Leeds United chairman Ken Bates, currently living in tax exile in Monaco, was found guilty last June of using the club’s match day program as a means to harass former LUFC director Melvin Levi . Perhaps realizing print media has limitations, Bates took to Leeds’ TV channel shortly before Sept 22’s defeat of Nottingham Forest to launch a lengthy attack on the Leeds Supporters Trust (aka LUST), as described by the Guardian’s David Conn.
In his LUFCTV address on Saturday, Bates said of Lust, a mutual trust of 8,200 members formed according to the legal regulations of Supporters Direct, the organisation funded by the Premier League: “They are a waste of space, a pain in the arse and achieving nothing.” He described their contribution as “agitation stirred up by those idiots”, and trust members as an “ignorant, illiterate minority”.
Bates’s programme notes for Tuesday’s Everton match included a personal attack on Gary Cooper, the Lust chairman, stating he was once a member of a “fringe organisation”, and that Lust has a poor relationship with Leeds United’s Disabled Organisation (Ludo). Cooper rejected both completely, and said nobody from the club had contacted him to check these allegations before they were published. Ludo’s chair, Stuart Ramm, confirmed there was “no truth” in the allegation relating to Ludo. Cooper said he now intends to complain to the FA.
In his evidence during the harassment trial, Bates said he writes his chairman’s articles with the help of his wife in Monaco, before sending them to be published in the programme. Such is life at Leeds United, one of England’s great football clubs, in 2012.