A Leeds United fan of 43 years has had enough. He has seen it all, the glory, the misery, he`s certainly seen the ups and downs.
In his own words, it has been a terrible week for Leeds fans and here he speaks out about everything that he feels is wrong with the club at the moment:
What a terrible week for Leeds United fans; Howson being sold allegedly for £750k (not £2million) to Norwich, a very scrappy 3-1 win over a very shit Ipswich side down to 10-men (McCarthy is a Leeds fan) , Bates accusing Grayson of overspending by £2million (that`ll screw-up the quality of chandeliers in the new hotel) and Snoddy breaking-off negotiations of extending his contract beyond the current 18 months remaining because Leeds are impossible to deal with. Yet to the outside world, Leeds United are poised nicely to launch a bid for a play-off place – play-off place, my arse.
Back in November Leeds United held a seminar for representatives from the Regional Members Clubs. We all came away from this having contributed and discussed issues with eloquence and in a balanced, well-adjusted way, and I think it is fair to say we all felt positive about the club and that there was a forum for debate. Since then, the club, represented by Shaun Harvey, have failed to produce minutes of the meeting for distribution to our members and have acted on none of the issues raised except for sending-out merchandise offers. No surprises there, then. It stems from the top; they are unwilling to listen or act on anything other than their own, hidden agenda, and really do not give a monkey`s toss about their biggest milch cow, their supporters. “The peasants are revolting oh great one, Ken”, advised Shaun Harvey. “Yes, the peasants are revolting (and they smell) but I prefer to refer to them as morons”, replied the Tyrant Bates. “Put up the prices, make them pay earlier, dress it up as Grayson`s fault for overspending and our star players for asking for too much money and don`t waste anymore time by communicating with the scum bags, er, sorry, the RMCs”. “Yes, master”, oozed the CEO.
Yep, Leeds United have managed to blow an ideal opportunity to try to rebuild bridges with the very people who they claim are the past, present and future of the club.
I have supported Leeds United for 43 years and never have I been so disillusioned with the club. I have been fortunate to have been involved in the glory years and have suffered first-hand the original relegation to Division 2 and then the serious demise from Premiership to Championship to Division 1; but never have I felt the gut-wrenching disbelief with which, the news of the sale of our club Captain, Jonny Howson, caused me to feel this week.
Now Jonny is by no means the best player or Captain Leeds United have had, but, currently, he epitomises everything that is our club (despite the fact that Bates will tell us it his club and he owns it, and all of us are morons because no bully, and that is what the person is, likes anyone to disagree or stand-up against them) and the selling of him is symbolic of the shambles that is Leeds United Football Club. Those of us with our Season Ticket Renewal Brochures will note, ironically, that Jonny Howson is the picture telling you about renewing with a Leeds United Mastercard.
I don`t think that the selling of a player from Leeds has created so much uproar and so much resolve amongst supporters to not renew their Season Tickets;
Season Tickets that we are privileged to be able to purchase at last year`s prices provided we buy them by the end of January and won`t then be able to use for 6 months. Now call me old fashioned but most January sales give you substantial savings, nothing to pay for six months, then 18 months interest free credit – not really feasible for football, I know, but I am sure you get my point.
We have had seven years of spin from Bates and precious little investment in the team despite selling our quality players. They are replaced by poorer quality individuals, generally, or 66 loanees, I believe. Loans who don`t really give a stuff for Leeds United and just want to demonstrate that they are not on the scrapheap in the hope that someone will give them a full contract.
No one at the club wants to comment on our position because they will lose their job – it`s like turkeys voting for Christmas – but the dictator needs to be stood-up to before there is a bloody coup. We know that it will be Leeds United, as a club, and, therefore, us, as the fans, who will ultimately suffer from the fallout as it did with Risdale et al.
So what can we do? There are two ways that you can hurt Bates – money and publicity are what he craves. He is with Leeds United for both those reasons. His narcissistic ego is always well fuelled whilst he is fronting a big club such as ours – it gives him a mouthpiece to slag-off anybody or everybody who dares to question any of his actions, yet he rarely offers the opportunity for anybody the right to reply. As I say continuously, he is a bully.
Nothing would give any of us greater pleasure than him selling Leeds United; he won`t do this for two reasons.
1. He would lose the platform he needs to feed his self-portrayal.
2. Despite his claims that people are welcome to buy the club from him, he is
impossible to trade with on a reasonable basis. Ask any of our players
who have tried to negotiate a new contract.
To defeat the tyrant we need to cut-off his blood supply; don`t renew your season ticket or membership (you will always get a ticket for a home game), boycott matches, purchase tickets for the “home” end at away games, don`t purchase club merchandise, don`t drink in any club-owned premises, don`t mention his name at games – no banners or singing. Just pretend he doesn`t exist????..and, if all else fails, remember he will die before the majority of us and, as a couple of our young fans were singing yesterday, “jelly and ice cream when Ken Bates dies”.
I understand the practicalities of all this and question whether I want to divorce my love of 43 years?. but a temporary separation whilst the suitor realises no one loves him maybe the painful medicine required. Let`s all give it some thought, keep the faith – “We`re Leeds United, we`ll never be defeated” – and it won`t be long before instead of singing “We`re on the road to nowhere” it will be “Marching on together” again.
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