Leeds United Stories, Vol. 1
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ken bates claims to have settled court case and be “kissy-kissy” with leeds united

ken bates claims to have settled court case and be “kissy-kissy” with leeds united

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A copper bust of Ken Bates looms above Yorkshire, by The Beaten Generation

Ex-chairman Ken Bates says that the legal dispute with Leeds United over the end of his employment has been settled.

Speaking by telephone to his vlog, the most irritating presence on YouTube since Boxxy said that everything is now “kissy-kissy” between him and Leeds United.

Leeds had been chasing Bates to court after dismissing him from the role of club president for “gross misconduct” relating to a private jet contract GFH said he arranged without approval, among other alleged unauthorised expenses; Bates submitted a counter claim saying that he had been wrongfully dismissed.

“I can’t give you the details yet,” is how Ken begins the story of how he and the club have settled out of court, and the essence of what he says is this: at a mediation meeting in March, David Haigh was authorised to act on behalf on Leeds United, and came to an agreement with Bates that was “mostly what I proposed”; but Bates then says that Hisham Alrayes of Gulf Finance House – who Ken will only refer to as “Hisham” – “refused to honour the undertaking.”

Following Massimo Cellino’s takeover, according to Ken, they met on August 1st: “And the first thing he said to me, holding up the proposed mediation agreement, was ‘Of course this is agreed, it’s done, no worry, everything is okay,’” which makes Cellino sound rather like somebody showing a Big Issue seller that he’s already bought a copy today, thanks; but never mind.

Bates ends by saying that in the last week, following the end of the transfer window – and presumably while Cellino was in Miami – everything was agreed and signed and sent to the court to be stamped. “And that was it.”

Of course that’s not it, because Bates then bemoans the legal fees racked up by Gibson Dunne as the club dragged out an agreement that is the same now as it was in March, which Ken estimates at £500,000 and says Massimo should force GFH to pay.

“However,” concludes Ken, “it’s now been agreed, we’re back on kissy-kissy terms, and we look forward to working very closely with Leeds United to further Leeds’ best interests.”

Why Leeds’ best interests are suddenly of concern to Ken Bates, nine years after he bought the club and almost two years since he sold it, is a mystery, but I can only hope that those running Leeds United are at the “tell him owt to make him go away” stage of negotiating their way out of Ken and GFH’s litigation, and that the only thing he’s got kissy-kissy with in the last few months is nothing.

There’s another seventeen minutes of wheezy monologue following this revelation, but all I heard was more bleating about how Ken Bates’ decision to sell to Gulf Finance House was everybody else’s fault, and the start of what sounded like a very long anecdote about travellers – “or gypsies as I prefer to call them” – that appeared to have its beginnings in about 1947, “when they straightened the main road.”

So I stopped listening.


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