Leeds United headed into the new Millennium as the new kids on the block, looking to stamp their mark on the Premier League. To think Leeds United stood top of the Premiership in January 2002 is now unthinkable.
After financially imploding in some style back in 2004, nobody could have predicted who would step forward as the ‘saviour’ of Yorkshire’s biggest club. Having grown up witnessing our best spell since the Don Revie era, I never prepared myself for seven years of frustration, heartache, lies and most of all League One football (still makes me shudder).
So step forward Kenneth William Bates, the previous owner of Chelsea. After famously buying the club for £1, he paved the way for the Roman Revolution back in 2003. Making enough money to retire on in his Monaco abode, I was sadly mistaken that Ken Bates would take a backseat in English football. After failing to take a major control in Sheffield Wednesday, Mr Bates saw another ‘buy for a £1′ deal in the form Leeds United.
It’s never easy for a Leeds fan like me to accept someone of Mr Bates’ standing in football. A career plagued with legal battles, Leeds United were now stuck with an owner more interested in building hotels than building a successful team. It pains me to say that Leeds United WAS saved by Kenneth William Bates, but after seven years of misguided promises and sales of our best talents, it is time for change, and time for Leeds United to once again reach the ‘promise land’ of top flight football.
Morale is at an all-time low, with a large selection of the players releasing statements through the Leeds United Supporters Trust, whom quite simply oppose everything Ken Bates is currently doing to the club I have grown up to love.
My memories of Mark Viduka scoring four past Liverpool in a 4-3 thriller are being lost in my trail of thought as constant mention of legal cases, moronic slanders and overall deceitful ownership rules the roust at Elland Road. Even the likes of Peter Lorimer, Norman Hunter and Eddie Gray are becoming shadows of their former playing days, all down to the Chelsea Pensioner.
It sickens me to see Leeds United being turned into a commercial brand, more enthralled at announcing plans for casinos, shops and a hotel than announcing key signings for a very important season.
Long live Leeds United, long live the talk of investment and takeover as every day that passes is a day closer to Ken Bates leaving Leeds United.