Rupp says he will back Hopkin, but is he missing the point?

By Andrew Collinson

It’s fair to say that the appointment of David Hopkin as head coach didn’t tear up trees, but he came with a reputation of being a firm but fair figure; said to bring a traditional approach to management with a more direct style of football.

However, after City’s poor start to the season with Michael Collins in charge, the majority of supporters welcomed the idea of a more stern and experienced man in the hot seat.

City’s first few games under Hopkin were frustrating, but promising. A defeat to Blackpool after surrendering a two-goal lead was a bitter pill to swallow, but the signs were encouraging; City were showing more effort and commitment. This didn’t go unnoticed among the fan base, who could see the signs of an improving team that would, under Hopkin’s stewardship, kick on and put some distance between City and the relegation zone.

Unfortunately, after five defeats on the bounce, that initial optimism has waned and for some, Bradford City’s fate already seems sealed. In those five games, a paltry four goals were scored, with an even more alarming 15 goals conceded.

Fear not City fans. Co-owner Stefan Rupp intends to stick by his man. Admittedly, this doesn’t say much consider­ing that Rupp publicly declared his support for ex-manager Stuart McCall, before proceeding to relieve him of his duties 11 days later.

On Friday, Rupp issued a statement saying that Hopkin has his support on matters concerning the backroom staff and the January transfer window.

Brilliant! Well, not quite… Rupp seems to be missing the point. He has spoken of Hopkin as though he is an under-fire man and that fans have lost their patience with him.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fans can see how much he cares, and know he has pedigree after the job he did north of the border with Livingston. These are not his players, and to be fair to Michael Collins, they weren’t his either.

Some fans have said Hopkin should be more flexible in his style of football, and play to the team’s strengths. Of course I see that point of view, but I disagree for two reasons: firstly, the owners appointed Hopkin knowing full well how he coaches his teams to play football; secondly, have the players demonstrated any strengths thus far that a manager could adapt his style to? I don’t think so.

One thing that can be agreed upon is that the fans want to see Bradford City succeed, and would love that to happen with David Hopkin at the helm. The reaffirmation of his commitment, amid speculation he might walk away, was generally warmly greeted.

Either Rupp is blindingly ignorant to what the real issue is, or he thinks that fans of Bradford City are very naive.

Bradford City is a working class club, with working class fans. They as a fan base have experienced almost every conceivable high and low, so it really isn’t easy to pull the wool over their eyes.

In a Twitter poll, a portion of Bradford City fans expressed who they believe is responsible for City’s current sorry state of affairs. Sufficed to say, the outcome isn’t surprising: 75% blame Rahic, 22% the players and only 3% Hopkin,

Acknowledging what the issue within the club is would be a good way to try to regain the trust of the fans. Just a thought.

This article isn’t about Rahic though, it is about Stefan Rupp and David Hopkin.

It is great that Rupp is publicly supporting Hopkin. However, it remains to be seen how much he’ll support the head coach in January when recruitment really could mean the difference between survival or regressing years back to League Two.

Actions speak louder than words. Please back your man, Stefan – and perhaps there might be way out of this mess.

Categories: Opinion

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6 replies

  1. The only thing I would criticise David Hopkin for is I think we should be trying to stop the rot at all costs. Put five across the back, anything to keep us in games. If half of those lost games, could have been turned draws, we would be a lot better off. Keep hold of the ball, don’t keep lamp it up to Doyle, he cant win a header to save his life.

  2. Rupp must now see the problem is Rahic and his best course of action would be to buy Rahic out his 20 per cent holding in the club and replace him with salaried CEO/chairman with a link to club. Draw up a blueprint and agree on how the club can operate, progess and move forward whilst winning the trust back of everybody contected with the club from fans, staff, sponcers and players.

    This may not save us from relegation however it wull give us a better foundation to move forward next season or find new owners. In the meantime Bradford city will continue to regress under the current set up.

  3. Mr Rupp said he would back the team last year when they were in a much stronger position but, according to a former club employee decided not to give the club anymore funds after an apparent disagreement with Rahic. Can we trust either of theses two, I think not. He needs to protect his investment and the best way of doing this would be initially to do as Andrew said in the above post and then look to sell the whole club when it has started to restore faith with the fans and ensured its league one status otherwise He could loose a major part of his investment. Lets face it, as it stands now He would struggle to find a serious buyer.

    • Other than a desperation wish, why would anyone truly think that Rupp is any better than Rahic. If Rupp was truly sincere about improving things at City, Rahic would be gone. Since buying the Club they have had an abnormal fixation on reducing costs. Ask yourself why??
      Maybe because the Club was a leverage purchase that involved very little upfront cash. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to eventually learn the infrastructure improvements were financed via Gibb and a revised rental agreement for the stadium.
      The renewable Debenture when it comes due next year will likely force the Owners to actually put some serious cash into the Club if they want to continue with their totally unrealistic VISION.

      • The report from the BCST meeting with Rahic stated that Rahic had informed the Trust there had been a ‘significant increase in the rent for the ground’. Apparently, the members of the Trust present at that meeting did not see fit to ask what had brought about the increase in Rent. You may well be correct re the financing of the ‘infrastructure improvements’.

  4. Can’t believe Hopkins gets such an easy ride, he knew the squad before he came and his stats are worse than Collins’ + the results get worse week on week , remove those rose tinted specs please. His coaching here seems to be on a par with playing career.

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