Back-to-back wins and rumours of a billionaire’s interest had the travelling Leeds United faithful decidedly optimistic for the first time in a while last night, as we sank a few pre-match pints before kick-off around Carlisle.

To say I was one of those optimistic few is probably an understatement. In truth, I was restraining myself from swinging quite literally off the rafters. Years of demise have taken it’s toll. The season ticket renewal form dropping through my door last month was another one of those moments where for a second, I started to wonder whether it was all worth it. Sure, we’re in it for the ‘ups and downs’ but when the downs continue to relentlessly pummel away at you and the highs are increasingly less frequent, enthusiasm is hard to find. Especially when old Kenneth has decided to hike the prices on the ‘probability of Championship football next season’.

The more I think about these doubts, the more I realise how it all comes down to Ken Bates. I aren’t going to start listing all the reasons why I hold such utter contempt for the man, but the one that had me doubting whether it was all worthwhile was the realisation that under Old Kenneth, I’m simply a number.

It’s true of any business I guess, but the way in which Ken Bates has systematically tore away the supporters right to free speech since he’s been here has made me feel more disengaged from the club than I previously thought possible. The Members Club has become the signature mark of his control for me. A previously independent entity which spoke on behalf of the fans on the issues that concerned us, with an open door access to the club. Now controlled, operated and no doubt censored by the club itself. Journalists that dare to question his methods are banned from the ground and even the local radio station is controlled by his majesty.

I accept that any board or owner of Leeds United has the final say, but never in the clubs history has anyone gone to such lengths to deny the supporters the opportunity of having their voices heard. That’s essentially why so many independent Leeds United fan sites have emerged this year. When everything you read (programme, newsletters, website), hear (Yorkshire Radio) and see (LUTV) is fed to you by the man upstairs, with absolutely no opinion from the supporters, the fans will inevitably strike back and find new ways to make themselves heard. The re-launch of the Square Ball magazine is a good example of this, as are sites such as Clarke One Nil, The Beaten Generation and the more direct approach of Love Leeds, Hate Bates.

Whilst Leeds did everything in their power on the pitch to blow our promotion dreams, my season ticket renewal form found it’s way into the mailbox, heading back towards Elland Road. It wasn’t done because we’ve progressed and could be playing Championship football next season, nor was it done because I’ve found peace with the megalomaniac owner from Monaco. No, it was done because I love Leeds United no matter what and am determined to be here when Ken Bates finally packs his belongings together and removes himself from Elland Road. Essentially, it was done because somewhere inside me remains a belief that Leeds United will overcome this dark period in our history and rise again to conquer old territory. What’s more, we’ll do it without Ken Bates.

With that in mind, you can imagine my disappointment today when I heard the Lowy speculation was being dismissed by Leeds United and the Football Federation of Australia, who both insist they’re surprised by the rumours. Devastation doesn’t come close to describing my feelings.

Whether it actually seems weird to others, or it’s simply my on-going search for a silver lining doing overtime, I did manage to find a slight glimmer of hope beneath the two stories. Firstly, I find it odd that an Australian newspaper would simply make something like this up. Not because I believe for one second Australian newspapers are any different from the ones over here, but if you’re going to simply ‘make stuff up’ why not go all out and link him to Liverpool or Manchester United? Furthermore, why is it that no one seems to be able to get a comment from Frank Lowy himself? We’re told he’s currently abroad, but surely it doesn’t matter where you are when something like this breaks, someone gives you a call to mention it?

It’s with that in mind that I’m officially starting the ‘Find Frank Lowy campaign’. I call upon all Leeds United fans to search any nearby caves, holes and brothels for his presence. Finding him may not only net you a handsome reward for his rescue, but you may also be responsible for bringing a new era of prosperity to Leeds United football club. Your club needs you!