Fleecing us with jet planes TSS July 29, 2013 Leeds United 41 Comments Ken Bates was already gone as far as I was concerned, but to see him stripped of his meaningless position as Club President in a manner befitting his disastrous reign as Leeds United chairman/owner was nonetheless satisfying. Leeds United fans deserve to see the fool wallowing in self-pity, reduced to an insignificant old man pleading for sympathy from the very same fans he tortured for eight painful years. They also deserve the right to deny him of that sympathy. In the world of Ken Bates, I’m sure £500,000 for a private jet to ferry him back and forth between Leeds and Monaco seemed reasonable enough, but for those of us living the agony of pre-season, desperately waiting to see if our new owners can squeeze a few extra pounds from our worryingly over-stretched budget, half a million pounds to transport someone we don’t want in our stadium seems a tad excessive. True to form, Bates now plans to take Leeds United to court for unfair dismissal. Quite what he plans to sue for is somewhat unclear though. Generally speaking, damages awarded in an unfair dismissal case are relative to the salary an employee would have earned. Indeed, new law comes into effect today which limits pay-out to 12 months salary (or £74,200, whichever is lower). Since Ken’s position was “unpaid” (save for the £500,000 private jet and various other expenses he racked up), there’s no loss of income for him to claim. He could try arguing defamation of character, or something along those lines, but where will Her Majesty’s Courts find a judge capable of keeping a straight face when Ken Bates tries to explain how his reputation was defamed? While the courts ponder that one, Bates has been sticking the boot into GFH Capital by suggesting they spend some money on the team, setting a new mark by which all future ironic statements must be measured. Not that Ken himself will realise how ridiculous that statement was of course. £20m spent on a stadium we don’t own to build crap that loses vast amounts of money is something Ken felt the need to boast about instead. He neglected to mention the key players sold to fund those vanity projects, or the burden of debt he left Leeds United encumbered with, but then, why would he change the habits of a lifetime? Ken Bates has been rewriting his own history for decades, never more successfully than at Elland Road where his dictatorial rule of the media ensured his propaganda messages reached the fans unfiltered, rarely tempered by meddling journalists adding those troublesome little facts which have a tendency to make Bates look somewhat dishonest. Those who did, as David Conn and the BBC discovered, were simply banned from the stadium. So long Ken. May your fall from grace be as long and torturous as your ownership of Leeds United was for us fans.