In his programme notes for Leeds United’s 2-3 home defeat to Hull City, Ken Bates was his usual diplomatic self with another attack on the Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) alongside characteristic rants about Policing costs and FIFA.
He did however offer an update on protracted takeover talks and continued to praise the Leeds United Supporters Club.
Ken Bates on the takeover and LUST
Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST, including a TV Interview some months ago that a deal was ‘imminent’. It wasn’t then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different. Time does not always have the same urgency to others. Let me Illustrate this.
Last February, we agreed to talk to another Middle Eastern party from a different country to those we are talking to now. When in June we announced that we had signed an exclusivity agreement with the potential investors, the first party introducer went bananas. threatening to report Shaun Harvey to me, the Football League and (interestingly) to LUST! They had not taken their interest forward for nearly four months at that stage.
The current situation is that as i write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers (although of that, more later), Meanwhile, we continue to run the club and the kids on the Monaco beach have appreciated the free pens! Ignore the speculation which is simply ignorance based on ignorance. Terry Wogan, an unlikely philosopher, wrote in The Times recently: ‘People believe what they want to believe regardless of the facts!’
Ken Bates on FIFA (and LUST)
The international fixture dates have already seriously disrupted the domestic football season. Firstly with the meaningless friendly fixtures in the week before the season started. interrupting vital final training sessions for no reason other than financial gain for those countries involved. Meanwhile the clubs pay the wages and get no compensation if the players come bath injured.
If small countries need financial assistance then FIFA should give it direct from the billions they have generated from the huge World Cup profits.
There is another way to reduce the international fixture list. UEFA already does it at club level, when they have the Champions League for the elite and the Europa League for the next tier of clubs. At international level the fixtures are clogged with the likes of Luxembourg, San Marino, Liechtenstein and the Faroe Islands to name but a few. These countries should play in a qualifying competition with say, the top two competing in the main competition on the following occasion. I have been campaigning for this for years. yet without success. Perhaps LUST could sort it out with all their contacts!
Ken Bates on Policing costs and LUSC
Following my notes In the last programme, we have had further positive discussions with the Supporters Club (LUSC) about their relationship with Leeds United going forward, we expect these discussions to he resolved in a positive and constructive manner. One thing that has to be acknowledged is that throughout our differences, the Supporters Club have never tried to do anything that would harm the club or its public image. Elsewhere, those that do apparently don’t realise the negative image that creates to the outside world or they simply don’t care about it – despite their hollow protestations of their love and loyalty! An example of the way it affects Leeds United is police costs.
Policing levels (and the resultant costs) are gauged on their assessment of the degree of calm or disturbance likely to occur. Their assessment includes looking at the visitors, any history between the two clubs and the home fans record of behaviour. The better the record, the less Police are needed and the costs come down accordingly.
Response from LUST
Chairman of the Leeds United Supporters’ Club, Gary Cooper, has since responded to Ken Bates’ programme notes in an interview with ITV which you can view here.