Ten For Ken Flyer
Leeds fans demand transparency
Leeds, April 29, 2010: Leeds United fans are striking a blow to remove the cloak of secrecy that shrouds the League One club.
A group of fans, informally called the Campaign for Change, have identified ten key areas of concern along with a list of relevant questions about the direction the club is taking and are demanding answers from current chairman Ken Bates.
The issues of concern can be seen at the website www.tenforken.com and on Saturday, April 24, 8,000 leaflets with a condensed set of ten questions and 9,000 stickers were distributed among fans before the club’s 4-1 victory over MK Dons.
The move came on the back of an open Lorimer's Bar forum with fans at Elland Road last Tuesday, where Ken Bates and his self-awarded reputation for no-nonsense straight-talking, looked a little shaky under direct questioning.
Replying to fans' concerns on a wide range of subjects, the Monaco-based tax exile surprised some in the audience when he:
• Confirmed that he didn't have a clue who owned the club, saying it was 'tough' if disgruntled fans felt they had nowhere to take their concerns.
• Said that in the current climate no one would lend money to football clubs, so his plans for a ‘Leeds Village’ hotel and shopping project are stalled.
• Refused to take any responsibility for the club’s failure to re-purchase the
Thorp Arch training complex (sold by the previous regime to raise funds) or the fact that, five years on, neither of his stated twin aims of ownership of Elland Road and Thorp Arch have been achieved.
• Alleged that Leeds had, as yet, received no money at all from Aston Villa for the summer sale of Fabian Delph, almost a year after the player was sold.
Questions at the meeting reflected growing discontent with a regime which has seen Leeds United at its lowest ever league position, with many questions remaining unanswered about the identity of the club’s owners, planning projects, court costs for libel cases, the status of the club’s Yorkshire Radio station, investment, pricing and priorities.
A spokesperson for the fan campaign said: “For the last ten years Leeds United fans have been kept in the dark by a succession of chairmen and owners about the state of the club. We demand greater transparency on key issues such as how the club is run and where our financial support goes – and that demand will extend not only to Ken Bates’s tenure but also to subsequent owners.”
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