The Leeds United Disabled Organization and Leeds United Supporters Trust have released a joint statement rubbishing Leeds’ chairman’s latest unprofessional rant, this time via the Everton programme notes. Among several references and attacks on the Supporters Trust, Bates wrote:
Apparently the latest target of LUST is Leeds United’s Disabled Organisation (LUDO) who are being described as “Bates lovers”. I am told that LUDO have tried to contact Mr Cooper but so far he hasn’t returned their calls.
However, the two supporters groups felt obliged to correct the record:
This morning Gary spoke to LUDO chair person Stuart Ramm, and while acknowledging that Mr Bates will have believed that what he was writing was true, Stuart was happy to confirm the comments were not correct. Stuart said that some of LUDO’s members have been given misleading information about the Trust, and that unknown persons seem intent on causing mischief between the two organisations.
Stuart continued, “I accept there is no truth to the misleading allegations made to some of my members, by persons unknown.”
Stuart also emphasised that LUDO, LUST, and all Leeds fans, “want the same thing – the best for the future of Leeds United.”
Mr Bates was able to find some space in his notes to update fans on genuine matters relating to the football club, however, updating that:
The latest [investment rumour] relates to The National, a newspaper based in Dubai, which stated that one of the current consortium has pulled out and is now negotiating on his own. Total rubbish of course!
One has to question why Mr Bates is so obsessed with the Leeds United Supporters Trust. He has now acted very aggressively toward the group twice in one week using both Yorkshire Radio and his programme notes – the same media, interestingly, that was used to harass former Leeds director Melvyn Levi, which eventually cost the club millions of pounds in legal fees; a saga that Levi hinted might not yet be over in the aftermath. Levi also questioned whether Bates was a “fit and proper” person to be running a football club. We believe that the rules have been tightened since Mr Bates joined the Leeds board.
Are Ken Bates’ actions appropriate for his role as chairman of a multi million pound company? Mr Bates accused the Supporters Trust of damaging the club’s reputation last weekend, and while his recent behaviour might amuse him, it seems like he is doing far more damage to the club’s reputation than any supporters group ever could.