Ken-Bates-ProtestKen Bates was already gone as far as I was concerned, but to see him stripped of his meaningless position as Club President in a manner befitting his disastrous reign as Leeds United chairman/owner was nonetheless satisfying.

Leeds United fans deserve to see the fool wallowing in self-pity, reduced to an insignificant old man pleading for sympathy from the very same fans he tortured for eight painful years. They also deserve the right to deny him of that sympathy.

In the world of Ken Bates, I’m sure £500,000 for a private jet to ferry him back and forth between Leeds and Monaco seemed reasonable enough, but for those of us living the agony of pre-season, desperately waiting to see if our new owners can squeeze a few extra pounds from our worryingly over-stretched budget, half a million pounds to transport someone we don’t want in our stadium seems a tad excessive.

True to form, Bates now plans to take Leeds United to court for unfair dismissal. Quite what he plans to sue for is somewhat unclear though.

Generally speaking, damages awarded in an unfair dismissal case are relative to the salary an employee would have earned. Indeed, new law comes into effect today which limits pay-out to 12 months salary (or £74,200, whichever is lower). Since Ken’s position was “unpaid” (save for the £500,000 private jet and various other expenses he racked up), there’s no loss of income for him to claim.

He could try arguing defamation of character, or something along those lines, but where will Her Majesty’s Courts find a judge capable of keeping a straight face when Ken Bates tries to explain how his reputation was defamed?

While the courts ponder that one, Bates has been sticking the boot into GFH Capital by suggesting they spend some money on the team, setting a new mark by which all future ironic statements must be measured.

Not that Ken himself will realise how ridiculous that statement was of course. £20m spent on a stadium we don’t own to build crap that loses vast amounts of money is something Ken felt the need to boast about instead.

He neglected to mention the key players sold to fund those vanity projects, or the burden of debt he left Leeds United encumbered with, but then, why would he change the habits of a lifetime? Ken Bates has been rewriting his own history for decades, never more successfully than at Elland Road where his dictatorial rule of the media ensured his propaganda messages reached the fans unfiltered, rarely tempered by meddling journalists adding those troublesome little facts which have a tendency to make Bates look somewhat dishonest. Those who did, as David Conn and the BBC discovered, were simply banned from the stadium.

So long Ken. May your fall from grace be as long and torturous as your ownership of Leeds United was for us fans.


41 Responses

  1. Dr Zen

    He will win if they had a contract and he will be suing them for breaching it. “Unfair dismissal” is for the plebs.

    • TSS

      Indeed. But without a salary, his contract can’t mean much at all. What’s he suing for exactly? He hasn’t lost any income as a result of this.

      • Dr Zen

        I suppose it depends what his contract actually says. I’m not a lawyer, but I imagine he can sue for damages regardless that he doesn’t lose out in money terms, because he’s still being deprived of a promised benefit.

      • Dr Zen

        I doubt he will actually sue, even for nominal damages. But it says all you need to know about the man that his first reaction to the club getting shot of him is to talk about costing them money in court. No fondness, no love for the club, no desire to see us progress. Just Ken Bates 24/7. He was poison and we’re well rid of him.

      • Soluble Tablet

        I was thinking very much the same way. He’ll be looking for damages following an alleged breach of contract. I do think he will be looking for compensation too and maybe another day in court. I suspect he enjoys the limelight. But as others have suggested, his appetite for legal fees may not be quite as strong this time, if he has to pay them himself. The important point is that his era is over for good now. Even if he does win his case, the costs will have been worth it.

        This is still going to be a very tough season though. We have a poor squad of players, limited funds and every probability of a year in the bottom half of the table. In my view, Bates carries most of the responsibility for this unhappy state of affairs. GFH and the new manager will probably struggle to turn the ship around within a few months. And so we must be patient when results are going against us. Even if League 1 looms into view, we must remember that the main cause of our long-term structural problems has gone and better times lie ahead.

      • Grumpy

        I don’t think any of us can comment with any degree of certainty as none of us know what the terms of his ‘contract’ were. We could ask some questions tho’ like why would he check with a solicitor if he could do it and not with the

      • mrbigwheels

        If the contract is for three years with no pay but agreed expenses then he will have a case surely. No doubt Ken got on with the jet thing while GFHC were busy with other stuff, ‘cos he’s a clever f””r and as with everyone else in Ken’s world…. he has to have ‘one’ over them.

        I applaud GFHC showing him the door in the way they have even if there will be a court case, (can’t wait). This to me is the most meaningful thing the new owners have done……. Cut off the cancer!.

        Come on. What ever happened…. We all knew Ken would not go quietly.

      • TSS

        True. Just read on the Yorkshire Post that he tried to retain ownership of Yorkshire Radio, the club’s official website and LUTV. Thank fuck that didn’t happen.

      • mrbigwheels

        I know you have said TSS that the Bates Presidency is a meaningless position but Ken has engineered this it seems and the driving force will have been about a continuation of milking the LUFC cow. Always about Ken and Greed… Isn’t it.

        Allowing Ken to stand next to Billy’s Statue too long would give him chance to sell it, melt it down and replace with his bearded barrelled form possibly in plastic and gold spray paint…
        It is possible his effigy is being made in China…. As we speak.

        This f””r will not disappear until burnt…

      • LUFC-Srbski

        Totally agree. That would have been a complete disaster had he managed to completely screw us over with that. The man’s ego is indescribable, he knew there was some renewed opportunity at ER and he wanted to make a big sing and dance about his final exit.

  2. Peter T

    Bates claims he never was paid a salary so what compensation would he be due?
    3 years at £0 is still what he is worth

    Lets get the end of this disastrous era and all associated with it back BM and use all the the resources on the team not all the dodgy Bates project Howards,Pavillion,East stand boxes ,Yorkshire radio all drained the club big time whilst the team stagnated.

    A new season new start.

  3. Uniteds21

    I would doubt very much if he can win this one. Look at the dates he was clearly signing this on the eve of stepping down as a Director. I would imagine the “contract” prevented him from making any such decisions. It is the best result we have had pre-season!

  4. Mersey-White

    An Ambassadorial role which carries no executive powers of change within a boardroom, nor pays a salary, is not employment and surely expenses are only paid once incurred. Thus if Ken was STILL Pres, and presided over three years without once attending ER – and by extension never using his private jet – how then can he claim expenses?

  5. Craig Sweaton

    It doesn’t matter if he wins or not. All that matters is his own self promotion and the ability to drag Leeds through the courts yet again!
    Oh wait…..he won’t have any players to sell in order to fund this case will he? :D

  6. Exiled White

    If it was a verbal contract, then it isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. I can’t see how he can claim for unfair dismissal. He can’t go quietly and is just a greedy bastard who wants more than he is entitled to. Why can’t he wake up and smell the coffee? I doubt ken bates will read this, but if he is, can you do Leeds United and all us supporters a favour and FUCK OFF NOW. We never liked you and still don’t.

  7. henrymouni

    Great article TSS!!!

    GFH did not heed the warnings of fans or tweeters and they ignored history.

    We do not know the details but we have to trust that GFH (who do not rush into anything with closed eyes) have it covered.

    Oddly enough, getting rid of Ken, at any cost, was the right thing to do.

    He hung over us like a black, devious, cloud.

    KB may think twice, if he has to pay the costs himself, but knowing him he will enjoy the scrap!!

    I was thinking of campaigning to erect a statue to Ken at ER
    but we could use the money, instead, to fight the case?

    I have put a lot of work into the scaled down version, before the big bronze casting, but the club’s finances come first.

  8. mrbigwheels

    This actually could be just the tip of the iceberg.

    Am thinking quickly here but perhaps Bates expenses may add up to close on £0.5m per annum to hold his ‘contracted’ status. Conn claims his Monaco office costs were being paid by LUFC to the sum of £5000/ mth.

    WTF else?.

  9. Ron

    As much as I feel GFH have bitten off more than they can chew by taking over Leeds (i.e. struggling to find investors), I applaud them for taking a hard line with Bates on this matter. Obviously it is an easy win on the PR front as most fans hated Bates anyway. The only positive coming out of this is that Bates will shine a light on GFH as he can’t keep his forked tongue in his mouth.

    • Carl Hinchliffe

      But would you believe a word the old cretin had to say anyway?

  10. markman

    Anyone for a sing song?

    Lets start with “i’m leaving on a jet plane”

  11. whiteblob

    was that tax deductible, would be very surprised if ken didn’t claim it back. did you ever read the interview with him where he stated he always caught the bus from the airport in monaco to his apartment cause it only cost a couple of quid. I reckon GFH are selling him down the road in his own boot sale, LOL what goes around comes around and it just sits up there in elland road folklore like those worth more than their weight in gold goldfish!

    I fear for Leeds its more like a soap opera than a football club!

  12. henrymouni

    If the court case goes ahead GFH should be able to reveal all his scams, and shoddy dealings!!

    Maybe a bit more about who owned what etc.

    They must know everything by now.

    lets really get behind our club and show the leech that he was the one who kept fans away.

    It was he who frightened investors away.

    He is happy to spout off to the press just now, but let us bite back,

    on forums and online press.

    Snuff out his bull….

    Wonder how he will get to the UK now?

  13. spellz

    I haven’t much to say about Bates but what a cnut,

    For all the money he has made off of us underachieving he could of made a fortune if he had kept our key players and tried to get us in the premier league, not so business savvy after all were you Dracula you just couldn’t stand Leeds United and the fans that much eh? its no wonder considering you came from scum in the first place.

    Good riddens to you and please takeover another Championship team this season so we can write them off and only have 23 teams to worry about.

    Au revoir OAP.

  14. Soluble Tablet

    A further curiosity of our former chairman is his refusal to accept the overwhelming judgement of Leeds fans – that he was the core problem at the heart of the club. In his interview yesterday he said again that the dissenters were just a misguided minority, communicating via social media. I can’t easily prove this but in my heart I’m sure he is completely wrong. So why delude himself in this way?

  15. Old Goat

    I’m as glad as anybody that he’s gone but we’ve still got the ER/TA ownership issue. Personally I’ll put my crucifix and clove of garlic away when I see an on-record announcement that these are now owned by UK-based companies with named investors and that these investors do not include K W Bates Esq. It still worries the hell out of me that a cash-strapped GFH might be seduced into letting the rents roll up and then one day whap, the “mystery” owners of Astor and/or Teak Trading zap them with the choice between equity for debt and a winding-up order.
    Suppose it’s too much to hope that the Red Bull involvement, if true, would be more about the ownership of ER/TA than about direct investment in GFHC???

  16. Matthew

    Ken Bates doesn’t realize that the fans would rather the half a million pay for a 1 way trip on Virgin Galactic into Space, rather than a private jet which doesn’t benefit the club at all.
    He could go join the Voyager probes. ;)

  17. philyew

    “I checked with a solicitor…” he says. That is all I need to hear to conclude he knew he was at the least courting controversy and, most likely, doing something that would have been blocked by the rest of the management team.

    Any honest businessman worth his salt would (a) take relevant legal advice from the company’s official legal advisor, and (b) have someone else in the organization run the rule over any contract that made such a significant commitment.

    You might not be able to hear the sound of Bow Bells in Ealing, where he was born, but Bates is a Cockney chancer, who shouldn’t have been allowed within a hundred miles of Yorkshire.

  18. JONTY 64

    Whatever we may say and think Ken was the saviour of our club and for that I shall be eternally grateful.
    A great man in my opinion irrespective of him being controversial.
    I for one shall miss him so all the best Ken and shame on you GFH for pandering to the fans.

    • philyew

      “Pandering to the fans”…? You have to be trolling.

      Just in case you are serious; he made a 500K commitment on behalf of the club to continue a service that may have been relevant when he was club chairman and owner, but certainly wouldn’t be when he was nothing more than a symbolic figure in a non-executive role.

      He did so by deliberately avoiding the customary channels, taking his legal advice from “a solicitor”, rather than the the company’s official legal advisor.

      ANYONE doing that in ANY organization would be justifiably terminated.

      • henrymouni

        “ANYONE doing that in ANY organization would be justifiably terminated.”

        If only Phil!

  19. Andy

    Given that new issue fees now apply in the ET I wonder whether old Kenny boy will be expecting the club to pay these for him?!
    Disgusting man with little or no moral fibre.
    He’s been milking our club from day one and couldn’t find a decent buyer with the proper funds to propel us forward because no one in their right minds would have anything to do with him.Hence GFH – naive & bereft of adequate funds.
    The golden goose had run out of eggs so Kenny boy had to get out quick what with the debts starting to pile up.
    Good at spending other people’s money but never your own eh Ken?
    Good riddance and get lost – foreverr despised and soon to be forgotten.

  20. henrymouni


    “Prince Abdullah bin Musaad, a former president of the Al-Hilal soccer club, is targeting a stake in Leeds United and another soccer team in the English Premier League he didn’t identify, al-Eqtisadia daily reported. * Prince says he is very close to buying a club and he will make an announcement on a deal in coming few days, newspaper says.”

    Maybe he said “Get rid of Ken Bates first”!???

    Don’t hold your breath – but……………

  21. henrymouni


    “DAB station to go off air…

    The club can confirm that Yorkshire Radio was to be taken off air at 6pm on Tuesday July 30.

    The decision has been made to concentrate the club’s digital media output on LUTV and the soon-to-be launched new-look website.

    Manager director David Haigh said: “This is one of the toughest decisions we have made, and we would like to place on record our thanks to all the staff at Yorkshire Radio, who have worked tremendously hard over the years to build up a Yorkshire sportsstation on DAB.”


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