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What difference does it make? Won't get fooled again...
What difference does it make? Won't get fooled again...
Wednesday, 21st Nov 2012 22:02

It was a horrible wet Wednesday morning and on the six mile drive to work this morning I opted for a bit of self indulgence and escaped the Chelsea dirge on Talksport by listening to The Smiths "What difference does it make?" blissfully unaware of the poignancy Morrissey, Marr et als lyrics would have just three hours later.

Incidentally it was the Troy Tate remix I opted for, being something of a Smiths connissoseur. Another spooky Leeds related coincidence was I managed to squeeze in "Barbarism begins at home" before my short journey was completed.

Like the weather, it didn't bode well for Leeds mid morning. Lying 18th in the Championship, no wins in 7 league outings, crowds having regilarly fallen below 20,000 and six months of takeover speculation that fans were as sick of hearing about as Morrissey is over fast food chain restaurants.

On meeting my wife for lunch, when it was socially permitted I repeated the usual dinner time ritual repeated almost every day since late May, log on to my Internet on my phone in the faint hope that something takeover related had happened and f**k me it had, sort of!

The takeover had gone through, well it will do on December 21st but Ken Bates stays until the end of the season well actually beyond that as he takes up the role of club President effectively vacated by the sad passing of the 7th Earl of Harewood a year last July.

My mind drifted from the Smiths to the Who's song "Won't get fooled again" particularly the line "Meet the new boss...same as the old boss"

Had the Bahrani's managed to grasp the keys to ER from the grimy mitts of the old Chelsea git or as one guest on Talksport's Keys and Gray this lunchtime said, this was merely the start of a new saga?

I suppose you can look two ways at the fact it has taken nigh on half a year to get to where we are now. Does this indicate that potentially the working relationship between Chairman/President Ken and the Gulf Mob is potentially fraught with conflict and destined to end up in the hands of the lawyers? On the other hand, should we be praising the tenacity of Messers Haigh, Patel and co for their resilience in investing so much time in seeing the deal over the line?

Even LUST were quick to admit that retaining the services of Bates for a transitional period makes some sense, however David Haigh who despite his Cornish birthright, public school background and open support for the Tory party has managed to align himself successfully largely via Twitter to the ordinary fan will have his work cut out to win back the hearts and minds of the fans who have deserted the club in droves during the past three seasons.

Haigh can bang on about his ancestral roots, make alledged lad mag throwaway comparisons with Pammie Anderson but he and his cohorts inherit a broken club. On paper, the club have turned itself back from the abyss remarkably since the days of Ridsdale and the majority of fans, some grudgingly will credit Bates for this but at what cost?

Bates has frequently committed a sin of Ratner-esque proportions, famously referring to sections of the fans as "morons". A minor insult perhaps and a lot less offensive than some of the abuse Bates has endured from the stands, however no doubt like me you know stay away supporters who have stayed away because of Bates's policies of selling our best players or allowing them to leave free/on the cheap over stadium rebuilding.

No doubt, like my examples, the stay-aways you know are not rabble rousing, trouble-causing, fickle trotskyites. One friend is a retired airline pilot who saw his first Leeds game in the early 50's. The second is a plasterer by trade, a respectable married family man who as far as I recall has not even since the 2006 play-off final defeat.

Both are not short of a bob or two, however it is not the cost that is putting them off. No doubt Bates's aggressive pricing structure is partly responsible for the drop in crowds but these two fellers I know have boycotted the club because of Bates and Bates alone.

So as well as putting their money where their mouth is, GFH Capital also have their work cut out in a PR battle to convince those who have stayed away that they have both the capacity and vision to restore this club back to its former glories and are merely not another version of the Bates regime dressed up in different clothing.

No doubt like you dear reader, I wish them well!

Photo: Action Images



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ReggieTheDog added 23:34 - Nov 21
I am no fan of Bates but can't we just celebrate the new owners? I know he is taking over as President of the club but that is just a title. I am quite sure Lord Harewood had absolutely no involvement in the club finances or picking the team. Dare I say his was more of a PR role. I am also quite sure the new owners would not have agreed to Bates taking on a role with the slightest influence over the running of the club so lets just celebrate. I know it would have been good to see the back of him but like you said "What difference does it make?"
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marko added 07:48 - Nov 22
Point taken but Bates and a "PR role"?
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