The Bates Factor
An awful lot has been said about where Leeds United is now and the relevance of current or former chairmen. Disappointment is the only common factor that surrounds them all. Ridsdale claims, wrongly, that his tenure was under control and 'market factors' conspired against him and the club, at that time. Living the dream is not an excuse, but the ramblings of an incompetent fool. Bates claims he inherited problems financially, but none that he was prepared to walk away from. In accepting the role he accepted the problems, no excuses.
Barring a miracle of biblical proportions, United will be relegated just 1 year after reaching the playoff final. I personally felt that we would drop straight back down if we had beaten Watford, but with the money earned in the one season in the Premier League, we could have really pushed on.
What went wrong? Not backing Blackwell after Cardiff was the start. It was clear from January of 2006 that we were struggling as a squad and only scraped a playoff place. Bates should have spent £4 million on the squad in the closed season. Not a massive amount considering we sold Hulse and Kilgallon for that.
Sacking Blackwell, for me, was right at that time. But Bates spent too long getting a full time manager in. It took the 5-1 reverse at Luton for Uncle Ken to wake up.
Up stepped Dennis Wise. Now I have grown to like Dennis. He is genuinely passionate and is fiercely determined. An ideal Leeds manager. January was to be his most telling time and the clubs final push down to League One. We got a few loan signings and weak journey men. Where was little Den's money, Uncle Ken? Nowhere. He had to spend a good £5 million to keep the club up and push on next term. He didn`t. Leeds relegated.
Administration is now being used a tool to manoeuvre as much in the property market, as the footballing one. Watch closely and question every move.
I won`t doubt that Bates wants to succeed. I just doubt it`s for the clubs benefit.