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.