Ridsdale defends himself against Bates

Former Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale has hit out at his successor Ken Bates for branding him the cause of the club's financial problems.

Ridsdale was chairman of Leeds from 1998-2003 and has previously admitted the club "lived the dream" of chasing Champions League success. Bates took over in 2005 and two years later the club went into administration and he regularly blames Ridsdale in his programme notes.

Ridsdale, who went on to be chairman of Cardiff and is now acting chairman of Plymouth, told the Soccerex conference in Manchester: "It's a useful excuse but one that ought to be examined more carefully. Leeds went into administration four years after I left and I do not believe it was anything substantial to do with my tenure at Leeds United.

"Everyone seems to forget that I left in 2003 and there were three other chairmen before Ken Bates took over in 2005, and they never get mentioned. The suggestion that he inherited a mess and that it was all my fault appears almost more regularly in the club programme than the residents of Leeds."

Leeds were £79m in debt when Ridsdale stepped down, but he insists that could have been dealt with had the club not been relegated. He added: "Had Leeds retained their Premier League status its debt would have been manageable and would not have caused a problem.

"One of the lessons I learnt at Leeds and put into practice at Cardiff is that we were so impressed with our own success that we allowed [too much] spending. We brought players in and agreed that players would go out and they never did. For example the manager [David O'Leary] wanted Robbie Fowler and the deal was Robbie Keane would go out but that didn't happen. We perhaps signed a couple of players too far."

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