Bearded maestro

In an interview on Yorkshire Radio this morning (08/12), Ken Bates discussed everything from Johnson and Becchio’s contract negotiations, to FIFA and a new Italian Academy link for Leeds United. Here’s a breakdown of what he had to say;

Bates on Johnson

The chairman started by telling Yorkshire Radio how he doesn’t like to discuss business – which is a strange one given his rant in this weekend’s programme – but would make an exception here due to Bradley Johnson’s own comments in the press.

Bates described Bradley Johnson’s current earnings as above that of the Prime Minister (which is £140k a year I’m told) and said Leeds United had made two increased offers but the midfielder’s agent wanted a ridiculous sum of money that the club weren’t willing to match.

Bates also revealed how Bradley Johnson had missed meetings with both Shaun Harvey and Simon Grayson, and had also failed to return the chairman’s calls on two occasions. He finished by saying that it was Bradley Johnson that needed to show the club some respect, and not vice versa.

Bates on Becchio

Clearly very fond of Luciano, the chairman described our top goalscorer as a ‘nice guy’ and a ‘goalscoring machine.’ He reiterated Becchio’s own comments by saying the striker wanted to stay with Leeds United and sign a new contract before insisting that talks were ongoing.

Bates said that the language barrier was delaying progress a fair bit, by which I can only assume he means that no one can understand his own mumbling tone because Luciano seems to speak better English than the majority of footballers. (He could have been speaking about Luci’s agent mind…)

Bates on defying the weather

The chairman paid tribute to the ground staff at Elland Road for ensuring this weekend’s Championship game went ahead whilst the rest of the country were postponing matches. He said that 15 years without postponement was testament to everyone involved.

Bates on Poleon

Following his hat-trick in the FA Youth Cup last night, the chairman was asked whether Leeds United fans should be keeping an eye on Dominic Poleon. Bates said he was definitely one to look out for, and that the result showed our academy was heading in the right direction with new players joining the club every month.

Bates on Italian Academy link

Sticking with youngsters, the chairman revealed a new link between a brand new Italian Academy and Leeds United FC, that will see the club visit Italy 3-4 times a year and be granted first pick of the players.

Bates’ Christmas bonus

Asked how ticket sales were shaping up for the Christmas period, Bates revealed that Leeds have already sold 24,000 for the visits of QPR and Portsmouth. He went on to add that the club budgeted for sales of 25k at the beginning of the season with a current average of 26k.

Bates on FIFA

The chairman continued to express his disgust at FIFA following last weeks decision to hand the 2018 and 2022 World Cup’s to Russia and Qatar. He said that FIFA was heavily influenced by ‘little tinpot organisations’ and once again suggested the big European teams should break away. Bates added that change would only come as a result of a concerted effort from the new FA chairman – who he stresses should not be a politician.