This is part III of The Football Chairman’s Handbook written by occasional contributer Gledders. Gledders has recently started a site to offer free technical advice for those of you having problems with your PC – The final part will be published tomorrow at 5pm.

Part III – The Chairman always expects blind loyalty.

Well, I think Leeds fans kind of proved that’s a bit unrealistic. I can’t be absolutely certain, but I’m almost sure that the welcome to Elland Road for Ken Bates was a rousing chorus of “Shoot the Chelsea scum.” Since then some of the supporters have started to dislike him…

Perhaps he did save our club. Which means personally I am very grateful to Ken Bates for investing £10 million into Leeds United to save us from administration. In much the same way, I’m grateful to Robert Mugabe for having a vasectomy. But I can’t prove that either so I’ll just take his word for it too.

What I’m getting at is that is that Forward Bates Fund’s cloak and dagger approach makes us vulnerable as a club. As fans, we’re enjoying some good football producing good results. But the ownership questions simply create an unnecessary problem, making us a target for the Football League to interfere using the fit and proper test. How sick would we feel to see our club get slapped with a points deduction when we are at the top of the league, for a technicality that happened in a Court and not on the pitch? I think it’s fair to say that the secrecy has already cost us Thorp Arch for the moment, but where does it stop? Or am I being paranoid again? Chairman, fan or player, we have an obligation to do our bit correctly, otherwise we all let the side down.

This is the point about loyalty. It is a finite resource and bungling decisions do test it. We look at Thorp Arch as the first blunder, but if you look at how few signings since administration, most made by Wise have been really successful. Then you start to understand how our large squad, the envy of League One, has been eating up money since we came out of administration. We certainly haven’t spent on expensive signings but poor players are as expensive a luxury in League One as they are in the Premier League. The minute we see Seth Jonhson remembered in the Matchday Programme and it’s Groundhog day. Head for the nearest hills, just be sure to stop before you get to Manchester.

Fans are much more than customers. They are the life blood of a football team whose collective opinion on the day is powerful enough to inspire or destroy a player. That’s why football isn’t like any other business. You don’t even find passion in a brothel.

2 Responses

  1. gaz west mids st holder

    i do agree with what uv said so far,but lookin back now would u rather have risdale or bates???,risdale promised the world took a gamble that took us back 15-20 yrs,then u got bates aint spent much money,but least hes balanced the books,if he walks away in 2 years or 10,we will be were we deserve on merit,and hopefully some1 will push us further???,the test with bates will be nxt yr if we get promoted?,what will he spend?hes obviously in it 4 the money,but what chairman aint unless there billionaires,i was gutted thorpe arch wasnt brought back after selling delph,but lets see what his porogatives are in the future?i hope he does spend a bit in the championship but i wont hold my breath,but its better than being like we was under risdale


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