We love our White Knights, we do. We’ve had sh*tloads of the buggers, from cipher-like Sheikhs to Sainsbury’s Local, hell, even the Don’s son had his moment in the fading Beeston sun. And they love us too. They’re passionate fans, just like us. Sort of.

They love us so much that we’re still stuck with Ken Bates. Clearly they all failed to recognise the attendant risk of putting your money where your mouth is, and accidentally ate it all.

It’s been said that what the Bates Out campaign really needs is to offer up their own viable alternative to Ken – it does make some sense, and has recently been certified as Bible by the Holy Dom Matteo pointing out what we’d already been worrying. But at the point when a White Knight is needed more than ever, they’re all quiet; neutered.

Aside from anything else, those Knight-a-minute days were pretty good pantomime, so it’s sad to see their current acute stage fright. Never fear, however – I’m going to suggest some new players to enter the fray, fight the good fight, and other cliché; players not afraid of the limelight one bit.

Naturally, given the discerning audience, they need to adhere to one main criterion – they need to ‘be Leeds’. This is nebulous enough a concept to mean anything from lifelong season ticket holder to seen once at ER in the 90’s, to just not showing embarrassment about being born and/or raised in the city while not showing any other obvious club affiliation. It also helps if they’re somewhat known to us, so the outsider suspicion we’re famed for doesn’t raise its shackles. So without further ado…

White Knight 1: Sir Jimmy Savile.

The ultimate White Knight – an actual bona fide Leeds-born, Leeds-residing Knight of the Realm with extremely white hair. It must be noted, though, that a love for cigars does not necessarily imply the necessary financial clout to run a football club, as it did in the old days. Would it also be anathema to question whether it’s ever been proved that he’s a fan?

White Knight 2: Melanie Brown.

Breaking down all the gender, race and common sense barriers of what constitutes a White Knight, Mel’s historically confirmed her support, and we can only hope a) the payout to ex-hubby Jimmy Gulzar didn’t damage her wealth too severely and b) if it did, that her film producer husband might offer his wallet up to the altar of Leeds, in the way that Americans often see such gestures towards English institutions as ‘cute’.

White Knight 3: Barbara Taylor-Bradford.

South Leeds-born, 32million copies of sh*t books sold plus a myriad of TV rights deals – with this backing we could possibly even compete with Leicester City. Just imagine that. If you’re interested, Barbara, I’ll unequivocally retract the comment about the quality of your literature.

White Knight 4: Chumbawamba.

Chumbawamba, I would accept, are not a person, so probably not a Knight either. But they are ‘Leeds’ by the latter definition, and I quite like the idea of applying the anarchic framework described in band member Boff Whalley’s recent insightful piece in The Independent to a football club.

Working against this dream is my suspicion that they don’t actually like football at all – perhaps even see it as the complete antithesis of their ethic. More their loss, I say.

White Knight 5: Lucas Radebe, representing the Government of South Africa.

Honorary West Yorkshireman is good enough for us. While there’d be so much wrong with accepting the generous bankrolling of a state with one of the highest income inequality rates in the world, it’s possible that the majority would be happy with Murdoch or Gaddafi, as long as they were lavishly flashing the cash on the wages of Jason Koumas, Alan Smith, Roque Santa Cruz and the like. And no doubt the worldly-wise face of Chairman Chief would provide enough of a comfort blanket to all.

Don’t ever say The Mangle is not a forum for constructive, reasonable suggestions in this time of strife.

48 Responses

  1. TSS

    Can't help think you missed a good one with Gareth Gates. Or would have been a little too easy?

    • Tim Campbell

      I was seriously so pissed off with bates and his croanies that I actually e-mailed Carlos Slim in the past to plead the case of our football club. Suffice to say I never got a reply to my begging letter

  2. bucko

    KOUMAS/// ??? He cant even find a club…. You Talk so much shit on here.. Bates out. Graysons a divvy… Time to take a long look in the mirror moron … Koumas is a crap has been in the same bracket as most of the other has beens that you have mentioned…

    • TSS

      A few things wrong with your eloquently worded comment.

      1. No one on this site has ever called Grayson for anything. In fact, we've continuously defended his corner when others were turning against him.

      2. Koumas was written in jest, as part of a light-hearted article

      3. Gary never passed any kind of judgement whatsoever on Koumas – you've drawn your own conclusions there. (The second thing you've made up in 3 lines of text)

      4. The article was clearly written in jest. Your inability to spot that means you should be the one looking in the mirror I think.

      Finally, if you don’t like what’s written on the site, perhaps you should simply… I dunno… not visit? We’ve been against Bates since day one, this is hardly an overnight phenomena.


      • Matthew

        Speaking of Grayson, I would call him the best manager we've had this decade, well at least since we left the premier league, the guy clearly puts his heart and soul into the club, just he has a complete douchebag as a boss(Bates) and is being constrained by the lack of money.

        This is one of the reasons why I feel sorry for the guy at times, he clearly knows whats wrong with the team, just with no money to bring in quality, hes having to play a game called trial and error and hoping for the best and it mostly works.

        I have nothing but respect for the guy.

  3. robflit

    Good bit of fun.. From BBC news article today, it seems that the Bates out cause has got a very powerful ally. Hopefully the old bugger will soon realise that he too old for this game and sod off back to Monaco for a long and happy retirement!

  4. robflit

    Bob on Matthew. Grayson must love the club, to have stuck around this long. A lot of easier gigs in the football world, working with more honest and less self-centred people than Mr Bates! Cheers, from a moronic, dissident, sickpot (and proud of it)

    • Matthew

      Exactly, this is what surprises me when some people post stuff like Grayson out whenever we lose a game. We won't get much better under Bates. The fact Grayson has stuck around under these conditions just proves hes Leeds through and through. We should all be getting behind him at ER.

      • TSS

        The fans have been behind him at ER in fairness. Those that oppose him seem to be isolated to the internet.

        Always difficult to determine which manager is better than another because the circumstances and resources available to them can be miles apart. Some, for example, would argue O'Leary was better than SG because he got us to the Semi Final of the Champions League. I'd argue, that given the money he spent, he ranks amongst one of our worst because he couldn't maintain the form and develop the team into the world-beating side it should have been. A better manager would have cleared up with that squad and the money made available (in my opinion).

      • Matthew

        Personally I think some fans who also go to games like to bad mouth Grayson online because they're Anonymous to the rest of the fans online. In other words they're cowardly in some ways in their personal attacks against a good man.

        Also some good points raised there, I wasn't much of an O'Leary fan myself, would of been interesting to see what Grayson could of done with that kind of money at his disposal mind you.

        Anyway, haven't been able to go to as many games lately, so I'm not 100 percent in on whats going on at the ground lol. Still lets hope for the best on Sunday, its all we can really do.

      • Irving08

        Hmm I would never get on to any player or manager when the team is on the playing pitch – so long as they are trying, that is. But that does not mean that I may not be privately critical, including on the internet. So your first sentence is just not valid. As it happens, I like and respect Simon for many of his personal qualities, but I am yet to be convinced by his footballing 'know-how'. But that it is a private opinion which I am happy to support with argument in private; but when I am at Elland Road or listening on the radio, he has my support.

      • Matthew

        Complaining about someone online and then supporting them offline is two faced. Be more consistant.

        I unlike some fans, go to games and support him at ER and on the internet.

        Just saying.

  5. a proud moron

    Well timed article.
    I hear that Bates is off having been convinced of the need for a local hero to run the club. So he is GIVING all his assetts to that wise, intelligent and charismatic Beeston lad Keith Lemon.
    Things are bound to pick up with him at the helm. No more comments about rebuilding Leeds being like having sex, he'd not stand for mucky talk.
    The players would be inspired to play through the pain barrier. After all the boy never misses a gig in spite of having a constant injury to his wrist which requires Paddy like bandaging.
    Come on lads get behind the Lemon.

  6. number1inyorkshire

    Larry is our best manager but in different circumstances to others .best assistant GUS POYET best next manager GUS POYET ,but am happy to stick with the present one for now as for white knights .
    any rusky billionaires or Arab countries with a pound or 2 to spare ,i know they could probably buy Greece instead but their footy is crap not to mention the toilets ,
    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh welllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Kenneth it is FOR NOW !!!!!!!!!!

    • Matthew

      Whats with this Gus love I'm seeing on quite a few Leeds forums? Lol

      I'm not judging, just wondering why everyone seems to love him.

      • Irving08

        Perhaps because he's from the country that has probably produced more top class foottballers per head of population than any other in the world.

      • NottsWhite

        What ? Uruguay produces more top class footballers per head

      • number1inyorkshire

        his record at leeds is there for everyone to see as assistant ',it went the shape of the pear when he went to spurs it was pretty much common knowledge he was the brains behind the wise / poyet combination .
        alright it wasn,t good there but at Brighton top of the league .
        anyway we won't get him redknapp will be next England manager he will go back to spurs

  7. Been

    We look forward to a winter of discontent, fan protests and all, however if Nunez, Clayton & Lees actually turn out to be capable performers and actually get an opportuniy, would the mood change?

  8. Craig

    I do appreciate the tongue in cheek stance of the article but the last thing I want is a minor celebrity allying their need for constant fawning publicity with our great club. 'Celebrities' are only so in their own minds and should be rounded up and incarcerated on an island somewhere where they can spend the rest of their useless lives making documentaries about each other.

  9. mattbb1

    i'm sure there are investors out there who'd be interested in Leeds as a club, but theyre just waiting for a sign from Ken Bates that hes interested in selling, which he will never do because in his warped mind he sees that as a sign of weakness. Personally I'd like to see either Trevor Birch or Adam Pearson at the helm, not stellar names but they do seem to know how to run a football team and make a profit.

    One last point, if the protests didnt bother you Ken, why mentione them at all?…. My view is we Morons need to keep speaking out against this ludicorusly unambitious regime.

    • Matthew

      I agree, it makes sense.

      Why would investors with tens of millions invest in little clubs like QPR or Leicester when they could invest in a team with a huge fanbase, more passion, a bigger ground and a richer history like Leeds?

      Something doesn't seem right.

      I'm not saying we'd get a rich oil barron if Bates leaves but surely there is someone out there with a big wad of cash that wants to buy us?

      • Engraf

        Bates does not want to sell, but would like a significant investment from someone prepared to leave him in total control.
        Not many such dim benefactors arround!

  10. Walter

    From a potential buyer's point-of-view: Leeds United are a club who don't own their own ground or training facilities. They have attracted just over 20,000 home fans to each of their first two home games. How much is the club worth?

    From Ken Bates' point-of-view: I get 20,000 people paying so much it equates to the revenue of 30-40,000 fans at other Championship clubs without the bother of that many people. I have made nearly 20m in player sales alone in 5 years. There is very little pressure on me to spend any of the club's income on the team and hasn't been for years. How much is the club worth to me?

    Even if someone was interested in saving the club from Ken Bates, there's going to be a massive disparity in their valuations. Then there's the Elland Road ownership issue. Who is going to want to do business with that horrible old man?

    • Matthew

      Ownership of the ground is a big ?? at the moment, why invest in re developing something you don't own?

      Speaking of which, we'l never get full capacity until we're back in the prem, or if we have an important game, thus the glory hunters come out the wordwork, we still however have the biggest ground and the most fans in this league period.

      Maybe we can hope once Ken goes, as he's old now anyway, his wife when she takes over doesn't want to do the job and sells up.

      • Walter

        Utter nonsense. You don't know this football club very well if you don't think we could ever get 'full capacity' in the Championship. Even in the season before Bates first got the chance to jack up prices we averaged 30k. And that was for mid-table. There's no reason to think that with a decent top 6 season and normal prices we couldn't get 35-40k in this day and age.

        And just because people have been driven from the club by Bates's extortionate prices, it doesn't make them 'glory supporters'. I have missed just 5 away games in 4 years, but because I refuse to be a mug for Ken Bates I'm now a 'glory supporter'? You couldn't be more inane. It is thanks to people like you that Bates has abused LUFC for so long.

        And it's all very well having the 'most fans', but if most of those are 'glory supporters' with too much self-respect to be mugged by Bates, I don't see how it makes a difference. In 2006 there were SEVEN Championship teams with a higher average gate than Leeds. In 2007 there were 8. In 2009 there were 4. In 2010 there were 3. In 6 seasons since he took over and started screwing the fans, we've been the best supported team outside the Premiership just 2 out of 6 times, and clubs like Derby, Newcastle and Sheffield United have posted average gates of 28-44k, which is significantly more than our best in the period. Of course that's because they were far, far cheaper to follow than Leeds have ever been since Bates took charge.

      • Matthew

        Come again? My comment was talking about present day Leeds not past Leeds.

        My above point stands, we'l never get a full ground unless its an important game/last game of the season until the Premier League, this point is true.

        I prefer to speak about the present in this regard, not the past.

      • number1inyorkshire

        there is an element though of glory hunters and especially at leeds there are a few big match charlies .
        playoffs ,Carling cup -arsenal .Carling cup -Liverpool F A cup .spurs being good examples in recent history ,22.000 v hull last Tuesday

      • number1inyorkshire

        come on tss it won,t let you say arsenal surely that should be manu not arsenal, arsenal arsenal ,arsenal ,arsenal lol lol laugh i nearly gave my fags out

  11. Marc Butterworth

    Russell Crowe is a Leeds fan I beleive…..Now he MUST be piped up to the eyeballs….And he would reinstate the Australian connection again and we could maybe bring in some more gems like Kewell, Viduka, Kilkenny and…..erm….Jacob Burns……

    I'll get my coat shall I……..

  12. Michael

    Russell Crow? He's a LUFC supporter. The players can dress up as Gladiators or speak with Irish accents while being Robin Hood… It'll be grand!

  13. dalesteel

    Guys, Instead of trying to buy 'Leeds United', why don't we start a consortium to buy Elland Road and Thorpe. It will cost far less, plus we then have the control over Ken 'Master' Bates…… any ideas he has about building anything in or around 'our' ground will be over ruled and objected against.

    He will be 'our tenant' Any backers with me???

    • number1inyorkshire

      deal me in
      that is in fact one of the better ideas
      put me down for a fiver alright ten !!!!

      • dalesteel

        Nice 1, Just need another 199,999 people all putting a tenner in! LOL!!! MOT

      • Matthew

        If such a fund existed, I would give too. I'm sure you'd find enough fans to eject Ken Bates from the club with their wallets.

    • dalesteel

      £60 quid i think. If 20,000 people put in £100 we'd have more than enough. Ken Bates said £20 million for stadium and thorpe. But £10 million would buy ER so 10,000 people @ £100.00, unless we can get a few bigger backers….. Its not impossible!!!

      • Chareose

        id do it, but it would have to be done properly………like a trust fund, completely legal etc and above board. Go start a website link it to TSS and start advertizing to leeds fans……………… with the condition that if it doesnt get used the fans get their money back

      • number1inyorkshire

        this is a great idea joking apart i would gladly buy shares in a ground trust although they have to be hundred pound a share with a maximum amount able to be held buying and selling within a unit alright im no expert but it could be done ,i think though and i don't know don't leeds united have 1st refusal to buy it back .how did that pan out at admin how much did it cost the landlord JACOB ADLER trying to see if thats an anagram of ken bates

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