Saturday, December 22, 2012

Message from the Chairman of Leeds United Supporters Trust

LUST 19/12/12
There are a few days in your life you never forget: your wedding day, the birth of a child, and the day we beat the red half of Manchester in the FA Cup at Old Trafford are a few of mine. Today is another one of those days for me and for that I have the support shown to me by our members and the wider Leeds United fan base to thank, following the publication of an article in The Daily Mail which had no purpose other than to discredit me personally, and the very good work that we as volunteers have done on your behalf as LUST.
When I was contacted yesterday by Neil Ashton of The Daily Mail and he told me of his intentions to print the article I asked him what his motivation was for doing so, and he couldn’t answer other than to say he felt it was in the public interest. The intimation was that I had upset someone enough for them to take the time to look at my background and my family history, investigate my personal financial affairs and publish a story that doesn’t tell even a quarter of the facts or have any moral consideration for the innocent people it would hurt - namely my wife and children who have done nothing to deserve private family matters being made public for all to see. That didn’t matter to Neil Ashton, nor did it matter to his ‘source,’ but it mattered to me not because of any hurt or embarrassment to myself but because of what it could do to my family, and to the loyal members of LUST for whom all of the work the board and I have done has been for and about.
Today I have read the replies to the email I felt it was vital we sent out yesterday, firstly to be honest with our membership and secondly to give you all the option to decide if you have confidence in me. You did just that in your thousands and overwhelmingly you decided I should stay on as Chairman. Not only that but some of the kind words in the replies, on the social media and the forums and in the texts, emails, PMs and DMs I received right the way through the night have made me feel so lucky to be part of a family as proud, as dignified and as supportive as the Leeds United supporters are. In my hour of need you did not let me down, at a time when I desperately needed your support, to know you had confidence and believed in me and what we are trying to achieve as a Trust, you came forward in your thousands and offered your support.
I will never forget today. I will never be more proud to be Leeds and I will never be able to thank you all for your kind words, and it will always remain a fact that whoever I have upset enough for them to take the time and effort to become the ‘source’ for such an article, they will never ever know what it feels like to be Leeds and Proud.
On behalf of my family and myself I offer my genuinely heart felt thanks to you all and a promise that your faith in me will never be forgotten. The Trust will continue to work for its members and a better future for all Leeds fans regardless of the ups and downs life throws at us.
It's therefore fitting that on the day our members have united behind their Chairman that our club faces an old foe, and I would ask all Leeds fans to unite and get behind the team on the pitch: this is a game we can win. Let's be the 12th man. Let's beat Chelsea. MOT.