Leeds Saved From Evil Property Developer Coalition TSS October 24, 2011 Leeds United 68 Comments It’s not hard to picture the smug smile stretched across Ken Bates’ face as Simon Morris was sentenced to 18 months for blackmail. My mind paints a picture of the lying, deceitful, megalomaniac property developer laid back on his sun-drenched Monaco balcony as Jeeves, his servant, fetches the 18 year old bottle of Scotch he’ll use to celebrate the demise of his former nemesis. Meanwhile, Simon Morris is being introduced to his cell mate Frank and his ridiculously large stockpile of Vaseline. Luckily for Morris, Frank assures him that he’ll be “looked after” during his time behind bars. “Finally, a lucky break” Morris thinks… Some may suspect sympathy from Ken. After all, he’s suspected of far worse with a list of allegations ranging from money laundering, to tax evasion, to destroying the evidence he (and his merry band of heavies) seized from the Irish savings bank he once owned, that – like most of Bates’ business ventures – didn’t work out too well, leaving a sizeable list of angry Irishmen digging through a list of offshore banks and shell companies to try and ascertain where their money went. But sympathy is not something we expect from Leeds United’s loveable chairman. His programme notes and next Yorkshire Radio interview will no doubt remind us how lucky we are to be owned by a crooked property developer clever enough to avoid criminal charges, rather than one whose amateurish mistakes saw him lose everything and end up in prison. As hard as it may be to hear another “I saved you” rant from Mr Chairman, he perhaps has a valid point in this instance! Morris and Bates’ vision for Leeds United wasn’t all that dissimilar in that their plans focused more on the property potential than they did the sporting sideshow they have to tolerate. In a parallel universe somewhere I suspect Simon Morris works side-by-side with Mr Bates, learning all the tricks to successfully dodge tax, hide money and exploit “grey areas” of law/football/ethics. Imagine for a moment that Bates and Morris weren’t sworn enemies and that a meeting of minds led them to unite, using their combined evil to build a property empire around the crumbling Elland Road stadium that surpassed both of their wildest dreams. With one evil property developer reaffirming the others narcissism, I doubt we’d ever sleep easily again. Unlike Bates, Morris is relatively young too meaning our torment could continue for decades to come with Mini Me taking the helm when Bates’ reign of terror comes to an end. With that in mind, perhaps the inevitable “I saved you” rant will be easier to stomach. Bates’ failure to spot a kindred spirit in Morris, whose resources could have helped fund his evil empire, is something we should all be thankful for.