By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 10:14AM

It appears the for City fans this season is almost certainly over although we are waiting for a confirmatory EFL decision which is expected on the 8th June. The reason why it is taking so long  is that for League Two, member Clubs have unanimously agreed to curtail the season, and the Championship Clubs wish to continue but there is a split in League One where financially going up or down can mean so much. And the Championship Clubs wish to continue, following behind the Premier League.

The cost for League One and Two clubs to finish the season has been estimated at between £300k and £400k per club. For many Clubs, especially more so in League Two that cost is unsustainable with no match day income, which, as has been explained publicly by Ryan Sparks, our Club's Chief Communications Officer.

We have recently met Ryan through a Supporters' Board catch up meeting, as there are concerns about how the Club is managing through this period and understandably the question was raised how can supporters practically help the Club going forward. Ryan was grateful of idea of a fans coming together to raise funds to help with operational costs, but felt that for the time being the Club are managing a tight budget. He said that the Club are looking forward to more certainty as to what next season will look like and when it will begin so that repackaged season tickets can be offered to fans.

Many of us however will be nervous of how the 'Lock-down' is being released in managing the virus at the moment. We hope that it doesn't have any detrimental bearing in further delaying any planned date to begin the new season.

On a broader development, there has been an initiative led by two supporters Trusts, from Cheltenham Town and Wycombe Wanderers who have been canvassing Trusts of the 47 League One and Two Clubs about a national 'Fans Fund' whereby fans raise money online and will be able to raise money for their respected Clubs. We feel there is some potential mileage for something like this in the future, although we realise that some clubs will need something now. As such it benefits all if this initiative does indeed bear fruit. We shall keep you posted.

In keeping with the issue of funding, the Government needs to take urgent action to “save professional football as we know it”, says Damian Collins MP, the influential former chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. What he and Charlie Methven, Co-owner of Sunderland, are proposing is the idea of a Government bail-out for Clubs that need it for short-term operational liabilities, and in return the set up a Football Finance Authority (FFA) by the FA, backed by government funding. Supporters' organisations would have a direct role in overseeing the public investment in clubs. Read more here.

There is still a lot of uncertainty for all of us, not just our football clubs. We've all being missing our traditions of going to the match and loved ones too, but we must keep going practising being safe and supportive to others. We will update you further hopefully with more certainty.

Best wishes and stay safe

From all of us on the Bantams Supporters Trust Board

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 10:08AM

The Club Update, 30/5/20 in full:

The club has moved to update supporters as talks to formally conclude the 2019/20 season continue.

The EFL is intending to stage a meeting between clubs, a week on Monday (June 8), to approve proposals and introduce necessary regulation changes to best suit its members - with regards to the culmination of the current campaign.

This comes following the governing body’s formal review of submissions made by clubs, while considering comments aired in recent, divisional meetings.

City’s director of communications, Ryan Sparks, explained: “Our position on the conclusion of the 2019/20 season has been well documented and our view has not changed.

“Integrity has been at the heart of our thought pattern since the outbreak of COVID-19 and we share the EFL’s desire to stay as close to the rulebook as possible, while bringing the current campaign to an end without impacting any further on club finances - which could prove detrimental in the long term.

“We provided an indicative vote around two weeks ago and our desire to curtail the regular season was unanimously shared across the division.

“It now appears we will be casting a formal vote, on June 8, which should offer far more clarity. To be clear, if the opportunity is provided, we will be voting to immediately end the current campaign. We expect the EFL to maintain overall structure and regulations, with regards to promotion, relegation and - if feasible - the play-offs.

“We are keen to receive vital information on next season and its possible start date. However, yesterday’s announcement concerning the proposed date of the FA Cup Final, on August 1, provides some indication that we will certainly be some way behind schedule.

“A host of club issues relating to this season and next are currently being explored and we will look to further update you on ticketing, potential refunds, possible access for the 2020/21 campaign and various other subjects as soon as we can.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic supporters and commercial partners, who have all been extremely supportive throughout this difficult period for the club.

“Elsewhere, we are communicating closely with official kit and retail supplier, Avec Sport, to launch our new home kit within the next six to eight weeks.

“On the whole, we are working our way through the situation and, despite the circumstances, remain absolutely determined to return to some level of normality - as soon as we are able to - in the best-possible way.”

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 10:02AM

The full EFL Statement, 30/5/20, in full.

At its meeting on Wednesday 27 May 2020, having carefully considered submissions from Clubs, the EFL Board agreed to progress with the proposed framework it outlined on Thursday 21 May 2020 in respect of changes to EFL Regulations in the event Season 2019/20 is curtailed in any EFL Division.

At the same time as advising on its proposed approach last week, the Board had asked Clubs to give it appropriate consideration and provide any feedback. Communications were submitted from Clubs across all divisions and those proposals, some of which have been made available publicly, suggested how the framework in the event the season is ended prematurely could alternatively work.

The Board has to date been consistent in its approach that playing out the remainder of Season 2019/20 when it is safe to do so, is the preferred position and whilst the Championship have advised of their intentions to resume fixtures, League Two Clubs have indicated their preference to curtail the season. At present Clubs in League One are still undecided.

A decision on whether or not to curtail the season is a matter to be considered by Clubs in any affected division, but only once a framework for resolving open issues in such circumstances has been agreed by all members across all divisions through a Regulation change.

After a full and comprehensive review of the Club submissions, alongside consideration of views stated at the Club meetings of 13 and 15 May 2020, the Board unanimously agreed to continue with the original approach and is now proposing to call a meeting of Clubs on Monday 8 June 2020 to consider and, if thought fit, approve the proposals to introduce the Regulation change.

The EFL Articles allow Member Clubs the opportunity to propose amendments to Regulations and should any Club wish to propose an alternative, it must do so by submitting such a proposal by no later than 2.00pm on Tuesday 2 June 2020.

The EFL will issue any notice of meeting later that day. Any such Club proposals will be considered at the same meeting as the Board’s proposal.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 09:53AM

Taken from the FSA website:

The Government needs to take urgent action to “save professional football as we know it”, says Damian Collins MP, the influential former chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The shock of COVID-19 has hit all clubs but it is especially devastating at clubs with already fragile finances who rely on season ticket sales and gate receipts for the vast majority of their income. That revenue has reduced drastically in the past few months.

Collins proposes a bailout for clubs who need it – but they don’t get something for nothing.

In return a Football Finance Authority (FFA) would be created by the FA and backed by government funding. The FFA could provide finance to clubs to help them meet short-term operational liabilities but could not be used for transfers or infrastructure spending. The FFA would include representatives from clubs, players, and fans.

The funds would be exchanged for minority shareholdings of between 10% to 49% and independent directors would be appointed to club boards. Supporters’ trusts may be the nominating body and the director would be subject to approval by the FFA.

These independent directors would then have a responsibility to report back the FFA and they would have the power to place clubs who continue to break financial rules into administration.

A local supporters’ trust can then be invited to purchase the shareholding at a reduced rate, repaying public investment and moving the club towards a shared fan ownership model.

“A benefit of the scheme will be the gradual move towards a German model – where communities own 50% of their local club – therefore ensuring that they cease to be a rich man’s plaything and instead start to look and behave like the social institutions they in fact are,” says Damian.

“We want to see a lasting solution to the previously existing problems of unsustainability, and so we see our proposals as going hand-in-hand with more permanent solutions already tabled by the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) around the regulation and governance of football.

“The government already has a manifesto commitment to a ‘fan-led review of football governance, which will include consideration of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test’; the COVID-19 crisis gives greater urgency to an area of concern already crying out for action.”

The core proposals are in keeping with FSA beliefs – supporters should be at the heart of governance change, fan ownership is a realistic aspiration at many clubs, and that the FA has a role to play in protecting our historic clubs.

Malcolm Clarke, chair of the FSA, said: “The necessary restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have made government support for football clubs – a vital part of our communities and culture – an urgent necessity. We welcome the call for that assistance to be both prompt and linked to future sustainability.

“Football now has a unique opportunity to reset and adopt new ideas, which not only secure the short-term future of clubs, but help them thrive in the seasons ahead.

“These proposals would be a huge step in the right direction and chime with the FSA’s core beliefs – that fans have a key role to play in football governance and ownership models.

“The idea of an independent unit, embedded within the FA, which exists to protect clubs is an idea we’ve championed for some time. It receives our full support.”

You can read Damian’s full proposals, which have been drafted in conjunction with Sunderland AFC co-owner Charlie Methven, here.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 09:44AM

We have been running this survey since February. We apologies for those members who have already done this but we need as many of you as possible to take part so that we can get a more accurate picture of your views. Your views can help shape the future of the Trust.

It includes questions on Membership & Benefits, how you pay for your Season Ticket, the ways in which we communicate with you, what you would like to see us do and campaign on and what you can offer us. We will collate all responses and come back to you with what we find.

Your views are important to us and can help shape the future of the Trust.

With many of you still staying at home, you may have more time to fill in the survey. Start by clicking here!

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 09:40AM

We've had a City fan write in asking about a a specific programmes he is looking for.

Anthony Foster is looking to obtain the following programmes - Bradford City v Brighton 6 Apr 1965 Bradford City v Brighton 2 Nov 1963.

Can anyone help him? He will be very grateful is someone can. If indeed you do have them and want to help Anthony, please contact us in the usual way here.