Kenneth William "Ken" Bates (born 4 December 1931) is a British businessman, football executive and hotelier. He was involved in forming the Premier League, the development of Wembley Stadium and is the former owner and chairman of Chelsea F.C. and Leeds United AFC.
He spent five years as chairman of Oldham Athletic during the 1960s and also had a spell at Wigan Athletic. In 1982 Bates bought Chelsea for £1. 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 they had a debt burden of around £80 million. In July 2003, he sold the club to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich from whom he received £140 million.
In January 2005, Bates bought a 50% stake in Leeds United, another club struggling under a heavy debt burden. In May 2007, Leeds entered administration, and were relegated to League One. The Club regained Championship status in 2010 and, in May 2011, it was confirmed that Bates had become the sole owner. In November 2012, Bates sold his holdings in Leeds United to GFH Capital.Close