Ken Bates: Ex-Leeds United chairman 'ceases' to be president

Former Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has severed his ties with the Yorkshire club, by stepping down as president.

In a statement on the club website, managing director David Haigh said: "Ken Bates has ceased to be president of Leeds United FC.

"Mr Bates will now no longer have any role within the football club."

Ex-Chelsea owner Bates, 81, became club president on 30 June, having remained chairman after the sale to Middle East-based private equity group GFH Capital.

From West London to the West Riding

Ken Bates famously bought Chelsea for £1 before selling out to current owner Roman Abramovich in 2003, finally leaving in March 2004 and completing his Leeds United takeover in January 2005.

Bates' departure comes only four days after the appointment of Paul Hunt as the club's acting chief executive.

Hunt was sacked from his role as deputy chief executive at Blackburn last May after a private letter he wrote to the club's owners calling for the sacking of Rovers boss Steve Kean was leaked to the media.

Bates, who ends an eight-and-a-half-year association with Elland Road, first took control of Leeds in January 2005 after 12 years in command as Chelsea's often outspoken owner.

He then held power at Leeds until signing over to the current owners in December last year, staying on as chairman before starting what was supposed to be a three-year term as president.

A number of Leeds fans spent long periods of his reign protesting at a perceived lack of investment.

Leeds also entered administration under his stewardship in 2007, being forced to start a season in League One with a starting points tally of minus 15.