Dear Bradford City

       Bradford City 0   Newport County 3                       
  Demetriou 1, Amond 44, Dolan 90+3 (pen) 

By Jason McKeown

Dear Bradford City

Firstly, it’s hard to begin to describe the level of frustration you feel when you’re trying to watch your football team live on your tablet, and the stream keeps freezing. But when you’re impatiently waiting for technology to work so you can get back to watching such a woeful and pathetic defeat, the level of anger that rises inside of you begins to make you feel ill.

I mean what on earth was that performance, Bradford City? A clueless, spineless defeat to opposition full of the type of collective energy and vigour that has been absent from Valley Parade for too long. You were 1-0 down in less than a minute. Two behind by half time. Three down by the final whistle, when even your best player was reduced to making dismal mistakes.

How has it come to this? That the standards around Bradford City have dropped so low that you are beaten so easily on your own patch, to such relatively weak opposition? Michael Flynn’s Newport County deserve all the credit in the world for a terrific, dominant display. But this is League Two, and the expectations of ourselves should be so much higher than this.

After all, it was on this weekend just four years ago that more than 20,000 of us were at Valley Parade to watch you, Bradford City. Roaring you on, as you produced a pulsating 3-3 at home to Sheffield United, which kept you second in League One. Such great times, where it felt like we were pushing closer and closer towards something even more special. The Championship was right in front of us. And the upwards momentum since 2012 was edging us through the door.

What have we, as Bradford City supporters, done to deserve the last few years? It’s been so horrible. So spirit crushing. So dejecting. To watch us throw it all away. To land right back where we started. And to once again deal with disappointment after disappointment.

It’s clearly something in your DNA, Bradford City. When things start to go wrong, they fall apart. The periods of struggle seem endless. The moments of glory too fleeting.

Bradford City, you were so nearly promoted to the old First Division in 1988. Yet two years after agonisingly missing out, you were relegated to the third tier. In 1999 you reached the financial bonanza of the Premier League, yet within three years nearly went out of business. And in 2017 you made it to the League One play off final, yet within two years were relegated back to the basement league.

As a club you historically lack the ability to bounce back from disappointments. Quickly get back on your feet. Recover swiftly from mistakes. It goes wrong, it goes more wrong, and then it stays wrong for years and years.

It becomes soul destroying.

It was hard to judge the prospects going into this season, but there’s not nearly enough evidence so far to suggest anything better than another campaign of frustration. Of watching other clubs triumph. And the prospect of doing it yet again, after the last few years – and during a period of hardship for everyone, where we can’t even enter our beloved stadium to watch games – is going to test our patience like never before.

Bradford City, you were so bad today. Utterly second best in every department. And from the angle of watching through a seven inch screen, the most depressing thing is that it doesn’t look like it hurts you enough. Maybe it’s different actually being allowed to be inside Valley Parade, but the players simply don’t appear to be putting everything on the line.

They certainly went hiding for long periods. You can see it from the dreadful defending for the goals. It’s evident when City do have the ball, and players in front of them look happy to stand by their marker rather than offering an option. There’s such a carelessness in constantly giving away silly free kicks, or weakly coughing up possession. In the final 20 minutes, some players had evidently given up.

That is simply unacceptable.

Stuart McCall opted for a 4-1-2-3 approach and hoped that Kurtis Guthrie and Austin Samuels would operate effectively as wide strikers. Two players the manager had put a lot of faith in, who sadly offered little in return.

Anthony O’Connor, a player who has had good spells in a City shirt, continued to display a maddening inconsistency by once again underachieving. Tyler French, who has played well as right back, suddenly looked uncomfortable in the role. Ben Richards-Everton made several mistakes, but second half substitute Paudie O’Connor offered little to suggest he deserves a starting recall.

Billy Clarke produced nothing. Callum Cooke struggled. Lee Novak looked isolated. Elliott Watt and Connor Wood dipped from their own high standards.

Bradford City, you were so bad.

The worry is what this defeat signifies for City’s prospects this season. With the Lincoln and Harrogate beatings still fresh in the memory, this seems a worrying continuation of a developing trend. It is not the first time they have folded. This was the sixth league and cup game at home this season, and not once have they scored the first goal.

As a team it is too passive. Opposition sides don’t have to force lots of pressure to score. Going forward, there just isn’t enough of a tempo. They don’t look enough of a threat.

Ultimately, right now it just doesn’t look like a Stuart McCall team.

The City manager is out of contract at the end of the season. And as sure as night follows day, he will become subject to growing supporter disgruntlement, should these early season patterns continue. And this, after all, is a club that has not stuck with a manager for longer than 11 months since the latest downturn began. Changing managers repeatedly hasn’t worked but it won’t stop us trying it again eventually.

McCall has made a name for himself as manager as someone who gets the best out of his players – and he needs to start doing that again. Whatever his failings when he left in 2010 and 2018, he had a group of players running through brick walls for him. He has to get this lot to start doing the same.

Back in 2016/17, and days like the Sheffield United thriller, McCall was demonstrating a real flair as manager. Deploying different systems each week, with excellent results. Swapping around the players, with smooth success. Perhaps this current squad aren’t good enough to be managed in this way. It certainly feels like a more back to basics approach is now needed.

Seven league games in should not be a time to write anyone off. But we’ve been down this route several times before, and we know how this usually ends. So please, Bradford City, let today act as a wake up call. 

We can live with not going up this season, but if we don’t look like we’re even capable of challenging for promotion I’m not sure where it leaves us.

The point is, Bradford City, we are absolutely fed up. This year has been rotten. The vast majority of us supporters are living in lockdown restrictions, not getting to see friends and family. We’re worried about our jobs. Our ability to afford Christmas. Our health, and the health of those who we care about.

We want some hope. Some escapism. And our football club should be capable of offering that. It’s not about winning every week, or playing the best football.

It’s about making us proud. Giving it everything you have. 

And it shouldn’t be too much to ask.


Bradford City supporters

Categories: Match Reviews

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51 replies

  1. Not your usual style to name players who are not performing but equally they can’t be divorced from the management team who pick them and apparently sign them, decide formation and tactics.

    But thanks for the report and commitment.

  2. One simple lesson for me was that Stuart McCall must put his tracksuit away, creat some fistance between him and his player and give them a public bollocking

  3. Spot on as always!

  4. Well written. Sums up how we all feel.
    Today was dismal
    Ultimately if the club is run so poorly from the top, this is where you end up
    Desperate times ahead?

  5. Get real! Our team are forming. They need us to urge them on not put them down. Don’t let them grind you down City. You can do it City x

  6. Very sad report from someone who needs to invest in technology. I too am sore and annoyed. There is a lot wrong with the team so far this year and tactics have not always suited the players. Often too ambitious for their skills. Some of them are decent players and if you had more experience of supporting them you would know that. Others are not up to what is demanded of them but it’s what we have and we have to work with them. Please remember they are people trying to earn a living and do the best for our club. In the past you destroyed individual players and contributed to our downfall.
    Try to be more constructive in your journalism – shorter passes? Better width? More movement up front?

    • I would challenge any journalist to be constructive in their reporting on this shower of a squad masquerading as professional footballers. If they are doing “the best for our club”, I’d hate to see them on an “off” day. As for Jason having “contributed to our downfall”, how many lack lustre displays did he have in a City shirt?!

    • If players can’t accept criticism after losing 3-0 at home in such a gutless way then, quite frankly, they should just retire now. Part of being a professional footballer is accepting criticism when things go badly and using that criticism to do better next time. If they’re not strong enough to do that then they’re in the wrong game.

      And they’re playing in an empty ground. There’s nobody there to be on their back. So I’m not having this whole “no wonder they play badly when you criticise” nonsense.

  7. Grayson, Collins, Hopkin, Bowyer and McCall (again) have all had a go at the job since we were sat in the top 6 of League One. Can we afford to carry on getting rid of managers and having a constant churn of players? I don’t think that’s the answer. I think Stefan Rupp seriously needs to take a look at himself. He’s not going to pump huge amounts of money into the club so he might as well admit defeat and sell up. He’s not going to make a profit on the club, so quit while he can and avoid the stress of owning a 4th tier football club with hardly any assets.
    This club needs an owner with a passion for football and a vision for the club. I’m afraid as long as we have an owner/chairman who has no interest in football and lives overseas, this club will never be successful. It doesn’t matter who takes over from Julian Rhodes, they still have to answer to Stefan Rupp. I bear no grudge against the man. He was duped and left in the **** by Edin, but he should cut his losses and sell to someone “who knows football”.
    As long as he’s the owner of this club, i’m afraid we’ll just go through manager after manager with the same financial constraints with massive expectations from our fanbase who will get more frustrated season by season.

    • like they’re all queuing up with pots of cash…

    • Why would any owner pump money into a club? There is a wage cap that sits at many hundred of thousands below what City were paying as a wage budget. The wage cap has saved City so much money it’s untrue. What the wage cap creates is a need for shrewd recruitment and good management and tactics, as it creates a level playing field. Therefore, it all comes down to the manager and players.

      People just don’t seem to get this. If we sold Wood in the next window for £10 million (yes I’m being silly) then we cannot spend anymore on players. I hate the wage cap. It kills the ethos of sport- success on every level triumphing- but we now have to live with it.

      As stated, managers are now laid bare. The better manager will win and be successful.

      • Spot on pal. Cream will rise to the top. Look what Flynn has done at Newport.

        If we cannot spend on players perhaps there should be a root and branch reform at the club starting with ( and it hurts me to say this) the manager.

      • but how much of the budget was already taken up? Stuart said that he inherited 3 number 9’s all of a similar style. That is not his fault but he is been judged on it. Its notceable that teams like Newport who have some form of continuity in management and players are already doing well whereas teams like Mansfiled and Bolton with a huge influx of players are not. WE are somewhere in the middle and your claim that the best managers will win i dispute untill these same mangers have their OWN teams and players.

    • Have you anyone in mind that would be mad or daft enough to buy it. C.T.I.D.

      • Danny, true what you say about the 3 strikers – so why on earth did Stuart decide to keep Guthrie when he himself admitted he had offers for him in the summer.
        I think a key question is McCall the one to trust to get the right players in to form his own team – I really hope he is given time to have his ‘own team’ but not convinced on what he has done so far in building this

  8. Thank you for that Jason. There is a deep seated malaise at city. Grayson Hopkin Bowyer McCall are not bad managers. The players are not that bad. Yet we continually underperform. Why?
    I hate to say this as a true Bradfordian but the club seems to me to epitomise the city. Just as Bulls do. And the former beautiful cricket ground at Park Avenue. Walk along Midland Road and see the scruffiness and the litter. It really is upsetting.

    When a company fails it is almost always the fault of the top management. Maybe the owners and management are to blame at city.
    I truly don’t know.
    It is truly depressing. I hate it.
    I just wish that one day the tide might turn but somehow I doubt it.

  9. Great sentiments Jason. Sums up the feelings and frustration in a nutshell. My fears echo this piece been a city fan for 4 decades. This is a dismal team and has no heart, soul, direction or skill for that matter

    The players are like statues and cannot do the basics such as pass, move and support a team mate with the ball. Newport could have scored at will if that’s what was required from them. They were in cruise control from beginning to end. City made it so easy for them.

    For me the players are simply not good enough and are totally devoid of ideas or confidence. However, recruitment has proved to be woefully short yet again. The fans can see we are 3 players short in key positions but McCall was happy with the pre season business with the final part of the jigsaw been a centre forward from Wolves with little league experience.

    On the games I have seen so far this team looks like it will be in a relegation battle and I can only hope there are 2 worse teams than city this season. I could barely watch the game and fed up doesn’t even come close. I genuinely fear for the clubs league status given the level of performance witness so far.

    • An article that sums up well how I feel after yesterday’s game. Mike Flynn’s team was a reflection of how he used to perform on the pitch for City. Unfortunately Stuart’s team shows nothing of the qualities he used to give for the claret and amber. Who’s fault is that? Is he unable to get the best out of what some people say are talented players? Basic passing, tracking back, defending all seem to be missing from this current team. It’s not been easy being a city fan over the years but we seem to be at a pretty low point in our history right now. Hopefully we can get things right on the pitch and give us some hope for the future.

  10. I watched the game on a 55 inch tv it was like watching a horror film ,but I don’t know why we are all shocked by to day performance ,I’ve been saying it since the first match having seen who we signed and who we resigned I was worried , some of the dead wood is still there and we resigned some ,in my view players that should have been moved on ,and Stuart Resigned them ,I know Stuart didn’t sign some of them but he did resign some .The squad is totally out of balance and lacking quality and we where told we will bring in the right players with backbone,I am sorry this lot go missing even with a empty ground can you imagine what would happen if we where back ,and look at the home game’s we played we are heading one way and it’s not up.

  11. Its even more frustrating when you see ordinary league two players like Matty Dolan come back and look a class above. Remember we got rid because he proved not to be up to our then standard.
    So maybe that proves that its not the player but what we do with them?
    There is something fundamentally wrong with the club and the team/
    Are we as a club simply going through the motions in the hope or belief that by Xmas, as forecast by several lower league owners including Andy Holt at Accrington , that a lot of clubs will fall by the wayside.
    Are we in the midst of a behind scenes change of owner as rumoured in some quarters.
    As reported in the T&A we have `identified our new CEO` but Rupp does not want to rush into things.
    Will Mr X decide not to wait and lose interest. Go elsewhere even.
    Sounds like how we act in transfer windows. And we always lose out there!
    But if this is the case and we are sleep walking towards footballs new future then would it not be prudent to let the fans know?
    As Jason says we are all living in strange world. At best there are restrictions on travel and socialising. At worst we are worrying about our jobs and livelyhood.
    Football is the opera of the common man.
    More than ever fans need a diversion from the uncertain world we live in, and although we accept that we cant watch the players that represent us in the flesh, the club could be offering more in information and forward planning.
    I too can live without going up this season. I can also begrudgingly accept our recent relegation although it was totally avoidable and should have been averted.
    It reeked of a lot of hard work by a lot of people being thrown out with the dish water.
    Do we never learn. Its a damn side harder to get out of League Two than it is to stay in League One or even challenge for the Championship.
    Come on City.
    Dear Bradford City.
    Lets get sorted and lets also keep our fans informed of what the future holds.
    Remember the old adage `Fail to plan and you plan to fail`.
    You owe it to your long suffering fans.

    • I’d like to hear these “rumours” of a take over instead of, well basically nothing. It would explain the transfer window and the lack of a striker with a better pedigree and why it took so long. and why we were so keen to operate withing the salary cap whilst others bought before its implementation. (The first and clear sign of our intentions and what some call ambition). We need some hope that things are going to change and foundations built to try to get back to at least pre Rahic days, the lack of leadership is depressingly causing conflict and apathy and amongst the fans.

  12. Thanks Jason for your heartfelt analysis of City’s failings. I hope your ‘letter’ finds it way to management and players.

    From the moment I saw the line-up I sensed this would not turn out well. But I did not expect quite the disaster that unfolded. We have a below average squad of players but there was no way the team selected today was close to being the ‘best available’….and I have no time for managers who do not select the best available week in week out. You are right to suggest City need to get back to basics. The failure to do the basics even reasonably well is becoming the norm.

    I know it’s early days but the signs are desperate. I am far from confident that McCall is capable of managing well in League 2

    Oh by the way Jason, I think you’re lucky watching on a tablet. As ‘A Real Fan’ intimates watching on a big screen is probably even more grim. I think I’ll watch on my mobile next week – perhaps they won’t look quite so bad.

  13. Thank you for writing this on behalf of us! Patience is wearing thin.

  14. There is a Passing game then there is passing the buck game – unfortunately the latter applied today for too much of it. We lack a few soldiers as mentioned the other day so when we come up against a TEAM of focused men then we will struggle with the current overall squof players. I do however think that this season we must remember the circumstances we are in ie no crowd uncertainty and all that it brings. We must bear in mind SMcC has had 1 pretty barmy transfer window to deal in with wage cap chaos thrown in and lots of players only wanting to play local ish think Maynard-Vaughan and G Evans all saying the same for example. Stuart is managing with one hand behind his back to a degree so far. The value of having a squad together for 3-4 seasons is obvious look at Harrogate and Newport for example. We won’t win the league – we won’t get relegated and we will survive Covid as a club. Our expectations are that the manager has a magic wand as we have a 20k stadium and had 2/3 good seasons out of 15 . I do think Stuart’s admittedly fluid styles and formations depending on opposition each week has the potential to confuse players week to week at this level. Also reeks of not backing our own style and players. Yes we will win a few as the opposition can’t catch us out that way and we will look great ie Bolton away and Mansfield but generally it is a dangerous game to play at our level. (In my opinion of course) Too cute in this league usually ends with egg on your face . Another example of that – It’s a matter of time that BRE AOC and ROD play it between them in our own box and give it away to concede a goal and all fall out again and back to finger pointing arms waving etc. I’m all for a neat pass and move but please City not there ! The 3 of them are not (in my opinion) fit for leadership roles of any sort. Our captain is a good guy, teammate and steady lad I’m sure but not on the field Captain material as rarely keepers are and his distribution is always a worry but we could carry him for now with a solid barking leader of a CH in front of him. I have kittens when I see us playing it about from inside our own box . I don’t see that being a guaranteed winning strategy at most levels never mind ours. The opposition just sit back and regroup and watch us gradually coming to them, track movement and predictably defend easily. If we’re already 1 down then it’s even harder. Keep Stuart – let him work it out – as he will do and get his players in that he wants over next 2 windows at least , be patient and grateful, I know it’s hard but the world hasn’t ended and when the dust settles and we pick up another win or 2 we will see this for what it was. A bad, learning day at the office on the journey to working out what is best with this team. PS I do think a fit Evans and a good striker in Jan will make a huge difference to this squad. We are not as bad as we looked today. 🤞Rich

    • I agree.

      Box to box, over the games so far, we’ve been OK. It’s in each penalty area that we struggle.

      Lack of belief, confidence or talent up front and disasters waiting to happen at the back. Never a good combination. The gauling thing is that throughout the week Stuart and the players were talking about starting strongly, being on the front foot, not conceeding the first goal only to go one down in the first minute!

      I honestly don’t know what the answer is. We have just got to trust Stuart’s 40 years of experience in professional football to get us out of this. I don’t see how changing the manager is going to help. In a way I’m grateful that fans are barred from VP. The next few months could get toxic.

  15. As poor as poor can be. Not even second best, fourth probably. On a lighter note what is the difference between Guthrie and Listers Mill Chimney?

    Listers Mill Chimney isn’t as static and is more likely to score a goal!

  16. Jason, another great game summary. Like you I find it so frustrating, another season with likely no progress. A popular description is a “season in transition.” By my count that’s four consecutive “transitional seasons.” The problem being they are all negative. Four years with no progress is very frustrating. Especially, since it’s almost one year to the day when City were second in the Table and were claiming a goal of Championship promotion within two to five years. I would imagine their current goal is business survival and League One promotion within two to five years. What a difference a year makes. The only thing that seems to never change is the inability for City’s hierarchy to learn from their mistakes.

  17. Stuart McCall you were an outstanding player for Bradford City and Everton then Rangers and also became an International player for Scotland You have proved over many years the excellent standards reached also your team spirit second to non not to mention self discipline, belief comradeship, Surely you above anyone knows standards in a team cannot fall below certain standards. I am afraid the time has come to Get In and a lot More Personal with your players take individuals to one side and make yourself understood make them more afraid of You than the opposing team.
    It does seam that Bradford City is a soft touch an easy three points
    Its time we became the hard as nails team we used to be and if you get the points it meant you damm well earned them scrapped for everything
    Come on Stuart the whole of Bradford IS Behind You please make us proud

  18. ‘As a team it is too passive. Opposition sides don’t have to force lots of pressure to score. Going forward, there just isn’t enough of a tempo. They don’t look enough of a threat.‘

    Sums it up for me. We had so much of the ball and Newport were content to let us have it. When they had the ball they attacked with purpose. Stuart likes to play with pace but the players aren’t capable all appearing to need an extra touch to get it under control.

    When he was here last time we played from the back through vincelot – a midfielder by trade and a good one. We are now trying to do the same with BRE and AOC.

  19. After every bad defeat it seems to descend into a discussion about the fact the club doesn’t have a long term plan.

    How many clubs in the bottom two divisions actually have a long term plan; I would suggest very few, as for most it is just about survival and trying to do as well as you can on the pitch, and I’m not just on about during this pandemic.

    Of more of a concern and relevance to me, is our biggest weaknesses last season were a lack of leaders on the pitch, and no-one in midfield who could get stuck in and close people down. Why then didn’t the manager rectify this during the summer, as looks like those problems still remain?

    • What a bizarre comment.

      There have been loads of clubs who have been in this division but with a clear and coherent plan on how to get out of it. And, guess what, they were promoted out of it.

      Us? Last time we were in this division we got stuck for six years for the same reason why we will again this time. No plan, no idea, no clue.

      • but eventually we hit on a plan that worked and did really well with the finances we had

      • Don’t just say there have been loads of clubs who have had a clear plan that has helped get them promoted without giving examples Dave. I bet I can give a lot more examples of clubs who have got promoted, as their manager knew what it took to be successful at this level, in that you need a strong, physical side, then try to add a bit of quality.

        Parkinson quickly recognised this, and because the likes of Jones, Darbs, Davies, Hanson etc were such good players, you kind of forget that as well as great leaders, they were physically strong, constantly putting their bodies on the line, so as a team we never got bullied. We then had that bit of creativity in Reid, and Nakhi’s goalscoring prowess.

        We didn’t have much of a long term plan back then under Lawn and Rhodes, and it was just about trying to do well in the cups then reinvesting the money back in the team, which I’m not criticising them for as it was an approach that was very successful.

        To get into the Championship and be sustainable there I will admit that you need a long term plan.

        We got out of League 2 last time however, because we had a manager who knew what was required at this level to be successful, in that you needed a strong, physical side with leaders, and it is the same way we will get out of it again, and not because of any long term plan.

  20. I agree with you. Ultimately, the defensive frailty, the lack of tempo going forward, inability in the final third to score or even test the goalie…to me, it looks like our team lack determination, energy & effort. Which is not acceptable. Despite salary caps, league level, lack of fans to roar them on, these guys get paid more than nurses, bus drivers and in fact most of the working population. They need to care & put in a shift that reflects that.

  21. Countless managers have come and gone in the last 20 years, but there is one constant feature. One who, can’t be touched or be subject to criticism according to some…sorry John Dewhirst, but the issue is clear. While Julian Rhodes is in charge of our club we will never improve. It is reported a new CEO has been found, but you wonder why they haven’t been announced. My worry is that in true Bradford City fashion of promising the earth and delivering nowt, the new CEO will be Ryan Sparks, the cheap option…got to balance the books folks! Nothing against Ryan, he does a great job as he is, but we need a clean break from the past.

    The sly digs at fans not buying IFollow passes in the T&A were bang out of order this week. On TV if the program is crap, you stop watching. Yet those same fans who rightly question the way the club is being run, why we haven’t signed the much needed forward etc., were bluntly dismissed as ‘just social media background noise’ by the club. The club needs to remember that their fan-base is now only web-based, due to no fault of our own. Yesterday even the ever positive BantamPete was driven to question the performance, if this isn’t a clear indicator of something isn’t right I don’t know what else is!

    Come on City, we need something to buy into, an escape, a release from the utter shite we are living in 24/7 more than ever now. It’s easy to switch off the TV, laptop, tablet and stop following as the commitment to supporting the club is only a click away.

    You need to act now, announce the new CEO and show us we are moving forward not stuck in Julian Rhodes’ self made ruts of despair any more.

    • Just how is any of this Julian Rhodes fault when he has to answer to Stefan Rupp? Rhodes doesn’t pump in any money. It seems as if it’s a case of let’s have a go at JR who’s a stand in CEO who has no intention of staying here. Shouldn’t we be looking further up the ladder?

      All of this was caused by Edin. Rhodes has come in and balanced the books. I don’t know what more he could have done. It’s time Rupp moved on too so we can start a fresh.

      • Christian he is a convenient scapegoat . A simple answer to a complex problem. No it is not ideal to have an interim CEO,whoever it is,but JR was not the cause of the “apocalypse” and only those with a bizarre agenda would think otherwise.
        Jon F you may just inhabit the digital /social media world many do not. I think most City fans commitment to the cause runs deeper than the click of a mouse.

      • Rhodes is culpable because he runs the club, not Rupp. He ran the club before Rupp. He sold the club TO Rupp and Rahic.

        Hes the one that ultimately decides what to do, where to spend money and where not to.

        Maybe hes done the very best he can in difficult circumstances, but maybe someone else could do better.

        Rupp is the owner, not chairman. Hes probably got no more involvement now than when Rahic was here.

        The buck stops with Rhodes.

      • The current mess was ultimately caused by Rahic and Rupp. Rhodes was brought into stabilise the finances and transform the Club. Football is based on game results and Rhodes’ transformation based on current League Table position continues to slide backwards.

      • Sorry Christian but Julian Rhodes is the man and name we can see, hear and touch Rupp is just a name of the invisible owner he might put the money in but has no further involvement. The two main men for me is Julian and Stuart and we have to rely heavily on both.

      • I have supported City since 1981 home & away. Been a season ticket holder for over 30 years. The ‘click of a mouse’ comment was in relation to the current situation we find ourselves in. The club is going to find it harder to get a revenue if folk start to turn off IFollow was the point.

        As for Julian Rhodes, his record speaks for itself. Who lost control of Valley Parade? Who sold out to Rahic & Rupp? Who has overseen a championship club fall to the bottom of league 2?

      • I think you need to take this into account Christian, ‘Those discussions culminated in today’s divisional vote, with representatives of League One and League Two Clubs opting to implement the new measures in place of the existing Salary Cost Management Protocols (SCMP), with fixed caps of £2.5million and £1.5million respectively’.
        So there is an absolute limit as to how much money anyone can spend, it is no longer a case of ‘pumping in the money’ and using it to power progress.
        Rahic left Bradford City on 4th December 2018, so it is nearly two years since Rhodes became a temporary CEO, which seems an inordinate amount of time.
        If Rhodes is constrained by Rupp, then rather than tarnish his own reputation, perhaps he should go.
        Julian Rhodes is an ingredient in this situation. As CEO, he should have been heavily involved in Bowyer and McCall’s appointments. The latter seemed an easy option, one wonders how many candidates there were, and what criteria for appointment was used.
        Balancing the books is all very well, but if performances continue as they are, then the product becomes less appealing and the income generated, will further decline and balancing the books will become even more difficult.

    • I wasn’t aware that I had said anyone at the club was above criticism but I do recognise that a lot of comments get taken out of context. Tell me what I have said that you vehemently disagree with and that is factually incorrect.

      What I have been saying is that we need some balance in the comments being made about the state of affairs at VP. I am equally hacked off about the situation but despairing of the fact that people are so desperate to find scapegoats. As regards Julian Rhodes there haven’t been many people stepping forward looking to step into his shoes or indeed prior to 2016, actually wanting to buy the club.

      It also tends to be overlooked that with regards to all the management appointments he has been involved with at VP, these were all acclaimed at the time by supporters as positive decisions. Whilst it is tempting to take advantage of hindsight it is unreasonable to overlook this fact. Indeed you can only appoint who is available and who actually wants to be manager. Should we overlook the success of his engagement of Mr Parkinson and what was achieved in his reign? Ditto we all acclaimed the pricing policy in 2007. Likewise I think we would all accept his transfer dealings – the insertion of the odd clause to cover the resale of players – actually came in quite useful.

      JR has not done himself any favours with a lack of communications and being anonymous but he didn’t do such a bad job with limited resources and particularly given the state of the finances in 2004. He could at least say that he got the club within spitting distance of the Championship.

      I have been saying all along that things are not quite as black and white as some people would like to believe. Besides, it doesn’t fit the scapegoat agenda to accept that in the real world there are many shades of grey and exceptions to the dogma that seems to define this increasingly toxic debate.

      What would cheer us all up is for a benign billionaire investor to step forward. The said individual has been hiding for a long time but hopefully he will appear, buy the club and we can have the miraculous new start that we crave. Until the Messiah does appear however, I think we have to accept that there isn’t a single quick fix. And as regards the headlines about iFollow take-up, surely the bigger story is that the current financial climate is hardly likely to encourage anyone to throw money at the club, let alone bring about the coming of that Messiah.

  22. I think Matt Dolan’s performance just epitomised (as Mark Neale expressed), how far we have fallen for him to look so comfortable.

    He has been nothing but a journeyman, City, Yeovil (twice – once on loan) Hartlepool twice (on loan) and now

    Malaise – what a great word to describe the club.

    We are so, so bad, but this has been going on for seasons/years now – what is it that makes us so poor – is the place haunted?

    Do our expectations suffocate the players/club so much that they cannot perform to their natural level, or, why have so many managers not got a tune out of any of them.

    It seems that whoever comes to us, they become a shadow of the player they were.

    The club seem rotten to the core, (although we seem to be on a better footing than others), but it’s a good job crowds are not allowed in as the atmosphere would be so hostile there would be no coming back from it I fear.

    • Yeah, interesting point. We’ve heard for years that we need struggle to find players who “can cope with the demands of a loud and expectant crowd at Valley Parade”. Well that excuse has royally bitten the dust hasn’t it, and we’re just as bad if not worse, because the crowd is no longer helping to hold standards high.

  23. Thanks Jason I think the WOAP web site is probably one of the very few sites that BCFC will take notice of. Lets hope they take your comments in the spirit it is intended. Very sad days for the fans who desperately need something to enjoy in these very trying times.

  24. Newport are top of the league for a reason. MF is in his FOURTH season in charge. He has some established players and has had time to evolve an identity for the team. The progress has been steady not stellar with some bumps in the road.
    We are the polar opposite. A club built on shaky foundations at the best of times completely hollowed out. Very naive to expect anything other than a bumpy ride on the way back. Folk can decide for themselves how to support the club through the process. Ultimately we will probably get the club we deserve.
    Succeeding in football (or anything else for that matter) is not easy. If it was it would not be worth the game would not be worth watching

  25. It’s Mcall trying to prove himself a tactical genius… Stop with this 3 at the back get back to 442 with winger’s and lets get at teams.

  26. Feel your pain Jason.
    Hand to mouth finances but we can expect endeavour
    Too many in 4 years ghosting.

  27. Absolutely bang on watching this is as bad as the pandemic our beloved club at this moment in time is like a pandemic no excuse for poor recruitment again why did they not try sign Dylan connolly he gave Everything when he played these look like they could not care Apart from a few And our keeper is a Liability 😔

  28. Like Jason I really worry about the current team’s strength and mental approach when things go wrong, especially from some of the senior players who should be able to draw on their experience and fight back rather than lose their focus. We frequently stand off when under attack, almost spectating at times and want to pass responsibility for the ball to a teammate almost instantly going forward (many times ending up going backwards whilst the opposition get back in formation and mark everyone up) instead of keeping it and running at the opposition with confidence. I think any manager should be able to reasonably expect better of his players and this isn’t either what they are being coached to do or what the prematch planning will be telling them to do. Once they get on the pitch we need strong players that stick to the job, our captain is a good and loyal player but it is almost impossible to lead from between the sticks, we need someone at the heart of the team that will do this.

    Most of all however we are crying out for a consistant starting 11 that almost picks itself; players that want to play Saturday & Tuesday, fight for their shirt, instinctively know where their teammate will be when they pass the ball and believe they can win the game. Are the current squad too content to play a couple of games then have a rest?

    Once again we have a number of well paid and very skilful players unavailable due to recurring injury issues – they should be out there winning games for us but are not even getting back enough fitness to get on the bench let alone on the pitch. You worry that when it is easier to hide than be blamed that an injury/niggle might last longer than it should – I hope that isn’t the case.

    Of the current squad of 26 there are 19 that will be looking for a new job at the end of this season and they should be really concerned about their performances because there will be a shortage of jobs next season and another large surplus of players as the financial impact of Covid continues to bite. This might be their last experience of playing in the Football League if they don’t wake up and get stuck in, if they can’t make an impact in League 2 then they won’t survive the cut.

    The remaining 7 that are contracted to 2022 might take up a decent chunk of our salary limit for next season so they had better make sure they are worth every penny as we only have the remaining balance to spend on players to fill the gaps around them.

    These are difficult times and the constant financial pressure on the club will not improve if the fans don’t believe in the squad of players we have. The inequity/lack of flexibility of the salary cap that in particular fails to recognise the numbers of season tickets sold and ignores this in setting the limit won’t help us. Investment has much less impact whilst we are restricted to the same wage limit as clubs with a fraction of our fan base.

    We have some leeway above the limit this season created by existing contracts signed prior to the cap being applied but once those contracts expire we will be down to the basic limit and that is even more of a worry if we can’t compete now.

    In the dark days of lockdown we craved for our team to be back out there playing, we need better than this to hold on to and they need to make sure we get it. I fear however that some of this team have given up already, I hope I am wrong………

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