Guest submission, submitted yesterday by Dje

Dear LUFC brethren. It’s another of those RIP LEEDS UNITED days. Add it to the long list we’ve collated over recent years. Place it alongside the day the truth of Ridsdale ‘Living His Dream’ came out; the day we fell out of the Premiership; the play-off final against Watford; the day Bates came along; the day Bates took us into administration; the day we fell out of the Championship; the day we entered a pact with a devil named Wise; the day we lost to non-league Histon; the day we failed to reach a League One play-off final; the way we let Beckford leave for free; the way we let Johnson and (to a lesser extent) Kilkenny leave for free; the day we lost 5-2 at Barnsley; the day we threw away a 4-1 advantage and lost 6-4 at home to Preston; the summer we signed almost no one and yet on the last day sold Gradel… and to them the day we let Howson leave for free (seriously £2m?, which it won’t be, it’s as good as free).

The Scratching Shed has been quiet today. There’s been comments added about Howson leaving, but mostly its been grasping and waiting for the dust to settle. There isn’t much to add – not much beyond the general sense of utter disbelief and watching this club become a slow-motion car crash.

The truth is, if ever anyone wanted a signpost put up outside the club telling each and all exactly what this club is about, it was hammered into the sodden earth outside Elland Road today: ‘Everything Must Go!! (enquire inside)’.

For those who have been ‘reasonable’ towards the management of this club in recent years, and have remained positive enough to believe that one way or another a ‘passionate’ and Leeds-supporting Grayson, with a handful of quality players, is just about enough to get us to the lottery of the Championship play-offs, then today must come like a brutal shock. For those that still don’t see the light, those that feel Bates is running the club in a responsible and progressive manner, that Jonny really had to go because he was being unreasonable in expecting us to push for promotion, then all I can say is turn around, see the lemming? (Yes, the one heading for the cliff edge). Now go follow.

On Fear

There’s no schadenfreude here. There’s no ‘told you so’. There’s no winners. We are the losers, in every possible way.

As homosapiens we are finely tuned to be essentially positive in our outlook (’tis why we evolded and the other little fishies still have little more than a ten second memory); but on this occassion it is very hard to find any positives at all. I just wish someone could explain exactly how Bates wins from this?

Today there has been the general chorus of refusing to renew season tickets, and walking away from the club after supporting it for 10, 20, 30, 40, even 50 years in some cases. They aim to hit Bates in the pocket. I promise you, this will be the excuse in the making why we have had to sell McCormack, then Snodgrass, then Lees, then White… “To pay for the irresponsible acts of morons”, or words thereabouts.

Other’s want to up the game and send a message to Bates, with talk of a rally before the match against Ipswich. Calling Sky Sports etc. “Bates Out!” Sorry, with capslock this time: “BATES OUT!!” I can’t blame them. Only the net result will be a form of collective catharsis for collective frustration. You see, Leeds fans are always prepared to listen to another Leeds fan’s point of view – and, despite being Yorkshire men and women, we can be bloody reasonable at this. Unfortunately we don’t have a Yorkshire man at the helm. I’m not even sure we have a man at the helm.

On Loathing

But then let’s hope. Lets hope he is a man, a horribly mortal man. We have it within us all to be one. When the Reaper claims us, we are but mortal. No more. For years I’ve read and heard Leeds fans talk about how old Bates is, how soon he will be likely to die (statistically speaking!). I’ve never been very comfortable with it. Maybe I’m too British and simply too abashed by its macabre triumphantalism.

Just like those Americans who took to the streets in the States when news got out that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, it is not a pleasant spectacle, however understandable it may be.

Celebration of death is always macabre. But after today, and the final tent peg hammered home that Elland Road is one cavenous sales ground, Bates is clearly going nowhere soon with such young bucks like Lees, White and Clayton to whore out for maximum profit. From fear comes the loathing.

So the mind, when cornered, considers the macabre with a little more titilation than it usually does. Hell, after you’ve had the last vestiges of emotion kicked out of you by the news that the club is selling its captain on the cheap, whilst later in the day celebrating how much money it has reaped from next year’s season ticket sales, you tend to be a tad less caring towards the emotions of others.

Which brings us to the death of Mr Bates.

No, this is not an event you have already missed. Nor is it a call to intervene prematurely! It is only a forethought on what, inevitably, will be will be when nature takes its toll.

I’ve racked my brain for the last hour or so, and I just can’t find any figure in modern Britain whose death will be celebrated by so many people as Bates’ will. How horribly sad this is. I mean really how sad that is, especially for his family. As a man they will miss him when he is gone, but still they’ll have to contend with the jubilations of Leeds’ fans (can you imagine the atmosphere and songs at the immediately following match at Elland Road). And they say life is cruel!

The recent release of the film, The Iron Lady, has stirred up resentment amongst quite a few, especially in the North and Scotland, towards Margaret Thatcher. Yet I doubt not so many would literally dance on her grave as they have often claimed they would one day. She is an old woman now, long out of politics, and whose legacy has been blurred as much by the foibles of New Labour and the current coalition.

Really we are entering the creaky-gated doors of the mental hospitals and prisons before we reach such resented characters as Ian Brady and Ian Huntley: the types whose mentioning of their names often follows the phrases ‘throw away the keys’ or ‘bring back hanging’. Choice company then Mr Bates.

That is really quite an achievement, to have mustered such hatred amongst so many for so little personal gain. Considering you have entered the cherished world of football ownership Mr Bates, where frail egos usually seek the unsaturated adulation of the masses, you have so single-handedly failed to win anything but the worst fears of the fans… and their loathing.

Written By Dje


57 Responses

  1. TSS

    Excellent piece mate. Can feel the resignation you must have felt typing it up. I guess Cuddly Ken has won. Maybe we never stood a chance.

    All I know is that the only reason he left Chelsea was because of financial trouble, so the only exit I can see is to stop funding him. Might not be the right decision, but I can’t put up with this shit any longer, Elland Road stopped being enjoyable months ago.

    I wouldn’t put too much faith in the man’s mortality. Pretty sure he made some Dorian Gray type deal with the Devil when he first arrived a Leeds – doesn’t look any older, that’s for sure. Younger if anything, which is a real concern.

    • derrysdouble

      @TSS ha ha ha “Younger if anything, which is a real concern.” true unfortunatley

    • Dje

      @TSS Cheers. Yep, yesterday was a bit of a zombie day after hearing about Howson leaving. Today your ‘Why Lie Kenny’ song and news that there’s a protest tonight has been reinvigorating. Even though I think there’s more potential in spreading the wider word about Bates in your Pigeon Detectives cover than there is in the protest – I’d never belittle any Leeds fans attempts to further the best interests of our club. For that we all have in common, and ultimately it’s good to see there’s life in this old club yet! MOT.


      The Bates looking younger bit is unnerving. Have we been cursed with the Benjamin Button chairman? Give it half a century or so and we’ll still be under the thumb of him, only know he’d be known as Baby Bates. Still, the shit he’d be spouting would be excusable at least.

    • Tyler75

      @TSS Maybe that’s where all the money’s going – the search for eternal life. The other alternative explanation is that far from making a pact with the devil, he is actually belzeebub himself !

  2. Gryff

    Excellent piece.

    “I’m not even sure we have a man at the helm.”

    I needed a chuckle!

    On a completely genuine note (I know, it’s about 10 years since I’ve been genuine about anything!) my dearest wish in my life right now (how sad is that?) is that I could buy and wear next season’s Leeds shirt and feel the simple pride and identity that I felt as a kid whenever my parents bought me it.

    I don’t care if we were in the BSP, so long as we were a club again. We’re not a club right now – we’re a coalition of Him, his misguided followers & the rest of us.

  3. SP Boro

    Good piece. I tweeted this question the other day – “What is the % return on capital in the Championship compared to the Premiership?” – I have no real idea if this is at the root of it all but what other explanation can there be for this desperate lack of ambition?

  4. yeboah 21

    nasty nasty post your refering to ken bates as osama bin laden,so if ken bates a chairman who saved us from the ultimate death is so so horrible?? so what is peter ridsdale a self certified leeds utd fan born and bred a proud yorkshireman?johnny howson ha ha ha ha you rate him???lets get back too the reality yeah back too the chips and gravy,were 11 points from the top of the table with 20 games to go,and as garbage as we have been p[laying were 3 points from the play offs,hardly a doom and gloom scenario considering it is our second season back in the championship with 20 games to us too leicester city forest and others,were not doing too bad,if leeds get too the play offs with minumum spending or even win the play offs all what your saying is a figment of your imagination,a illusion a haterism dreams.get behind the team leeds and be proud of the boys!!!!!

    • Dje

      @yeboah 21 I thoroughly like your wanton abandonment of despair, Tony. Drowning with your glass half full is the nicest way to go – but you seem to be buying a lot more than your drinks from the Bates kiosk. ‘Saved us from ultimate death’. Really? I mean really, you believe that dementia?

      Not wanting to drain your glass, but it is a glaring fact how little points we’ve picked up and how poor we have played with Howson’s absence. The only logic I can read from your belief that we’ll play better without him is that he was a troublemaker in the squad and now without him around the wonders of Brown, Pugh and Varyavan will shine forth. Hell, even Clayton, our only other half decent central midfielder, has looked lost without him. I’ve never heard of Howson being other than a model professional footballer, but maybe you know better?

      But hey-ho, I concede to a possible ‘haterism dream’, and gladly hope it is only my imagination; but then my standards may be higher than yours: I’d never settle for ‘we’re not doing too bad’.

      Finally, one critical reading regarding Osama Bin Laden: I never compared Ken Bates to Osama Bin Laden. My reference to Bin Laden was to Americans singing in the street on hearing that he was dead, but glad you enjoyed to read it that way. It is a lame comparison but I’m sure there would be more folk in Leeds singing in the streets on hearing of the passing of Bates than there ever were for Osama Bin Laden.

    • Chareose

      @yeboah 21

      Yeboah Lets put the “he saved us crap” into perspective for once….

      Ken Bates presided over the lowest league position in almost 80 years and brought us into administration, broke god knows how many regulations. Hes a crook and at the time some fans thought it was cool because he was on our side……..but hes not is he ? hes on the side of Ken Bates Wallet.

      In the last 2 years we have sold Delph for 6 million, Gradel (some reports say 6 million ), Schmeichal, Johnson and Kilkenny for around 2 million, howson for 2 million and there are the extortionate season tickets that only surpassed by the top 4 clubs in the PREMIER League……oh and then theres the TV money……….all in all we are missing what ? 10 million, 15 million ?

      Bear in mind we will be probably facing a relegation battle in the summer if bates is still here because even if he was willing to spend money the soul has gone of the club and i doubt players will want to be here

  5. yorkwhite1

    Could we not start a House of Commons e-petition demanding that the Inland Revenue begin a thorough investigation into all things Bates. Apparently with enough signatures the government have to discuss it. We could also include an investigation into the FA/FL rules on ownership and who actually owned the club for the past seven years. As fans we need to get organised. We need to show him that it’s our club. As Griff said I wouldn’t care if we were banished to the BSP at least when we’re rid of him we can begin to rebuild. MOT.

    • Gryff

      @yorkwhite1 I’d sign it in a second. We would need 100,000 signatures within 12 months. If we got that, we’d get debate time almost definitely (they put “might” get debated to give them a get-out clause)

    • dh lufc

      @yorkwhite1 Brilliant idea, Leeds can call on forty thousand fans easy, all they have to do is encourage their family members to sign as well and you have your 100000 signatures required.

      • Chareose

        @dh lufc@yorkwhite1

        Leeds can call on hundreds of thousands of fans not just 40k.

        And short of forcing the club into administration through a boycott going through legal channels could be the only way of getting rid of him

    • LUFCObiwan

      Be carefull what you wish for! We’ve no idea what the old twat has been up to with our money for the last 7 years. A full tax investigation may turn into a Glasgow Rangers sized tax bill aimed at the club!

  6. ellisno9

    If every Leeds fan visiting Elland Road on saturday chipped in a couple of quid we could hire a hitman! Just a thought!!

  7. WoodyUK

    Vile and loathsome individual is no surprise to anyone (Ask any Chelsea supporter you may happen to know and they will say “same old same old”). Crafty, Secretive, Bullying, Self-opinionated, Selective with the truth etc is not something that is new to KB – he’s always been that way and we knew what we were getting when he became involved with the club. We are all Leeds through and through, we will be abused and taken advantage of by any owner that wants to because we are too stubborn and too loyal to just walk away (the article above lists nearly every loathsome insult to our intelligence and loyalty and we’ve put up with them all). KB passing away may or may not sort the problems out, my guess is that he will have everything sown up tighter than a ducks arse to protect his good lady wife if he passes away and I don’t know who he would leave to run his spouse’ asset. Dom Matteo’s article today summed it up perfectly to me, he can ‘see it’ so confused why others can’t. Said it before, I think we have a mid table squad and any player with ambition who is better standard than mid table championship has a right to better himself. The onus is on KB to improve the squad so it is not only capable but a probable promotion prospect – then players will ‘believe’ they have a chance of premiership.

  8. pnxb1019

    Excellent piece dje. Thank you for taking the trouble. I feel the pain in your words .

    The problem we have I thinkis that the Bates desciples are already gathering behind their messiah…belittling Howsons contribution in preparation for Bates vile insults which will surely follow Howsons eventual departure. It appears nothing he does will ever deflect them from their adoration of all things Bates. They will be there weeping and wailing when he finally does die…’hail the saviour’ while others like me will be peeing on his grave

    This of course is the problem , the support is divided.The club is divided, The sensible , who know exactly what Bates is and the stupid who still cannot see it.

  9. Paddy1992

    Know how u feel mate!!!

    My mate rung me last night to discuss the situation and I was too angry/upset to even make a comment. Now I’m no howson fan and if u look back our poor form was only punctured for 2 games after the tragic passing of Gary speed! I don’t care about howson been sold but this isn’t about the merits of a footballer/his impact on games/his ability! This is about a once great club who not so long ago mixed it with and beat Europes finest selling it’s captain. A captain who is only 24. Who already obviously commands the respect of his team mates. This is about a club who can’t offer reasonable terms to a man who’s fulfilling his boyhood dreams. This is about what impact it will have on the rest of the squad and how the vultures that are circling will now view us as fair game. Once upon a time we used to boo any player that had the audacity to seek a move away from the hallowed elland road turf. Even players who turned us down to go elsewhere were mercilessly booed and chanted at until breaking point. Now on Saturday we come up against one such player. A man who at Leeds was as much trouble as he was great. After his subsequent move we all booed him to the point where he refused to take a corner in front of the kop on his return. The same man who apparently turned us down in the summer for riches and another massive club. Let’s face it his reception on Saturday should be mixed to say the least. But hands up anyone, who blames lee bowyer for not coming back now? Or anyone for leaving or anyone for not signing.

    • dh lufc

      @Paddy1992 I agree with so much you have said and the way it hit you,

      But now I have grieved the loss and come to terms with it, I still want Bates to FUCK OFF and the sooner the better, but my anger is also to those annoying Bastards from East Anglia. I am going to hope, pray, wish, and dream that they suffer a loss of form and drop out of the Premier League and return the Judas ex-Leeds players to the lower leagues.

  10. Gryff

    I just remembered something, can’t remember if it was someone like Napoli or some Argentinian team. But I remember once seeing an entire Kop turn their backs on a match for five minutes?

    We could get that organised easy. Nobody would have to miss matches or sacrifice games they’ve paid for, etc. We can still support our lads but we make a very visible protest that the TV networks can show.

    • dh lufc

      @Gryff Totally agree, everyone is lying down for Bates to trample all over the club, protests can be arranged without the fans missing what they have enjoyed for years and years.

      Support the team but show the club, and lets remember bates is not the club, that we want that Chelsea Pensioner out of Elland Road forever!!

    • Paul S Wales

      @Gryff I just remembered something, can’t remember if it was………lol

  11. David Kendall

    Be Brave. Stop going. The rest of the squad will go the way of Howson. He has been brave enough to admit to himself that there is no future at ER the way all Leeds fans see it. Bring about the end and quickly!

  12. Robert Holmes

    The only thing that’s likely to stop me going is our own fans. Something ugly is happening to the support at my club and its just not nice. Wishing someone dead (not tss) and the name calling that follows just undermines the fight, weakens the argument and takes us to Bates’ level of idiocy. The rise in abusive comments for daring to renew an ST for next season is personally shocking, all because I want to watch some football. Its just not fun anymore.

  13. Craig Sweaton

    @Robert Holmes, I think that’s the point. It’s no longer fun for any of us because of the level of commitment shown by Bates to the playing squad, and therefore the level shown on the pitch.
    The feeling I get from ER is very similar to that which surrounded the club during the relegation years. Uncertainty, despair, un-ambitious, and fear that no-one on the playing staff is safe. The only constant we have now is S.G. because a manager who never complains about losing his best players & the inability to replace them, is like manna from heaven to a greedy & selfish owner like Ken Bates.

  14. Somwang Lufc Todtan

    Shit happends all the time, but I will be a fan of my beloved SUPER LEEDS UNITED 4 EVER. MOT

  15. grandpa

    Don’t get mad, get even. Enough of of these (otherwise correct) flights of fancy, but they get us nowhere. In the short term we have few options, whether led over the years by Bates, Ridsdale or other incompetents. But Bates gets some credit from Chelsea fans for selling them the pitch (much more difficult then to sell the club to a supermarket!). To secure our long term future could we not persuade him to repeat what is still seen by some as generosity?

  16. Max

    The problem is that I get the feeling we are going to be stuck with Bates for a while, so there’s always the feeling a the back of one’s mind that if you support Leeds you’re also supporting a scam.

    Leeds are basically taking their income, spending several million of it on ground improvements to a ground they don’t own, paying a couple million more to the grounds mysterious owners, and the club’s owner isn’t putting a penny in of his own money (though why should he, I suppose; what I resent more is, firstly, retaining the club having had a very dodgy administration procedure, and secondly the “if you want premiership football you need to pay premiership prices”, when he has no intention of spending that money on premiership football, as opposed to this counter-intuitive real estate play).

    So the club can’t afford to retain the kind of player they can (because of their history, situation and local importance) afford to develop.

    Given that, my reaction to the Howson situation is a kind of resigned shrug. It isn’t Howson, it’s the context. Given the context, it probably makes sense to get decent money for him; he can’t play until at least March and it might be better to spend it on someone who can.

    Bates, I’m sure, would be delighted if we were promoted (there’d be more to skim off), but he’s not willing or able to put in the kind of money that would make promotion a certainty, isn’t willing to risk anything else, and why should he, when the club probably represents a very decent pension pot (and nothing else) as far as he’s concerned, right now.

  17. IanJefferies

    quote from Ken Bates in 1984 after Leeds fans had damaged a score board at Stamford Bridge, ” I shall not rest until Leeds United are kicked out of the football league. There fans are the scum of the Earth, absolute animals and a discrace. I will do everything in my power to make this happen”. well if you ask me he’s keeping his word only destroying us from the inside,

    from the admin @ LUFC Forever on FB MOT

    • Chareose


      true mate……i often wondered if it was delibereate but surely the old fart has better things to do than spend 7 years taking apart a football club….. I guess to understand that we need to be able to analyse how much effort Bates has put into running Leeds United. If its zero then you could be right especially if he intends to keep hold of the hotel – museum regardless

  18. yorkwhite1

    Come on TSS you are much better at wording things than me. Start a government petition, there are four in my house waiting to sign it.

    • TSS

      @yorkwhite1 You need a lawyer really. Someone who can make a legal argument, not a highly speculative one based on nothing more than hearsay. Getting the signatures isn’t the problem – I could probably get you an MP to back in by tomorrow morning – but without some kind of legal argument, it will be laughed out of parliament in seconds. That’s your big issue. We need to be challenging something specific and with sound reasoning.

      • Chareose


        then maybe we need to speak to the jeornalist who produced that documentary about Ken Bates crookedness…..what was his name ? David Conn ?

  19. Chareose

    I dont think we should talk about Bates death, its too inflamitory. Every club has a yob element and i dont want to see something happen that could stain our club. Better that Ken Bates stays well clear of Elland road now…….., that would be my honest advice………

    Or if he has a death wish he could copy the Bournmouth chairman and egg on an angry fan in the crowd……. Could 20,000 fans fit on the elland road pitch ?

  20. Mark H

    I think it is all down to simple arithmatic. Charge premiership prices for income and pay out botton half of Championship table wages to players as expenses. No risk for the shareholders and the best balance of income and low commercial risk is achieved. It is a strategy that will work because the Chairman knows despite all the procrastinations, the fans will pay, they will renew their season tickets and do so in their thousands. SIMPLES!

  21. leedsusa

    If it weren’t for Maggie I might have been to quite a few more home games in the last 30 years. I’ll be dancin 4 sure… I don’t necessarily want Santa dead, after all, as I tell so many young uns, “it’s only football”, but I sure wish he’d FK off and leave us alone

  22. Not keen on Ken

    Im as gutted as anyone about the pending sale of Howson, but he hasnt signed for Norwich yet, though I’m pretty sure he will, but can someone tell me this, if he loves this club like the rest of us, why doesn’t he sign a deal for us with a “get out” clause should we (the club) fail to reach the “promised land”, lus allowing him to be sold on for a more realistic valuation at the end of this season instead of forcing a sale now as any money’s better than none ….. Any new deal with us would give him at least the same money as he’s on at the moment, and it’s not like he’s playing so in my eyes he can’t really lose …. Or is it just another case of gready agents and players forcing the issue and the club actually having no real option ….. It’s just a thought.

  23. Craig Sweaton

    And people blindly following the team and paying to see them, no matter how weak they are, is why Bates continues to abuse the fans.

  24. Craig Duxbury

    Stupid article. You waste your life wishing for someones death, I just want to watch some sport. Get a grip.

  25. Markyouthinkmyfirstnameslong Lookhowlongmymiddlena

    its ok saying get bates out but who would buy him out and for what price??? be interested in how much master bates would sell up for fingers xed for a euro lottery win be great to have someone with money to invest onfield rather than worrying about lining their own pockets MOT

  26. Steve Oates

    we’ll rise again one day … but it’s hard to see that at the moment .. dark days :-( mot


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.