Outside the Box: Grayson favour from his son as Bates-baiting marches on

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Simon Grayson's sacking as manager of Leeds United appears to have given new momentum to the campaign to oust Ken Bates as chairman.

A protest march was planned for yesterday's match against Brighton, and the Leeds United Supporters' Trust – who were told by Bates to "put their money where their mouth is" – are trying to take him up on the offer by inviting any potential investor to contact them with a view to joining forces.

Even before Grayson's departure, the anti-Bates lobby was joined by none other than the manager's son. Teenager Joe Grayson used Twitter to express his disapproval of the club's transfer policy, tweeting to his 300 followers: "Wish leeds had rich owners that let their manager spend money. 15 million from sales and not even 1 million spent #batesout."

When it was suggested that this was not the wisest hashtag coming from the manager's son, he responded: "Don't see why people think its bad for me to say #batesout when really I just want what's best for my football club."

Equally supportive of the campaign are Leeds band the Kaiser Chiefs, who have joined the fray on their current British tour, spelling "Bates Out" on two of their amplifiers.

Is the great man concerned by any of this? Naturally, not at all. He had decided some time ago not to attend either the Brighton game or this Saturday's against Doncaster because they would eat into the 90 days he is allowed to spend in the country as a tax exile.

And here is a quote from Mr Bates' traditionally combative programme notes: "The last word to the various moaners... What have you done? Belly-ached about new club colours, admission prices and everything else that has come into your little heads... If you don't want to support the club, jolly well stay away and take your money with you instead of hanging round here. We've got a job to do and you are in the way."

It's taken from Boundary Bulletin, Oldham Athletic's programme – in 1966.

The rich just get richer

Among the items eclipsed by the events of last Wednesday at Wembley and Southwark Crown Court was the publication of Deloitte's Football Money League table, based on turnover among European clubs for 2010-11.

It turns out that, a little like the Premier League, there are few changes from year to year, with Europe's top six richest clubs remaining the same yet again – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Chelsea.

The importance of European competition, preferably in the Champions' League, is emphasised by Liverpool slipping down a place to ninth while Tottenham climbed above Manchester City to 11th. The only significant movers were Schalke in Germany, up from 16th to 10th.

ESPN's Saturday night fever

ESPN are claiming that their "free weekend", when Manchester City against Fulham became the first free-to-air match in the Premier League era, was "an unequivocal success" with 1.5 million new viewers sampling the channel. No decision has been made about if and when there will be another one.

The audience for the Saturday evening game totalled 1.97m, with an average figure of 903,000 – almost double their normal figure for pay-per-view City matches. Chelsea's game with Manchester United the following day brought Sky Sports new records with a peak of almost 4m and an average of 3.28m, not far short of ITV's FA Cup coverage of Liverpool against United in the less popular Saturday lunchtime slot and BBC1's midweek Match of the Day that week.

Who's a model professional?

Trivia question: which footballer appeared on the cover of the first Sunday newspaper colour supplement 50 years ago last week in between 11 pictures taken by David Bailey of Jean Shrimpton?

He was not one of the more obviously glamorous stars of the day and nor were his club, who were nevertheless destined for Wembley. (Answer next week.)

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; www.twitter.com/@stevetongue

Comments