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GIVING A VOICE TO BRADFORD CITY SUPPORTERS

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By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 22 2018 09:10PM

We are very pleased to say that for the fourth year running we have sponsored a

player at our women’s football club. As you know, this is an entirely voluntary and

amateur setup, with Bradford playing in the third tier of women’s football, the

Northern Premier League.

Off the pitch the women’s football club has had to deal with a number of challenges.

The stalwart Charlotte Stuart who had enjoyed success as player/coach for the first

team, decided to take a break from the Club to return to playing football. Charlotte

had been involved from a young age and was a major influence on the development

and training of the junior side. The junior side has been so successful that this

season there are 120 junior players. ‘The clear pathway from the Under 10s to the

First Team is one we are very proud of as a club and we aim to provide as many

girls with the opportunity of creating a career at Bradford City Girls as possible!’

Mark Brier, who had been appointed first team coach earlier in the summer,

departed after failing to win a game. He has been replaced by Meg Lawson and Toni

Butcher. They oversaw a promising 4:1 win over Farsley Celtic in their opening

fixture although results have not gone so well since. However the pair have a solid

reputation from their coaching of the reserve team in previous seasons and this is

helping to bring in new signings for a much depleted team.

We wish them every success and are proud to play a part in the development of

girls’ and women’s football in our city.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 18 2018 06:55PM

Dear Members,


There is still time to put your nominations to stand as a Trust Board Member...


If you are both open and fair minded and feel you can contribute in any way you can, you should stand.


You may have good listening skills, and be articulate in getting a point across with reason and understanding; You may have good skills in reading and writing; Have ideas about how we can reach more supporters through our publicity, or ways of approach sympathetic small businesses, pubs, cafés into supporting us by provide benefits for all our members, then come and play your part.


If you are good with figures, or interested in youth development, community initiatives such as women’s football, and widening the Club’s support base, please get involved with us! If you have ideas, lets hear them.


We encourage you to play your part in this growing movement!


Please see attached nomination form below...

You can send us a word attachment of the details you need to fill in required to be a Board Member if you cannot write on the form itself.


The Committee meets once a month to discuss business and our relations with the Club. It is not a prerequisite for committee members to attend all the meetings as we understand we all have other pressing needs in our lives, but if you can make a commitment to coming to some of them that would be great. You may find that you have particular interests and that you may develop some work around those interests.


We will hopefully bring you a confirmed date of the AGM / Open Fans Meeting

by 5pm tomorrow (18.11.2018).


You can only stand if you are a member. If you are not a member please join via the 'membership' link.


If you experience problems joining this way please contact us via the 'contact' link.



Yours fraternally



Manny Dominguez


BCST Chair

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 18 2018 06:44PM

Dear Members,


We have to move our proposed date for our Annual General Meeting and Fans' Open Meeting which was to be held on Thurs 29th.


Due to a change in circumstances East Bierley Bantams have understandably had to move their Stephen Darby event to the same date. They had to move their date due to Stephen Darby's own arrangements and we are assisting this by moving our event.


We also want to invite speakers from our national football supporters movement to address you and keep the same venue of The Midland Hotel.


We will get back to you as soon as we possibly can with a date to suit and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.


If you are a member you will have been sent an email. Please check your 'spam' folder if you cannot find it. If you still cannot find it contact us via the 'contact' link: www.bcst.co.uk/contact/4581485151 and we will check your membership details.


Only members can vote at our AGM and Fans' Open Meeting and there will be some important decisions to make, so we advice that non-members join and that everyone makes every effort to attend.


If you are not a member please join via the 'membership' link: http://www.bcst.co.uk/membership/4589006395.


If you experience problems joining this way please contact us via the 'contact' link: http://www.bcst.co.uk/contact/4581485151.


Yours sincerely,


Manny Dominguez


BCST Chair

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