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Football: IT'S DEN AND KEN AGAIN; FORMER HATE FIGURE IS NEW LEEDS BOSS Wisey and the godfather one Ell of a line-up.

Byline: Neil McLEMAN

KEN BATES finally got his man last night when Leeds thrashed out a deal with Swindon to allow Dennis Wise to become the new manager at Elland Road.

And the Monaco-based Leeds chairman will fly into the country today to finalise terms with the former England midfielder and his assistant Gus Poyet.

Talks had been broken off during a chaotic day when Robins chief Willie Carson accused the crisishit Championship club of trying to sign their boss on the cheap.

Caretaker boss John Carver last night left the club, with coach David Geddis taking over just for the Carling Cup tie against Southend tonight.

Ex-Chelsea star Wise will then face the dual task of saving last season's play-off finalists from the drop and winning over a sceptical Leeds support.

But Bates, who is godfather to Wise's son, believes the combative former player can add the fighting spirit desperately missing from the Championship's 23rd-placed side this season.

A Leeds statement said last night: "Leeds United have agreed compensation with Swindon Town and have now been granted permission to discuss personal terms with both Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet with a view to them filling the vacant managerial position at the club."

Discussions should be quickly completed to allow Wise, who led Millwall to the 2004 FA Cup final, to take charge for Saturday's league game against Southend.

Wise, 39, has been the bookies' favourite since Blackwell was sacked last month but has said he would turn down the job for risk of jeopardising his friendship with Bates.

Leeds fans, meanwhile, are divided on the appointment with many backing former favourite Gary McAllister to become the club's eighth boss in 10 years.

The Yorkshire club's average attendance is only 19,000 this term and Leeds United Supporters' Association chairman Ray Fell fears attendances will plummet even lower with fans unwilling to back a boss with strong links to hated rivals Chelsea. Tonight's attendance against Southend will give an indication.

Fell said: "Fans are already in revolt because of prices and the appointment of Wise will just turn others away. I'd hope fans would back Wise, but I fear he'd have a hard time winning many round."

Swindon allowed Leeds to speak to Wise and Poyet after Saturday's 5-1 humiliation at Luton.

But Robins chairman, and former jockey, Carson halted negotiations yesterday afternoon when Bates, who famously bought Chelsea for pounds 1 before selling his stake to Roman Abramovich for pounds 17m, failed to meet their compensation demands.

Despite Leeds' financial turmoil, the clubs are understood to have agreed a compensation package of around pounds 200,000 for both men.


RE-UNITED: Bates welcomes Wise back to the Bridge in 2001 with Leicester, now Carson (left) will let the pair get together at Elland Road
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 24, 2006
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