn’t in any particular rush whilst Leeds United is, as you say, a nice little earner. If we start to really believe that Bates will do everything in his power to stop us going up then we might as well stop going until he’s gone one way or the other.

  • CraigSweaton

    Spot on. I’ve been saying the same since last season but, there are too many “die-hard” fans that will feed Bates his weekly allowance regardless of how he treats our team.
    There’s a Yorkshire saying that is particularly apt here……”A fool and his money are soon parted”.
    It’s just a pity that the fools in this case are hard working football fans :-(

  • SniffersCupFinalHeader

    Great piece, but as others have stated, Grayson’s inability/unwillingness to stand up to Bates was starting to grate on me. You could predict the timing of the soundbites every transfer window/close season ……’We’ve identified our targets’…….’Exciting signings to be announced ‘ etc. all it did was serve to undermine Grayson’s credibility. I hope for his sake that his long term management prospects are not damaged as a result. You do wonder how many of the journeymen, loans, freebies, we’re actually his first choice targets. Not many I suspect, but ultimately he paid for his loyalty with his job. The trouble for us as fans is, there are too many desperate, would be fall guys angling to be the next Bates stooge. No decent manager worth his salt would touch the job with a barge pole, so some of the names on the bookies list are pure fantasy. MOT regardless!

  • henrymouni

    I do not agree that you can take sides on this.

    If Ken B , and Harvey and Williams were to be replaced by a Leeds fan with plenty of money, I would be thrilled!!!

    However, that is unlikely just now.

    KB is correct that many clubs are in a bad way through spending more than they earn.

    The banks are turning their back on football and you can see why.

    Greedy players and agents.

    You have to have a budget, and stick to it.

    Bates policy of club before team is his biggest mistake.

    It has to be team first, and everything else follows with success.

    Bates policy of going for young ‘up and coming’ managers (cheap & grateful) will never work with a ‘big’ club like Leeds.

    The mangers we have had, since KB arrived have brought in some dreadful players.

    Simon is no exception, and our present squad is as bad as we have had for some time!

    The decent players, who have left us, could see we were going nowhere, and they have short careers.

    I do not know why ‘we’ let their contracts run out without making them better offers?

    Simon never seemed to be too bothered, and maybe felt he could replace them with better players – this never happened.

    It was vital we replaced Simon quickly, but KB and his minions have made another BIG mistake here.

    Their arrogance is such that they will never see this.

    Leaving Redfearn without any qualified coaches for three matches is a joke, and we are sliding down the league.

    Our players have been pathetic for most of this season and most of last,

    and our management team have been powerless/incapable on arresting the slide.

    It all seems hopeless, but we can still dream of better times!!

    • AndyHirstLeeds4ever

      @henrymouni I Mainly Agree With your Comments We Must Have A Strict Budget Plan As For No Qualified Coaches I Have To Say The Ones We Had Could Not Of Being that good as they have never managed to teach the players to defend and it isn’t all the players fault as some of them have gone on to be successful elsewhere We Need To Build From The Roots Right up to the top and not allow assets to feel there future is else where.As for SG His Time Was Up He Has Never been very good at signing players you only have to look at his record at Blackpool two years two signings and moor than 15 loans He Obviously did not learn much.As for been successful too soon I Think you will find they where players that he inherited.But that been said I Thank Him For His Hard Work. But Now Is The Time To Start Building and Investing In Our Future 5year plan to establish ourselves back in the Premiership.

    • jigzy84

      @henrymouni Leeds are not a big club anymore the sooner the “morons” realise the better it will be for the Leeds Utd and the rest of the fans, we have potential to be a big club, on current recent history, trophies won, league position, attendance records we are certainly not a big club anymore!

  • Daveylufc

    I totally agree with this article. Graysons actual signings would have been better than the ones linked to his name had he have had the financial backing. It’s important Leeds fans understand that because it’s a point that often gets overlooked by those who use use graysons poor signings as a justification of his sacking. The players he really wanted would have no doubt made us a really strong outfit this season, especially had we kept gradel and co.

  • Tyler75

    When Bates starts talking about the state of football in general, he largely makes sense – his analysis of the financial state of the game and where its heading have been more or less spot on ever since we went into administration and Rangers and Portsmouth recent plight is grist to his mill. However, and here is the fundamental issue, he’s asking all the right questions, coming up with all the correct analysis but getting the answers and solutions horribly wrong. Why is that ? Because deep down he hates LUFC ? Because he can’t be arsed anymore ? Or is it really because he wants to be proved right and offer himself up as the saviour of football with his Leeds ‘experiment’ and is just too stubborn and tight-fisted to do a u-turn like his heroine, Thatcher ?

    • jigzy84

      @Tyler75 Or is becuase he is running the club in the right way and there is no need to change?

  • NorthEastLoiner

    I agree with everything you say. The problem’s Bates and his minions and he is slowly draining the life out of the club. SG made some mistakes sure but who doesn’t, and as a mid table team we over achieved by flirting with the play offs. Probably now in a more realistic position. The only question now is who in their right mind would come to a club run by Bates, the more I think about this the more depressed I become!

    • AndyHirstLeeds4ever

      @NorthEastLoiner Must be getting old but when he was at chelsea he was a bit like this trying to set up a chelsea village but at the same time he was looking for someone else to come in and this guy did he was a big chelsea fan and they got the ball running then this guy died in a helicopter crash his name was Matthew Harding While bates was there they went from second div to regular top 6 premiership BUT Will he get someone interested and will he do it again………….

    • Chareose

      @NorthEastLoiner

      yes and the other thing thats always in the back of my mind…..is that in a way I wouldnt want a manager I like to come to Elland road with Bates at the helm……I felt that way about mick Mcarthy…….hard to explain but it would just seem a complete waste of a great opportunity. To have to watch another potentially loyal and talented servant abused, shafted and discarded by Bates…………

  • Chareose

    Agree, infact part of me would like to see Grayson given another chance if we got a proper owner………. I think his loyalty and passion for doing this job was abused to extreme by Ken Bates

  • Chareose

    I think as Leeds fans we are all now aware of the propaganda, false promises and false information that Ken Bates spouts to the fans but I suspect he was also doing the same to his Manager (Simon Grayson)……… Many fans have asked why did Grayson stay as manager so long ? Why didnt he leave earlier ? Why didnt he rebel ?

    Well why has it taken so long for many Leeds fans to rebel ?? Simon Grayson is apparantly a Leeds fan, could it be his loyalties were taken advantage of and that he was fed a diet of dis-information just like we were ………..seems obvious but it isnt.

  • DarioDeVito

    Some of these comments are so frustrating!
    What can you people not understand?

    Bates comments about football finance hold no relevance to what we need. Yes some clubs overspend, just like some business over spend. NOBODY is expecting Leeds to overspend!!!!!!!!!!

    For Christ Sake, use ur little brains. We sell more tickets than most clubs in the division, our ticket prices are massively higher than any other club in the division, we have probably the best away following in the division, we pay one of the highest membership fees in the country, we pay the most expensive program prices in the country, we have sold millions of pounds worth of young talent!!

    Therefore we should be able to safely and easily fund / retain a squad which is capable of pushing for promotion.

    We aren’t doing this!!! Instead this money is being poured into a development that WE DO NOT OWN!!! Bates talks about the risk involved with investing in players? What is the risk in investing MILLIONS in executive facilities that are not filled.

    How many execs want to wow their clients by overlooking an average team, in a half empty stadium, which wreaks of stagnation and misery! How does he plan to cover the overheads of empty exec facilities? You have to create demand before you waste money on supply!

    This is a football club! We SHOULD be using our good resources to achieve success on the pitch! Thus maximising our fan base! Which can then be used to generate further revenue through merchandise, ticket sales and franchising!

    Simply put – moderate & safe investment of turnover in playing squad = relative success = increased fanbase and sponsorship / investment interest = increased revenue through merchandise, sponsorship, ticket sales = then increased investment in squad and facilities to support fanbase and achieve increased success!!!!!

    • Masingashin

      @DarioDeVito If Bates is behind the company that owns the ground then he drains the talent out of the club to improve the value of his own property. Meanwhile the club plays rent on the ground which turns gate receipts into revenue for a company in a tax haven. Then the club have to find a further £15m to buy the ground back. Again if Bates is behind that company then he is £15m better off at the club’s expense. When he then goes on to sell the club he will presumably ask an extra £15m for the improved ground. Of course I’m just making all that up Bates doesn’t own the ground. But if it was the plot of a film who’s story would you believe, his or mine?

      • DarioDeVito

        @Masingashin @DarioDeVito I have no doubt that Bates is in some way linked to the ground, why else would he ignore the councils offer to purchase the stadium and lease it to LUFC at a 25yr fixed rate, which was lower than the current lease?

        I also have no doubt that he is linked to Astor, the only Creditor stupid enough to write of 17.5 mil of debt, and demand that the wanker who lost it keeps his job!

    • WIll23

      @DarioDeVito DDV, even before the development, the accounts show that operating losses only become a profit thanks to the profit on player trading.

      You cannot keep losing money unless there is an owner/bank willing to lend money to the club by or to sink fresh equity into the club. Yet Bates was never wealthy enough to loan money or inject equity and never will be.

      Bates’s strategy of trying to build some addiitonal income streams has been good. For example I heard good reports about the Pavillion. But his overall strategy of trying to attract a different clientele to what is a working man’s club will fail.

      And yes the East Stand development is difficult to justify in economically hard times.

      • DarioDeVito

        @WIll23 i have no problem with additional revenues but Like I said previously you have to create demand before wasting on supply. How about trying to increase revenue through more conventional & cost effective methods? Like making your merchandise available to a wider audience, instead of restricting to 1 shop and a website. How about out sourcing match day build up and commentary, rather than making an annual loss to keep it in house? How about charging your loyal fans a reasonable ticket price in view of attracting new custom? Or how about just showing some restraint and not insulting your own customers, thus retaining their custom?

        In addition to this, We shouldn’t be relying solely on Bates to inject funds. We should be seeking investment from third parties and sponsorship, we should not be depending on the sale of all our Assets fr the day to day running of the club. LUFC are a big club, in a big city, with a large fan base regardless of division. With such an attractive brand to exploit, why do we persistantly fail to obtain funds? Who is responsible for attracting investment? Who is responsible for attracting Sponsorship?

        There is no excuse for Bates! His business model stinks, and is beneficial to him only, not the club.

  • Tim Campbell

    It has been widely reported that when the club approached Nick Montgomery to sign him, Montgomery was astounded by the derisory offer put forward by Shaun Harvey. The same was true of Andrews and countless others I am sure. I agree 100% TSS, Larry was good with the limited resources that were available to him. The fact we are a one club city (AND A BLOODY BIG CITY AT THAT), is an indictment on the reign of Bates. We should be spending more money on the team no questions asked!! I can’t see a bearded leopard changing his spots so the only alternative is to get bates hung on his own throne of lies and get new owners in PS Williams, Harvey and Lorimer can bugger off as well!!

  • Chareose

    look mate you will have to que up like the rest of us………..better still get a ticket =23524 is the next one available and stand behind Auntie Freda and her baseball bat

    • WIll23

      @Chareose One way to fill the stadium an hour before kick off… cage fighting special … Bates verus the morons!

  • ramblinjohn

    I think Grayson was an excellent manager and I hope he comes back again one day. He did buy a lot of poor players (or players that he didn’t make anything of) but that was no doubt in part because he couldn’t offer competitive wages. But it was not that entirely I’m afraid – other managers have made more of average players and our defensive problems have been there since mcallister was in charge and they have not even been vaguely addressed. In the end he sounded like he didn’t know what else he could do and it was clear that bates no longer supported him. I hope he goes on to do brilliantly somewhere else and when Bates is dead or in the funny farm (surely one or other is imminent) he can come back.

    I think the thing with Bates is that he did buy the club when nobody else could pull it off (by what form of shenagins we can only guess) but he seems to want a bloody medal or a statue in city square for it…he didn’t do it for leeds or the fans…every other word out of his mouth betrays his contempt for the supporters, the ones he constantly berates to put their money where their mouth is…the trouble is mr bates, if we do that, where does the money go? certainly not on the kind of players we need to get us promoted. In fact we don’t know what has happened to it, do we? Although some of us have our suspicions. There is no hope of progress until Bates, Harvey and Lorimer are bought out or pensioned off. I’d be very surprised if mccarthy or warnock will come and any of the other names mentioned would be a disaster. Lorimer was my hero as a kid and now he’s shown himself to be nothing but a whore.

    • Tim Campbell

      @ramblinjohn

      Mate the hardest thing for me me to swallow about all this is Lorimers role in all this. I idolised the guy, the hotshot that no goalie wanted to face. Alas he has sold himself down the river for his 30 pieces of silver, and has lost all of my respect. SHAME ON YOU PETER!

    • WIll23

      @ramblinjohn RJ, with respect, I am not sure you opening statement of Grayson’s “excellence” is a conclusion you can draw from what you then go on to say about his purchases and his team’s woeful defence frailities!

      We all want to believe Grayson was a good manager, like we all want to believe we have the most beautiful wife! Though I must say if my wife is reading this then I am a very very lucky man to be be married to a lady of such unrivalled beauty!

  • WIll23

    TSS,

    The article contains valid viewpoints and clearly explains where you are coming from on Bates, which is not a difficult argument to win in terms of ticket prices and his general dislikeable self-satisfed smug attitude, and then on Grayson, where I do think the argument you make is difficult to support.

    Bates’s seeming arrogance comes without any foundation to justify such a character trait and it is easy to conclude he is a joke. To be justifiable, arrogance requires having demonstrated consistent recurring success in your field of endeavour year in year out and Bates business successes have been shown to be empty by certain journalists, whose names I forget, to not warrant his arrogant pontifications. Arrogance is earned. Arrogance without success to back it up is an attempt to pretend you are good at what you do.

    But back to Grayson.

    The squad we had in League One was head and shoulders above the investment and quality of any other team in that division and meant promotion should have been a *given* at the start of the season for Grayson or any manager who would have been in charge. That the team fell apart from January to May was the first inkling that all was not well with Grayson’s management style and ability. The second half of that season was atrocious and it was a relief that we limped over the line as thankfully the number of games ran out before we could be knocked out of the top two. That Grayson almost managed to conjure up another play-off appearance from a huge position of strength at Xmas should have been a warning sign to all fans that here was a manager not actually in control of events.

    Our first season in the Championship eventually saw a positive impetus gathering sufficiently thanks more to individual brilliance than teamwork so that we ended up in 2nd place at Xmas with signs to many fans of a brighter tomorrow. Yet once again, Grayson conjured up another poor second half to the season and did this time successfully take us from the jaws of promotion to a failure to achieve even a play off position which should have been a nailed on certainty.

    You say 7th place was an overachievement. It wasn’t – it was an underachievement. The playing squad was good enough last season, but for a shockingly organised defence/team – a hangover problem of a basic nature that for all his coaching badges, Grayson and HIS backroom staff failed to fix no matter how good the players he brought in – and they were some good players individually who had good careers at other clubs. AT LUFC however, Grayson and his team managed to make such decent players play consistently like embarrasing numpties.

    This season, the sale of Gradel and Howson have showed how brittle the squad was that Grayson had built. There was no long lasting legacy being constructed by Grayson. There was no craftily put together plan where the players knew their job and played as a coherent whole. The team were functional at best on their good days and disfunctional most games with victories hard won slender margin affairs at best thanks to individual flair than teamwork. Grayson’s wins were rarely a convincing overpowering of teams being played off the park, even in League One. The victories were not a function of a well drilled team.

    The obvious evidence of Grayson’s lack of ability were in my opinion glaring and were not a function of a lack of spending power.

    I wait to be proven wrong in my assessment of Grayson.

    Maybe he will learn from his mistakes and actually show he is willing to learn how to manage a team. But I got the impression Grayson was a manager whose fate was something he thought he could not control – blasting the players more readily as performances continued to be unconvincing with a regularity – rather than being a manager able to identify solutions to the problems. His record at Leeds was down to certain players having a good day at the office, and hence once those players lost their own form it was not so difficult to predict the team’s results would suffer.

    Bates has probably done Grayson’s reputation a favour by sacking him now, and maybe realising this, Grayson came out with his comment on the player budget and there was no other outcome possible and Grayson knew it.

    But these words do not mean I support Bates and his lapdog Harvey, the real morons. It will be a good day for the club once they are relieved of their duties. Their business model is short term, and reliant on a consistent stream of young quality players being brought through and sold off to cover operating losses. This is the existence of a Crewe. They want to attract the man with the higher average wage, but Bates is at the wrong club and did not do his research.

    For a one city club, the club is really only supported by the working class segment compared to other major cities. LUFC is a working man’s club and needs a business strategy that meets the demands of these customers, not your Northern Kensington set.

    The financial economy outside football will only worsen over the coming decade and I am sure football will soon be facing its own recession and rows upon rows of empty seats, not just at Elland Road. But I do fear we will suffer more than many due to the increasing costs of going to the game as the poor state of the world economy takes its toll with rising inflation in food/energy and deflation in wages bites hard and budgets pinched.

    My solution is to keep your prima donna high paid players out of the UK and just give me football at £10-£15 a time to watch in 40,000 full stadiums with low paid young English players playing pass and move. I can dream.

    • EYLEEDS

      @WIll23 You’ve summed up the problem with the way our club is being run very well, but I think you are too harsh on Grayson.

      He was not perfect but is young and would have brought success to Leeds with time and some financial backing.

      The difficulty we have is that at the top end of the championship you have to compete with premiership teams for players who will improve your squad. We aren’t even able to compete with most championship clubs so Grayson was forced to gamble on bargains and rejects. For me, to get us as far as he did whilst generating a massive surplus in transfer dealings was an absolute miracle.

      Yes the defence has been a problem, but good consistent defenders are hard to find and cost money.

  • donnywhite

    Agree with the everything above, and most of the comments, what Bates has done to me is to remove hope, Since the days of the -15 everything has felt like progress, replacing Blackwell with Wise felt so wrong it must be right (it wasn’t), the arrival of Gary Mac, an old hero, felt like the next step, then the arrival of Grayson, a proven achiever and a died in the wool fan felt like we were on our way. The promotion and subsequent finish just outside the top 6 just cemented my hopes that we were so close, just one more big push.

    And now he’s gone, and it turns out there’s no plan B! We p!ss our last chance of promotion away by blundering around rudderless during a period we should have been accumulating easy points and goal difference, if it now turns out that Bates’ answer is to grab a newly unemployed Lee Clark and expect him to do what he failed to do in a lower league, and this time for a lower budget then it makes a nonsense of his claim that we could still achieve promotion in the games available. I cannot get excited about Lee Clark and have an awful feeling that’s where we’re heading, and if it turns out Grayson ends up at the dogbotherers then it will be the most ludicrous job swap of all time.

    I’ll never forgive Bates for what he’s done to my club, and for how his big mouth is now putting off good prospective manager, players and investors, and I am now genuinely scared that next season we’ll be battling to avoid relegation rather than getting promotion.

    • WIll23

      @donnywhite Hearing some Hudders fans talk about Lee Clark seems he is again another manager of Grayson’s ilk – unable to address on the field problems. Given their record I was quite surprised how many fans were opposed to Clark. His character does not come across that well and he could never work with Bates.

      • donnywhite

        @WIll23 Exactly, if we end up replacing Grayson with someone with the same weaknesses, only not quite as good, then we’re going backwards instead of forwards. If you read the Huddersfield chairman’s statement, it’s almost word for word with Bates’ reasons for sacking Grayson! I just cannot for the life of me work out what Bates’ plan actually was?

    • MARKJB66

      @donnywhite I think a relegation battle is nailed on next season pal, we are behond repair now, just can not see any chance of a take over any time soon…….

    • jigzy84

      @donnywhite well who else would you want because when Leeds was in administration who out of the suitors did you want, hardly a cue of suitable billionaires wanted our club was there? Maybe you would have preferred Simon Morris. Well I’m actually appreciative that Bates has done so much good for my club despite the attempts of the “morons”

  • Dje

    I’ve just been reading about the strange tale of the missing £24m at Rangers and am wondering why the hell our respective FAs don’t insist on independent open book analysis of football clubs as part of an ongoing ‘Fit and Proper’ test.

    I know they fucked up over the banking regulation but a football equivalent of the FSA wouldn’t be hard or costly to manage, surely?

    It’s a sad indictment of the 21stC calibre of football chairmen and their amoralism that football clubs as old as Leeds, as old as Rangers, are run the risk of ruin by these miscreant c**ts for no other gain than their own quick buck.

    Come on Ed Milliband you lanky bastard ~ stick that on your political manifesto and you might just get some votes!

  • SAWhite

    Being in Australia and the time change I miss all these chats over night…. but I just read another blog where they talked about what bates had said against LUST… and how it’s board and members that did not support the club because they missed games or lived overseas…well I live overseas..and all i wished was my support for the club was not so great and then the way he ran the club would not bother me so much….. I watch every game that is on… I listen to even game on my lap top at 1.30am to 3.30am every week and log on news now leeds 10 times a day for news…. last time I was in leeds…. 10 years ago mind I went to every game over 3 weeks….. but I’m not a fan because i can’t go to games……How can you continue to talk in this way about the people who love the club…….on the Bates and Grayson discussion and Grayson did make some mistakes….imagine working for someone like Bates….. would anyone of us be perfect ??

    • SAWhite

      Sorry for some of the grammar but pissed off….

    • TimPM

      @SAWhite Exactly. I couldn’t agree with you more. If somebody lives in an entirely different country to where the sport is being played and yet they go to all the trouble of following the scores, reading the blogs, and in the LUST case even organizing groups to help give a voice to other fans, they’re doing plenty for the club.

      Bates is simply showing his arrogance, ignorance, and intolerance.

      • mattbb1

        this one is very often trotted out, i presume to garner the support of those who go to all the games, but thats approximately 20,000 of a near 500,000 strong uk support, and more overseas. these people subscribe to his ridiculous tv channel, listen to his radio, buy his merchandise, so yet again he is alienating his core client base. SAWhite – we love you mate just like we love all the other Leeds fans round the world and youre always welcome up at Elland Road, hopefully one day Bates will be gone, and a businessman will be in charge, one who cares about the club.

      • Tyler75

        @TimPM @SAWhite Doesn’t Bates live in Monaco ?

        • TimPM

          @Tyler75 @SAWhite Aha! You spotted the hole in his argument. Along with the fact he swore on oath that he’s never put a penny into LUFC.

  • mattbb1

    its like serving a long prison sentence, and the above just puts it into context, we know one day ken bates will not own leeds united, and simple biology says no more than another 10 years, however when youre sat in the middle of it it is true grating incarceration. The amount of damage he can still do is immense, he is now achieving what no other chairman has managed to do. He has actually got the supporters of leeds nearly hating a visit to elland road, and hoping that the team loses (i know i had that guilty feeling on tuesday night) so his latest protege isnt offered the role full time. How long?… How long can we all put up with this?

  • HERES hOPING

    If Grayson was that good, why after a loss to Reading a few days before christmas did he allow the team to go to Dublin to get pissed up and avoid training that week oh and then suprise suprise we have a terrible xmas period! Oh and why did he lose the dressing room? Why did his wife leave him? Why did Andy O Brien go Awol??? Hmmmm some interesting questions of Grayson me thinks

    Could we be waiting for Warnock to finish his dealings wit QPR (schedulled this week) before we could apporach him?? Heres hoping!

    • jigzy84

      @HERES hOPING agree 100% with your post! Graysons is inept and a lg1 manager at best the problem is in the eyes of the “morons”

  • CraigSweaton

    @NorthEastLoiner That’s exactly how I feel too! I wouldn’t want a manager I like and admire at Leeds until Bates is gone. It’s a reputation demolition waiting to happen.

  • jigzy84

    What do you hope you will achieve by spreading conjecture Grayson was a inept manager who’s tactics and transfer record are terrible, his media statements are also terrible, and given you hold Grayson in such high regard he said repeatedly that he was given any profit from player sales to spend as he sees fit, did he or did he not? yes! He allowed players to skip training repeatedly to go on binge drinking, including this years piss up to Dublin over Christmas, Grayson’s intimate relations with AOB partner (club secretary) and then his subsequent handling of AOB leaves allot to be desired given how highly you hold Grayson, Leeds goals conceded record under him, and final example is it was Grayson that pushed for the signing of Brown on 15k per week.

    I’ve asked many times on this site but have never been provided with an answer why didn’t you complain under Ridsdale, Professor John McKenzie, Gerald Krasner, or Trevor Birch. You didn’t moan then when the club was over spending on turnover racking immense debts and selling our talent, our training ground, our stadium. Yet you choose to demonise Ken Bates for being smart and clearing the debts in a painless way and for running a tight ship in which the club is making a profit.

  • jigzy84

    As for your statement of being a “customer” that is the problem you see yourself as a customer and your not a fan you don’t appreciate that it there are additional fees and costs involved in running a football club, like when LUST wishes to hold protests outside ER it is Leeds that foots the bill for that as the next home game the police have a greater presence that Leeds have to pay for, like I say morons. You believe because you’re a “Customer” I’ve spent £40 that means the club must spend it on players, joke really isn’t it this is the real world.

    This site and the writers on it have no credibility you have no evidence for any of your statements and when you try to substantiate your articles the information that you provide detracts from your argument and provides more than ample conter arguments. Just because you provide information doesn’t mean it is the truth for every bit of information I and many other Leeds fans with at least the smallest shred of inelegance can provide evidence against you. This site and it’s writers have no business acumen you have no successful record of running a football club, do you? no!

    • CraigSweaton

      @jigzy84 Wow! Rarely have I met someone as blind and clueless as you!

      I have plenty of business acumen (seeing as my businesses are thriving despite the economic downturn), and I find your arguments laughable.

      If a person pays for goods or a service then that person becomes a customer. If the company that is supplying that customer does not live up to it’s obligations, boasts, supposed policy or quality then the customer is entitled to complain. END OF.

      If you bought a product from me and paid me £30pw, but at the end of the year received a much inferior product, YOU would complain too but, because it’s football you think it’s a different matter? Just who is the moron in this situation, because I’m sure as hell it’s not me!

      I work too hard for my money to throw it away on 2 hours of despair that I can no longer enjoy.

      Think about it and then take your nose from the depths of Bates arse, or wherever else it is that makes Leeds United seem such a rosy proposition to you.

  • jigzy84

    I love it when the moron’s talk of Grayson’s win % he managed us in tier 3 of English football for 2 seasons what do you expect! He hardly has a equally comparable win rate in the championship for either Leeds or Blackpool.

    As for the link Portsmouth sat at number 1 says it all really, there are 8 league clubs on the brink of administration and this site and many like it want to put Leeds back there, absolute morons.

    Lets do a protest march, if the TSS and LUST want to be constructive do what Bates says put some money up. If that happens then Leeds will be up the creek without a paddle, however I can rest easy because we all know that will never happen.

  • jigzy84

    Portsmouth Sit number 1 on your lovely table says everything!! You have 16 clubs spending over 80% of there turnover on player wages, 5 of the 16 are spending over 90% of there turnover on wages, and what’s even worse out of the 16 clubs 6 of them are spending over 100% of there turnover on player wages, do you no that means straight away they are recording a financial loss for that year. This site obviously are either not supporters of Leeds Utd or they are absolutely stupid! I can’t believe you are suggesting that Leeds should go back to the Ridsdale era, are you for real?

    • dess

      @jigzy84

      You are some weird fan who obviously has some connection to bates. The choice is not bates or ridsdale, there is a whole spectrum in between.

      • jigzy84

        @dess no connection with bates other than I think he is one of the best league chairman at present he was absolutely right to take Leeds into administration and everything since has been pretty much spot on. Are you not slightly weird questioning that 16 clubs in this league according to the data provided by this site are more than likely recording a loss! I don’t wish for a spectrum in between bates he backed Grayson heavily in lg1 this site seams to forget that.

  • jigzy84

    @Love Leeds Hate Bates it’s because the fans who don’t listen to conjecture and wish to seek the truth rather than dross on this site don’t bother coming here any more because they know what is spoon-fed to all the “morons”

  • jigzy84

    @Lee B because he has the details of any proposed move and he says yay or nay, well not any more thank fek

  • jigzy84

    @Craig Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 Lg1 that’s his level!! or and secretaries with partners that play for Leeds Untied

  • henrymouni

    It is true that we are not a big club anymore jigzy84.

    Certainly in terms of ambition and priorities.

    Either we accept that we are going nowhere, and attendances continue to fall, or we look for a change for the better.

    Frankly, I do not know where we can find the big investor we need, but without hope, and you ar’nt offering ANY, we are lost.

    Life is too short to waste time and money watching rubbish.

    The chairman said we had to pay high match fees to get the best players – where are they?

    Simon is responsible for this poor squad, and we will never know how he would have done with money to spend – unless he gets a ‘big’ job somewhere.

    However the Chairman and his friends appointed Simon (& Dennis and Gary Mac) so they are ultimately responsible.

    As they do no accept any responsibility the manager carries the can. This is true in all forms of business, sadly.

    It is vital that our club is run well, and there are many clubs on the brink of bankruptcy just now.

    Ken B said, this month, that it is ‘club first and team second’. I would say our team reflects this policy.

    Of course you get fans who blame Ken for everything (I am not one of them).

    Some of the nonsense/conspiracies, are crazy, but entertaining.

    We are badly in need of entertainment just now.

    KB is his own worst enemy, and says things that are even more stupid, nasty and cruel, than the ‘facts’ that are paraded on here and other forums.

    Fans are not ‘morons’, and are paying money to Leeds United that they cannot really afford, in these hard times.

    It is easy to understand why they feel that their support is taken for granted.

    We must get a good strong manager soon!!

    I believe KB realises that his policies have to change next season – the dropping attendances

    have got his attention! Sticks and stones!!!

    Let us all pray his judgement over our next manger, is better than his other choices!!!

    Oh! THANK GOD FOR THE RHINOS!! Something to smile about!!

    • TimPM

      @henrymouni I always worry when apparent Leeds fans insist we’re not a big club anymore. Yes we are. We have an average attendence that would be competitive in the Premiership and we’re paying prices around the same as Arsenal and Chelsea fans to see some of the biggest stars in the world. We’re… not.

      That and that alone dictates that we ARE a big club. Add to that facilities that everybody insists are top-notch in Thorp Arch and a stadium that Ken insists he has renovated to a top standard with £20mil after inheriting a clapped out old ground, and you’ve got to question why anybody would even attempt to argue that we are a small club?!

      • henrymouni

        @TimPM

        Just now we are not a big club, if you define it as wealthy or successful Tim.

        We are not a big club with crowds in the low 20 thousands just now.

        We are not a big if you include the fact that we do not own our ground or training complex.

        We are a mid table Championship club just now,with a poor squad, so again we are not a big club.

        We used to be a big club, and we have the potential to be big again. Roll on that day.

        Paying a high price to watch poor football, does not denote a big club.

        If/when we get promoted to the Premier league, we will be able to build up to be a big club again, if we survive.

        Until then we have our memories of better times when were were a big club.

        I feel very optimistic about everything since Neil Warnock arrived, but we have a long way to go.

        We are so far behind the big clubs in the Prem!

        Onward and upward.

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