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GIVING A VOICE TO BRADFORD CITY SUPPORTERS

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By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Aug 8 2019 04:21PM

Dear Members and Supporters,


The Trust has been made aware that there has been understandably much hype from the Cleethorpes press coverage on the issue of football hooliganism, Police intervention and how it will effect local derbies. Our League Two fixture with Grimsby Town is on Saturday 10th.


We understand that this match has been identified by the Police as ‘Category C’ fixtures, which mean they are games most at risk from potential problems with fan behaviour, and why it was moved to the earlier time of 1pm.


At recent West Yorkshire Police Football Independent Advisory Group (IAG) meetings with football supporter representatives from across the region, the Police have talked at length about the potential risk about how they visually make a presence during their match day surveillance of supporters on their way to the ground. South Yorkshire Police in years gone by have been criticised for how they have dealt with high profile fixtures and West Yorkshire Police representatives told us that their aim is to change the way they see them – they no longer want to see football fixtures as public order events but as the sporting events they are. West Yorkshire Police want to be seen in the community enabling supporters access the game. This is a step in the right direction. We accept Police requests to move the fixture times if it is a measured and reasonable one well in advance, but what no-one wants to see is an over the top visual presence which may conflagrate any tension that is already there.


Let’s be clear, football hooliganism; negative reaction and hostility towards any groups of people is not just a football issue but one of society too. Fan unity from the vast majority, campaigning and uniting together around our football clubs and our communities is what is needed to prevail.


Unity is strength


Manny Dominguez

Bradford City Supporters Trust

By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Aug 2 2019 04:10PM

Are you ready for another season of watching Bradford City, now in League Two? Let’s brace ourselves for another rollercoaster ride!


We are not getting too giddy with optimism for a quick return to League One despite being the bookies favourite. No, our feet are firmly on the ground. It has to be said however there is much cause for optimism; Gary Bowyer has made some astute signings, 10 in all. Two of them have been talked about among fans; Bradford Born, Clayton Donaldson, from Bolton Wanderers (valued at £315k), and Ben Richards-Everton from Accrington Stanley (valued at £135k), and both were free transfers, in fact 6 out of the 10 were free transfers. Indeed, Matt Palmer is on loan until the end of the season from Rotherham, and Taylor French and Jackson Longbridge, from AFC Sudbury and Dunfirmline Athletic respectively, had signed for undisclosed fees, and Adam Henley has experience playing in the US. Another factor for optimism is that Gary Bowyer and the Club have been keen for the players to be introduced to what it means to play for the Bantams and the Club have introduced ‘heritage’ numbers on kits below the crest to signify the number of players as they had come to play from the Clubs’ first season in 1903. This is something borrowed from cricket and rugby and we are the first football club to introduce it in the professional game. After the previous seasons disappointment there will be a high expectation of players playing for the shirt, and with much more settled football club, commitment and consistency will be key to Bradford City’s success on the pitch this season.


There are quite a few fixtures which are re-acquaintances: Grimsby, Oldham, Cambridge and Newport County - remembered by older City fans, spring to mind, and then there’ll be some new grounds we’ve not come across; Forrest Green and Salford City being the only two. Remember our seasons in League Two, we spent 6 difficult years there, so we know from experience how difficult it can be. If we do go up, great! But if we have a reasonably good season and finish in a top table consolidation position that will be promising too. The main feature we want to see is a big collective effort from the team.


Club relations

It has to be said that we were disappointed with Glenn Ackroyd stepping down from his volunteering roles within the club, including fan engagement. He was certainly one of the most progressive of Club representatives we have worked with. He was all for ‘structured dialogue’, he was passionate about it and many of the ideas that flow from it such as having a designated Supporters Liaison Officer. This role is for someone who is able to act as a bridge between Club and fans and works with other fans groups, is active in contacting fans groups supporting opposing teams ahead of match day and facilitating arrangements on the match day itself. He was passionate about establishing a ‘fanzone’ area at VP and keen for the Supporters Board to develop. But that said, the Supporters’ Board will continue and we will continue to develop a positive relationship with Julian Rhodes, putting forward supporter-based initiatives that can have a positive effect all round.


Community

We already hit the ground running with this last season; we had a good intervention in the Kick It Out event on Good Friday at home to Gillingham with a leaflet, and I thank the lads and lasses from Bradford City Disability Supporters for helping to distribute the leaflets with me.


We also have a working partnership with Bradford Central and Bradford Metropolitan Foodbanks, and we have set up a ‘Go-Fund-Me’ page which is here. We may also organise a foodbank event at one of the home fixtures, hopefully with the backing of the Club. The Gills Supporters Trust has already donated £60 to the Just Giving page.


We also want to work with Supporters clubs, including those that put on coaches, not just from a Supporters Board perspective but so that we can introduce a fun element to the Trust, and with the support of said groups we can work together in putting on events and community initiatives, charity work and so on.


New Board Members for the Trust

As ever, we are always in need of new members of the Trust Board – it is the leadership of our Supporters Trust as a democratic organisation. We would like to reach out further and have a visible presence at Valley Parade on match days, put on more social events and so on, but to do this we need new people to get involved.


If you have experience of things like, community activism, running a football team, meeting people, organizing events, writing, putting in funding applications. If you have some time to give a little back then we would love to hear from you.


Please contact us here, or email us at contact@bcst.co.uk if you would like to be a Board Member, want to discuss ideas, and find out more in general about us.


Yours fraternally


Manny Dominguez

BCST Chair


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 19 2019 09:34AM

Bradford City fans are all set to support the City’s Foodbanks in a pledge to help

Bradfordians who have hit hard times and are struggling to feed their families.


Football fans across the country have been active in promoting awareness of foodbanks over the last 2 years and we have now been working with two foodbanks in Bradford.


We can all agree that foodbanks should not exist in a developed country that in 2019 is the 6th largest economy in the world but unfortunately the impact of austerity with declining household incomes, increased job insecurity, it’s detrimental effect to public services and benefits, it has increased the burgeoning wealth gap between rich and poor.


There is much poverty in the city of Bradford and we are working with two foodbanks; Bradford Central Trussel Trust Foodbank, and Bradford Metropolitan to raise awareness of the poverty and inequality in the city with the view to having a food collection event on a matchday at Valley Parade. If it is popular we can run it periodically during the football season as fans of other clubs do.


If you would like to give a financial donation to Bradford Central and Bradford Metropolitan then you can contribute by going to https://www.gofundme.com/bradford-city-fc-supporters-amp-bradford039s-foodbanks


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 18 2019 11:13PM

Bolton Wanderers recently had it’s winding up petition over unpaid taxes by the High Court suspended after the Club went into administration and an emergency foodbank was set up to help out staff who had not been paid at the last game of their season, which the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Trust (BWST) played a large part in organising. Currently talks with the Administrator, BWST and prospective bidders are on going.

For the latest on their situation go to: https://www.bwfcst.co.uk/bwfcst-update-8/

For more on BWST’s foodbank activities go to:

https://www.bwfcst.co.uk/update-foodbank-fundraising/



Coventry City - A special meeting of EFL clubs to consider the expulsion of Coventry City was cancelled after the club secured a groundshare for next season. The Sky Blues will share with Birmingham City at St. Andrews next season. Coventry City would have liked to continue to play at the Ricoh Arena and share with the Wasps but have failed to reach an agreement with Wasps owners.

Find out what the Sky Blues Trust had to say here: http://www.skybluetrust.co.uk/index.php/114-latest-news/680-the-sky-blue-trust-react-to-news-of-coventry-s-ground-share?fbclid=IwAR1VLReJQPAlHisbTf37UQ167WBrqgEZeOJLfZLhD-RQ-cRk36KoUvxX4pI


Blackpool Supporters had something to celebrate at long last – their hated owners, the Oystons had finally departed after 30 years following a High Court ruling after a receiver was appointed to force the owner to pay the £25m that he owes to former co-chairman Valeri Belokon in February. The protesting and boycotting over the last decade eventually paid off. They now have local businessman Simon Sadle as the Club’s new owner. For more on their developments go to:

https://www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com/Site/LatestNews.aspx?NewId=206


Leyton Orient – Have had their fair share of club mismanagement over the years. Supporters organised in the Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT), have put forward a motion ahead of the Football Supporters Federation (FSF)/Supporters Direct (SD) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London on the 29th July that supports the idea of fans from different Clubs working together supporting clubs in crisis. The motion reads as follows:


This meeting re-affirms the motion adopted at the 2017 AGM of the Football Supporters’ Federation, instructing the Board and National Council to press the FA and the EFL to introduce a licensing system for clubs, overseen by an independent regulator.

This meeting further notes that since then there have been an increasing number of so-called “crisis clubs” where supporters and trusts have had to contend with negligent and irresponsible owners, and where the footballing authorities have not taken action to manage or prevent such crises.

This meeting further notes that the FA/EFL Owners and Directors Test is not working and is not fit for purpose.

Consequently, this meeting instructs the Board and National Council as follows:

1. To make it a top priority to press the FA and the EFL for an independent regulator to oversee a licensing system for all clubs

2. To campaign jointly with supporters’ trusts in the strongest possible terms to call for this work to be adopted.


Bradford City Supporters Trust along with a number of other Supporters Trusts support the sentiment of this motion as we, along with many other trusts and supporters up and down the country are growing ever more concerned about the state of the game and in particular the governing bodies’ failure to regulate properly. We think this motion will go hand in hand with the FSF/SD’s proposals to make regulations of football clubs and new owners more stringent.


Let us know what you think about the LOFT’s proposed motion.


The Football Supporters Association (FSA)

As some of you may be aware, the FSF and SD merged in November of last year. You may have heard of the new legal trading name, the Unified Football Supporters’ Organisation or UFSO but they have still been using their previous names and keeping separate websites, but the transition to use just one name and create just one website is underway.

See http://www.fsf.org.uk/latest-news/view/the-football-supporters-association for more info.


Registering to be a delegate for the AGM of the FSA is underway

The event will be held in London, The Royal National Hotel, on a Saturday, the 29th June.

If you would like to attend, please go to: http://www.fsf.org.uk/supporters-summit/


By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 18 2019 09:58PM

Dear Members,


It is safe to say this season has been a non-starter. The tumultuous situation the Club found itself in the first half of the season had its long lasting detrimental impact – relegation back to league two and a disenchantment felt quite acutely amongst the fans, much more so than in previous seasons where the team has suffered on the pitch.


Of course, we have to breath a sigh of relief that we are not a Bolton Wonderers, Blackpool, Coventry or a Leyton Orient, but football clubs including the Bantams are never too far from trouble as the wealth in the beautiful game is becoming ever more polarised, and most football clubs don’t really make a profit, they just survive. Owner mismanagement is a concern for all of us.


We have a lot to be positive about

The Club’s rebuilding of it’s standing began in November 2018 when Julian Rhodes returned and Edin Rahich departed. Since then, we have had up to 14,000 Bantams fans take up it’s welcomed cheap season ticket offer for the new season, and the Club have made a commitment to reconnect with its fan base. The Supporters Board has been re-launched which we play a part in. We also have a direct channel with the Club. This began with Trust representatives meetings with Julian Rhodes, and now we have regular informal discussions with Glenn Ackroyd, the new fans-engagement officer. The benefit of these meetings is give a wider picture of the working relationships of our fellow Trusts and their clubs and the campaigns fans are taking up, as well as offer clarity issues and support for the Club, understanding its’ short and long term strategy where it benefits the fans and community.


We are pleased to see the Club committed to ‘Structured Dialogue’ in its relationship with the Supporters Board and working with the Trust. Structured Dialogue is a formal process of meaningful discussion between Club and supporters where shared information and consultation takes place. We are also pleased the Club is committed to looking at benefitting from Supporters Liaison Officers – which also comes under the Structured Dialogue remit.


The Supporters Trust is part of a wider network of other supporters Trusts as part of Supporters Direct and Football Supporters Federation. This arrangement means that these bodies have experiences of best practice for football clubs nationally; - what works best in Club/supporter relations, community work, policing, ways of improving the matchday experience and so on.


As the Club sees itself being a community club, we feel we are in a position of greater strength in being a source of influence. At the same time we also want to improve our communications with you and to consult more with you on what YOU WANT.


Next season we will be in League Two, but with a new influx of players over the summer, we hope we will have a team we can all be proud of. And with a Club that is committed in valuing its’ supporters, we hope we can have a brighter future as a Club and community going forward.


Yours sincerely


Manny Dominguez


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.