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GIVING A VOICE TO BRADFORD CITY SUPPORTERS

bcst

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Mar 8 2019 04:59PM

City fans! Can you help?


A group of 7 fans from different teams from across the UK have got together to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s/Dementia. The cold hard fact is this disease has now taken over as the biggest killer in the UK.


Although we are on a mission to raise funds for this charity, we also had an idea to get a unique collection of football ‘memory items’ from across the land.


The Alzheimer’s Society symbol is a ‘Forget-me-not’. We are keen to get a collection of items together to put on display for the world to see as a dedication to Alzheimer-affected people, their families and carers. The local Alzheimer’s Society (based at Barclays House, 51 Bishopric, Horsham RH12 1QJ) would appreciate your support.


The items would not be for sale and would be based in the UK for view as a museum piece etc.


Could you therefore send us an item that means something to Reds fans? Something with a story behind it that could go on display. This maybe a scarf, an old photo of Broadfield Stadium, even an old programme from years gone by.


We have already received contributions from several supporters clubs and trusts across the land. This might take some time but the idea is to receive memory items from all 92 league clubs’ supporters. I have written to 30 clubs so far and received 12 football-related memory items for this unique collection, with the others considering. Only another 62 teams to write to!


If you would like to help with a contribution please use the contact details below. We will keep you up to date every step of the way. Just receiving one old programme would make a massive difference.


If you are able to help at all, please contact Terry Marsh 07850 066532;

terry.marsh@telent.com, 20 Regent Square Belvedere, Kent DA17 6EP.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Mar 6 2019 11:41PM

Dear Members and City supporters,


First of all the Trust would like to give a warm welcome to Gary Bowyer as the new City manager and his assistant Andy Todd. We are pleased that they are relishing the unenviable challenge of giving all they can to instil the Bantams with a fighting spirit to try and avoid relegation with 11 games left.


It is no understatement to say we have all felt frustrated and down hearted with the Bantams current form. Many of us were surprised with the news of David Hopkins’ resignation on Monday 25th February after the disappointing 3-2 defeat at the Bescott Stadium, losing to a fellow struggling side who wanted the win much more than us. We can all agree that this slump flows from the tumultuous period the Club found itself in during the time of Edin Rahic’s horrendous mismanagement and indeed Gary Bowyer will be manager number 4 since Stuart McCall departed last February. Although he is with us initially until the end of the season, we would welcome a long term approach to the situation in the way managers are hired and fired in the modern game. Such an approach means providing the best possible support to the manager in a way that provides long-term stability for the Club which then means giving a manager time to build the team over a sustained period of time and this would alleviate the pressure to sack even in a rough period of poor results. History has proven that it will take a club longer to build having a short-term approach. Phil Parkinson has been the most successful manger in recent history and that was no overnight dream team he built. It took patience and time and that needs to be built into any long-term strategy.


Furthermore, we would like to give thanks and appreciation to Julian Rhodes who felt it necessary to come in and attempt to turn things around and it is with great appreciation that he has re-introduced the cheap season-tickets back to £150 and a longer period in which fans can take advantage of buying them at this price than in the previous season.


As we can all recognise, there are many uncertainties – the most immediate one is we do not know at this stage what division we will be playing in next season and there is a a bigger question mark as to whether Julian will extend his temporary tenure at the Club. All this may well depend on whether the German owners decide to put the Club up for sale. Indeed, doing this does not necessarily guarantee a buyer will necessarily come to fruition in the short term and of course there is always the lease payments of the ground to Gordon Gibb still going on in the background.


Since the creation of the Premiership and the re-branding of football through the massive investment of TV money and all-seater stadium requirements in the top two tiers, the game has changed so much. We have seen a widening wealth gap mirroring society where we have a few rich, top teams and the rest of the clubs struggling to compete in an ever more demanding and volatile situation as the cost of survival goes up for most clubs. Sky and BT Sport paid a record £5.136bn for live Premier League TV (PL) rights from 2016 to 2019, and from 2013 to 2016 the Premier League generated over 3 billion pounds in revenue from its marketing of TV broadcasting rights per year. The current £5.136bn deal represents a 70% increase. At the same time the EFL secured a £595million five-year deal from the start of next season 2019/20. It is a 35% increase on their last deal but it is considerably smaller that the PL slice of the TV investment in comparison, and the impact of that, further down the EFL divisions means an even smaller slice of the gravy train and indeed parachute payments.


What the TV money investment shows, is a disproportionate distribution of wealth where the top clubs get the lions share. It is in other words a lack of a redistribution of wealth to create healthier competition. This means that today, certainly for the bigger clubs at least, gate receipts and income from advanced sales in season ticket sales is no longer the most important income. That comes from TV and other sources such as the success of the brand and sponsorship deals internationally, but for smaller clubs, survival means that it does rely heavily on season-ticket income and gate receipts. We, the fans are still the largest investors and therefore are a big influence on the direction of our football clubs and at Bradford City, this is no different.


The Trust believes all fans should rally behind the Club and the team (whatever we personally think of the current crop of players) for the survival of the Bantams and the hope to stay in League One. On match days we should do all that we can to encourage the management and the team to put in a real effort in the final run of the season.


And finally, the Trust encourages supporters to renew your season tickets and back the team come what may next season. We believe that fans, in our eyes, are a vital ingredient that makes our football clubs what they are and therefore as City fans we should have a greater say at Bradford City. Being the largest group of supporters and long suffering investors collectively, the Trust will always strive to engage with our Club and offer a constructive way forward to get fans more involved and valid points listened to in Bradford City’s deliberations going forward.


Yours sincerely



Manny Dominguez

BCST Chair


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jan 21 2019 08:43PM

We are looking forward to getting stuck into this year, so here is a sketch

of what we are looking to do.


It was extremely disappointing to watch our team fizzle out in the first half against what appeared to be an ordinary Southend side that included former City player Timothée Dieng, and being one goal ahead in les than a minute. But City being City huffed and puffed without any edge about them allowed Southend to take the advantage and score again. The second half saw more of the same and after seeing Southend’s forth goal go in it prompted many of us to get up and head for the exits. It appears normal service has resumed and the positive results throughout December and early January are nothing but a fading memory. Let’s hope David Hopkin can inject a new dose of fight in the team to ensure we can pull ourselves away from the drop zone towards safety.


Off the pitch, we are still intent renewing our relationship with the Club by seeking a constructive dialogue with Julian Rhodes and his team, and we have sent Julian a letter expressing this. Please see below for the letter image.


Issues such as the Club’s finances, the leasing of the ground to Gordon Gibb, and issues of the match day experience such as safe standing, season-tickets and equality and diversity within the game and our community are very important to us and we would like to assist the club in providing ideas that can develop a greater kudos amongst the fans and the Club which we feel will benefit both parties. Indeed we have sent a letter to the Club addressed to Julian Rhodes requesting this.


In terms of community activities we intend to be involved in the Kick It Out campaign challenging discrimination, in all it’s forms and also promoting inclusion and diversity in the game such as promoting reciprocal deals as part of the Away Fans Matter campaign on match days but for both home and away fans in the form of cheap match day tickets or free away travel, with the idea of encouraging other clubs to participate and do the same for us and theirs. We want to raise the profile of food banks on matchdays as other Trust’s and supporters groups have already begun doing. And we also support the idea of the Club having SLO’s (Supporter Liaison Officers) too that are intended to build bridges between the club and its fans in a variety of ways. We want to support the Club where we can and work with them in developing these ideas so that they can be realised.


And as well as promoting women at the game and women’s football we want to support football in the community with the long term aim of creating a Supporters Trust hub.


If you would like to become a Trust Board member and be part of developing the Trust in moving it forward please let us know through going to our website or emailing us at contact@bcst.co.uk.


Yours sincerely


Manny Dominguez


BCST Chair

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Dec 19 2018 10:49AM

Bradford City Supporters' Trust 2018 AGM


Thank you to all who took the time on a cold Monday night to attend our annual Annual General Meeting last week, 10th December 2018. The AGM presented a number of regular business items which must be covered in order to meet our regulatory obligations.


A copy of the Meeting Minutes are available upon request for the reference of you, our members.

Members will have recieved an email of tthis with the attachment.


Whilst a number of motions were voted upon and agreed in an advisory capacity, Trust Rules say that '20' is the magic number for our AGM to be quorate, as we fell below that we must sign off the recommendations made at the AGM at the earliest possible opportunity.


This will therefore take place prior to the upcoming home game versus Scunthorpe from 1pm to 1-30pm on Saturday 22nd December 2018 at the Midland Hotel, in accordance with Trust Rules and to enable our statutory Financial Conduct Authority Return to be made.


We welcome any City fan wishing to attend and we would be grateful for your intention in advance, whilst only BCST members remain eligible to vote.


If you would like to have a drink with us afterwards we will move to the bar...


Bradford City Supporters' Trust Open Meeting

Proceeding our AGM on 10th December 2018, BCST also provided opportunity for Supporters and Members to join us in person to discuss, in further detail, what has been an unprecedented period in recent history for us all as City fans and our Club.


We welcomed Special Guest Speakers Deborah Dilworth (Supporters' Direct Network Manager to the Premier League and Football League) and Roger Ellis of the Sky Blues Trust (Coventry City), who provided an invaluable insight into the parallels and experiences which could be drawn from similar challenging circumstances for fans & Trust's at other Club's.


Whilst we look to the future with positivity, all present took a great deal from examples of encouraging not just the important atmosphere of "structured dialogue" but engagement with you, BCST members, as we enter a new Chapter for our Club and endeavor to emerge stronger for the experiences of the last 12 months.


As part of this, we would continue to actively encourage BCST members who may be interested in joining the Trust Board to get in touch, which will enable us to reach out further - whether you have an interest in Social Events, Media, Community Initiatives or Business with City at heart we would be very pleased to hear from you.


As always a tough run of fixtures lies ahead, but a run of fixtures we can all look forward to over the festive period - the main reason we all follow our Club, to enjoy watching our team with fellow fans, friends and family; especially at this time of year.


For those unable to attend our short meeting on Saturday may we take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and very Happy New Year.


Yours in City,


Bradford City Supporters' Trust Board


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Dec 9 2018 12:14PM

Dear Members,


Thank you for your support in these changing and testing times for all of us.


We would like to explain that the Trust, is a community society that is part of a wider body of football supporters held together through a national organisation that has the best interests of football supporters at it's core.


Supporters Direct and Football Supporters Federation that we affiliate to have now merged but will remain separate entities for the foreseeable future. The unified national supporters movement and supporters trusts share principles that put fans first through their policies that we adopt every year.


Structured Dialogue is a key policy that we have always adopted as a way of working with the clubs that we love and support as a way of achieving the best for YOU, the fans, whether it is to improve the match day experience or ownership of a club.


At our meeting tomorrow, Monday 10th December, we will have Deborah Dilworth (EFL Network Manager) from Supporters Direct, up from London, so if you would like to find out more please come along.


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Dec 7 2018 06:08PM

We live in very fluid and interesting times watching events happen around the world and as a Bradford City fan it is no exception. The news of Edin Rahic's departure was timely as coincided with the deadline of the City Gent deadline, so we thought it would be good to use our contribution (below) to review events and our position and respond to you directly.


But before you go on to read that, please allow us to quickly plug our AGM & Open Fans' Meeting on Monday 10th December at the Midland Hotel from 7pm. We do have a special guest coming up from London to address you also called Deborah Dilworth who is the EFL Network Manager for Supporters Direct.


Bradford City began the season with


· a new and untried team;

· a new and untried ‘Head Coach’, rather than a traditional manager;

· the departure of certain trusted professionals behind the scenes;

· an apparent determination to centralise the control of the club in the hands of the

Chairman, and...

· a new business model that emphasised the development of young players, leading to the impression

that we would become a nursery club for other teams. The accent throughout was on a clean slate,

and on youth over experience.


This was a high-risk strategy. Each of these new approaches involved some element of risk, but in order for the club to succeed all these approaches had to come good at the same time, and the chances of that happening were very low indeed. It is worth noting that if this new strategy had worked out against the odds, the owners of the club would be hailed accordingly for bringing a whole new model to the English Football League.


In the event, this did not happen. Results on the field failed to materialise despite an early change of Coach, and the club began sinking towards the bottom of the League. A growing disconnect developed between the supporters and the club, with an increasingly vociferous campaign of opposition to the owners.


This was the diagnosis of the club’s difficulties presented to the Bradford City Chairman by the Supporters Trust in October, when he agreed to meet us to discuss the situation. Trust members and other fans had put forward a large number of questions that were collected together, collated, and presented to the Chairman under three main headings:


· What were the reasons for the decline in the club’s fortunes since January?

· What was the club’s thinking on the current crisis?

· What were the remedies and prospects for the future?


It is fair to say that Edin Rahic answered these tough questions politely and directly, and there was no flinching from the fans’ opinions. There was none of the fraught communication that has sometimes occurred on similar occasions in the past. A report of the meeting was published by the Trust, and it was agreed to continue the meetings as a constructive response to the club’s predicament. A schedule of dates for these meetings was pencilled in, stretching into Spring 2019.


It was mentioned at the meeting that the Chairman had been in touch behind the scenes with Julian Rhodes. A few days afterwards, it was announced that Julian had become involved more directly at the club in order to support the owners’ efforts to reverse the downward drift. It has just been confirmed at the time of writing that Edin Rahic has now stepped down as Chairman, and that Julian Rhodes has been appointed as Interim CEO.


As Bradford City fans we appreciate the key positive role played by the Rhodes’ family. It would be a huge understatement to say that their efforts and commitment have contributed enormously towards keeping the club going through two administrations and three relegations. More recently, they appointed Phil Parkinson, and presided as majority shareholders over the history-makers’ season of 2013.


The return of Julian Rhodes has been a timely move. It has enabled the club to draw more directly on his vast knowledge and experience, and it served to connect the club more closely with fans. It will be a matter for history to understand how the club’s current predicament was allowed to arise. The important point now is not to dwell on the past but to move forward, and to direct all our energies into the battle that the club faces on the pitch at a time when the fans are needed the most.


The magnitude of the task ahead cannot be downplayed– from assuming that we would be play-off contenders every season, all eyes are focussed now on avoiding relegation. As John Hendrie said so powerfully in his resumed column in the T&A, it is a moment for everyone with the club’s interests at heart to work together to help ensure a tolerable outcome to the season.


If the mood has changed in a positive direction off the field, a number of the original questions remain largely unanswered:


· Is David Hopkin effectively the manager now rather than a Head Coach?

· Has the balance changed between the recruitment of young players and more

experienced professionals?

· Has the balance changed between investments in the first team and investments in infrastructure?

· Is there enough professional support on the administrative side of the club?

· Is the majority shareholder Stefan Rupp still committed to his financial involvement?

· What is planned for the January transfer window?


… and then the question that fans can hardly bear to ask:

· How bad do the finances look?


These questions will continue to be a matter of concern to all supporters, even as the club hopefully begins to progress in the right direction. And other questions will no doubt come to the fore of supporters’ minds as the coming weeks unfold. The Trust’s view is that it is much better all round if the answers to these questions come from solid information exchanged in a professional setting, rather than through a cacophony of gossip and rumour conducted so often these days through social media. The professional alternative is what ‘structured dialogue’ is all about. The club is obliged to undertake this according to the rules of the English Football League that were passed in 2016. It is especially important in the current situation at Bradford City, where there is an urgent need to give fans all the information they deserve to know, in a way that respects the necessary safeguards on confidentiality and the interests of the club. Reassurance amongst supporters that they know what’s going on – what the basic plans are and where the priorities lie – will be a big factor in itself in helping us to survive in League One, and to progress thereafter.


Julian Rhodes was unfailingly courteous in the past in his dealings with supporters’ groups. The Trust Board is confident that he will honour the commitment made by the previous Chairman of the club to continue the series of meetings with The Supporters Trust. This will enable members of the Trust and all fellow fans to put forward the points that concern them most, and receive their answers directly from the club.


Together in City!