Football - I wanted to sack Warnock - Bates

Leeds' out-going chairman Ken Bates has revealed he wanted to sack former manager Neil Warnock in October, but was unable to do so due to the club's protracted takeover.

PA Sport

Bates, 81, will attend his final game at Elland Road as chairman when Leeds play Brighton on Saturday, bringing to an end his eight-year reign in charge.

He also said the current season had been a wasted year due to current owners GFH Capital's protracted takeover, as his bid to lead the club back to the Premier League ended in failure.

Bates, who had expected the takeover to be completed in August last year instead of December, told the Yorkshire Post: "What people won't be aware of is that two clauses were included in our agreement with GFH.

"One was that we could make no material change without consulting GFH, while the other was that Neil Warnock had to stay as manager.

"It meant any player bought or sold from June (2012) onwards had to be discussed and approved by (Leeds director) Salem Patel, on behalf of GFH.

"We were happy to do that because, as I say, we thought the takeover would go through during the summer.

"Unfortunately, it didn't and, instead, the deal wasn't done until December 21. A consequence was that we had to keep Neil Warnock.

"I wanted to sack him in October because I didn't think it was working out. But I couldn't because of what was happening with the sale."

Bates added: "The plan when I came in was to get Leeds back in the Premier League but, unfortunately, that has not been possible."

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