Tag: Leeds United

Ken’s Bidding Or Not? The Daily Mail’s Hatchet Job On The Leeds United Supporters Trust

Earlier this week, Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail was in a “penthouse apartment in Leeds city centre” with Ken Bates, having been granted a rare interview with the Leeds United chairman ahead of Leeds’ League Cup quarter-final against Chelsea. It wasn’t, it should be said, the most testing of interviews for Bates, a man who frequently seems more than happy to use his own media channels to harrass those that he considers his enemies. What might appear a little more surprising, however, was the appearance of a second article on the paper’s website and in its print edition which can, in the absence of any valid “public interest” considerations (the well-established catch all explanation for dragging anybody’s personal life into the glare of the public domain), only reasonably be described as a hatchet piece on a long-time nemesis of Bates – Gary Cooper, the chair of the Leeds United Supporters Trust. In a breathless article (which we’re not going to link to – that’s what the likes of the Mail want us to do), Ashton revealed that “The man trying to secure investment for a Leeds United takeover has a failed business behind him and three county court judgements” and that “he has a chequered past according to documents handed to Sportsmail.” Now, it’s possible that Ashton genuinely believes that this story actually is a matter of considerable...

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The Continuing Stagnation Of Leeds United

This being Leeds United, of course, it was always never particularly likely that the takeover of the club by the Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) group was going to be completely straightforward. As the winter evenings continue draw in, this groups purchase of the club remains seemingly perpetually on the point of being completed, while on the pitch the teams performances and results provide weekly reminders to the supporters of precisely why it is so important that somebody comes into the club and actually invests some money into its playing staff. The last two weeks have been a case in point in this respect, with tepid single goal defeats at the hands of Burnley and Millwall intersected by a bizarre home thrashing at the hands of Watford in a match that saw Neil Warnocks team finish the match with just nine players on the pitch after a red card and broken leg to midfielder Rodolph Austin. A season that had started with a degree of cautious promise is threatening to unravel before everybodys eyes. The GFH take-over of the club has been perhaps the main talking point around Elland Road so far this season without it having yet been completed, in spite of the fact that it is now more than six months since the story first hit the headlines, and there was bad news last week for anybody...

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Ken Bates: “An Ex-Chairman Is A Nobody”

OK, we all know that Ken Bates is an unpopular individual in footballing circles. He is still, though, not as unpopular as he ought to be. There are still those in football, watchers, participants and commentators, who are happy to file Bates under “character,” or give him credit where it is not entirely due. To far too many people, Bates still represents a flash of excitement and unpredictability in a game whose participants are coached more rigorously in “dealing” with the media than kicking with their weaker foot; a game which usually only lets its guard drop in the ugliest fashion (check Chelsea FC’s latest travails for details). Bates “tells it like it is,” and “isn’t afraid to speak his mind.” But while “those who speak their mind often have nothing to say,” Bates has been filing column inches on sports pages throughout my lifetime (OK, maybe that’s taking things too personally), since he first came to footballing prominence, as Oldham Athletic chairman in 1965. Famously, he shared half a chapter of Arthur Hopcraft’s timeless book The Football Man, representative as he seemed to be of the thrusting new entrepreneurial spirit of modern football circa 1968. In it he was contrasted with the old-school (literally and figuratively) occupant of the Arsenal chair, Denis Hill-Wood. Hopcraft wrote of the pair that they were “definitively, the representatives of the public school...

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Match Of The Past: Leeds United

We continue our series of archive matches from the clubs from the Football League Championship this evening with six of the best from Leeds United, but this selection is a little different from most of the rest because it contains two full-length compilation videos. First up, however, we have four matches from the 1970s. Our first match sees Leeds travel to Arsenal for a First Division match from March 1972. We follow this with a home league match from their 1974 Football League championship winning season against Queens Park Rangers and, from the following season, a European Cup match at Elland Road against Barcelona. Our brief resumé of matches from the 1970s then ends with a home league match against Southampton from November 1978. Finally, though, we have something of a treat for anybody that enjoys watching video highlights compilations from the past. First up is an hour-log compilation from the 1986/87 season, which the club spent in the Second Division and finished with an appearance in the end of season play-offs and the semi-final of the FA Cup. Leeds failed to get promoted that season, but they did back into the top flight three years later and our final compilation is from the 1991/92 season, when Leeds ended the last season before the introduction of the Premier League as the champions of England for the first time in...

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Have We Entered The Last Days Of Ken Bates Empire?

There was a hint of what might have been and what might yet be at Elland Road last night as Leeds United knocked Everton out of the League Cup with a win by two goals to one which, if we disregard the empty seats between a crowd of only just over 21,000 people, rolled back the years to the days when this club was a Premier League force. It was a result which might not have much long-term significance – even winning the League Cup doesn’t feel particularly significant in the grand scheme of things these days – but for a couple of hours the clubs supporters were able to forget about the persistent Ken Bates-shaped cloud that hangs over their club and get on with the altogether more satisfying job of seeing their team dumping a Premier League club out of a cup competition. On the pitch, Neil Warnocks team has made an inconsistent start to the league season, and the 2012/13 Leeds United vintage remains something of a work in progress. A home win against Nottingham Forest last weekend ended a run of three league matches without a win and left the club in twelfth place in the Championship table, still comfortably in touch with the play-off and automatic promotion places at its top but without having issued the statement of ambition that we might have expected...

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