ken-batesSo cuddly Ken’s holidays to from a tax haven at the expense of Leeds United are finally over.

Bates has been effectively sacked from his role as club president over a controversial contract that committed Leeds to paying for his private jet to and from Monaco for three years, potentially costing upwards of £500,000.

That news probably comes as little surprise to most Leeds fans, who have been deeply suspicious of Bates’ motives for some time now and will be delighted to see the back of him.

But while the club’s owners, GFH capital, have scored some major brownie points by ousting the former Chelsea owner, they have yet to fully convince the supporters they are the real deal.

United were described as “still with financial difficulties” by the Guardian’s football finance guru David Conn on Sunday, stating that they will need at least £10million to keep the club going this season.

That has to come from GFH, but doubts remain over their financial ability to back the club. Or, even if they have significant cash reserves, whether they want to spend it on United.

It is typical that all this nonsense emerged a week before the new season, when optimism under the new manager was starting to grow.

The team may still be light on numbers but Brian McDermott looks to have his head screwed on, which is more than can be said of a number of previous Leeds managers in recent years.

OK we may be overstocked with central midfielders and lack quality in key positions so mid-table is the most likely outcome, but overall I don’t think the squad is that far away from being good enough to challenge for promotion when compared to other sides in the Championship.

Bates won’t go quietly, which is a shame as now is the time for the players to make the headlines. We are all a little tired of boardroom battles now.

But at least he is on his way out and by starting that process the club’s new owners have given themselves some breathing space with the fans. Lets hope they don’t let us down.

  • Elliot
    • Tyler75

      Wouldn’t surprise me at all (investment ?majority shareholding?) GFH have an established track record of working with Saudi investors.

      • paulinmalta

        just read the article, had to check the date, def today and not april

    • TSS

      Phil Hay already got a response from LUFC on that – “Categorically not true”

  • markman

    assuming that the midfield dross wont play(injuries aside)
    the additions of murphy,smith and hunt plus the extra experience from Byram and Lees.
    must make us a better proposition than what we ended up with at the end of last year.

  • Michael

    There’s still a bit of negativity towards GFH in this article, I don’t really understand it – what does the ‘real deal’ even mean? They’ve dropped ticket prices, hired a young promising manager, re-engaged with fans, sacked Bates, and not sold off key players. Sure, we could have signed more, but anyone can see we need to reduce the wage bill first. We’re so much better off now than a year ago.

    • TSS

      I didn’t write it, but I don’t think the assessment is unfair. GFH have done plenty of good, no one is disputing that, but how far they can afford to finance this club remains unclear, as are their intentions. Could take an educated guess at both, but that’s all it would be.

      After so many years of dodgy ownership, lies and false starts, fans still unconvinced by the new owners can be forgiven.

      Far too many were blind to Bates’ games, I’d rather our fanbase be hyper-cautious than listen to years of misinformed “but he saved us” and “he’s building for the long-term” nonsense.

  • mrbigwheels

    And….. Does it open the way forward to New Investment now he’s out the building even with the possibility of court costs incurred by LUFC ?.

  • mac the White

    Bates said he could only attend about 6 times a season cos of tax reasons. In 3 years that’s 18 trips. For a 500k contract that’s £27800 per trip. YEHUDI BATES. Top fiddler.

    • TSS

      Compared to Lord Harewood who attended much more frequently and didn’t charge us a penny.

      • Matthew

        Why he couldn’t spend his own money, yet alone travel with the ordinary folk is anyones guess, what was he afraid of? He’s not royalty, he doesn’t need a private jet, footballers, like anyone else use regular planes, why can’t he?

  • West Stand Rebel

    I understand the anxiety that most Leeds fans share as the legacy of Ken Bates will rumble on for some time. Ground and training ground ownership are two major areas of concern. What other dodgy contracts did Ken sign up to, that will only benefit him and not the football club? Will this involve expensive litigation…who knows but it aint over that’s for sure.
    As far as GFH are concerned their primary aim was to flip the club to new owners. In a sense they are/were the enablers, and hope to make a profit en route. I sincerely hope that works for them.Meanwhile the limbo scenario continues.

  • spellz

    I am getting bored of talking about Bates, anyone have a prediction of the starting line up against Brighton this Saturday?

  • Matthew

    Good news about the Ken Bates Trojan horse being nuked too. Aka Yorkshire Radio, should free up money for the club. Sorry that people lost their jobs but not sorry that this waste of money is gone.

  • HANDY ANDY

    HOPE GFH SORT OUT THE COUNTER STAFF SERVING IN THE STANDS LAST SEASON THEY NEVER HAD A CLUE ? SORRY ABOUT THE RADIO STATION THINK THE CASH FLOW IS MORE SERIOUS THAN YOU THINK ,ANYONE GOT THE MEMBERSHIP CARDS YET ?
    ITS NEVER EASY AT LEEDS

    • paulinmalta

      still waiting

  • djedjedje

    ‘…they will need at least £10million to keep the club going this season’.

    I am presuming that £10m is the turnover required to keep the club afloat this season, and not a £10m shortfall / blackhole in balancing the books?

    God help us if we do!

    • handy andy

      any sugar daddys in leeds willing to get behind the club ,remember o,leary saying when he was at elland rd the club needed a new west stand double decker with more boxes so as to compete in the future ,3pts on sat would be a start mot

    • Matthew

      A good start to the season should be great for attendances and thus for additional revenue. A nice cup run would bring in additional money, and if we end up with a good shot at the playoffs, that will bring in more money than last season.