I gave Edin Rahic the benefit of the doubt, but enough is enough


By John Wade

I watched my first City match in 1948, aged 6 or 7, and have loved and supported City ever since. There were a few years, due to living in London and Australia, when I saw very few games, but my interest has never really waned.

Until now, the worst playing period was in the early 1960s, due to a player selling policy and unambitious directors. The best periods have been few and far between, but the period since the League Cup win at Notts County in 2012 have been about the best, apart from the five great promotion seasons. Bradford City have been a great part of my life, just as they were for my father and my own family.

I truly thought that the defeat by Millwall in the play-off semi-final was a blip on the road to success, and was even more convinced of success when Millwall rather luckily beat us at Wembley.

Since then, one man and one man alone has been responsible for a disgraceful decline.

I excused him for breaking up the Wembley team, I understood why he wanted to bring on young players, I thought the Hendrie saga was probably not all his fault, I could see the logic in sacking McCall, I thought they were unlucky in the transfer window in January 2018, I was pleased when he appointed Grayson, then thought Grayson not signing up was probably Grayson’s fault.

I accepted the break-up of last year’s team, was happy at the activity in the summer 2018 transfer window. I thought the appointment of Collins was a brave move, possibly even a brilliant one. I could see the logic in selling Wyke, and, although thinking it was a bad move, I assumed the non-selection of Kilgallon was justified for reasons unknown to me.

I accepted the sacking of Collins after a lack of effort from the team against Wycombe. Then I was pleased at the appointment of Hopkin, and thought we were unlucky against Bristol and Doncaster. I thought the continual injuries were due to bad luck, and, as with Kilgallon, I thought the leaving by James Mason was for reasons unknown to me. I was hopelessly naïve.

Then I watched the Sunderland game, outclassed, read about the Accrington match, outplayed, and realised that I was wrong to make so many allowances and excuses. I decided to give City two more games, and saw the Rochdale debacle. It really opened my eyes, to be outplayed, outmuscled, outrun, outskilled (if there is such a word) by such a poor team. I am angry, I am sad, to see MY club reduced to this level by the blunderings of one man.

The performance was awful, the referee was worse, the Rochdale fans were a foul disgrace to their club and to football in general. But City as we remember them would have defeated such a team.

I have therefore, with a lot of sadness and anger, decided not to watch City again until something changes. Thus, I did not watch the Coventry and Portsmouth games. I am not exactly boycotting City because I have paid for season tickets, but do not see why I should give up my Saturday, drive from Harrogate, to suffer about 100 minutes of misery. If things ever improve, I may come back

It has become a torture, and I wish all the best to those fans who do not agree with me.

What can be done? Maybe, Rupp buys Rahic’s shares and gives them to someone who has the sense and nous to run the club decently. Possibly someone rides to our rescue, but I simply can’t see that happening.

Maybe, more likely, Rahic blunders on, sacks Hopkin who is actually our only hope, then tries another hapless head coach.

By the way, Greg Abbott is not blameless in this shambles. Players who are slow, who can’t pass the ball, can’t run into position at lineouts, can’t take free kicks or corner kicks.

What, if that is possible, makes it worse, is seeing Chesterfield at Harrogate on Saturday. A proper football club like City. Pipped us to Division One play-offs a few years ago, with a new ground, fans full of hope. Now 19th in the National League, in a seemingly uncontrollable downward spiral, presumably caused by inept directors (although I don’t know for sure).

They brought 400 faithful fans to Harrogate, they sang, they cheered, they supported, they backed their team. The team were awful, the standard of the match was very poor.  My point is that this is where City are heading under Rahic, and I find the similarities between City and Chesterfield to be eerie. This where we are going.

And none of us can do anything about except protest. Please, Jason and friends, keep protesting in the hope that you may do some good.

I am sorry I have had to write this, hope anyone who reads it will comment, possibly even lighten my gloom, but it is my feeling after today. Others, younger than me, can continue to watch City, and I hope they will see good times.

Categories: Opinion

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32 replies

  1. I’m not sure this will lighten your gloom John, but as you mentioned Chesterfield, this blog is worrying view of what the future may bring if things don’t change soon:


  2. It amazes me how it took so long for people to come to your conclusion when a lot of us reached that conclusion when McCall was sacked !!!

  3. Alarm bells rang with me very early on in his tenure here, soon as he was telling us about this development squad strategy (already tried and failed under Archie). I knew the budget was to be slashed dramatically, and the impact it was going to have.
    I agree with the Article, all this is down to one man.

  4. Hi John
    Brilliant article! This should be emailed to Wreck and Ruin.
    This clearly sums up how I’ve been feeling since, as John Whiteside said above, Stuart was sacked.
    Even though I’m home I didn’t attend on Saturday as I won’t go to VP again to watch City whilst the two clowns are in charge.
    I really hope the rumours of him being sacked by Rupp are true and he didn’t show up at VP today. He is like a bad smell, unwanted and just won’t go away.

  5. You see foreign ownership never really works. The chairman of your football club used to be local man who had done well finance wise In life and had an infinity with the city and supprters. I fear for English football in general,look at the issues Leeds QPR Charlton Etc the list goes on.
    Rahic is just another man that thinks he can come in and make millions at the expense of loyal hard working class people.
    The football league fit and proper persons test is laughable and does not work.
    I’m ready to look at how we as supporters can own percentage of our club just like Portsmouth Swansea have done.
    Maybe there is such way to do just that?
    Can we as supporters raise enough to buy Rahic out and have stake in our club?

  6. The savvy fans were those that didn’t renew their season tickets this season. Those that continue to go are merely propping up the current regime and are as culpable as Rahic and Rupp by giving credence to their incompetence.

    It’s ironic that, as the local media have started to ratchet up the pressure on the miserable duo, the remaining, mainly apathetic, fanbase appear to be exhibiting an acceptance of the situation. Narrow defeats are now being celebrated as major achievements. Even the dire record and tactics of the Head Coach are being excused by “the dross he has to work with”.

    I just can’t believe the tolerance being shown by the remaining supporters who appear, like all employees at VP, to have thrown the towel in

  7. I feel exactly the same but could see this a long time ago -I I knew it was a wrong move to sack Stuart and the rest is history. I have no interest in going to a home game whilst that **** is still at the helm. I’ll go away to some games ad I still want to support the team, but won’t e lining his pockets anymore at home. Very very sad times.

  8. Well said John. I feel exactly the same but am still attending. There is no hope while Rack and Ruin are here!

  9. Ive supported City through the bad times and the good for over 20 years….but like you… after the debacle that was the Rochdale match i have vowed never to go back whilst Rahic is still in charge…. i fear it will be a long time before I can go watch my beloved City again… I fear what will become of us unless Rupp protects his own investment and pulls the plug on Rahic

  10. We are all at a loss to understand how 2018 could see a top six team become firmly rooted to the bottom of the division, how the club we all love the club we all felt a part of now seems so detached from its fan base.
    Times are tough, really tough and it looks like we are in real danger of playing in Division Two next season but I just can’t walk away from my club because of one man, Bradford City will still be here when our current owners depart.

    Keep the faith.

  11. I too have followed BCFC since I was 20 and now I’m 67.
    I’m not saying I’ve never missed a game or any like that and yes there are better fans than me, but I’ve been a season ticket holder for a number of years but decided not to renew this season as I couysence everything was not right, I won’t be going to Valley Parade again until the 2 buffoons running the club have left.

  12. Have to Disagree with Steven J, not all employees have thrown the towel in. Can we remember in all this there are peoples jobs at stake here. Its easy to say don’t buy this that and the other, but eventually a cut in revenue will mean people loosing their jobs. What ever we think of the two owners I believe we still have to support our Club, which hopefully will be here long after the ownership will have changed

    • So your suggestion is to prop up the club to secure the jobs of the people who work for there is delusional. I was there Saturday and although the performance was better, Portsmouth didn’t have to work hard to get a result. If any company big or small served up trash products week in and week out, their goods would be boycotted and they would go bust. So city have been serving up trash since the start of the year. A complete new team was brought in but had an even worse impact. The club continues to decline! R and R are the common denominator throughout the decline of this once wonderful club. They have treated their staff with contempt. Rahic wife was employed despite having no experience. Many backroom staff have been removed or gone voluntarily and the circumstances in James Mason departure stinks of Rahic’s influence at the club.
      Support will continue to decline but at a faster rate than what is happening now. Most go because they have bought a season ticket. Come next season when we are relegated, the numbers will decline even more. So my friend if you wish to continue supporting this lost cause then I wish you the best of luck. There will be many a thousand that will not. By the way I have supported this club since 1964 and I shall not buy a season ticket for next season unless the structure at the top changes.

  13. So well written and probably a mirror to my own thoughts and feelings.

  14. Agree entirely John.
    You sound to be of my era. We had a group of supporters working for an insurance company in Bradford. 2 of us still going .. older but sadly no wiser!

    Perhaps you were around when we lost 7 something at home and 7 something away in 2 consecutive weeks. Mid sixties
    94 goals against and re-elected that season.
    So, we have been through worse times before, but not much consolation when current situation self inflicted

    • Nice to hear from you Alan. I see Tom Walton still writes. Eddie Brooks? We were always faithful, you more than most. It must really hurt you.

    • Hello again John.
      Eddie Brookes is the other long suffering ex CU member who sits in our group.
      We still go out on Friday night after all these years.
      Missed Portsmouth match as away on holiday. Another “nearly” !
      So many unanswered questions. Kilgallon..
      Hendrie etc.
      6 of us sit together to console each other. Still live close to Bradford but think if I was as far away as you without that support, I would be very tempted to stay at home.
      Hope for result Saturday but fear for us

      Not sure what return of Julian Rhodes is going to do. Old cynic perhaps🤔

      However, ever hopeful
      D N 90 main stand if you ever return and say hello

  15. My thoughts exactly – my son and I attended our last home game against Portsmouth until changes take place. We are also Harrogate based and watched them against Barrow on Tuesday last week. It was a great game – the best football I have seen in 2018!!!! We will be going back to Harrogate to continue watching. My fear is that although BCAFC wont lose my support, in the future they may well lose that of my 15 year old son, which would be a crying shame.

    • Paul, you intimated on Sat., that you wouldn’t return unless things changed. Does the Rhodes news make a difference?

  16. Ive heard that the two foreign players they’ve brought to Valley Parade today are even worse. They have hardly played over the last two years for clubs lower than City, and are lacking in ability. What’s going on?
    Rahic is a failed businessman with no football ability and knowledge… We are heading for disaster. As I’ve written before, Rupp must act because his investment is threatened. Action has to be taken in the next few days. We are a proud club whose fans are being treated with disdain.

  17. Hi John
    I think we may know each other from our Squash Club days.It’s very depressing reading about City who I have followed ,like yourself ,since 1947.I am an exile in Cheshire now but was lucky enough to see a rare City win at Shrewsbury on the opening day of the season-I didn’t realise at the time that it would be a collectors item.
    I think if I still lived in Harrogate they would be my choice to watch -in fact what about a Yorkshire derby next season ? Regards

  18. Julian Rhodes returns to cry

    • Now Width Of Post let’s hope Julian Rhodes can get some direction into the club and get us supprters on side . Hopefully you can get interview

  19. Sorry you feel you have to hang up your scarf. Your piece was written with passion and sorrow, I hope in time you change your mind and come back to the fold. I hope Rahic will not ruin our club, I had a bad feeling from near the beginning of the takeover but was told to give them a chance and not be so negative by quite a few people so I stayed quiet. We need you to stand strong with us! Now JR is back at VP hopefully things will improve. Stay strong 🤛✊

  20. Lets see if Rahic is there next home game, if He wears a stripy shirt, we can all play Where’s Wally

  21. Great article John…sums up mine & many others feelings especially those of us that have been watching city for donkeys…but keep the faith brother…

  22. Well said Agree With Everything I’ve never seen such a Decline in my Club and it hurts so bad
    Rahic has caused all this with his shite Ideas
    He is the only Reason to our downfall besides our sad so called Squad and to top it all half don’t even belong to us I keep going but then I think Why ??? But last week Against Pompey was s Huge improvement. Just hope we can get out of this Mess I’ll keep praying.

  23. I think we would all get behind the club fully again if the lunatic was removed.I see Jason suggest he only owns 22 per cent.Well if I were him I would take whatever is offered.Mr Rupp”s 78 per cent looks worthless too right now.The farce reminds me of the Marx Brothers Films I saw as a youngster.Perhaps Edin is Edin for the Big Top.Riding around the ring on a unicorn.Loves himself hates everyone who knows better.Too many have left for all to be wrong.The pyhsio”s interview did it for me.Did not feel valued so went to Blackpool.Talk about jumping to the frying pan.

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