The takeover saga certainly has highlighted one or two things. The club has insisted on non-disclosure over the deal with the Middle Eastern consortium according to our sources, and this has left fans poorly informed all summer. But it’s worse than that, the incompetence of Leeds United’s media division has left a vacuum online in this new age of information, and has embarrassed itself by working to a lower standard than several amateur Leeds blogs written by fans voluntarily in their spare time.

Clubs nowadays like to keep in touch with their fans. In an age where our phones double as web-browsers, and more and more people are able to spend time online, it is stupid for clubs not to get out there. Yet Leeds United is still rooted firmly in the dark ages with a website, and a couple of staff’s personal accounts.

Let’s face it, having a website is nothing special. About a decade ago it became the in-thing to have your own space, whether you paid for a server and web-design, or used Angelfire or the like. Nowadays, individual players keep fans updated. Joey Barton has his own site going on blog, THE Robbie Rogers (dot com) has his own site, while 15 year old Leeds youth Emilio Oliver even has his own.

And Leeds’ website isn’t even particularly good. Go to leedsunited.com, and all of a sudden Neil Warnock is explaining what he thought of the Burton match at top voice without prompt (it beats Ben Fry), I’m being advertised at by Sky Sports and ESPN (beats the sometime Manchester United adverts), while I’m bombarded with so many flashing ads about insurance, shirts, and betting sites it looks like the kind of site I was warned not to visit as a kid as it’d pack up my parents’ PC with spyware.

And in an age where mobile phones make up roughly 20% of web-traffic in first world countries, Leeds United’s attempt at a mobile site is a joke. On the 25th of July I tweeted the head of media and press officer at the club, Paul Dews, that the “OS [official site] redirects to mobile on my [phone,] which is fine except the [mobile] version is never updated… I could open normal site if it let me.” I got a retweet, then a reply. Not from Dews, from another fan saying “This has been an issue since the mob version was released, articles take a few hours to appear”. Then another: “They’ve known about it for ages mate. … Told them weeks ago it was f*cked and nothing”. I got no reply from Dews.

The mobile site was again a source of controversy last week. 2-3 people I talked to about the squad numbers assigned to Leeds players, seemed under the impression that Luciano Becchio had not been given a squad number. It was, in fact, yet another error with the mobile site which omitted him. I received assurances on Twitter that he was number 10 on the site, telling people it was another mobile-site issue, I received another tweet of frustration: “they need to sort the mobile site out. Half the time it doesn’t even load the stories.” Again, no answer from Dews.

Then again, perhaps I shouldn’t expect a reply from the self-styled “Dewsy”. He labels his account as personal, even though he uses it to answer fans’ questions and problem-solve in his professional capacity. Certainly, you wouldn’t want a professional account littered with cringe-worthy “banter” with the players that seem out of place in anybody aged over 15. This is a problem for the club. Thom Kirwin is probably the other source for official information for fans, whether it’s updates on LUTV or tasters of his latest interviews. The nice-guy commentator damaged his reputation slightly when it was revealed he pounced onto the anti-Levi bandwagon, asking the club if he should use of the crimewatch theme while taking part in Levi’s harrassment. But not as badly as “Dewsy” Dews. Being the one-stop for Leeds issues online, Dews’ personal account draws a lot of attention. And when he began talking to some young female fans on Twitter, insinuations began to appear on one Leeds forum resulting in an apparent legal threat and the forum being taken down for a time. Unfortunate, really, but it highlights the problems of people mixing professional and personal hats, even if they feel they have a get-out clause by sticking “personal” in their biography. In fact, it was hardly a P.R. success, with Dews now the butt of many a joke online.

In fact, the club’s media has become a running joke. Criticisms of the poor quality of LUTV, the fact the small-print until recently read “Chelsea”, and problems with browsing the club’s site are very common. Forums play host to regular jokes about the pathetic spelling and grammar on the official site, while gaffes such as reporting the late PC Rathband “watched” training in 2010 hardly put the club in the best light.

Now Melvyn Levi’s court case has shown Ken Bates harassed him in a cold and calculated manner that could have been illegal, using his programme notes and official radio station, you have to ask what sort of a job the Leeds United media department is doing? Let’s hope for a clean sweep and a decent level of funding from our new owners, once the takeover’s complete.

  • Peter Evans

    i find the quality of lutv now its all flash appaling. im currently using an older pc as mine went up shitter and cant afford a new one, flash doesnt lay so good. radio side is fine but any video is jerky and stuff, i have to use my galaxy note to watch highlights of matches via lutv. bring back drm downloads or a program i can use to rip them from the web

    • engraf

      Download the latest version of Google Chrome and use as your search engine to get LUTV ; this will solve your promlem.

  • henrymouni

    “Let’s hope for a clean sweep and a decent level of funding from our new owners, once the takeover’s complete”.

    Are we being taken over AGAIN Tim?

    We have been well and truly stuffed by Ken ‘The Riddler’ Bates.

    Smile, though your heart is aching, ………….

    • TimPM

      The takeover was off yesterday morning. But after the news broke something happened to bring the buyers back to the table. Not sure what, but it’s not off. And given our finances recently plus Bates’ lack of popularity and credibility, can’t see him staying around much longer?

      • whitesoldier

        Takeover back on ? first I’ve heard from what source?

      • whitesoldier

        Takeover back on first I’ve heard from what source?

      • henrymouni

        Tim my boy!
        How did you get this info’??
        I don’t think Bates lack of popularity will bother him!!
        He has been unpopular since he was 3 1/2.
        When he was born the midwife tried to push him back in.

        • TimPM

          From LUST. On WACCOE there’s a really, really, long thread called TOMA which is virtually impossible to keep up with. Either way, sometimes on there members from the LUST board turn up and respond to questions in a personal capacity.

          Seems the takeover was genuinely off yesterday morning, but something changed. They were getting ready to tell us all they knew.

          LUFC statement itself said they’re stilling willing to talk, just not exclusively. Many read into that it’s positioning and we’re getting close one way or the other.

        • TimPM

          In fact I’ve written up an interview from their chairman now. It’s a good read

      • Gordo Strach

        Would it be prudent to protest before the game to show Bates we don’t want him and the potential new owners we want them?? Looking forward to chairmans section in the programme. If Bates goes off on one against investors, its off, if he doesn’t slag them off then maybe the deal can be agreed.

        • Jumblatts

          I think its fairly common knowledge that we dont want bates and we do want new owners. we might not have heard from them in the past 2 months, but i very much doubt that they havnt heard us

  • Jamie

    I’ve also noticed the OS mobile version’s flaw, articles don’t appear until later.

    while we are on the subject when I read TSS articles on my phone (iPhone 4S) the text jitters around, making it very difficult to read, unless fully zoomed out. (which is also very difficult to read).

    I’m not complaining or pointing the finger i understand these things happen (I am a software developer). Just bringing it to your attention.

    • TimPM

      We’re changing the site to make it more compatible over the next few weeks mate :-)

      • topvalleywhite

        Not been coming on here long but I really enjoy this site, you can have a decent debate without every thread becoming a big dick competition over who’s the biggest fan, keep up the good work

        • TimPM

          Thanks :-)

          This is all about hosting debate for the fans. TSS has kept this site running for miles longer than I ever could’ve and it’s great the amount of time he dedicates to it!

  • Jonny

    couldn’t agree more. In the digital age Leeds United are miles behind and have said it for ages. Their communication strategy doesn’t exist and I’m not talking about Bates not communicating I’m talking about general comms. They are missing a massive oportunity for commersialisation and marketing revenue streams. The site is difficult to navigate around and I find myself looking at other websites and digital media for news. They have fixed it now, but a particular annoyance was the news link on the left. You clicked it and then you were presented with a small drop down the first of which was a news link which you had to click again to get the news. The personal feeling when you deal with the club is not quite right as you say. I’m all for customer service and the personal touch but when you make an enquiry the reply is overly familiar. ‘Yes mate, what can I do for you’. sends out the wrong message and feels amateurish. No facebook or twitter, they could use facebook to interact with the youngsters and have an official twitter feed.

  • alienburt

    who is we – do you work for LUTV

  • Let’s not be too harsh on the club’s media, the New Shirt, New Start video with Warnock in the shower and Eminem playing in the background was excellent : )

  • djedjedje

    I’m not sure why anyone is that surprised that the LUTV and the official site are shit. We are a trapped audience in the same way we are stuck with Bates.

    The problem is we all still go to the main website whenever it looks like an official dispatch. Whilst it remains free to do so don’t expect anything but bargain basement web design. Just look at how little we’ve spent on the team over the last seven years for that!

    Hell, if Bates thought he could charge us a couple of quid every time we had to read more ‘Club Statements’ on the official website then he would (and I bet we’d have half a dozen of nothing statements a day too!).

  • I had LUTV last year. For my £40 subscription, I got commentary of all the games, but it was delayed by 2 or 3 minutes, so I couldn’t have Twitter open at the same time as Paul Dews would tweet me that a goal had been scored before I could hear it. During the season, I encountered no audio at all, very low and inaudible volume, and sometimes they actually had to stream it online via Yorkshire Radio (they normally block during games) because LUTV wasn’t working. Half way through the season I started listening to live streams on the internet, where someone’s put a microphone next to a radio, because 1) it was live and 2) the sound quality was better than LUTV! They used to record the Lorimers Bar Q&A sessions and they were really great to watch, but they stopped doing that this season which was a real shame.
    It might be better now, but I’ll never know, because I cancelled my subscription – which is now £52!! I’m sure it was around £20 a few seasons ago.

    • I had a lutv subscription since ’06 when I used to live I America i cancelled after the sale of howson.it was only then that I realised the web streams had better quality, I will not resubscribe until bates leaves, or dies (preferably both)

  • henrymouni

    Just tuned into LUTV.
    Interview with NW – No mention of the ‘Takeover’.
    Interview with Ben and Eddie. No mention of the ‘Takeover’.
    They refer to Pugh & Rogers being put on the transfer but do not discuss the reasons why.
    All very artificial and controlled.The most important question, nobody asks.

  • Stew

    Is it just me or do the rest of you find it pathetic and childish using AD on every date on the site and even in letters from the club, just because of a rant a year or two back by our chairman!!

  • louis

    we wont get taken over, just bates trying to sell tickets, he needs to go now, if he is to stay for one more year then best he get his wallet out, going to be another depressing year for the pompey rejects

  • Angry Leeds Fan!

    The problem is that no one knows whats going on, apart from those involved. Leeds tend to have a tighter lip that fort knocks these days… The fans should be keep informed cos without them they would be stuffed!!

  • Leeds thru and thru

    I don’t think KB does care that the fans don’t want him… if by any chance that he doesn’t know yet, it should be made loud and clear to him that the fans want him to GO NOW!!!

  • Matthew

    >New Shirt, New Start
    Unless we get new owners, and a new striker/winger and some cover for random positions should someone like Peace, Peltier, White etc get injured during the season I would say
    >New Shirt, Same old shit.

  • henrymouni

    Can other LUTV listeners confirm that the sound volume is still terrible?
    Also the last two games, we are not getting Eddie & Tom, but someone else, on his own. So you are getting long silent bits!!!
    Fulham 5 Norwich 0.
    WBA 3 Liverpool 0.
    QPR 0 Swansea 5! NW will be smiling.