Ken Bates

Ken Bates

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Ken Bates

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Kenneth William Bates (born 4 December 1931) is a British businessman and football executive. The current chairman and now owner of Leeds United AFC, Bates was previously chairman and majority shareholder of Chelsea FC from 1982 until 2003. An outspoken character who relishes conflict, he is one of the most controversial figures in English football.

After a short stint as chairman of Oldham Athletic, Bates bought struggling, debt-ridden Second Division side Chelsea for £1 in 1982. During his tenure he helped the club win a long-running battle with property developers who were attempting to evict them from their Stamford Bridge home. By the end of his reign Chelsea were regularly finishing in the top six of the Premier League, and had won their first major trophies since the 1970s, although had a debt burden of around £80m. In July 2003 he sold the club to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

In January 2005, Bates bought a 50% stake in Leeds United, another club struggling under a heavy debt burden. Bates' tenure has seen Leeds go into administration and suffer relegation to the third tier of English football in 2007, although they regained their Championship status in 2010 and are now considered "debt free". On 3 May 2011 Bates was confirmed as the new owner of Leeds United according to BBC.


Bates was born in Ealing in 1931. His mother died shortly afterwards and his father...
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