February 13, 2010
I had a phone-call from the Chairman of Leeds United, Ken Bates, this week. I had written to him out of concern over the Nazi salute I had seen and Belsen chants I had heard when Leeds played Spurs in the recent FA Cup replay at Elland Road.
He suggested I should have done something myself like contact a steward, ring the number in the programme or even remonstrate with the culprits myself.
He said he would have had the culprits banned from Elland Road and then quoted me Edmund Burke’s “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”.
He had a point although after a three hour drive I’d rather enjoy the game than have to explain to a steward who said what and where. As for remonstrating myself (I did actually try briefly but gave up) even he agreed that “it was likely that I would have had my front teeth pushed in”.
He told me about his visit to Israel and to the Western Wall for a barmitzvah. After 20 minutes he wished me well and told me he would address the issue in his programme notes.
Just before ringing off he asked me what I do. When I told him I was a journalist he suggested I should get a more respectable career like becoming a coke-dealer or a pimp.
It was good that he called me though. I don’t think too many Chairman would take time out of their busy schedule to speak with a fan over their concerns.
I also took the opportunity to express my worry over our current league form. “We’re working on that,” he replied.
So if you are going to Leeds V Walsall this tuesday please let me know what his programme notes say. They normally make an interesting read anyway as they focus on world events in addition to the footy.
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