Ken Bates’ programme notes go back as far as his association with English football.
The idea was born at Oldham Athletic in the 1960s and his chairman’s column became part of the matchday experience at Chelsea. For eight years it was a fixture in Leeds United’s programme – revealing, combative, contentious and on one occasion libellous.
Bates passed control of Leeds to GFH Capital late last month but retained his position as chairman until the end of the season.
Unexpectedly, his column was missing from Saturday’s programme, replaced by a statement from GFH Capital employees and United board members David Haigh, Salem Patel and Hisham Alrayes.
The removal of Bates’ notes is understood to be a permanent development and coming on the back of the termination of his position as a director of Unite’s parent company, Leeds City Holdings Limited, the shift in power to GFH Capital looks ever more thorough.
Haigh, Patel and Alrayes are in the process of arranging a ‘meet-the-new-owners night’ at which they plan to talk face-to-face with the club’s support. A date for the event is yet to be announced.