Old Man Bates Spotted at Elland Road Shock Horror – by Rob Atkinson


Uh-oh. Bates is back, yesterday

Oh dear. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Elland Road, and maybe even to part with a few hard-earned shekels in the club Megastore, or in purchasing an ambitiously-priced match ticket for the visit of the Smoggies this weekend – watch out.  Bates is back, and it’s not Norman of that ilk, but the supposedly departed and definitely unlamented Kenneth William.

Now, I’ve no desire to be unnecessarily alarmist, so if that opening paragraph sounded like a revolting mixture of recycled blurb from the publicity materials of Jaws and Psycho – then I humbly apologise.  But it’s been a bit of a shock, you see – such a graphically horrible picture. It’s not what you expect or need to see, large as life and twice as hideously old, strutting about outside our sacred stadium as if – well, as if he owned the place. Gulp.

Theories abound as to the possible reasons for the return of Papa Smurf’s reptilian presence to LS11.  None of them are much good.  This is understandable; people are reacting viscerally, out of disgust and horror at such an awful apparition, they need comfort, reassurance – some reason for this ultimate unwelcome surprise, just when we all thought the old get was consigned to the dustbin of history.  It’s a bit like waking from a nightmare of truly terrifying proportions, bathed in sweat and shaking like a palsied trauma victim, relishing that initial feeling of blessed relief that the shadowy horrors were only a bad dream – and then reaching out to touch some slimy monster by your bedside, poised to sink its slavering fangs into your neck and drink your blood dry.  It’s just not nice, not nice at all.

Some of our more mischievous brethren have already been upping the ante in the nightmare stakes, breezily speculating that Papa Smurf is the eminence grise behind The Chief’s alleged consortium.  But this surely has to be the most tasteless of wind-ups. Lucas is a nice guy and Lucas loves us.  He would not – I am certain of this – have anything to do with such a recent and reprehensible piece of flotsam from the arse-end of United’s history.  Lucas would be about renewed hope and fresh starts, concepts as far away from Bates and all he stands for as the average Man U fan is from the Theatre of Hollow Myths itself.  Any coincidence of Lucas Radebe and Kenneth William Bates in the environs of Elland Road must be just that – a coincidence, if a particularly unnerving and distasteful one.

Others have suggested that rumours of Bates’ departure were greatly exaggerated, and that he never really went away at all, but lurked in some dark corner of his restructured East Stand, like a rat under the sink.  Again, this seems unlikely – his proclaimed severing of ties with the club (and vice versa) was acrimonious and was also followed as day follows night by somewhat of a renaissance at the club; players were signed for actual money, ticket prices became marginally less insane – it was a whole new, brave new world.  Still others have suggested that the being in the picture is not The Dark One himself, but some unfortunate looky-likey, doomed to tread the earth in the guise of Beelzebub, lacking only a 666 tattooed beneath his hairline.

By far the most mundane possibility – and therefore the most probable one – is that this is merely something to do with the Regional Members Club conference.  Apparently, the Beast’s consort Suzannah still has loose ties with the RMC’s – and whither she goeth, so the Dark One will be slithering along not far behind.  It is also bruited about though that Bates has offices over the Subway fast food outlet near the stadium.  All in all, it would appear that he’s not quite so completely departed as we would ideally like to think.

Maybe it’s just that not-so-cuddly Uncle Ken still has loose ends to tie up with GFH, against whom, it was said at the time he left Leeds United, he was plotting one of his forays into litigation.  Perhaps this manifestation – loathsome and unwished-for though it may be – is simply to facilitate some sort of agreement over vexed questions such as private jets and withdrawn Presidential privileges.  It is earnestly to be hoped that this is so; that the whole thing is a hell of a lot more innocent than a picture of Kenneth William Bates could possibly ever look.

The fact is as well that, courtesy of the Taxman (may his name be ever blessed), Ken can still only spend so many days a year in this Sceptred Isle, and has to pass the bulk of his time basking on a rock in the Mediterranean, like the reptile he is.  So, nasty though this has been, his presence about the place must be strictly temporary, and there are likely to be ever fewer reasons for it to be repeated, as time goes on and the stench continues to clear.

And one day, of course, he’ll be as gone as gone can be – by which time we might be back in the Promised Land of the Premier League and acting like a big club again.  And for that glorious day, near or far, we all await in pleasurable anticipation – and with an ever-increasing confidence that sooner or later it must surely dawn..

18 responses to “Old Man Bates Spotted at Elland Road Shock Horror – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Good god of all the nasty slimy unwa
    nted sick fucks to be seen at my beloved elland road please let hope he creeps back under the rock he came from.Bring on the smoggies Mot


  2. Jeez Rob….. I’m still at work this long night, ready to gulp down the remainder of my pasta concoction, then you foist this on me.,, Brrr it’s gone cold in here. Roll on the sun and the welcoming light of the morrow..


  3. irishleeds

    Love you page. Great article but its minus 2 in cork and to read of that object around ELLAND RD again makes it a real feel of minus 10. Ghost of xmas past comes to mind. HEADS high lads Lucas loves us. LETS MAKE IT THREE OUT THREE TODAY. AWAY THE LADS


  4. David Smith

    Rob – as always enjoyed the article. Are we any closer to determining who actually owns Elland Road & Thorp Arch, as I fear Bates still has some influence, connections or partial ownership in the background?


  5. I was at the RMC meeting yesterday and he was in Billy’s Bar just before we went in. I was sat with some of the staff (quite high profile) as well as David Haigh. I overheard Haigh say,’The bloke is delusional, he thinks the fans love him’ One of Bates staff was really getting stuck in. She talked about the Christmas gift from him last year – A pack of sausages in an interflorea box!


  6. The prospect of Bates having even a mild interest in the future of Leeds United is horrible and chilling to the core! Bates be gone. We do not want you near our wonderful club, which is being rebuilt and re born under the guidance of a man who you cannot equal. Be gone with you now Sir or we will set the dogs upon you!


  7. mrbigwheels

    His ego is like a house side. He’ll be back, outstanding business or not. He knows he can strike the fear still…… into many. What an Arse!!.


  8. If he had still been president,someone could’ve shot him with shit from Beeston hill as his motorcade went by. Hopefully the odious wretch was in Leeds to sell E,R and T,A back to the club.


  9. Things must be on the slide for old Man bates if he’s just climbed out of an 02 plate Ford Focus!


  10. Steve Hanson

    Robert, I enjoy your page, You speak with erudition and wit and you see life through Ls 11 tinted specs but you still present a fair assessment of whatever topical issues you approach. Good reading.


    • I might have to quit while I’m winning after reading that! Many thanks. PS – don’t get excited, Sad Paul and my other devoted haters – I’m not really quitting…


  11. sydney-leeds

    i hear he lost a pound while he was there last time be gone with batesey


Leave a Reply - Publication at Site owner's Discretion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.