The seemingly perpetual summer of Leeds United takeover speculation delivered another twist yesterday as Duncan Castles and Phil Hay revealed new terms had been proposed by The Whites wannabe owners.

There’s been some confusion as to the nature of the newly proposed deal, but what seems to remain consistent is that Ken Bates will remain on as a consultant receiving only half of his money up front, and the remaining 50% when he retires – how this effects the shareholding (will Bates retain half of his shares until he leaves?) is the subject of ongoing debate.

Nevertheless, the one unavoidable constant in all this, is that Ken Bates looks set to remain at Elland Road for the foreseeable future.

Some fans aren’t overly concerned by this possibility, reasoning that Bates’ experience could prove invaluable to the new owners. Irrespective of how fans rate his job performance, Ken Bates does know the business and may be able to show our new owners the ropes whilst also pointing out the potential pitfalls.

Other fans are more cynical. Many have pointed to the ill-fated investment of Matthew Harding at Chelsea as reason for not wanting Bates involved at all with the new setup, whilst others have simply had enough and want to see the back of him for good.

Whatever your reasoning (and I’m sure I haven’t covered everybody in the couple of paragraphs above), we’ve created a poll asking – Would you be happy for Ken Bates to remain at Leeds United under a new majority owner who is willing to invest in the squad? 

Happy for Bates to stay on under new majority owner?

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We’re also interested in a few specifics, based on the hypothetical situation outlined above;

  • If you’re currently boycotting Elland Road, would you be willing to end your boycott? 
  • If you’re currently engaged in any other kind of protest, would the proposed situation bring it to an end? 
  • And finally, do you think Ken Bates retaining a position at Leeds United would effect your opinion of the new owners? 

90 Responses

  1. danielr

    Sometimes it can be better the devil you know. We have seen many foreign owners come in and make very costly mistakes because of nievity e.g. coventry, portsmouth etc. Bahrain or Saudi Arabia is a million miles away from the english blood and thunder championship so maybe seeing the bates model and then adapting it when he retires might be a good learning curve. Dont get me wrong I want to see the back of bates as much as the next person but we cant deny what he is good at and thats business efficency.

    • mikelufc

      Are you right in the head?
      Have you checked his business record, the man is a crook who shafts everybody.
      Furthermore the potential new owners must be idiots to tolerate all this crap, what will life be like under them.? The mind boggles.

    • Michael Lazarou

      Business efficiency to hates is having profits in his bank not the club bank and certainly not on the field that’s why bates is no good for football clubs, it might be better for athers business

  2. lufc

    it may be beneficial to the club has knows how to get a club to keep ticking over and been profitable so with someone investing money the know how of bates may lead to them been more successful and result in a faster return to the premiership but hwat evere happens we need money invested in the squad fast cos their to much investment in other clubs so more quality players are heading to our rivals that are leaving the biggest club on the league behind

  3. Tommo

    Not really bothered who owns the team as long as the club is progressing – would prefer a local, Leeds fan to own the club but in the real world that ain’t likely.
    Really want to start going to games regularly but I can’t justify 30 odd quid to come home feeling depressed and kicking next doors cat! Makes me sick watching tinpot Norwich, Swansea etc
    But longer the current impasse exists the more chance this season is looking like a washout …

  4. Crusty Bufton

    I can’t stop supporting Leeds whatever, it is just part of who I am. We would be better off if Bates goes and the new owners would be naive if they think this is a good idea get them to phone Abramovich and see what he thinks

  5. leeds72

    Bates needs leeds we dont need or won’t bates we r his soap box without Leeds he will have no voice and he loves the sound of his own voice so we r stuck with the silly old twat

  6. Woody

    My biggest problem is that the new owner would NOT be the majority shareholder. He would own half of Ken Bates’ 73% stakeholding (36.5%) with the other 63.5% being owned by Bates and some other unknown person or group (but person or group that Ken Bates has known and dealt with for a long time which worries me). This may effectively leave Ken Bates in overall control and the new owner shafted like Harding was at Chelsea feeding money into a bottomless pit but seeing no return and having no control. Madness.

      • Mac1919

        How sad are you?? If you are truly a Leeds supporter, get to ER AND support the team whoever is in control

  7. Sheppy

    So Daniel, you say bates is good at business efficiency. So will you be happy with Leeds United being run as a nice profitable business in League 1? Because all the while he is creaming off the profits and not investing in the SQUAD that is where we are heading again.
    You say foreign owners come in and make costly mistakes, well the two clubs you quoted are now in a league that bates’ penny-pinching TOOK us to, and while he continues to sell our best players and invest in new facades and corporate dining experiences instead of the squad, as I said, it is where we are heading AGAIN.

    • RC

      Bates’ ‘penny-pinching’ didn’t take us their you fool! I don’t like the guy any more than any other Leeds fans but fans like you are so blind its unbelievable, it was Ridsdale’s over spending that took us there. Yet because we did well for a few years under him and he showed us why you shouldn’t spend money you dont have all you care about is the former.

      • Gez Walsh

        When Ken Bates put Leeds in to Administration, only around £1 million of the £36 million of debt was remaining from the Ridsdale era. The £36 million included £12 million that Ken had borrowed from Krato and spent in little more than 6 months.

        So RC, are you uninformed? Or a fool?

      • Michael Lazarou

        And my I ad his penny pinching is making Leeds useless team t hat no decent player wants to come and play for us and that’s a fact as proven

  8. Jonny

    You will never convince me that the new owners don’t have the business skills to deal with a football club. It is sheer folly not to bring in new brooms that know football rather than let the real moron that is the Bates ego continue to feed off our club. It’s #BatesoutFOREVER for me.

    • Irving08

      Perhaps the new ‘partner’ can’t afford to buy the club outright just, as I infer, the so-called consortium isn’t able to come up with an offer he can’t refuse. I think the situation calls for realism and restraint all round.

  9. mattbb2

    i’d return if there were new owners and investment, but grudgingly, Bates simply has to go, he’ll suck the new guys dry just as he has with us, one can only hope the new owners are as ruthless as he is

  10. henrymouni

    If we are stuck with KB, let us hope he does not remain Chairman!!
    Also, no more program notes, or building projects.
    Scrap Yorkshire Radio, and return to Radio Leeds. They pay us!
    LUTV is good, as it gives fans worldwide a chance to get match commentaries and information. They should show the U-21/reserves live on LUTV.
    No more court cases at the club’s expense.
    Shave that beard off.
    We also have to think of KB’s ‘yes men’.
    Do we really want them??

  11. Keith

    Bates and Warnock have to go before i return.Remember Colin is a Bates man NOT a Leeds fan.

    • COL

      Warnock is a fantastic manager who will succeed if he is given a bit of cash in the transfer market. So Warnock ins’t a Leeds fan. Who cares? Don Revie or Howard Wilkinson weren’t Leeds fans either but they still both did an unbelievable job for the club.
      Give Warnock a chance. With a half decent budget to bring in a few players we will fly up the table.

  12. TG

    So long as ANY of my money would end up in Bates’ pockets I will continue to boycott the club. It’s hard medicine to take but that man needs to go fully and completely.

  13. gerrycwmbran

    I travel up from south Wales for as many matches as I can afford (I don’t do CARDIFF!! either home or away!!).
    I am not boycotting matches, I do not protest – BUT
    (I would certainly think that most fans would think a lot less of new owners if he remains in ANY capacity)

  14. henrymouni

    I will hire the ‘Popemobile’ and drive him down there, markman.
    It is armoured, with bullet proof glass.
    It should protect us as we drive from Elland Road!
    Bit worried when we get near Portsmouth though!

  15. Jimmy

    The problem with Bates master plan is that it hinges around the club standing still – we’re 7 years behind everyone else and it’s only going to get worse. We need some modern, progressive thinking and investment.

    The squad is small, the fans are tired, the ground looks old, the website is terrible, the Leeds brand needs improving – where’s the nod to the future? Doing nothing is as bad as doing everything.
    We’re going nowhere under Bates, and we wont until there’s some balanced management comes into the club. Although his fiscal ideals may be sound, time marches on and we’re getting left behind.

    • henrymouni

      I don’t think we were ever meant to go anywhere Jimmy.
      Asset strippers have no interest in the future.
      They will only invest if it suits their purpose.
      They sell asset strippers/receivers )what they can – when the ground and training ground goes they start on the team.
      The cut backs they make are not to the benefit the business.
      They are to create a balance sheet that looks healthy, with a view to selling it on.
      The asset stripper spends little to purchase their target business, so everything is profit to them.
      He is a virus proving very difficult to remove.
      He thinks he is successful because he has succeeded in looking after himself,
      and his interests. At the expense of ours.
      This was always the plan.

      • TimPM

        Yes, when you look back at his history apart from riding a massive bubble at Chelsea his business ventures have always failed, but made him wealthier. I don’t think he considers that failure; I would. ——————

      • Chareose

        Well the nature of a football club is different to a normal business, if a normal business is run into the ground then it goes bankrupt or loses customer base. Football isnt like that, you can mis-manage a club as much as you want and the “morons” will keep coming back and the brand is still there and investible. Bates is actually an extremely bad business man who has consistently made bad decisions, look at Chelsea Village for example, it almost finnished Chelsea off…….

  16. mrbigwheels

    Bates must sell out and leave completely.
    He has never invested in the team and on that point alone I vote NO.
    Unfortunately this possible new investment will not provide a magical scenario at LUFC and I will continue to boycott home matches until he retires fully and leaves the building.
    Like an unfaithful partner or one that leaves… You would never have them back on a basis of… You’d never Trust them again… ever.

  17. tim campbell

    The ONLY reason i voted to have papa smurf stay on in the short term is because I honestly can’t see him moving on at all otherwise. I repeat it HAS to be in the short tetm otherwise strike all that I agreed to above.

  18. Michael Lazarou

    I m not boverd if bates is still somehow involed in the club if the take over goes through and the team get investment in as long us bates is not involed in now and future say in what we can spend on the team

  19. henrymouni

    A lot will depend on how much is invested in the team.
    If we start bringing in top players, and make a charge for promotion, our attitude to going to matches may change, irrespective of KB?

  20. LUFCForever

    I would rather bates stay on short term and get investment ASAP, than bates stay and the takeover saga continues, we need investment as we’re already falling away

  21. COL

    I just don’t trust Bates.
    How do we know this takeover by mystery bidders isn’t another Bates fiddle, like when he claimed that he didn’t own the club or the ground?
    Maybe I am paranoid but 7 years of Bates’ lies have made me very cynial!
    Any deal that includes Bates remaining at our club is bad news.

  22. Irving08

    If some form of power-sharing is the way it has to be, so be it.
    It is preferable to a long drawn out bitter battle between Bates and fans, whose only result can be further and possibly irreversible decline.

  23. Michael Lazarou

    As for bates being a good business efficiency putting money profits into his own bank is good in any ather business but football is not the same, in football the profits should go into club bank for investment into team and not into owners bank and using it for his own use like bates dose and then say there is no money for the team buliding

    • RC

      Rubbish if you owned Man U or someone you didnt support and it is your business would you say well i can’t take money out of it despite paying 10s of millions of pounds for it? As a Leeds fan i wish he would do that but it is no different to normal business if they want to take the money it is their business to do with what they want. Stop being so naive, if you want to buy the club for 40-50m then you can put the profits back into Leeds and we will all be happy but you cant claim he isnt allowed to do it.

      • Michael Lazarou

        I’m not saying he isn’t aloud to do it but you have to make your product better with your profits and provide more for the team be fore you want to spend money on your self from profits that’s the norm

  24. Shaun

    I never believed that Mr Bates would just walk away counting his money. With the club one decent season away from the holy frail of EPL football. And the prospect of huge sponsorship deals. Etc.
    The deal to buy 50% now and a agreement to buy the rest later works well for all partys. Theres just the worry who will make the decisions. But half Bates is better then full Bates.


    Regarding the Bates situation. I will only be prepared to return to Elland Road and start taking my son to watch the team again, if I feel the team on the pitch truly does justice to the massive support and following that the club has ie is competitive enough, with enough quality players to mount a serious challenge in the Championship.

  26. Keith

    Warnock is such a fantastic manager that all the Premier teams do not touch him ? A Bates mouthpiece who had the initial brief of getting more out of the existing squad.What happened there ? Wake up Leeds !!!!!!

  27. Colin

    The mantra of LUST is ‘Time For Change’. A club that still has Bates pulling the strings isn’t changing, it’s staying the same. Shared ownership of football clubs usually ends in a bad way. It certainly did at Chelsea with Bates. There is no evidence to suggest that keeping Bates on in any role is a good idea. Bates couldn’t care less about Leeds. He’s only in it for himself. Does anyone in their right mind think Ken is going to stay short term and then just walk away? Not a chance. Does anyone think he’s going to sit in the background, keeping his mouth shut and not interfearing? Not a chance. There are still a lot of steps that the new owner will have to take, such as dealing with ER & TA. But we don’t know who owns them! Just in the same way that we didn’t know who owned Leeds United!! Neither did Ken, until one day he did know and bought it off ‘them’. Ken Bates is a lying cheating bastard. Any investor who trusts him with their money is an idiot. I’d rather no takeover, than an investment which means Bates is still a force at the club. No takeover would see a slow decline of the club in performance and cash. And once the money dries up, Ken would be gone. If an investment comes in, it just means Ken is here for longer. Get him out, right out.

  28. Matt Bevan

    With regard to Ken Bate’s success throughout his career if you will, I am likening the role of a Chairman/Owner to that of a professional of any regular sort Bates has always failed but yet made money for himself. I highlight himself as it appears to me that he has no regard for any other human being, the people who love these clubs and are willing to spend there hard earned! The previous comment regarding Leeds as a commercial entitiy is spot on. We have the heart, the history, the fans etc … that will never change but we are not selling Leeds United to the rest of the worls as other clubs are. Look, If you gave me the choice – Take over + Bate involved OR no takeover I would definately take the former. The club needs to move forward and yes maybe we mite not move forward as quickly as we would with a complete takeover but we would be moving forward none the less. On a bit of a morbid (but factual) note: this guys 80 years old now! The average life time of a human is 80.4 years these days according to most resoursces. I mean this in the most respectful way possible but will we even have this issue in another 1,2, 3, 5, years??? If you get me!

  29. Bob

    As many rumours have suggested and despite the claims, the new investors just don’t have the cash. Which is a bit worrying if they want to take over the club but can’t raise the finance to buy it. How will they invest if they are successful? Sadly, there’s no queue of investors waiting to put money in and we don’t have a squad. If the investors are holding back capital so they have some money to inject into the team when the takeovers complete, then maybe we have to tolerate what’s not not an ideal situation. What’s the alternative?

  30. GT

    As long as Bates remains connected to the club, so does my own personal boycott. Any party that believes Ken Bates is a positive asset does not reflect well on their judgement.

  31. Anti-beard person

    The new owners would own all Bate’s shares only paying for half now and half later. This “earnt out” is standard company buy-out procedure. In this case it will be the answer to Bates not signing the idenmity for any “skeletons” appearing the accounts! If I were the buyers I would have walked away weeks ago. Bates is a spent force and the club is on the edge of administration again – he has to sell or end up with nothing. I say keep the pressure up demonstrating! Bates is nearly gone!

  32. alex brancker

    I am currently staying away from ER until Bates is gone or there is better news on the takeover front.

    If new owners do come in, I would like them to have majority control and for bates to have very few shares (ideally none) left. In theory it might be good to have bates as a consultant, but probably better for him to go and the new owners to get their own consultant?…

    I would end my boycott of ER under these circumstances.

  33. henrymouni

    I was just thinking back to when Yorkshire radio appeared, and were ‘allowed’ to ‘bid’ against Radio Leeds to cover the Leeds United games.
    Surprise, surprise, Radio Leeds were outbid by Yorkshire Radio!!
    What did they bid?? They have cost us money ever since.
    A typical Bates shambles and shady deal.
    Never paid us a penny!!!

  34. Pompey White

    I havent been to ER since he sold Mad Max without replacing him last Autumn. I go to away games only now and the only time I have spent with Leeds United since is my membership as I dont like sitting in the opposition stand to Leeds fans. Its a 9hr round trip for me to ER but Ive been doing it because I like many others love OUR club.Trouble is, I’m starting to get out of the habit. I will return when my money is not going to that crook. “Bates-Get out of OUR club”

    • Martin Badger Chadwick

      i agrre completly not only would radio leeds PAY us but the standard of commentary was so much better

  35. themansacrook

    I will not set foot again inside ER whilst Ken Bates remains at the club in any guise, I refuse to work all week then hand my wages over to him.
    I fully understand people who still go support THEIR team, they should be applauded, it was not an easy decision for me to make I love the club and have my whole life.
    Do people think he will have a scrouge like revelation and change his ways if in partnership, no he will continue to screw Leeds United and its supporters for every penny he can get.
    I am sorry but I do not believe the club can progress with Ken Bates involved in any way and I cannot support him or anybody who is prepared to along side him

      • Martin Badger Chadwick

        mac1919 you have lambasted 3 fellow Leeds fans on here for no longer attending elland road whilst ken bates remains in charge and called them so called supporters. one of the things i love in football is that its open to opinion. everybody has there own views some fans think a player is great others dont, some think bates has saved our club whilst others think he is a lying thief who is systematically destroying our beloved club but my point is what makes you so right that you can slag fellow fans off? surely at a time like this we should be pulling together not arguing on forums? and for the record i have not renewed my season ticket this year and i will not attend elland road till bates has gone. that dont affect my support or love for my club i still listen to every game visit TSS and the OS several times a day i just choose not to feed the fat cat that publicly calls me a moron

      • mac1919

        Yes, you are so right, it’s all opinions. If we were all the same we would be sheep!! Anyway you all missed a good battling 3 points today, and I for one am glad I was at ER to see it. Hopefully you will all be back soon!! MOT

      • Martin Badger Chadwick

        cant wait to return to ER it kills me on home games not to be there knowing leeds are playing on just the otherside of the park near my house but i cant in good conscience put anymore of my hard earn money into that thiefs pockets. hopefully TOMA will be completed quickly i can be singing alongside you next week :)

  36. 8legs6legs

    The question asked if we’d be ‘happy’. My answer is no. However, I would accept his involvement if investment was forthcoming in the side. The guy is a clown; but my interest is in Leeds doing well on the pitch so under whatever circumstances investment is forthcoming has to be an imporvement on where we are currently

  37. Yorkshirian

    1) What if the 20 odd percent minority holding is in Bates’ family ?
    2) If these new investors are going to keep lurking in the shadows, why would we want them ? What have they done to suggest they wont rape a super casino license, hotel panning permission, shopping plaza plan or other development that proper football owners wouldn’t also love ?
    3) Where is my LUST money going ?
    4) Why does old fat Steptoe feel the need to stay involved ? Whats the fiddle ?
    5) What the hell does Mad Max think we’re going to buy him with exactly ?
    6) Why do 40% of respondants think it would be okay for the chairman to stay on, and on (consultant) wages indeed ?
    7) Why headline ‘new investor’ and then utterly fail to either reference a source, or in any sense corroborate that ?
    8) Who passed this ‘fit and proper measure test ? I mean who ? by name, who ? who ?
    9) Why do comments appear on these forums castigating people for their dissatisfaction; and how long does it take an office junior to make a few hotmail accounts and do what his or her boss tells them ?
    10) Tell me again who introduced these investors, and why do you know sod all about them all of a sudden ?

  38. T'Impy

    I have not renewed my season ticket for the 1st time in 23 years after finally snapping at Bates ‘running’ of our club. But in terms of your questions I would not return if he held onto a major stake & played an active role. That said I would say that shared ownership should not put people off the perspective new investors as they must have the required experience & conviction to pursue total ownership at some stage. Therefore if they were the controlling shareholder & laid down a vision for our club then I would return & support the club financially again. Sithi.

  39. pete lufc

    At end of day ken bates is a businessman and good at it. If he is to stay at the club it would have to be in the shadows looking affter the businesses side let someone ells come in and run/fund the football side And help us become the team we once were. Mot

  40. bob_012

    Ken Bates is just a complete disaster, he is a criminal, he sees Leeds United as a way to make money for himself, not as something that belongs to the people of Leeds. He is exactly the same as the yanks who tried to destroy Liverpool. What we need at Leeds United is a completely new philosophy, both on the playing field and in the running of the club. Elland Road does not need a super casino, we need investment into the local area, into the academy system and into bringing young players through. We need technically adept players that can play an attacking system, not a long ball system that Warnock plays. Just get the man out, and get people in who care passionately not only about Leeds United and about its history, but also about the city and the local area

  41. anon

    I heard a while ago that Bates future role was a sticking point in the takever. He wants to stay around to take the glory and say “look what I’ve done” with rich new owners. It could only work with him in a token figurehead / consultant role. No new owner could possibly have him actively involved in runing ther club. Other issues causing problems with the takeover have been all his dodgy dealings coming to light (e.g owning Elland Road and or Thorpe Arch, thus paying himself rent which he doesn’t want to come out). But lettng him stay around may be a deal clincher so I’d settle for it to move forward.

  42. Maggerinoz

    looks like the majority want Bates gone in one form or the other, and i would suspect if you had a poll at the turnstiles you would get the same, that’s a hell of a lot of Morons Mr Bates

  43. JD3333

    My view is that Mr. Btaes is hanging around to cash in on the investment that will potentially be made by the new part owners. Capturing upwards of £90m from promotion will line his vile little pockets nicely at somebody else’s risk. Its a nice job if you can get it. BATES OUT

    • TimPM

      “Supporters support” like Harvey once over simplified. That’s fine, but a lot of fans who are now boycotting feel they are doing more than you are going to the match, to support the team. Many weren’t one of the thousands to abandon us once we weren’t a Prem club anymore, many stuck with it in our League One rut.
      They’re doing what they think is right and I think you’re the one that’s sad for feeling the need to slag off fans who don’t really want to miss their footballing fix but feel the need to boycott.
      Maybe, you’re right, maybe you’re wrong; just remember that sentence has two possibilities in it. ——————

  44. exiledindevon

    this “takeover” is just the biggest load of shit ever to hit leeds and lets be honest we’ve suffered shit constantly. the proposed new owners, if they ever materialise, would appear to have as much understanding and interest in the fans as bates. i’ve supported and followed leeds united through all the ups and downs of the past 40 years and i can honestly say i’ve never been so disillusioned as now. lets be honest our beloved club is in a terrible state. god only knows what will happen to it.

  45. TimPM

    For those surprised at the results, over 1 in 2 want Bates gone EVEN under a majority owner. While a further 1 in 3 don’t mind him sticking around for a year or two with no real power.

    That’s an overwhelming result, let’s be fair. I’m one of the 1 in 3 and I’m sure people know how much of Bates’ actions as Leeds’ owner and chairman I disagree with.

    • Irving08

      Yes, it’s an interesting result. I would be interested in knowing how the proportions break down by different categories of voter, eg non-attenders at home matches, season ticket holders, family members ete etc. We had just over 24000 today which, historically speaking, for Leeds wasn’t a bad gate….we got less than that for the famous Currie v Southmpton match. What is clear is that the fan base is now made up of a variety of quite different cross-cutting sub-groups……one group of growing significance is the family sub group, as evidenced by the relative success of the North East Stand this season (and – dare I say it – the composition of pre-match Pav users) . My hunch on the question posed is that, given decent and productive investment, the proportion of true irreconcilables would not be sufficient to cause the management a headache, financially speaking. There are plenty of people not presently attending who would turn just to watch a successful team. Even as things stand stadium protest tends to fade away when the team performs well, especially when the sun is literally shining, liket today. On football matters, Byram looks the real deal, with a fair bit of both Sheridan and Batty in him….

      • TimPM

        Possibly, I’ve been surprised over the past few months the number of dads who say their young kids have just lost all interest, started crying when it seemed the takeover had broken down, etc.
        Either way, success will bring custom you’re right on that I’m sure. ——————

      • Irving08

        Who said anything about Dads ? – I’m talking about indulgent grandparents ! I have to say, I am surprised about children crying over a
        takeover unless it’s their Dads refusing to take them unitl it’s done. Getting upset about a player leaving, I can understand. And I meant South East corner..

      • TimPM

        Kids take after their parents (unless they’re never there); if a parent wants Bates out chances are the kid will too…

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