By James Pieslak
I know you’re on holiday right now. Holidays are a great time to reflect and take stock, so let’s do that together shall we?
Well, this morning we woke up at the bottom of League One after the worst start to a season in the club’s history. You might prescribe that to a bad start or a blip, but alas, no, the bleak form stretches back much further than that doesn’t it? Throughout the 2018 calendar year no club in the entire football league has fared as badly on the pitch as Bradford City.
That’s not good is it Edin? Not good at all. It’s made all the worse when you consider the recent years of progress on and off the pitch. Promotions, cup runs, fanfare, year-on-year improvement. As a businessman, that’s what you and Stefan look for is it not? YOY results are everything.
Shall we look at how’s that going? Hmmm. The steady march of progress seems to have slowed, stopped, and crunched into reverse under your watch Edin. Crikey, this isn’t going well is it?
At least we have the fans. 20,000+ supporters week in week out, making a vociferous noise. Dads, lads, mums, daughters, grandads, grandmas, families, mates; all heading down to VP to proudly cheer on the team they love.
Only thing is, that’s not the case these days is it Edin? I took a look around the ground for you last night and instead of happy cheering faces all I saw was apathy and misery. Blank faces, angry faces, bewilderment. And seats. Lots of empty seats. You see, people aren’t going anymore Edin, they’re leaving in their droves. They’re turning their backs and they’re giving up on the club. Just two years ago the Kop used to bounce. Last night, it sat in bemused silence. I could hear every shout from the players on the pitch. It was not enjoyable, it never is these days.
Ok, so things aren’t going well on the pitch and on the terraces. Let’s look elsewhere. Let’s look at how you’ve improved things in other areas. We know you like to get involved in all aspects and that you have extremely high standards so let’s review things. Shall we start with recruitment? We know you’re into that because you know football don’t you Edin?
Where shall we start? The players or the management? Well, I’ve already outlined problems on the pitch so let’s leave the playing staff alone for now and have a nosey at the manager, sorry, Head Coach position.
Well, Phil Parkinson quickly left after you took over and we had a club legend in Stuart McCall who steered us to the play off final and kept us in the top six the following season. Then we lost a few on the spin (there have been all sorts of reasons for this sudden shift in fortune but I won’t expand here). Judged against your very high standards, this meant McCall was shown the door. A controversial decision, but hey, this presented you with the opportunity to appoint a manager who would be able to work to your new strategy. Simon Grayson came in on a temporary basis and was beiger than beige, and left in the summer after deciding he was a Championship Manager. No loss there to be honest. As our players love to say on social media, we go again.
So, a massive summer came around. This was your big chance. Appoint a manager to take the club to the next level. You spent weeks on the process. People were linked with the job, but they quickly withdrew their interest. I don’t think they liked what they heard. Time passed, the season got closer. What was happening? Then, with no options left on the table you appointed a Head Coach with no experience of managing at this level and who had not even interviewed for the job. Blimey Edin, you played a blinder there didn’t you?
Imagine the absolute surprise when that didn’t work out, particularly in lieu of the whispers. Training ground meddling, dressing room interference, little say in transfers. It was an odd appointment, and coupled with the challenges that come with being something of a puppet, it was destined to fail. I feel very sorry for Michael Collins, and I hope his career bounces back from this set back. Setbacks and you Edin, they seem to go hand-in-hand don’t they? God help David Hopkin.
So, we add Head Coach recruitment to your growing list of calamities. Let’s look at the players instead. Crikey. We’ve got rid of leaders, characters, and good players. Instead you have seemingly embarked on a strategy of bringing in players who are markedly inferior. You apparently rejected a list of players who were scouted and identified by our Head of Recruitment, and instead went for a smorgasbord of bargain basement options, with a view to making a profit through resale. But, here’s the rub, because you don’t take the advice of others, they’re not worth a bob. On top of that, the Development Squad has been scrapped – where is the next game for our youth products. Like so many other poorly executed plans of yours, the plan to bring through good youth players and sell them on lies in tatters.
Not listening to the advice and views of others seems to be a central tenet of your leadership style doesn’t it Edin? Micromanagement is your thing. You like to get stuck in. The problem is, like a thick thorny bramble, you have got stuck into every nook and cranny of this wonderful club and you have managed to choke out anything good. McCall, Mason, key players, goodwill, togetherness, progression, vibrancy, positivity, full houses, even the desire to go and support Bradford City – they’re all going or they’re gone Edin. The commercial impact of this doesn’t bear thinking about.
Edin, you sacked McCall and you sacked Collins. The reason you cited on both occasions was that results weren’t good enough so action had to be taken. Judged against that, and given all of the above, I ask a serious question – how on earth can you possibly continue?
Edin, you proclaimed that you know football. You do not. You think you know business. If you do, you know about accountability and responsibility. Yet you repeatedly deny both.
Edin, I charge you with serial incompetence. Under your leadership the club is falling. The club is failing. Listening to ‘Midland Road Take Me Home’ in the ground makes us shudder, because this no longer feels like home. You have proven, repeatedly, that you are not fit to run this football club. It’s not a matter of heart, it’s a matter of this club’s future. Edin, I propose a vote of no confidence in your leadership. Edin, you must go.
perfect summing up m’lord 👍
Superb piece of writing,straight to the ‘heart ‘ of City under Edin’s Control hope it is being read in Germany now!
Good read, do you think he reads it? I doubt it, how about sending him a copy direct, not that I think he’ll take any notice!
100% accurate as alway. Get it posted to VP for Edin to read marked private and confidential!
You sum up my thoughts. I didn’t go last night and won’t again in the foreseeable future. It is so sad what these two men have done to the decent supporters of our club. Please go quickly.
Will R & R read this? I doubt it. But what they will both recognise is the financial impact of their incompetence. The gaps in the stands will effect everything from pies to shirts to sponsorship. Relegation will mean even more significant losses that must make even R & R wake up and smell the coffee. This is our main hope unless a fairy godmother with big pockets comes to the rescue.
A great article which brilliantly summarises just how I’m currently feeling. Thanks
Get the telegraph and/or Yorkshire post to publish this as an open letter to the club from someone who’s heart is in the club. This message needs to be heard by a wider audience (no disrespect WIP). It is what most supporters are feeling and thinking at this time. He is killing our club single handed and I feel we can do nothing about it. Yes we can demonstrate with our feet by not turning up or refuse to buy season tickets or club merchandise or shout Rahic out. What good does it do? The pen is stronger than the sword! We need to spread the discontent wider. Already national newspapers have printed stories about the “going ons” at Valley Parade. This forced a response from Rahic. The Telegraph is a start. Like many supporters I want my club to grow and be a joy to watch and be what it was like in the Parkinson years. It if continues like this the club will die and we will become the biggest city in the UK without a professional football team! We deserve better!
A brilliant article which sums it all up. I have never been so disillusioned by the last few months and I fear for the future. I’ve thought for some time that we are heading for the Second Division, but we are now non-league standard.
The question I wish to raise is what are Edin’s motives? He is clearly failing as a businessman and has made atrocious mistakes. A successful businessman plays to his strengths., but he has driven able and highly respected people out of the club. The financial base of the club is withering as crowds diminish, and sponsorship falls.. Development of players no longer seems to be a priority. Substandard players have been signed, and show no signs of saving us. Managerial appointments have been a farce. Successful and likeable managers like Parkinson and McCall have been treated shabbily and look at the results!. The heart and soul of the club and its community links have been ripped out. There is no leadership on the pitch, in the dugout, and in the board room. The time has come to put the club up for sale and see what offers come in. We just cannot go on like this. Bradford City needs to be run by people with ambition who care about the club and the city.
Can we avoid adminstration that worry
By the sounds of this article it’s looking like great Job Mr Edin Rahic is doing
Fantastic article James you’ve nailed it every word rings true I really hope Rahic gets to see it. I’ve no need to put my 10 pence worth in you’ve said it all #RahicOut
Absolutely brilliant James. I hope both owners read that and hang their head in shame. Please send that in an email to Edin.
I’ve listened to all this nonsense for too long so, despite my complete and utter distrust of social media as a source of intelligent, balanced opinion, I have decided to reply.
Just over 11,000 attended v Coventry and no chants of ‘Edin out’ – our core supporters understand that you support your team through good and bad.
We win together we lose together.
The longest Injury list that I have seen and poor refereeing decisions (though I agree they balance out, right now many are going against us eg that was not handball!), allied to a new team trying to gell, are largely responsible for our current position.
Forget trying to sack the Chairman, such protests damage the club and never work…just look at Newcastle, Coventry, Blackpool. The only way we, as fans, can positively, influence things is to loudly, support the team.
So if your a true supporter then at our next home game back the team!
“LOYAL SUPPORTERS, LOYAL SUPPORTERS’
No mate. Sorry. You are wrong if you think support will fix this. They are rotten to the core.
This is not some gratuitous attack but I disagree with virtually everything that you have written.
Social media is a mixed bag. Some disingenuous individuals and others trying to stir up trouble. We counter this with contributions from upstanding people such as you.It is what it is. From an individual perspective, main stream media is worse as it is both cynical and inherently biased.
Lack of ‘Edin out’ cries? The fact that no-one was shouting is no reflection of true feelings. People are resigned to the situation. Two sucker punches within ten minutes saw to that. Such is the ‘depression’ that not everyone cheered City’d second goal; too far gone by that point.
Usual excuses about injuries and poor refereeing decisions do not wash either. A complete nonsense of an excuse. Who, on their return, is going to make a significant difference to this group?
New team? Admittedly. Self inflicted? Definitely. Working together day in day out for two months, eighteen games in. If they have not gelled by now then they are not going to do. They have the ability to pass the ball to each other, they try to do the right things, but they are not up to the task. It is painful to see.
Regarding the chairman, very few have asked for him to be sacked. People just want him to leave.
A take your point about Newcastle, Blackpool and Coventry. You could include Leeds in that. However, no matter how loudly you are shouting will do nothing in the current climate – other than give you a sore throat and a headache.
And if you are that loyal a supporter, you will be on the road to Gillingham on Saturday. Not waiting for the next home-turn to come around.
Oddly enough, the only group of fans with any real ‘balls’ are those of AFC Wimbledon. They took control of a dire situation. They refused to back the status quo, they boycotted, they rebuilt.
Michael, Final post, in no particular order –
– Perception is stronger than reality.
– I never mention the Lxxxx word.
– We both have BCFC running through our veins
– You have as big a part to play in supporting this club as I have.
as the chant that followed Rochdale’s first goal a ‘true reflection of feelings’? seemed to me that many at the back of the kop couldn’t wait for them to score.
– Whatever: we will not go down this season but things will get worse before they get better.
Ps I don’t make excuses.
Pps I agree with your comment about main stream media.
Is that you Edin?
If we don’t like what’s going on “there’s the door”.
Looks like at least 5000 + have already kicked it wide open.
Mr Higgins may I ask if you are on any illegal substances that diminsh your thoughts?
In fact it’s Loopy Lonniejockstrap. Hey Loopy, how many names are you using. You poor sick man.
The sponsors will hopefully start to make noises too.
Maybe we should concentrate on them?
R&R will notice THAT.
What sponsors? They advertised to 20000 customers every game. That’s halved and will half again next year.
James, this is one of the best articles I have read in a long time. Every single aspect is bang on. If I was Edin, reading this, I wouldn’t have the brass neck to show my face at Valley Parade again. However, this is no ordinary individual we’re talking about, so we can expect a refreshed Rahic to return and continue with his demolition of Bradford City.
Brilliant James! Outstanding and captures the position so accurately. Total loss of faith, confidence and trust in Edin. No way forward with Edin. The damage is beyond repair!
It really does make for very sorry reading but well done James for cataloguing the series of calamities under ER’s watch. It is just so sad to see a once thriving City Community simply implode. I am one of the ‘stay always’ after over 30 years home and away. I think the pendulum has swung too far for ER to pull it back now and relegation looms large. Cut your losses Edin before there’s nothing left.
Given that this owner ‘knows football’ and he tells us he was a member of the board at ‘Stuttgart Kickers’ and his credentials are sound, he identified that ‘in Germany there is a really top atmosphere in the stadiums’, so how come we are where we are.
If these British Coaches are not up to his exacting standards, and footballers expect to be paid rather than win their pay, how come we do not have an ultra successful German Coach and a significant number of quality German players?
Sorry, but ‘Sorry’ is not good enough.
Given that he has sacked two coaches and two have elected to leave, under his ‘watch’ then surely a true leader leads and if they are not capable, stand down!
Time to accept the inevitable and to go. No more shuffling the deckchairs, accept that you have failed… the fans, the coaches/managers, players, your partner Rupp and the Sponsors. Time to hand the running of the club to someone who really understand football in England!
On a purely financial point of view this is coming from my personal experience of managing a successful and well run business and allso been involved with a company which was put in administration,if you see your investment at risk and you can’t see away out of it ,you will cut costs and start to draw back your investment over a period of time , eventually then trying to sell on the business for as much as possible .
Absolutely spot on. I think it’s a pity that you weren’t the one interviewing him instead of the so called BCST 👌🏻👍
Emotional but honest and frank. Well said. We will rebuild again from league 2 next season if this clown sells. If he doesn’t, then it is non league football for our beloved club.
Absolutely fantastic piece of writing, FANtastic (did you get what I did there Edin)?
Oh forget it…..
Surely Edin and Co must see and understand what is happening in front of their own eyes.
If they are both so blind as to not appreciate this then my god we are doomed.
It beggars belief !!!!
What more can you say . 🙈🙉🙊🤥
Wow. James Pieslak, take a bow. This site just gets better and better.
Well said James.Honest and brutally.I somehow doubt the truth will register.Last man standing it might.
A round of applause seems wholly inadequate for such a brilliantly penned epitaph for the recently deceased Edin Rahic! Well said, well said!!!
Brilliantly wrote James
Sums up my feelings and frustrations perfectly .
Edin isn’t capable and doesn’t have the required skills to oversee our proud club .
It’s like being on Death Row
We are heading for a enevitable death
Absolutely excellent article.
We are now relegated. At least 42 points needs to survive from 31 games – starting to look like play-off form needed. With this lot – never going to happen.
Forget January window. No incoming signings and in any case what will we have 20 points or so. Still too much to do and by that time – loyal core down to 5-7,000 (like good ol Div 4 days – yuk!)
Best thing is administration – that’s when to snap up a bargain. Maybe that’s when any potential buyer will emerge.
Just can’t get my head around the business strategy.
If all the Germans could afford was the asking price – how was either financial or playing success going to be achieved? Lawn & Rhodes made it clear in the press that INVESTMENT would be needed to go to the next stage. Maybe they needed to put in another £4-6m – buy Bradley Dack, Keifer Moore and others. Put up season tickets to £199 to part fund investment (get fans onside) – don’t think many would have quibbled.
We probably would have gone up in that first season. Even if not, invest further to get us over the line. £249 season ticket – still just over a tenner a game. We could and should have done it – if not, still some highly sellable assets. How much would Charlie had been worth if he scored 25 goals last season, we might have even afforded luxury if getting Nahki back.
All buts and maybes – but a plan with a better than even chance of success. Now they have nothing. And sadly neither do 12-15,000 people who had devoted at least eight months a year to the cause.
We are witnessing a clash of cultures I believe Andrew. Rahic doesn’t want to up the price of the product in order to improve the quality of the product he want’s to improve efficiencies and reduce waste in order to increase profit to finance better ‘quality’. This requires a ‘change management’ approach philosophy that may or may not work in the short-term in the EFL and/or BCAFC.
If I have understood what Rahic was saying then the finance was available to provide for a ‘competitive’ first-team squad and a properly funded development squad strategy. Rahic accepted he could fund a team good enough to get us a promotion to the Championship but the costs of staying there were unsustainable without money being available from the sale of players produced within the Club’s player development process.
Things are obviously not going to plan at the moment.
Absolutely brilliant piece worded perfectly and putting the feelings of the majority of supporters in regards to the current situation
Spot on summary.
For the first time since the 80s I left 10 minutes from time last night. Not a word of complaint from my 14 year old son.
What a article, the best I have read on this site ( for all the awful upsetting current reasons ).
This Club has loads of terrace songs we sing and now we have no faith to sing anymore.
So there is only one terrace song left to sing now and it goes like this…………
We want RAHIC out, we want RAHIC out.
We want RAHIC out, we want RAHIC out
We want RAHIC out, we want RAHIC out
We want RAHIC out, we want RAHIC out
If all the fans sing this all the way through the next Home game, I am sure it will Hit The Headlines, if we lose we lose, we are all expecting that anyway.
We are the club, they like our voice for all the good reasons, that is why they bought the Club so they told us. Let them hear the proper 12th man as LOUD as we CAN………………
People that are saying we are relegated, we are going down. I implore you to look at what Plymouth did last year, and similarly seem to be doing this year. Edin is not the sole reason for our poor form; understandably many of us who only have social media to rely on think he is. Yes, some of the players haven’t been good enough, and his appointment of MC was a disaster – of which he realised and reacted relatively quickly. Because of that, we have been 7 weeks late to the start of the season, and then the new gaffer had to come and implement his own style, as well as making sure the squad was fully fit. If we are still bottom by Christmas, I will take back this comment, but I feel that once we start getting players back, like Tyrell (whether he is or not?) it will make a big difference. I will be sticking with it, and I have the upmost confidence we will be fine in the long run. 2018 has not been a good year, granted, but it’s almost over, and we can look to rebuild
You feel matters will come to a head if we get relegated, as there will be such a significant drop in season ticket holders, which will make the cheap deal offer unsustainable, and consequently there will be a substantial fall in revenue. If this happens then I would be surprised if R&R didn’t put the club up for sale.
January is therefore a crucial month not only for the football club, as we desperately need to sign a target man to give us even a chance of survival, but also for R&R, where they will have one last chance to try arrest this unprecedented slide.
This german bloke will not even read this. He was in a world of his own when he joined us but his fantasies suited us. Now we see that world as a nightmarish figment of his meglomania. A chap called Knighton once kept the ball up in front of the Stetford End at Old Trafford and was hailed as a hero. Trouble is, it was only the ball he could keep up but not the payments! We can only hope this german sees the mess he’s created and stays in the land of his birth. Maybe buying a football club was one of those middle age madness things, like buying a boat, motorbike, sports car, blonde half his age or tight trousers. We live in hopes that he sees the light or at least his wife and family give him the hard word. The damage has been done now but if he buggers off we still have a chance of saving a club that has brought me and my family great pride and joy for the last 7 or more years. 60 seasons since I made my debut. 53 seasons of mostly famine more than compensated by the last 7 or so years. Go, for God’s sake go. Let us salvage what is left of a club that had become a place we wanted to be. Smiles on faces of all ages. The previous regime created this. We provided the smiles. All 19000 plus of us. GO!
By the way, those clubs where protesting was rife ie Coventry, Newcastle, Blackpool etc are all above us now!!!
Unfortunately too much damage has been done and not enough time to rectify it. League two is inevitable, after over 30 years of holding a season ticket, I for one will not be renewing next year, not until there is a change at the top …
Great article James and spot on.
Agree it should be sent to publish as an open letter (Simon Parker, T&A?).
Excellently written and it hits the nail very firmly on the head, which is coincidentally exactly where I would like to hit ER!!! He has single-handedly destroyed our club, the infrastructure, squad, fan-base, reputation, financial stability, saleability and credibility………….. BUT………. He KNOWS football!!!!!! Get the scandalous little worm out of OUR club now!!!!!
Good article James and from the heart. I can’t add anything more as you’ve pretty much covered everything. That said, and it’s just a thought, with all the focus that was on us during our Carling Cup run, FA Cup defeats of Chelsea and Sunderland wouldn’t it be a good idea if we could get the likes of Sky, BBC, BT Sports etc to do a follow up piece reflecting the fall of Bradford City by the actions of self-seeking, money grabbing, reflected glory chasing incompetent narcissists who purport to know about football but in fact are inept beyond belief and seem totally intent upon the destruction of a once proud club that is an integral part of the community.
I feel certain that, even a relatively short piece would not only shame the owners in public but at the same time highlight the apparent ease with which any clown with money can own a football club. The last point surely undermines the essence of the FA’s ” fit and proper ” test which is, let’s be honest, laughable at best.
I have no connections whatsoever with the media, maybe you or other contributors do. R&R wanted Worldwide attention to sell their German based masterplan to the UK, it would surely be fitting if the result of this could be made public, especially in their own backyard!
Totally, utterly and completely agree with every word..very sadly..every single word..put some money in now or go !!!
Chances are Edin won’t be leaving until a suitable investor comes in, and even then he doesn’t have to leave if he still fancies the challenge no matter how unpleasant it gets for him. The emotion of it all is clouding a lot of our judgements of how this is going to pan out. We are stuck with this situation for a long time to come.
I want Edin out, and I would like someone more qualified to replace him, but I aren’t going to do anything other than moan about it on social media and this lovely website. That is about as much as I can muster with my financial backing (Nothing), and knowledge of football business (Nothing).
It is easy for us all to highlight the problems from our work desks and phone screens, but what are the solutions that we can achieve? The supporters groups should be doing more for us, but with the power of social media and the people at WOAP, we could do more than just spend our time pointing out the negative problem and start looking for a solutions and making some bantams progressivism.
We should unite under a common positive supporter campaign under the banner of wanting our club back. Forget #Rahicout #Edinout – don’t give the man any satisfaction in seeing his name. Turn this negative situation into a positive supporters campaign #wewantourcityback #bringbackthebantams #wearethebantams #wearebcafc #ourcityourclub or something similar but better…
Hi James, great article which hits the nail on the head as to how many of us are feeling about the destruction ER has caused at our club and in so many ways. Can I just ask how you would feel about your words being used on a flyer and it also being circulated to the local press (T&A and YP) as well as to the national press that has already picked up on the shambles our owners are creating at VP. We need to get the message out there and your words have encapsulated the thoughts of so many City fans. This might also have some impact on SR who as the majority owner would surely not want to see the disastrous work of his sidekick highlighted for all to see and judge.
This would be a relatively easy way to spread a heartfelt message which is already out there on this site and to do something at a low cost and without (initially) trying to organise marches, match boycotts etc – but your article could not and would not be used without your and WOAP authorisation. What do you think?
I’ve spoken to James and absolutely fine to share around, although we are not sure if the flyer is necessarily the best approach for what is a lengthy article.
I think it is important to highlight the very strong reaction. This article has chimed with a lot of people, and I think that James has done an amazing job of writing in a way that expresses how thousands of people feel.
Supporters are drifting away in such huge numbers that there’ll shortly be just a diehard 5,000 who’d turn up just to watch the grass grow. There’ll be an acceptance from them that “it is what it is”.
Sadly, therefore, I think the opportunity for an effective campaign to oust Rahic has gone. Many long term fans have already voted with their feet and no longer identify with Bradford City. I doubt a change of ownership would tempt them back. I can only liken the feeling to a long standing marriage where one finds the other has been unfaithful – a long term relationship shattered for good.
Inevitably, in such a toxic atmosphere as exists at VP, rumours abound, many of which, disturbingly, have a current theme. The current shambles on the pitch pales into insignificance, when you consider what the future may hold.
Thanks for coming back to me Jason – I am away for a couple of days so wont get chance to do anything before Monday, but also chance to have a think of the best way to use James article. I was not 100% about the flyer idea other than it would hopefully be circulated far and wide! I think the key was James captured the current mood and feeling amongst so many fans and would be good to put these great words to as much positive use as possible. Will keep in touch.
Paul Hurst now available before the January window !
This article is completely factual and should firstly be published in the T&A for all to read.
It clearly identifies the root cause.
It should also be copied and posted to Edin and reported in our match day program.
Well said sir…neatly sums up how most of us BCFC fans are feeling at the moment…pity poor Bradford…