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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 09:43 GMT
Lorimer welcomes Bates takeover
Ken Bates
Leeds legend Peter Lorimer has welcomed Ken Bates' 10m takeover of the club, saying the former Chelsea chairman is "the right man for the job".

Lorimer was a member of the board which had to deal with the club's huge debts and will stay on in the new era.

"The board did a great job knocking 80m off the debts but now the club has to go forward and I'm sure Ken is the right man," he said.

"I'm sure he knows what is needed and what to do about the finances."

The news will be a relief to everyone at the club, who are 14th in the Championship and were in danger of going into administration and being deducted 10 points.

"The team has been rebuilt and we are moving ahead," he said.

"The Leeds fans should thank the board. There have been a lot of sleepless nights."

Lorimer's former team-mate Norman Hunter was similarly relieved by the news.

"I'm delighted," he said.

"First and foremost, the situation is resolved at the moment. It was a trying situation and I don't think it's enough in the long run but I think Ken Bates will sort something out.

"If he does anything like the job he did at Chelsea, the Leeds public will be absolutely delighted."

Leeds' supporters club chairman Ray Fell also said he expected the fans to give Bates a warm welcome.

"We're looking for stable management and someone who knows the game and he fits the description," he said.

"He does things the Bates way, we're all aware of that, but if he can do things the right way we'll all benefit."

Before the news was confirmed, manager Kevin Blackwell said he welcomed the prospect of the former Chelsea chairman's arrival if it could clear up doubts over their future.

"It'd be good news for the players and the club to get out of the uncertainty," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

"With Mr Bates hopefully the club can start to look and move forward."

Blackwell has taken Leeds to within eight points of the play-off places in the Championship and said he was optimistic that Bates could bring in new funds to bolster the team's chances of a return to the Premiership.

The fans here deserve some good news
Kevin Blackwell

"It's been a difficult job," he added.

"Everyone knows that there were no players left here in June last year. We've built from that, we're halfway up the table and we're looking up instead of down.

"I've been very proud to be manager of this football club. We're proud people up in Yorkshire and things haven't gone well for us in the two or three years.

"I think the fans here deserve some good news - and with investment in the right areas I don't see why we can't give it a good push."

Bates is on record as saying he does not think goalkeepers make good managers, but ex-keeper Blackwell laughed off any threat to his job and insisted he would carry on working as hard as he could for the club.

"There were no players left here in June but we've built on that. We've moved halfway up the table and are looking up rather than down," he said.

"What will be will be, but if he comes in with his own ideas, who am I to say he's wrong?".

Interview: Ex-Leeds United chairman Gerald Krasner

Interview: Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell

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