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GIVING A VOICE TO BRADFORD CITY SUPPORTERS

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By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 11:12PM

The Trust is part of the Supporters Board that meets the Clubs senior officers on a monthly basis – we have a structured dialogue in place here which also has a Terms of Reference – this is about what can be discussed and the structure of the group and meetings. We currently have a more direct channel of communication with the Club in the form of regular informal meetings, and since both sets of meetings have been on a regular basis, since the beginning of the year, we are pleased to report that they are very productive and the atmosphere is very positive. We do not agree on everything but we are not shy about giving praise when we feel that there is a good proposal from the Club and by the same token we can give supportive constructive criticism. Therefore we believe the Trust is in a much stronger and respected position in our relationship with our Football Club.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 10:57PM

In August BCST among other supporters groups in the West Yorkshire area were invited to an Independent Advisory Group Jointly set up by West Yorkshire Police and FSA. The intention of this group is to consult and discuss a variety of issues that are predominantly about match day issues.


These can be issues such as parking up in and around the grounds, issues relating to Supporters Coaches and away fan travel to the match day experience before during and after, and relate to how the Police deal with incidents, and we discuss how we can take things forward, learning from previous experiences. These meetings are on a monthly basis.


Incidents that have been brought to the attention of this forum have been pitch invasions, flairs, the filming of fans as they enter some football grounds and incidents of racism. Recently ahead of our home fixture we had an incident where so-called City fans were taunting a 67 year old black man – a fellow city fan also making his way to the ground, with monkey noises. Understandably, there is pressure to ban fans causing anti-social, and discriminatory behaviour. The EFL and member clubs have to be seen having a tough stance and clubs face fines for such behaviour. The discussions have led to debate other forms of punishment especially aimed at young people who maybe influenced towards criminality such as various forms of education, such as community work and attending meaningful training that can provide a toolkit that will allow a young person to be more self aware whilst at the same time provide social and employment / training opportunities. See the FSA link ‘Giving Education a chance’ here


Bans and lifetime bans are really a short-term sticking plaster that don’t address the issue that racism or any other form of discrimination and anti social behaviour is a social product of alienation and being marginalised. The option of training does not have all the answers either but it can potentially change the direction of youngsters in the here and now if it is meaningful. The racist monkey chants have evidently come from the media’s high profile reports of English Black players being taunted in stadiums in Eastern Europe, whether it’s the England team or Clubs in Europe, and even at home including on social media.

A real answer that would cut across racism and other malignant social problems would be a huge investment in jobs, homes and public services for all which would see a real rise in living standards for the many, but that won’t happen on its own, we as football fans and as members of society, in our workplaces and communities can fight to make that happen.


The Police authorities have to make cuts to their budgets, that means, it will impact on their resources when it comes to their match-day operations. What this means in real terms now is that they have been looking at ways that they hope they’ll be more effective with less – and this is by being more community facing and being seen to support communities and supporters’ events and having a low key visual presence where they see fit. They themselves note that a high visual presence where officers have been ‘tooled up’, in perceived ‘high risk’ fixtures have had the opposite effect to being a deterrent.


In the face of the Police efficiency savings, a new research-led crowd management project called ENABLE is currently being run by Keele University and the EFL that could help transform the way in which future matches are policed and stewarded. The project will be a collaboration between the police forces, Clubs, the EFL and FSA. To see more about this please click here.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 10:25PM

On the 10th of August the Bantams travelled to Cleethorpes for their first away fixture of the season at Blundell Park. Grimsby Town had completely sold out its 1,800 capacity to traveling City fans in this 1 – 1 draw. But the incident we are highlighting was not the events on the pitch unfortunately but in the away section of the ground. The ground was teaming with police, but less so was the number of stewards at that end who were struggling to control the crowd.


What occurred during our goal celebration was fans standing in the exit isles falling into supporters in the disabled section. This was raised at a recent Supporters Board meeting, and it was felt that it would be helpful to write to Crewe Alexandra’s Supporter Liaison Officer (SLO) to ask about preparations regarding their away disability section in advance of our away trip to Gresty Road. There was no response.


However, we learned to hear from Port Vale Supporters Club (PVSC) that fans of Port Vale upon their travels to Blundell Park on the 24th August had issues with the stewards as well. At least 3 fans were ejected from the stadium on match day without justifiable cause. Two youths and one lady were removed from the stadium for gesturing to the home fans, who were doing the same to them. The ejection of two young men it is believed were ejected for gesturing at fans in the home disability section of the ground. We as in BCST and PVSB decided to write jointly to Grimsby Town, describing our experiences and putting forward suggestions we would like to put forward in the hope to improve the match day experience for visiting teams throughout the rest of the season.

We will report if anything comes back.


Our joint suggested proposals are:


a) A review of the training received by stewards with reference

safety issues caused by standing in stairways

attitude to away fans and their role in making a pleasant match day experience

b) A review of the risk assessment of away disability stand, particularly where a large away

following is expected.

c) A review of the area of the stand used for away fans particularly how close to home disability

stand and the view offered to away fans.


For further reading on the FSA's 9 point plan to improve stewarding click here

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 10:08PM

On Thursday 19th September our EFL League 1 and 2 Network met, and elected Manny Dominguez from the Bradford City Supporters Trust as the Network’s third representative on the FSA’s National Council.


Manny sits alongside Antony Wilkinson (Blackpool Supporters’ Trust) and Roger Ellis (Sky Blue Trust) representing supporters in EFL Leagues 1 and 2.


Manny said: “I’m really looking forward to representing League One and Two fans, fighting for a better deal on all fronts, especially on affordable football for all and having a genuine choice to stand or sit with the availability of rail seating/safe standing.”


The EFL League 1 and 2 Network also sat with the FSA’s Championship Network to debate a range of important issues including clubs in crisis, away day pricing, standing, flexible rail tickets, the implications of a mooted European Super League on the EFL, and more.


The results of those discussions will be taken to our formal EFL Supporter Engagement meeting where fan representatives discuss key matters with EFL executives. That meeting is scheduled to take place in early December. You can see this article on the FSA website here.


You can see Manny's Supporting Statement below.

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Nov 11 2019 09:46PM

We are pleased to say that once again the Trust has been able to sponsor a First Team Player for Bradford City Women’s Football Club. We feel strongly about supporting the community side of football, not just the professional game, and BCWFC certainly deserve our backing.


The Club, like all women’s football clubs at this level, is run completely voluntarily – and the team pay to play. Nationally women’s football has finally been given a boost by the FA. The Women’s Super League is completely professional while the Championship Clubs are largely so. However, at the levels below these two, the voluntarily run grassroots clubs like Bradford’s continue as before, with no extra help. We are so keen to support them because we want everyone to feel they can have a proper and managed go at playing football whoever they are.


The Junior teams are now under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of BCFC, with BCWFC retaining responsibility for the First Team and the Reserves. Obviously it is important for their development that the girls and young women in the Juniors are shown a clear pathway to the Senior setup provided by BCWFC.


If you would like to offer your support to the women’s club please contact them directly via their website here, or go and watch one of their games on a Sunday afternoon at Eccleshill! Look here to see their fixtures.


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Sep 10 2019 04:34PM


Dear Members,


As many of you will know, we are affiliated to the Football Supporters Association (FSA), which means all of you BCST members are affiliated members of the FSA. Being a member gives you the opportunity to vote in FSA matters from time to time and now is one of those opportunities. So don't miss it! If you are not yet a Trust member please click on the Membership link here.


Every year at the FSA AGM, affiliated members vote a number of nominated candidates onto its National Council.


The FSA now have a vacancy on the FSA National Council for a representative from our EFL League 1 and 2 Network, and voting is now open. That means YOU can vote!


There are four candidates standing for the vacancy – Manny Dominguez, Peter Leatham, Mark Porter and Robert Whittaker - their election statements can be found at this link.


Voting is open now at this link, and will close at 5pm on Tuesday 17th September which means there is not much time left.


You may vote for only one individual. The result of the ballot is subject to ratification at the meeting of the EFL League 1 and 2 Network on 19th September.