Leeds United: Ken Bates dismisses criticism

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Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has hit back at critics who claim he did not offer financial support to former manager Simon Grayson.

Grayson, 42, was sacked following Tuesday night’s 4-1 home defeat to Birmingham, with assistant manager Glynn Snodin and first-team coach Ian Miller also leaving the club.

Leeds dropped out of the top six after three successive league defeats over the Christmas period and Grayson had come under increasing pressure since, with another Championship defeat proving the final straw for Bates.

Grayson and some supporters had suggested he was not getting enough financial backing from Bates following the sale of key players Max Gradel and Jonny Howson in recent months.

However, the 80-year-old insists Grayson had all the money necessary, citing the large squad at Elland Road as proof.

“We have to acknowledge the previous three seasons Simon got us to the League One play-offs then promotion and then we finished seventh (in the Championship) and we have backed him all the way,” Bates told Yorkshire Radio.

“At 30 players, we have one of the largest squads in the Championship and bigger than some in the Premier League.

“We spent over £12m on wages so why are people blaming me for the recent results?

“All the money we have received has gone back into the squad. The manager decides who he wants to buy, we as the board just pay for it. I only said no once.”

Bates believes that a fresh start could see Leeds still remain in the promotion hunt.

“Simon told me in November we were going to win promotion. I am a little bit disappointed he mentioned last night he has been working under financial constraints.

“We are over 30% over budget on players wages. What I don’t understand is why we are where we are with what we have spent.

“Since the present system wasn’t working we want something fresh.

“Having said that, thanks to Simon, but we have to move on.

“We have got 18 games to go and we can still get into the play-offs but we need a fresh start, fresh look and fresh attitude.

“We are building a club first and a team second and we are making progress when so many people are having financial difficulties.”