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Friday, December 17, 2010

Awaiting QPR: A Leeds United Fan Perspective of Leeds (Off The Field)

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- "A QPR Fan (QPR Report) Views Ahead of Trip to Elland Road"

The Editor/Administrator of the Leeds Fansite "The Scratching Head" TSS (David) has very kindly prepared this assessment of Leeds United prior to the QPR game. Many thanks to David for this piece (and for publishing the QPR Perspective ("A QPR Fan Views Ahead of Trip to Elland Road"


TSS on Ken Bates

- It will come as no shock to regular readers of The Scratching Shed to hear I have a vitriolic hatred of Ken Bates. The man is a PR nightmare, and I worry the absolute nonsense he spouts often taints our image further (if at all possible). Not keen on his lapdog, come lawyer, come CEO, come money launderer (is that libel?) Shaun Harvey either. The pair of them make my blood boil.

Not all fans see it the same way however. Ken is a bit of a marmite character who divides the support like no one has ever done before (although Jermaine Beckford came a close second). There doesn't seem to be a middle ground between the two sets of supporters because the Bates "apologists" hail him as a saviour for bringing financial stability to the club, which irritates those of us that hate him because we have absolutely no idea how the clubs finances currently are other than what Bates chooses to tell us (nor do we know who actually owns us!)

- Another dividing line is the manner of his takeover. Those that support Bates claim he was the only one willing to "save" Leeds United because that's what Ken likes to tell people. The truth is, that we had other people in the running on both occasions (he's bought us twice technically) but a mixture of underhand tactics and first to the front of the queue policies, meant he came out with the club. I really resent Bates' nonsense that he 'rescued Leeds United from the jaws of oblivion'. The fact is, football clubs are more than businesses - they're institutions which the support will always save from going under. Much smaller clubs than Leeds have been in worse circumstances and survived - we were nothing special.

I'll cut it here before I go into a 300 page document on why Ken Bates is the spawn of Satin, but to sum up, the divide in support basically comes from the apologists describing him as a saviour, whilst the hate mob see him more as the Devil's plaything. Somewhere in the middle is probably accurate, but neither will budge an inch. The one thing I would say however is that Ken Bates make Peter Mandelson look like an amateur when it comes to spinning stories and creating propaganda.

TSS on Peter Ridsdale
I could sympathise with Ridsdale if it wasn't for his smugness. Gambling on finishing in the Champions League positions was incredibly stupid of him, but he was so desperate for success at Elland Road that he played fast and loose, and as a consequence, Leeds United are still trying to recover.
I guess the problem was that Ridsdale is a Leeds United fan, so he did what any Leeds United fan would do when given a load of money and a "go for it" nod from the board and set about monopolising the transfer market.

The thing that still grates is that the Leeds United team both himself and David O'Leary inherited was one full of quality youngsters and some world class experience too (such as Lucas Radebe). Howard Wilkinson's work was finally coming to fruition and we would have gone on to be successful with very little money spent on transfers, but neither Ridsdale or O'Leary practised patience, and nor did the Leeds United fans. It was 'living the dream' time, and we did it in spectacular style but without the Hollywood ending.

TSS on Simon Grayson
- Simon Grayson, for me, has been the best manager I've seen at Elland Road since Howard Wilkinson. He has no idea how to play for a draw, his defensive tactics need a bit of pruning and you really have no idea what is going to happen next. But that's the brilliance of the man really. He's created a team capable of scoring goals almost at will, that has no idea when it's beaten and never gives up. Ideally, we'd like a better defence, but you can't have it all...

I said we'd make the play-offs before the season began and stand by that prediction. The current team is more than capable of beating the majority of teams in this league and aside from a couple of major slip-ups (like 4-6 PNE) we've proven ourselves to be a top six side. So far, we've gone from strength to strength and with Simon Grayson's well-grounded ways and wisdom, we should be in a good position come May. I hope he's here for another decade.

- I watched you play on the BBC last week and you were second best throughout. I can't help but think we'll experience some kind of backlash from that and you may get a result, especially at Elland Road where we've been somewhat inconsistent so far this season. I think the only problem QPR may have is squad depth as Claridge pointed out on the BBC coverage. Your first team is clearly capable of winning this league outright, but it will be interesting to see how you overcome a couple of injuries later in the season, and whether you strengthen in January. I'll sit on the fence and predict a draw.

- Leeds Previews,Past Results, Stats, Etc

- Compilation of Ecclestone Buys Out Briatore

- Several Articles/Interviews with Warnock

- RIP: Ex-Burnley & Spurs' Ralph Coates

- Author of new Book On Bernie Ecclestone

- Three Year Flashback: Fans/Club Consultative Meeting Report

- Year Flashback: Hart and Harford In...Magilton and Gorman Out

- Prize-Winning Football Blogs and Websites (Not QPR Report!)

- Champions League Draw

- Sepp Blatter Apologizes

- Millwall AGM Votes Slashes Debt- Author of new Book On Bernie Ecclestone

The Evening Standard lists came out a couple of weeks ago


London's 1000 most influential people 2010: Sport
Evening Standard 26.11.10

Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One supremo
Octogenarian still nets big bucks as ringmaster of the F1 circus. Lost part of his estimated fortune of £1.46 billion in a divorce from ex-model Slavica Radic, but consoled by new amour Fabiana Flosi, a Brazilian nearly 50 years his junior. He's not so cosy with QPR, which he co-owns, admitting he would struggle to name a single player.

- Click here to return to The One Thousand main page

- Evening Standard

Evening Standard - London's 1000 most influential people 2010: Tycoons & Retailers26.11.10

List Included Laskhmi Mittal
"...Lakshmi Mittal, Mittal Arcelor, chief executive
The richest man in Britain recovered from recession to add to his enormous wealth. He has agreed to fund the new Anish Kapoor-designed tower in London's 2012 Olympic Park. Mittal also owns 20 per cent of QPR, where his son-in-law sits on the board.

- Note: The November and December Issues of AKUTRs have a very extensive interview with Michael Wale (For years, Michael Wale used to write a regular column in the QPR programme). s. (The article is not online, AKUTRs purchase details)

- Four Year Flashback: Antonio Caliendo and Gianni Paladini Statement: QPR NOT Going Bust (...Meanwhile ON The Field: John Gregory -QPR in Trouble

- Year Flashback: Hart and Harford Set to Replace Magilton

- Year Flashback: Nigel Quashie (Pre-Joining QPR) on Magilton and Quashie's love for QPR!

span style="font-weight:bold;">Gulf Weekly - STAN SZECOWKA - HOOPS ARE AIMING HIGH!

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