City’s potential new investor revealed



By Jason McKeown

In our match report of last night’s defeat to Bristol City, we revealed that the club were in talks to sell to a new investor. Gianni Paladini’s name has now been put into the public domain.

WOAP understands that Mark Lawn is looking to sell his stake, but it is not clear if Julian Rhodes is remaining on board. If the deal goes through, Paladini is expected to buy Valley Parade from the Gordon Gibb pension fund.

The 70-year-old Italian is the former chairman of QPR, becoming involved with the club in 2003 and heavily involved with Rangers’ rise to the Premier League. It was a turbulent spell that featured the likes of millionaires Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal; included the club going through 14 managers in six years; and at one point Paladini being forced to resign at gunpoint.

Paladini was first noted in English football as an agent to several Italian star names, in the 1990s, and he was Benito Carbone’s agent when in 2000 the forward secured a four-year, £40,000 per week deal at Valley Parade. The arrangement including City buying Carbone a house worth £750,000 featuring seven bedrooms and five bathrooms. More recently Paladini has been attempting to take over Birmingham City without success.

Paladini was also heavily involved with QPR almost being denied promotion to the Premier League in 2011, when they signed Alejandro Faurlin and played him throughout the 2009/10, despite the player being owned by a third party rather than Rangers.

And as one of the stars of the excellent documentary – the Four-Year Plan – it is worth looking at a little bit of Paladini at work for Rangers. Skip forward to 1 hour and 15 minutes into the below video to see a worried Paladini trying to explain himself to a furious Flavio Briatore. Keep watching until 1 hour 23 minutes to see Paladini’s obvious relief when the FA decides not to deduct points.

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11 replies

  1. Really really concerned. I want to see FA due diligence on these two. I cannot see them bank rolling the club and this club has already had it’s brush with non-existence due to over ambitious financial mismanagement.

    I am half-Italian myself but at face value I am not happy with two foreign owners with no connection with the club or with evidence of significant cash to burn.

    This is worst news than the 6-0 drubbing lady night 😞

    How this benefits the club I do not know!

  2. Totally agree. I’ve just watched the video and he is not the kind of person I would want running our beloved Bradford City.

  3. I sincere think these talks will amount to nothing.
    Soon as he goes through the finances and realises our cheap season tkts etc Paladini will not continue.
    6 million to buy the ground & Finances needed to buy our chairman out I’d be surprised if hed be willing to do so.

  4. ML has always said he would only ever sell to someone who he is sure would be of benefit to Bradford City.

  5. If the choice is between being someone’s “ticket to the premier league” and all its riches, or play forever in league one, solvent, with a season like this on every now and then (we beat Chelsea about once every 12 years, don’t we?) I’d rather take league one.
    I hate QPR, not for who they are, but for what they did to get to the top – spending money you haven’t got, as Redknapp and his bosses did (and Richmond did) is cheating. Look where Portsmouth ended up.

    • For me the current business model ticks a lot of boxes. It has brought reasonably priced football to its traditional support. That has enhanced the game experience no doubt about it. It has also provided an almost direct correlation between what we pay and what we put out on the pitch. They really are our players and it feels like my club. Ruin that at your peril

  6. We need investment. Fact. Sometimes in life you need to take risks. Rhodes and Lawn have taken us as far as they can. They have no more money to invest and we are forever destined to be in League 1 or League 2 without the injection of funds. We are gambling year on year on cup runs and player sales to provide us with even an average playing budget. We have a big stadium, an increasing fan base and a decent sized stadium. Paladini might be the saviour and take us to the Championship, or even the Premiership again. He might be a nightmare – but if we decline his advances we’ll never know. If it goes wrong, we’ll be there to support the club no matter what.

    Bring it on, I say.

  7. Just found Poojah the mariner’s rant about Grimsby Town – worth googling if you are feeling down about your team’s downturn in fortunes.

  8. I appreciate that everyone has a right to their own opinion but I have to disagree with Gaz. I think that it’s easy to say that Rhodes and Lawn have taken us as far as they can. With a few good signings this summer (that don’t have to cost lots) and if we start letting some of our home grown players like McBurnie and Mottley Henry play in the first team, we can push for the play offs next season. We need to play proper wingers with Hanson being played up front along side a “nippy” centre forward. Most supporters who I talk to believe that we aren’t that far away from having a squad that can sustain a play off push next season. Success on the pitch doesn’t have to involve spending lots of money although having money will assist in developing a strong squad.

    As for implying that the supporters will be there to support that club if it all goes wrong is not necessarily true. Back in 2004 when the club was in financial trouble, initially there was only a small minority who supported the Bradford City Supporters’ Trust initiative. There was a small core of dedicated supporters who were prepared to dedicate their time to the cause of saving the club. If we were in a similar situation in the not too distant future, I think that a lot of people would not be bothered in saving the club yet again.

    I suppose that it comes down to what individuals want/expect from the football club. Some of us are happy attending games with family and friends and accepting that we’ll win some games and lose some games. At the same time, other people say that if we adopt such an approach we lack ambition. If you want to support a soulless team then feel free to jump on the Premier League bandwagon where money dictates almost everything and where there is little connection between club, players and supporters. I know which option I prefer.

  9. We could easily, easily find ourselves back in league 2 in the next few seasons. We are only 10 pts outside the drop zone as it stands.

    Let’s grasp the nettle – grab the new investment and give it a right go.

    There is no way we can sustain championship football under the current regime – face facts, Rhodes & Lawn ain’t got the clout to enable us to compete in that division, end of story.

    Go for it or forever be a 3rd or 4 the division club, going nowhere.

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