Ken Bates’ Grand Game Of Divide And Rule

Sometimes, the oldest ones are the best – or, in this case, the worst. There are plenty of rogues operating in and around football clubs these days, but the old master, Ken Bates, can still teach others a thing or two about dealing with those that they hold in contempt with an almost breathless degree of disrespect.  Elland Road has not been a happy place this season. Leeds United are performing much as we might have expected on the pitch. Although it was not enough to save manager Simon Grayson his job in January, the club currently sits just below the play-off places in the Championship in tenth place in the table and there is still all to play for, but crowds are down and discontent is in the air. For some Leeds United supporters, the tipping point, as far as Bates is concerned, came with the sale of club captain Jon Howson to Norwich City for £2m in January. Howson had come to represent the very best of Leeds United during a period in the club’s history that most supporters would prefer to forget. His sale, in the middle of a season in which promotion ambitions remain on the agenda, has come to represent a toxic culture at Elland Road of cost-cutting and a lack of investment in the playing squad while ticket prices remain very much at Premier League levels. The...

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