I know this is a ridiculous notion, and will be incredibly difficult for some fans to grasp, but for the sake of argument let’s ‘pretend’ football is a business.

Let’s pretend that emotions don’t play a part. That we’re blessed with rationally minded supporters, and equally rational owners.

Let’s ‘pretend’ that, as a business, we’re no different from Barclays, French Connection, Spar or Phones4U.

Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m a young, incredibly handsome individual – not a huge leap, I assure you – looking for a competitive mortgage. I shop around a little and decide on Barclays, who I feel on balance, offer the best deal.

I’m about to sign with Barclays when my phone rings. It’s HSBC, and they’ve got a better deal for me. Unfortunately, I’ve already told Barclays I’m going to take my mortgage with them. Sure, HSBC are offering a far better deal, but a man is only as good as his word, right?

Wrong. As good as my word may be, it counts for nothing. I’d be a complete idiot to sign with Barclays at this point. I’d rather be the man who didn’t make his decisions based on some stupid philosophy and a misguided sense of loyalty – I’d rather be the rational man that accepted HSBC’s offer. And I’m sure the rest of you would too.

A moment of clarity allows me to make the right choice. I go with HSBC and sleep easily, knowing I’m thousands of pounds better off as a result. I don’t care if Barclays are a little disappointed, they’re a business who didn’t offer the best deal. They’ll get over it.

However, three months later Barclays announce a new game-changing offer. “Switch your mortgage to Barclays…” they say “…and you’ll save thousands!”

A couple of forms, ten minutes in the bank and once again, I’ll be a little better off. I’m not an idiot, I know a good deal when I see it. I have no loyalty to HSBC, we have a business arrangement that no longer suits me.

So off to Barclays I go, smiling all the way there thinking about how I can spend that extra bit of cash I’m about to save. Unbeknown to me however, Barclays policy is that they don’t accept custom from people who snubbed them previously. Damn, is my face red now!

“By choosing HSBC when a contract with us was ready to be signed, you better God damn believe it’s personal” explains the clerk. “B-b-but it’s just business, I was just trying to get the best deal” I respond. “Tough!” the clerk yells. “This is Barclays Bank…” she declares proudly “…and no one rejects us!”

Walking away, tail firmly wedged between my legs, I can’t help wonder if Barclays is being somewhat mismanaged. Sure, I snubbed them for HSBC, but they offered the better deal – that’s my prerogative as the customer, right? But now I’m back and begging Barclays to let me become their asset. In the end, they got what they wanted – we both did.

Doesn’t matter that I stand to become their asset and that they could potentially make thousands from me. I offended poor Barclays, and as a result, they will reject me as a customer forever more. I’m no longer good enough for them. What an idiot I’ve been!

Slowly arriving at a point, I promise 

Of course, the above is nothing more than a poorly crafted analogy. Barclays would never turn away a potential asset due to a personal grudge – no business would. It’s the same reason Adidas don’t turn away customers wearing Nike trainers, or KFC don’t turn down people with a McDonald’s shake in their hands.

Imagine walking into Sainsbury’s and being told they no longer sold Carling because the delivery driver decided to go to Tesco first. It would be a ridiculous state of affairs and the business would suffer as a consequence. Not only would they lose money, it would also reflect badly on them – no one wants to deal with such pettiness.

“But a footballer isn’t a customer, he’s an employee” I hear you cry. Yes and no. A footballer is more an asset than anything else since his contract directly relates not only to the value of your club, but the success of the business itself. Much like myself as a customer for Barclays/HSBC, the value of the business increases based on their assets. This isn’t personal, you can’t hold grudges, there is absolutely no room for emotion – not if you want to succeed anyway.

Yet for some reason, this doesn’t seem to matter in football. The fact Jason Puncheon ALLEGEDLY turned us down for a better opportunity at QPR – and it was a better opportunity considering they offered more money and a higher class of football – means he’s no longer welcome says Mr. Chairman.

And it’s not just Ken Bates that shares this view, so too do legions of Leeds United fans who have taken to Twitter to share “good on yer Kenny Boy” comments. Apparently, no one turns Leeds United down twice.

I can only presume this means Alan Smith is no longer welcome, or Rickie Lambert, or Billy Sharp, all of whom have turned down a chance to play for Leeds in the past. You don’t turn us down twice after all.

Regardless of whether you’re a quality asset who could genuinely benefit the business, you missed your chance. You rejected poor Leeds United once before for a better offer and now you think we’ll give you another chance? You bleeding mug.

So tomorrow morning Shaun Harvey plans to approach Lionel Messi, David Silva, James Milner and a whole host of top transfer targets offering them a once in a lifetime chance to play for Leeds United. Because clearly, we’re that big. Reject us now at your peril, for if we ever become remotely successful again, Leeds United do not give second chances. You have been forewarned.

44 Responses

  1. Matthew

    Makes me wish we had Man City type owners, wouldn’t mind seeing Van Persie/Nasri in a Leeds shirt personally, we’d walk this league with virtually no losses with that kind of talent :3

    • Matthew

      I was mostly just speaking about the picture you used TSS, one could only dream of getting that quality of player here lol

      • TSS

        We’re bidding for him tomorrow. He only gets one chance though, so fingers crossed!

  2. TSS

    I’m sorry but that is the most incredibly stupid business plan I have ever heard. It’s not personal, it’s not some kind of Ken Bates soap opera, it’s a business and players are nothing more than saleable assets.

    • RoystonLUFC

      OK, if you ever grant me an interview for a job at your company, I might turn up, I might not. I’ll decide when and where I finally grant you the privelege to interview and employ me. After all it’s an open-ended invitation, which I can manipulate whichever way I deem necessary to suit my whims. Is that the normal way that companies regard the interview process? Personally I don’t know of a single company that follows that approach. So either they are all following a stupid business plan or they have an understanding of the notion of employer/employee.

      • TSS

        He didn’t fail to attend the interview, he turned up, agreed verbally (allegedly) then decided to join QPR. That’s fair, I’d have no issue with that, nor would I hold it against someone if they were worth so much to my company.

        How exactly do you intend to explain to shareholders that you’ve rejected the chance to boost your companies worth by hundreds of thousands because you’re holding a grudge exactly? Because that’s what it comes down to – players are assets first, employees second.

      • ScratchinShedIsShit

        @TSS Holding a grudge haha you make me laugh, football is not as simple as football manager it is a game built on a team, on there combined moral, spirit, skill and aptitude. Teams are finely balanced KB may take his stance as he sees that given puncheon choice he doesn’t hold the personality traits that would fit in to the squad at Leeds. To assume its because he is holding a grudge shows clearly how you either despise KB so much or you are very naive… which is it?? Look at Carlos Tevez situation at man city, look at how Anelka has ruined the team environment look at the Andy O’Brien situation then you might start to realise that your points of KB holding a grudge make you look very silly indeed.

  3. RustyBullethole

    Ah yes, how dare anyone take a job somewhere else! grrr, boo, bah and so on. Yawn. Sorry did papa smurf try to make some kind of point out of all of that? he does know that football players move between clubs and that people have long term targets etc. yes? I like Jason Puncheon, he was good at MK Dons and so on against us. Good player. Papa Smurf: Bad Management skills, no empathy and a complete lack of understanding, well I guess somethings will always stay the same. Leeds will always be the poor relative under papa smurf. Boo. Please go away Kenny. Please. Leeds is a massive club with a massive fan base and he is doing his best to make it a league 2 club. Playing Farsley Celtic soon.

  4. Gryff

    I sort of agree with what you’re saying. Don’t want to be awkward but:

    “Wrong. As good as my word may be, it counts for nothing. I’d be a complete idiot to sign with Barclays at this point. I’d rather be the man who didn’t make his decisions based on some stupid philosophy and a misguided sense of loyalty – I’d rather be the rational man that accepted HSBC’s offer. And I’m sure the rest of you would too.”


    And that’s the sort of person Leeds (in the wisdom or lack of) are going for. Somebody who’ll keep their word, do their best for a club, etc. Players will come and go even if they don’t whore themselves to the highest bidder, but they’re less volatile and won’t demand to move so often.

    It isn’t like getting a mortgage at all. Players want as much money as they can get, understandably, but there’s a lot who see virtually unlimited first team football and development as a footballer almost as important.

    And that’s not stupid. At the end of the day these lads have from about 15 to about 35 to show how good they are and make the maximum of money. But plenty of them take the biggest cheque short-term (like say Tom Soares) and end up dropping out of the big-money leagues. Others stay with clubs slightly lower (like say Jonny Howson) and stay in the spotlight and keep taking a little less than Soares, but manage to move to the Premiership warranting more first-team football and almost certain of another club at an equal level if things don’t work out. The scenario’s worked out great for Bradley Johnson but not for Neil Kilkenny – and any psychologist will tell you that the majority of human beings are not risk takers. Thus, it would actually be illogical to always follow the best short-term deal like in your Barclays analogy.

    Not that I’m taking this at all too seriously, mind….!

    • TSS

      @Gryff Which is why HSBC are now offering me a loyalty bonus if I switch back. The longer I stay with them, the more I benefit.

      The point isn’t about the short-termist approach inherent in football these days – although it really is time we got to grips with that – it’s the fact we’re airing our allegedly private business in public again and that Ken Bates’ personal grudges are apparently more important than SG getting the players he wants. It’s truly pathetic.

      What if it was an individual whose pioneering technology was massively benefit the company he signed for, and Apple really could use him but refused to negotiate because he once rejected them for Microsoft? He’s willing to take his technology to whoever gives him the best offer, but Apple’s CEO holds a personal grudge. “Fuck the billions of pounds” he tells the share holders “this guy had the cheek to reject us once”.

      • Gryff

        @TSS It is about Bates being foolish through choosing not to allow players to give Leeds the run around.

        Short-term isn’t always the best solution. Puncheon had agreed a deal with Leeds and was expected to sign the deal. He didn’t even tell Leeds “actually no, ta very much”. He chose a short-term loan to QPR and that decision to go with the bank that gave him the best deal has backfired on him. Had he gone to Leeds he’d have his future sorted. As things stand he doesn’t.

        So who was the fool? Bates might put off fifty players, but once they learn that rejecting Leeds doesn’t just mean the immediate-term, they’re less likely to pull the kinds of stunts Puncheon did.

        After all, Leeds had multiple targets on deadline-day. We understood we had a deal done with Puncheon. Then he didn’t show. We might have ruined another deal because of that.

  5. WalterCasper

    Do you do articles not related to moaning about the chairman? It’s all that goes on at the minute. We’re a football team that is only in our second year back in the championship and a point of the playoffs!

    Anyway to the point in hand. I own a business and if someone was about to be offered a job and then turned us down at the last minute when a contract was in place, only to go somewhere else and come crawling back 4 or 5 months later because it went belly up they wouldn’t be offered a second chance.

    • TSS

      @WalterCasper Your employees aren’t saleable assets. I made that point clear above, it’s entirely different. You wouldn’t reject custom because they’d shopped elsewhere, nor would you reject help from someone who could massively benefit your business because you’d got the hump with him. At least I hope you wouldn’t anyway because that would be incredibly petty.

      And no, we generally stick to slagging the chairman off while ever he’s interfering in the transfer business which he claims he doesn’t get involved with and definitely doesn’t discuss in public.

      • WalterCasper

        @TSS Could he “massively benefit” Leeds united though? Have we not got enough attacking options? Obviously he wasn’t good enough for the prem as he came on as a sub twice so he can’t exactly be boy wonder. For a minute forget money, and imagine if a really pretty girl was with you and before you commit she goes off for some other bloke, it goes wrong and she comes crawling back to you. What do you do? Principles apply to all walks of life and unless he’s Lionel Messi, for me, he can do one.

      • TSS

        @WalterCasper But that IS personal, business isn’t. The fact Leeds United so easily confuse the two is a worry, it’s more soap opera than respectable football business these days.

        As for the quality of Puncheon, it’s irrelevant. I happen to thing he’s a strong enough bet considering how easily he’s torn us apart in the past, but mine and your opinion should count for as little as Ken Bates’ – Simon Grayson is supposed to be making the transfers. That’s what we pay him for, isn’t it? That’s what Mr Chairman likes to tell us.

      • Irving08


        TSS I don’t believe you would be comfortable with such a signing. And while, I don’t agree with KB going public on this one, I think he is perfectly entitled to have a view on transfers – other Chairman do, eg Levy. Personally, I wish he had vetoed some of Simon’s ! (KB’s observations on matches are often quite percerptive – even if that is beside the point).

      • Irving08


        Leaving aside for the moment KB’s unecessarily truculent manner, there is a serious and substantial truth trying to see the light of day, viz that business operates in a social context and depends for its successful functioning on motives and sentiments that are not purely ones of self-interest, eg mutual trust. It seems to me TSS that you have allowed your animosity to KB – whose manner admitedly makes him a sitting target for your polemic – to cloud your understanding of how effective markets operate. It sits uncomfortably with your criticism of KB precisely on the grounds of untrustworthiness and lack of probity. You host a good site; be careful you do not get a reputation for plain contrariness.

  6. jaucourt

    Here we’re assuming Mr. Chairman is telling us the truth. What probably happened is that they offered to pay Puncheon in milk bottle tops, as Mr. Harvey generally does, and Puncheon turned them down. Then ol’Ken thought “the fans seem to be getting a bit tired of the “greedy player / agent” line, I need to think up something else. I know, I’ll tell them he turned us down, even though he did nothing of the sort*, that’ll get them good and mad, and then I’ll make everyone think I’m doing it for the pride of Leeds United.”

    *Here we’re going off the comments of Puncheon, who is probably more likely to be telling the truth than Bates.

    • Matthew


      We can reasonably say we’l never see Puncheon in a Leeds shirt ever, so its a non issue really as to who is right or wrong, as soon as the chairman passes judgement on you, your chances at Leeds go from good to zero.

      • TSS

        @jaucourt It’s a non-issue that our chairman has further isolated us from the pool of potential transfer targets with an unnecessary rant that embarrasses the club and benefits no one? I beg to differ.

      • jaucourt

        @TSS As a said on twitter a week or so ago, the most important for Ken to do is just SHUT UP. He’s out of touch, bigoted and badly informed and I wish he’d realise he has nothing to bring to the debate and keep quiet. However, that would mean having some self awareness and he’s gone long enough without that, so I doubt he’ll get it now.

      • Irving08


        Of course, KB should shut up. However I would feel uncomfortable about signing a player who so obviously confronts us with the unpalatable fact that most footballers nowadays are just in it for the money, even at the expense of real or

        imagined glory. Who is Billy Sharpe, by the way ?

    • Matthew

      The fact we’re not losing money as a club suggests his business plan works, better to work to a budget than to be like every other team in this league losing millions each financial year.

      Not a Bates supporter, I just agree we need to stay afloat, and avoid the financial woes of the past, as our chairman isn’t exactly the investing type, we ideally need someone with more money than sense, on the plus side Bates is 80 now, his time at Leeds won’t last forever.

  7. ShaunRoberts1

    It’s uncle ken’s smoke and mirrors trick again, give the fans someone to vent at and they wont notice January slowly slipping away. I can’t honestly believe people fall for this time and time again.

  8. Rwhites

    Just wait for the American lad not to get a work permit. Which under the rules he shouldn’t.

    They have said two weeks for the process, so in two weeks time he gets rejected. Bates will then come out on the 1st of Feb and blame the British goverment for us not signing any players,he will point out how it’s down to them why we haven’t signed anyone as the decision came too late and we didn’t have time to put anything else in to place, he will add that the lad was going to be on “great” wages and whilst he was signing for us we couldn’t afford to bring anyone else in as all the funds were tied up in his deal.Anyone with any sense would cut out the bullshit and sign Puncheon. English lad who can play straight away and is proven at this level.

    But no Ken likes to play his games and tries to con the fans with his propaganda!!!

    • Matthew

      Amazing isn’t it, hundreds of thosands of immigrants come into England each year to live with no problems, and one guy, who will likely pay more in tax than all of them, faces the prospect of being refused a work permit is just odd.

    • Irving08

      Personally, I hope he doesn’t get a permit. If Crystal Palace can find lots of young British talent in their backyard, why can’t we ? I am surprised KB has not vetoed the move given his extremely patriotic, albeit also extremely, libertarian views. Hmm, wonder if he has noticed the contradiction…

  9. derrysdouble

    I was surprised last January when the Johnson contract situation became public and Bates spouted his usual shite in the program and many fans beleived him and took Bates’ side and sang “their’s only one greedy bastard” at Johnson, (ironically the only person to benefit from it was Johnson who refused to be bullied by old Fishfingers). Nowt so fickle as fans.

  10. ScratchinShedIsShit

    this website hates ken bates all your post have a purpose of having a go, i say get together and buy the club of him ffs I hate people like you

    • TSS

      @ScratchinShedIsShit I wouldn’t say “hate” (I’m not that petty) but I do find people like yourself incredibly difficult to tolerate. Is it the fact you’re blinded by Ken Bates’ bullshit? Not really no. I pity you in that sense, but I would never hold it against you.

      It’s the fact you lack the mental acuity to form a reasonable argument expressing your opinions, instead resorting to slagging off those that can in a manner fit for a 13-year-old whose Mummy won’t buy him a new Xbox game. Bless.

  11. ScratchinShedIsShit

    Rwhites you talk utter BS ‘under the rules’ what do you know the basics 75% of games in last 2 years, his age, youth caps present squad, his chances of being a needed employee your a moron bates is right.

  12. ScratchinShedIsShit

    Have you read what Puncheon said he said he didn’t want to come to leeds, he never wants to come to leeds and his agent hasn’t phoned leeds, how the Fuck can bates sign him jeez your all so dum

  13. ScratchinShedIsShit

    RustyBullethole your a mouthy twat I love bates go f**k your self

  14. ScratchinShedIsShit

    Ken Bates is a legend long live bates long live bates MOT COME ON OLD KING KEN

    • Frogman

      @ScratchinShedIsShit I’ve read some utter tripe on here but seriously you are the supreme tripe writer. I find it hard to actually believe that you believe what you write!

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, this is mine.

      Finally if you find TSS so s**t don’t visit it, don’t read it and don’t post on it.

  15. Craig Woodhead

    Cutting nose off to spite face springs to mind. He had a much better option n it didn’t work out so we hold that against him, stupid. Bates saying what fans want to hear again. We get who we can when we can to get us promoted whether they turned us down before or not!

  16. @Spanish_Leeds

    Puncheon is another average player at best. If Ken bring a good CB, a solid RB, a good DM/CM to play alongside Clayton and another goalscorer (like Bekford) I don´t mind the uncle Kenneth rant´s against Puncheon…

  17. Craig

    Ooh SSiS (Shaun Harvey?) seems to have a blood pressure problem!

    BTW, TSS there are MANY good reasons for turning away a Carling delivery driver. Great article but very poor example.

    • TSS

      Agree. It’s just common-sense to turn away Carling. I should have gone with a better brand, that was silly of me. I guess I was thinking average footballers, average club, average contract and an average lager followed.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS carlinng comes in at number 3 in uk lager sales but there is no accounting for taste as fosters is number 2 ,stella being top

        just proof there is no accounting for taste carlsberg sold millions of pints 40 million

        san miguel s currently number 1 in the world, at last something i know about lol

  18. number1inyorkshire

    1st post please tell me that hole sss is banned please opinions are fine ,differing ones as good as any other but he is an idiot ..

  19. Dean 'Greenman' Todd

    In my opinion this type of comment shows a lack of class from Ken Bates, whatever the details of any transfer incoming / outgoing he should really keep his trap shut. We are in no position to alienate any potential player / investor through Ken’s spouting so he should really learn to shut up, that said didnt he have a go at Andy Lonerghan after the initial failure to agree terms?


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