ken bates “ceases to be president” of leeds unitedBack
A tweet from @LUFCData has the figures: “3,108 – Days Ken Bates was officially affiliated with Leeds United Football Club.” With a short statement on the club’s official website, Leeds United announced tonight that Ken’s association with the club won’t see a 3,109th day. It’s over.
Following the announcement, managing director David Haigh phoned Leeds United Supporters’ Trust chair Gary Cooper, to pass on the news of Bates’s departure and to invite Gary to a meeting at the club next week.
The statement on the official site reads in full:
Leeds United today confirmed that Ken Bates has ceased to be club President.Leeds United MD David Haigh said: "Ken Bates has ceased to be President of Leeds United Football Club. Mr Bates will now no longer have any role within the football club."
GFH Capital’s takeover was initially said to pave the way for Bates to become the club’s life president; this was revised to a term of three years when he stepped down as chairman at the end of June. In the end he lasted 25 days.
No reason has been given for Ken’s sudden departure, but ask a Leeds fan to review the last eight and a half years, and they’ll find plenty of reasons. There was relegation to the third tier for the first time in the club’s entire history. There was the indignity of administration, and the many local businesses – and St John’s Ambulance – who were left out of pocket. There were the programme notes, that didn’t just offend taste, but caused legal fights that left the club out of pocket; and the radio speeches with the same result. Millions of pounds of season ticket money was spent on building works instead of building the team, while ever-increasing ticket prices left faithful fans out of pocket. The list goes on and on.
The communication with Leeds United Supporters’ Trust immediately following the announcement is a significant move by GFH Capital. LUST, who represent 9,000 Leeds fans, have met with a brick wall in their attempts to contact the club’s new owners since the takeover in December. Writing on Twitter, LUST chair Gary Cooper tweeted to David Haigh: “Great news that the dark shadow cast across our club for so long is now gone, the past is now firmly the past. It truly is now time to build our future united and #MOT thanks for the call, see you next week.”
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