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GIVING A VOICE TO BRADFORD CITY SUPPORTERS

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By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 12 2018 12:51PM

Dear Member,



You are cordially invited to the Supporters’ Trust AGM which will take place Thursday 29th November 2018 at the Midland Hotel, Bradford, 7pm.


We include a copy of the draft agenda. Full information regarding the meeting papers and final agenda will follow in due course.


If you have an item of “Any other business” for consideration please email contact@bcst.co.uk by 4pm on 16th November 2018. Items can not be accepted after that deadline..


The AGM will be proceeded by an open meeting to discuss the position of the Club and BCST aims for the coming year.


All Bantams Fans are welcome, although as usual only Trust members are able to vote on BCST Motions.

Join the Bradford City Supporters’ Trust Committee

The last few months have seen significant increase in Trust membership. In order to continue the steady growth and the extent of what we can achieve together, we are always on the look out for members to bring fresh ideas and expertise.


If you are a current Trust member and would like or be interested in putting yourself forward for election to the BCST Board, please see the attached nomination form which includes all of the necessary information.


Nominations must be received by Sunday 25th November 2018. We look forward to hearing from you!


Please see attached draft AGM 2018 agenda Nomination form for the Trust Board


We would be grateful if you could confirm your intention to attend the AGM and/or Open Meeting in advance.



With thanks and best wishes.



Manny Dominguez


BCST Chair

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Oct 28 2018 11:07PM

Dear Members,


The Supporters Trust Board are feeling just as hurt, angry and fed up with Bradford City’s terminable decline as all fellow City supporters are.


The Trust Board is made up of ordinary fans like you. We recognise the reason for the team’s decline is the result a catalogue of errors going as far back as 9 months or more. To see our team reach the Play-Off Finals at Wembley under Stuart McCall and then compare that team to a shadow of a team we have today is heart breaking to say the least.


Our meeting with the Club

When we had our meeting with Edin Rahic and a number of senior staff at the Club almost 2 weeks ago, we had the view it would be the start of many. That is not that we wanted a ‘cosy’ relationship. Our view has always been that in order to bring about positive decisions that benefit both the fans and the Football Club.


Before our meeting we consulted with you, our members, we asked you for your questions to ask Edin and the Club. Our response was good and covered a broad area of topics that fans were rightly concerned with. However we only took questions from our members. Non-members’ whether they are in our Facebook group or those who ‘Like’ the ‘Likes’ page did not get a look in. If we were to take everyone’s questions from all supporters, members or not, we would still be there now.


We understood there would be a certain amount of criticism. Whether supporters find that the information we got out in our report was not worthy is a view that you have a right to have. It is understandable that supporters will be impatient.


Also, when we went into that meeting we wanted to conduct ourselves appropriately. We didn’t want it to be a blaming game, angrily demanding Club representatives to ‘owning up their responsibility’. It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and ask all kinds of things after the event and rage about how pathetic we were. What would it look like to the Club, if they saw that we wanted to interrogate them?


We wanted to develop a trusting, cordial working relationship. The Trust’s ability of a working relationship with the a football club is an extremely vital part of owners running their football clubs and them listening and taking on board what fans have to say.


For many years we have been marginalised by our owners and the Trust had tried in vein to bend over backwards to be a safe pair of hands for the Club to work with, and I have to say that policy was a sign of weakness on our part, but at that time, the Club was doing so well that no fan really cared about how our Club was being run. Today, now the team are doing so badly the owners and the Club are under the fans’ microscope.


Fans can call us all kind of insults, but the Trust Board has the best intentions of our members, and wider supporters and our Club at heart. To hear that fans accuse us of being sell-outs, chocolate soldiers and toothless is offensive. I have been active in the labour and trade union movement for over twenty-four years and I would never sell my members out down the river. Never!


A campaign for what football ownership should look like

Edin Rahic is accused of many things including:

Refusing to accept advise from senior staff.

Removing staff including players and Managers who don’t accept his way of running the Club.

Being involved in selecting the team and bringing in new players

Paying himself up to £10k per month

Asset stripping the Club and much more…

Whilst all of this may be true, a campaign of vindictiveness is negative and is very damaging. Everybody has a right to be angry but the Supporters Trust needs to have an approach that wins hearts and minds to achieve a spirit of unity going forward. Singling fans out and abusing them for having a perceived uncritical view the club and calling them ‘happy clappers’, is in my view unacceptable, whether you think it is right or wrong. Everyone is entitled to express they’re own views. However if that view is a threat to democracy and the ability to organise then a line should be drawn.


Bullying, whether it exists at the top of football or whether it is amongst fans is simply unacceptable, this is why we do not wish to personalise any campaign.


Instead we should discuss what a model club should look like as an example of how a well-run club

should be.


Internal affairs of the Club

The Club should have

A staff conduct policy that owners should not be above which includes anti-bullying in all its forms.

A grievance policy – for all staff

If the grievance is against owners there should be an independent officer /adjudicator to look at the case.

There should be a disciplinary procedure.

If the disciplinary involves the owner(s) there should be an independent officer /adjudicator to look at

the case.

That all staff including the owners have a right to be represented by a trade union without intimidation or

harassment within the Club – They are forms of bullying, when taking out a grievance or faces a

disciplinary.


A relationship with the fans

Every season ticket holder a member of the Club

That every member gets one vote

The Club has quarterly Fans Forums and one AGM each season

The Club can put forward its ideas to the fans and fans can present ideas to the club through the

`Supporters Board’ and ‘Supporters Trust’ at meetings held once a month.

Votes on policy will take place at the AGM. Policies can be on budget spending on the transfer market,

stadium investment and facilities etc.

The Supporters Board and Trust can put forward their ideas based on canvassing supporters and

members’ their views.

The Trust can put its ideas forward on a cohesive partnership, ground ownership / investment, fan’s

shares etc., etc.

That the Club should respect the joint working relationship of a ‘collective agreement’ at all times –

including when the going gets tough.


Wider issues of wealth distribution

The Club and fans should work together to work with national fans’ campaigns to increase the income

distribution of TV monies from the Premier League to Leagues One & Two, and the grass roots, and

encourage other clubs to do the same.


This would be a ‘model club’ that we as fans should work towards. This model of Club / Fan relationship works in Germany.


We do not want to go back to the times when our Club was in danger of going out of business. We want fans to be united in bringing our Club back to life. We want a Club with a vision. The fans are the life-blood of our Club. Boycotting the Club to spite the owners is self-defeating and will bring us closer to the Club going bust.


The Trust’s aspiration is fan ownership – a campaign for what football ownership should look like moves us closer to that aim.


We will provide you with a date for our AGM and Fans Open Meeting very shortly


Join us to be part of a mass movement and fill in the form here


Unity is Strength!


Manny Dominguez

BCST Chair


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Oct 22 2018 08:19PM

On the 16th October 2018 members of the Bradford City Supporters Trust Board met with representatives of Bradford City Football Club - Edin Rahic (Chairman and Co-Owner), Paula Watson (Head of Operations), Michael Shackleton (Commercial Manager), and Ryan Sparks (Media and PR Manager).

We (the Supporters Trust) started out outlining the role of Supporters Trusts with football clubs and the Trust's national remit (via Supporters Direct). We explained that we were representing our members. The Trust put questions from its members to the Club’s representatives.

We began by asking what had kick-started the decline from the Yeovil game last season. This led to a broader discussion about how many "small puzzles turned into a typhoon", to quote Edin. Many small things had built up, which started the decline. It was clear that Edin believes the FA Cup is a key competition for the club financially. He felt the Club had missed a key opportunity against Manchester United, an opportunity to raise revenue and strengthen its position in the transfer market. Despite large offers being made to bring proven players into the Club, this lost revenue may have impacted on the funds available for key targets. It is our understanding this coincided with the opening of the January Transfer Window. Offers were made by rivals for key Bradford City Players, which the club declined to accept. This caused issues with players which had big impacts within the dressing room, affecting moral and contributing to decline in results and loss of form, which the club have not recovered from. This ultimately led to a change of football management.

Following Stuart McCall’s departure, Edin employed a manager based on his record of a high pedigree at our level. This was widely accepted as a good appointment by the majority of Bradford City fans and the wider football community. Between the combined circumstances of bad weather and postponed matches, a tough run of fixtures, and weather related issues with the training ground, the Club never saw the immediate change of fortunes to cement themselves as serious play-off contenders. Also the effects of the adverse and prolonged bad weather during Simon Grayson's management caused a number of issues for training. The Trust Board questioned why Simon Grayson did not extend his stay beyond the end of the season; this was explained as "Simon saw himself as a Championship Manager", and a search for a new manager got underway.

While the appointment of Simon Grayson was considered correct at the time, the owners accept that the appointment of the initial coaching team of Michael Collins, Martin Drury and Greg Abbott did not work out. A continued bad run of form resulted in the owners taking action and finding a replacement - with the season still very much to play for.

The Trust questioned the Club representatives about investment over the summer months, recruitment strategy, and the emphasis on signing young playing talent. During the summer months large investments were put into the infrastructure of the Club, making it able to be more sustainable in the years to come. These included an upgrade to the drainage on the pitch, the ticket system, the customer management software, club shop, maintenance equipment, back office equipment for the club staff, and general much needed stadium maintenance. All of this was to prepare the Club for the future years, and for Championship football. There was also a significant increase in the rent for the ground and a very significant increase of electric bills, as well as a huge increase of water usage (due to better pitch drainage). In addition, Edin spoke of how the playing budget was significantly higher than last season. Despite reduced season-ticket revenue, it is a mark of the commitment to succeeding. Significant investment has also been made within the youth academy setup and performances have been very impressive, with a host of talented youngsters coming through the ranks.

On the field, recruitment centred on up and coming talent and highly regarded prospects. The Club explained that contracts were offered to existing senior players - however these players chose not to accept these contracts and moved on, while some others did not want to be Bradford City players, and some players wished to move for personal reasons.

The Trust's understanding is that the Club wanted to develop players to add value to the squad, with a view to being able to compete financially in the long term with the larger budget clubs, and eventually survive in the Championship. The Trust understands the benefits of buying already developed players for immediate results and also understands the benefits of youth development. This is a fine line to balance and current results would suggest that the Club need more investment in the January Transfer Window of proven players and players with experience at this level.

We therefore questioned whether the Club believed the recruitment strategy was the correct one in the short term. The owners acknowledged the short-term requirement for a balanced squad. However it was emphasised that the current discontent from the stands – which is not helped by the run of results and current league position - is having a detrimental effect on the confidence and form of the existing squad. Edin told the Trust that the next few months are "vital" to Bradford City; it is vital that everyone makes Valley Parade as attractive a prospect as possible, as this will help determine the attractiveness of the Club to potential players ahead of the January Transfer Window.

The Trust feels that any action at this time which would be detrimental to recruitment and to results, and potentially to the clubs League One status, would not be in the interests of the Club or the fans in the short term or long term.

After Simon Grayson’s comments about the training facility when he left the Club in the summer, the Trust questioned what David Hopkin thought of the training ground and facilities. No such concerns have been expressed by David Hopkin. Paula Watson told the Trust that the bad weather in the early part of the year did cause issues for Simon Grayson but this was unavoidable.

The Trust Board concluded by asking Edin about the lessons he had learnt during his tenure. Edin admitted that the business and culture in England was very different from that in Germany. However he expressed his commitment to the Club and to efforts to rectify the current on-pitch situation The Trust picked up on the fact that Edin is in regular dialogue with Julian Rhodes and possibly takes advice.

While Edin expressed commitment to the Club and the importance of ongoing dialogue with supporters groups, he expressed concern that this was being undermined by a minority of individuals who have been xenophobic towards not only him but also his family. The Supporters Trust want Bradford City to be inclusive of everybody and to be a family friendly club. Therefore we condemn this kind of behaviour. Instead we welcome constructive ideas which we can discuss through ongoing and regular dialogue with the Club. We have agreed a further meeting in a month's time to discuss further concerns from fans, who can email their thoughts to us.

We would like to say, that this was a very productive first meeting, and we didn’t expect answers to every question supporters have, and we are sure there are many, however, to ensure that discussions continue, trust is a key element for cementing relations. It is also important to underline the fact that we are an independent organisation, and as we have said before, there will be an opportunity for members and supporters to attend a meeting that we will organise and where we can discuss and debate the way forward.


We hope that our next meeting with the Club will be after a run of positive results, and we ask for all supporters to get fully behind the team between now and January and hopefully be the 12th Man. Every point really could matter this season.



Yours sincerely




Manny Dominguez


BCST Chair


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Oct 18 2018 03:10PM

Dear Members,


Following consultation with you, our members over the last two weeks, we would like to thank all who took the time to give us their considered opinions and questions.


On Tuesday evening, 16th October, the Trust Board met with co-owner, Edin Rahic and Club Representatives to discuss the current and future position of Bradford City Football Club, and to address the questions raised by our members.


We are very pleased that an open and constructive discussion was able to take place on behalf our members and the wider fan base, with a mutual commitment obtained for on-going dialogue with BCST regarding the direction of the Football Club.


We will have a fuller report of Tuesday's meeting out shortly. It is also important to say at this time that we will hold an open members meeting, inclusive to supporters who are not yet members. The details of this meeting will be out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we encourage all supporters to be the 12th man backing the team and hopefully we will see a turn in results.


Yours sincerely


Your Trust Board:


Manny Dominguez

Justin Brett

Adam Baker

Alan Carling

Georgina Webster

Simon Hagerty

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Oct 7 2018 08:50PM

Edin Rahic Joint Chairman

Bradford City AFC

Northern Commercials Stadium

Valley Parade

Bradford

BD8 7YD


4/10/2018



Dear Edin,


I am writing as Chair of Bradford City Supporters Trust (BCST), and on behalf of the Trust Board to request a meeting with the view of establishing a formal and constructive dialogue between you and us.


We are sure you are aware that there are many concerns amongst fans that have reached the tabloid press. We have made our members aware of our intention to meet with you and invited them to provide their questions of concern to you.


As part of our meeting we would like to establish regular meetings, and discuss a voluntary agreement of both parties; a commitment discussing and sharing concerns and ideas relevant to the Club and its community fan-base. This is known as a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU.


You will be aware that we have been seeking a meeting with you for over a month now and it is an achievement that you look forward to meeting with various supporter groups, partners and season-ticket holders over the coming months as you suggested in the T&A, 13/10/2018.


It is positive you are committed to the Supporters Board and we feel that establishing a direct link between BCST and yourself will give the Club and yourself a greater understanding of what the Trust is about and for us a better understanding of how you want to build our football club that is so important in the eyes of thousands of supporters and the wider community the Club serves.


We request that you get back to us within a reasonable time frame of 10 working days upon receiving this letter so that we can find a date on an evening during the week that suits us all at your earliest convenience.


Looking forward to your response,

Manny Dominguez

BCST Chair


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Oct 7 2018 08:21PM

Dear Members,


We would like to thank you for your input with oure consultation with you in gauging your concerns about how our Club is being run.


Throughout September and up to now, we have being attempting to request to meet with Edin Rahic through email and approaching the Club and especially since his recent apology in the T&A but with no response.


We have now sent an email and a special delivery posted letter to express our request to meet with Edin with more urgency. We are requesting a response from him within 10 working days.


Apart from trying to find answers to the questions you are putting to him, we want to establish regular dialogue, make an agreement on the issues we can talk about etc., the frequency of our meetings and a process of feeding back to you the members so that we as a movement can take decision forward.


We are pleased to inform you that we have had a positive response from Edin and we will be making arrangements to meet by the end of the week.


It is important to note that we will be organising a supporters / members meeting after our meeting with Edin, and we aim to discuss and debate with you our direction on the basis of how productive our meeting with Edin is.


We will send you our letter to Edin shortly.



Yours sincerely,


Manny Dominguez

BCST Chair