Why won’t anyone invest in Bradford City?


By Ian Hemmens

Events of the last couple of months have shown a worldwide audience what sort of potential the club has. Two sell out crowds for home cup ties, followed by a mass-exodus from the City to a cup final of a national competition where everyone associated with the club did it proud.

Worldwide publicity that marketing men die for. In the present climate, people of all colours and creeds together as one; the only common denominator being the colours Claret and Amber. Truly a marketing man’s dream; never mind social commentators and politicians.

All this, despite the club being in the fourth tier of English football, shows a potential ripe for someone to come in and arouse the giant from its slumbers. It can be done, it has been done. Former Chairman Geoffrey Richmond showed what can happen when some momentum is gained with this club.

For a club whose glory days were 70 years and two World Wars before, it was a remarkable achievement only halted not only Richmond’s “six weeks of madness”, but the ITV digital collapse. There was no reason why Bradford City couldn’t have been the Stoke City of the 1990s; an established Premier League club.

I’m not sure now if we could? Possibly, but a place in the ultra competitive Championship is where we should be aiming, at least, in my opinion.

So where are the investors and speculators willing to take a chance on a club that has proved its huge potential on a national stage? I understand the world’s economic situation isn’t conducive to speculators and their like, but there’s always someone with an ego wanting to take a punt on something.

Which brings me to another quandary. It’s called better the devil you know. After watching with sincere sadness the pantomime that has become Blackburn Rovers FC, a grand old club with huge traditions, since the Venky family took over, I’m left thinking we are better with the present Joint Chairmen who are, for all their faults, at the end of the day, City fans at heart. The whole Blackburn situation has made a proud club the laughing stock of English football, and I can only sympathise with their genuine fans.

Surely there is someone out there willing, if not to buy the club, at least help out the present owners and share in the reflected glory if the club can maintain the progress hopefully being made this season?

In the mid to long-term, we surely have to get ourselves moving upwards, whilst seriously looking at buying our home back from the Gibb Pension Trust. I know that not having these assets is probably the main stumbling block to someone investing, but this can be an ongoing project, whilst building the rest of the club to where it can be.

Anyone out there reading this who feels they can contribute to this great club – you’ve seen what can be achieved in the last few months. A simple enquiry to the club could be all it takes to give this club the future it deserves.

Categories: Opinion

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5 replies

  1. What kind of investor would you like? A benefactor who will put his or her own money into the club until he finds a different hobby or someone who expects to make money in the longer term? Let’s assume that our preference is for the latter. Could an investor make a return on his investment in the short term? Highly unlikely given we don’t earn our own stadium, we have few saleable playing assets and despite having a large fan base, we have all got used to cheap season tickets and I suggest who wouldn’t countenance increased prices.

    Although our cup windfall has produced a significant windfall this season, it cannot be relied upon in future years. Indeed, that figure itself appears to shrink whenever ML speaks and previous talk of using the profit from the sale of the offices to the free school seems to have similarly evaporated. That says something important about the real state of the club’s finances.

    The reality is that the club prior to this season has accumulated losses of almost £3million. Why would an investor want to invest in a business that cannot make a profit on a sustainable basis?

    • Lets be careful what we wish for here!
      Yes a positive invester who would want to buy the stadium and put a little more money into the players wage budget would be welcome ! .
      But Im fearful of this foreign investment that seems to be buying our football clubs at a very alarming rate!.
      Go talk to notts county who had investment then suddenly wanted out and left notts county in debt!.
      My belief is better the devil you know and lets be honest 5million would be needed to buy the stadium. Then there’s loans that chairman lawn would want and rightly so!
      Chairman lawn came into help this club, possibly with out chairman lawns help we may not have a Bradford Cty to watch come Saturday? .
      I’ve said this before and been shouted down loads of times!.
      All we need is the Bradford council to see the longterm benefit of buying valley parade bk from the Gibb pension fund !
      You may ask why should Bradford council do this how will they benefit?.
      Lets use the stadium for bulls and Bradford Cty ! . I feel this needs to be looked at with open minds ! Lets not dismiss the fact that other towns and ctys
      Have done this with success.

      • I posed the question hypothetically and in the piece i acknowledge the problems that have hit the likes of Blackburn by this trend of foreign owners. I don’t pretend to have the answers and i do feel more comfortable knowing our Chairmen are Bradford people and City fans. In an ideal world, another 2 like those 2 alongside the present incumbents to ease the burden as long as multiple egos don’t start clashing.

        The key is the stadium and in the present climate i’m not sure the any council would survive if it spent money on a stadium buy back whilst there are empty shops, holes in the ground etc in the City centre.

  2. A good article, some financial stability would be nice.
    On the other hand clubs to look for those wanting rich owners;

    Coventry City
    Notts County
    Blackburn Rovers

    For every good owner it seems there is more than one who isn’t so good.

  3. Very good point Ian .
    However the council have already spent around 24million on one massive pond in the centre of Bradford ! . Now wouldnt it have made more sense to spend 5million on a ready made stadium with at least a sell on value ?

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