Bradford City takeover attempt: Rupp says no to bring an end to a surreal few days

Valley Parade

By Jason McKeown

So that’s that then. A truly surreal episode in the Bradford City soap opera comes to an end, with the news that the takeover offer by a group of American investors, calling themselves WAGMI United, has been rejected.

On Saturday evening, Stefan Rupp released a statement confirming he had turned down the bid. “On Thursday I received an offer from the WAGMI United group to purchase the football club. This has been rejected.

“A great deal has been aired publicly since the offer was made. This, as well as a number of factors which will remain private, has led me to this decision.

“The matter is closed.”

It is a run of events disputed by WAGMI United, who via Twitter shortly after issued their own statement. “WAGMI United has been engaged in productive and confidential negotiations with Mr Rupp to purchase Bradford City since early November…he agreed to a deal in principle. This agreement was non-binding and pending additional due diligence on both sides before finalization, but there was an agreement.

“He’s obviously had a change of heart, but to suggest that he’d never heard of WAGMI United before Thursday or that no further action was taken following our offer is simply untrue.”

Someone is lying. And even if it is the would-be buyers who are stretching the truth, Rupp might want to reflect on whether he should communicate such an important matter to us supporters in more detail. The statement on the Bradford City website is only 178 words long. As fans, we deserve to hear an in-depth explanation of the events of the last few days.   

Whatever did and did not happen over the talks, the reality is that the deal is dead. WAGMI United’s big promises of taking the Bantams back to the Premier League, funded by issuing non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will not be realised. And aside from the war of words, the key question – as the dust settles – is whether the offer on the table was a good one for the future of Bradford City.

In terms of assessing WAGMI United’s public comments and strategy, there was a lot to leave you feeling concerned. It began with the Washington Post article talking about how they would revolutionise the sport, try some “unconventional stuff” and how there wasn’t “much downside if it doesn’t [work]”.

Then there was the Twitter space event, where confident boasts about the abilities of the 30-strong WAGMI United group looked pretty hollow when their football experience was revealed. Playing football as a teenager hardly qualifies you from knowing how to take a club from the middle of the fourth tier into the Premier League. Citing the fictional Ted Lasso as an inspiration did not suggest a firm grip on reality. And when questions about the specific challenges facing the club – such as the fact City don’t own their stadium or training ground – drew blank responses, the uneasiness grew.

“Six weeks of madness”, “I know football, you have to respect me”, “We are not getting relegated” – you could fill a book of Bradford City-related quotes that will go down in infamy. And when one of the WAGMI United members, Jack Settleman, tweeted a picture of Derek Adams with the words, “explain who this is to me like im 5” we had a new entry to add to the inglorious collection.

If we are to believe they have been in talks to buy Bradford City since November, the lack of knowledge they displayed about the club was even more worrying. Would they even have known where Bradford is on a map? Are they aware what our colours are? At one stage Settleman was asking the world what a Bantam was. They did not seem to care about how stupid they looked. A complete lack of self-awareness about the depth of their ignorance.

The world of NFTs is deeply confusing to most of us, but that doesn’t mean we should dismiss its potential rewards. NFTs are unique digital files produced with blockchain technology (the same technology used by Bitcoin). People issue and sell them, with buyers willing to spend a lot of money because of the guarantee each NFT is one of a kind. The market is growing – with activity in quarter three (July to September) coming in at over $10 billion – a 704% increase on the quarter before.

If you buy an NFT and the market rises, the value of what you own grows and you could sell for a profit. But like all markets, they rise and fall – and the relative newness of the NFT market suggests the risks are especially high. In June 2021, for example, the market fell 90%. It has since recovered and recovered well, but that’s incredibly volatile.   

It was this kind of investment market that WAGMI United were proposing to link Bradford City’s future to. The 30-strong group would put up the initial capital, and a bit more if needed. Split 30 ways, that’s probably not a huge commitment to a bunch of millionaires with plenty of resources. If, for arguments sake, they offered £15 million to Stefan Rupp, that would be an outlay of £500k per person. Maybe it was more or maybe it was less, but in the grand scheme it was beer money for hugely clever people who have made a fortune in their lives.

The Washington Post article made clear that much of the subsequent funding of the push to the Premier League would come from creating and selling a range of new NFTs, associated with Bradford City (even though we were not named at the time). According to the piece, this might include “characters, uniforms, photos and videos”. They would be sold to investors around the world, primarily the cryptocurrency community.

I don’t doubt that NFTs are brilliant if you know what you’re doing. And these people are not stupid. They have made huge sums of money. More money than you or I will probably ever see in our lives. But is this a sensible business model for a football club? The risks are vast.

So, to sum up where we are so far. Red flag one – boasting you’re about to buy a football club having apparently only made an initial enquiry (though WAGMI dispute this). Red flag two – displaying a complete lack of knowledge about football. Red flag three – showing you have no understanding about the football club you’re claiming to buy. And red flag four – unveiling a plan to fund Bradford City to the Premier League by persuading people around the world to buy NFTs linked to the club.

Football finances are never an easy subject. I love reading stuff from David Conn, but you don’t half need to concentrate to understand it. Yet, up until now, talk around football club ownership was around pounds and pennies. Someone buys the club with a few million in the bank which they will invest to deliver success, tied in with the revenue streams they seek to generate from the way they run the club.

This was not any of that. It was an idea to raise money by creating items they hope people would want to buy because of their uniqueness. It was pinning the club’s fortunes on an unregulated, relatively new market that is completely susceptible to huge swings. If Bradford City were closing in on the Premier League with all the exposure that would come from it, demand for City-related NFTs would be high. Getting it off the ground – with the club in League Two – would be a different matter. I love Levi Sutton, but I doubt there’d be much global investor demand for a unique GIF of his goal against Tranmere Rovers.

Maybe it’s a genius idea. Perhaps, in a few years’ time, NFTs will be mainstream concept and a part of all our lives, and football clubs up and down the land will be tapping into cryptocurrency to fund new signings. But it is a remarkable level of risk. And if it had gone wrong, the damage it might have done to Bradford City could have proved utterly terminal.

Ultimately WAGMI’s reasons for wanting to buy Bradford City were not a love for our club over others. It wasn’t even a desire to want to serve a relatively huge fanbase of dedicated Bantams supporters. Their expertise lies in branding, marketing and selling NFTs. The aim was to market Bradford City to the rest of the world. For us to become something rich investors would keenly want to buy a small piece of, by buying unique digital assets. And whilst we supporters would have clearly benefited from their success, we had far more to lose than those 30-something investors, each stumping up a relatively small amount.

If WAGMI United had done things in a more sensible, professional way, it might have been possible to buy into their vision. But there was nothing about this that suggested the club would be transferring into competent hands. Absolutely no substance behind the bluster.

The reaction from many fans, via social media and message boards, has been one of disappointment. They have every right to express their feelings, and the rest of us who sided against it – and, of course, the club – would do well to listen to and respect their views.

The idea presented by WAGMI United appealed to them because of the ambition it offered. And compared to the grey mundanity of City’s seemingly never-ending struggles, the opportunity for radical change was welcomed. To hear people say they would be willing to risk the club going out of business to give this concept a try shows the level of disillusionment that many feel about the current status quo. And it all adds to the need for the club to start getting things right sooner rather than later.

Fans behind the takeover attempt were either knowledgeable enough about NFTs to see the benefits, or hugely fearful the club is on a terminal path anyway under the current regime. Rupp has to be mindful that the actions of Bradford City this January will be scrutinised even more following this episode. Every one of us deserves to feel confident about the future of our club, and there is clearly a lot of work to be done.

A section of supporters have, for several seasons, deeply disagreed with the way the club is being run and the decisions taken. And the reality is that events on the field have only further reinforced their convictions that Rupp is getting things wrong. Those people keep losing in terms of what they want to happen not occurring, and this is a further outcome they don’t agree with. For some time now, they feel as though they haven’t been listened to or respected.

After these events, the challenge facing the club in the very immediate term is that if the second half of this season isn’t more convincing, they might lose these supporters forever.

Still, for however frustrating another season of League Two failure might prove, does it merit taking such a huge level of risk with the club’s future? Sticking everything we had on black? The suggestion is that something has to be done, or we’ll die as a club. And there’s probably some truth in that – as long as we’re in League Two, we’re one bad season away from relegation to non-league and likely oblivion. Yet still, are Rupp and WAGMI United the only two choices? Stick with what we are, or pin our future on the fluctuating value of non-fungible tokens?

It appears Rupp could have accepted this offer and recouped the money he has put into the club. He could have gone back to his regular life without the headache of owning a football club he must wish he had never got involved with in the first place. And there were plenty of fans willing him to do just that. To take the money and run.

So the fact he turned down all of this says a lot about the credibility of the offer, and the way WAGMI United have conducted themselves. Of course, many fans will be disappointed he’s rejected the offer, but it’s worth pondering his reasons. If he was getting the money he wanted, and could have removed all this hassle from his life, then there must be a really good reason to not entrust the future of the club with WAGMI United.

How would we all have felt, in hindsight, if these guys had come in and killed the club? There has been a lot of criticism of Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn for selling Bradford City to Rahic and Rupp in the first place – the accusation they weren’t careful enough. Well surely, we should be hoping that Rupp is vigilant about who he passes the baton onto?

We all know the issues and limitations of the current Bradford City ownership model. And, who knows, perhaps this whole strange episode might raise the profile of the club enough to attract a more serious and credible buyer. It is understandable that many fans would like to see new ownership, but let’s not just sell to the first buyer who shows an interest. It has to be passed over to the right party.

Surely, as fans, we can all agree that we want an owner who has our best interests at heart. Can anyone truly say that was the case WAGMI United?

Ultimately, there are questions about the future of the club that this episode has once again brought to the fore. Things cannot go on as they are, struggling in League Two. And the lure of new investment was understandably exciting to everyone. But this takeover offer was full of red flags.

Time will tell if WAGMI United find another club and do indeed revolutionise the sport – we will certainly all be watching their next move with interest. But, right now, it feels as though Bradford City might have dodged an almighty bullet.

Categories: Opinion


47 replies

  1. The fans who wanted change and I am one of them , are totally fed up of been told we are a big club and every season playing in league two and playing basically village teams with bigger budgets. Anyone who has run a successful business ,knows you have to invest to get a return on your investment .Bradford City are now at a cross road, the fans just for a short time starting to dream and now back to reality . If this season ends in a mid table finish I can see us losing a lot of fans and them the budget gets cut .The owner now needs to show a Real intent of investment , we simply cannot carry on as we are .

    • Never mind Jason’s rant. It’s rants like yours that are more worrying.
      And frankly not reflective of the ‘grounded fan’. Such a fan, also kicks the cat after virtually every game this season, but remembers that both Jewell and Parkinson took some time to get their sides to get results. In Parky’s case – fans like you were busy moaning at the end of his first season.
      Significantly the managers who have punched most above their weight are at Harrogate, Sutton, Rotherham and Wycombe. Warne at Rotherham has nearly a year of moderate results and Ainsworth was minutes away from taking Wycombe out of the football league.
      Maybe, I’ve always been a pragmatic Bantam – but I don’t see that the level of despair that you, Jason and yes, lots of other fans utter, is at all justified.

  2. This is an amazing rant, considering that Rupp has unequivocally rejected the bid.

    “Someone is lying”. Really? A potential business deal that broke down and neither party wants to look bad. Who’d had thought!!!

    It was a nonsense idea, which frankly doesn’t deserve your writing skills wasting so much time on it.

    • Is it a rant?

      I thought it was a well balanced piece weighing the prospect of significant investment against the considerable risk.

      Maybe at a big, global club with international mega stars this sort of model could work (I think it is working in the NBA) but history is littered with financial bubbles from Tulips to to sub prime mortgages. It always ends in tears.

  3. If these Americans are so adept at making money, why did they need to stray so far from home and into a new field about which they knew nothing? In the 1630s, briefly tulip bulbs were changing hands for the modern equivalent of tens of thousands. The bubble burst, of course, as this one must.

  4. I tend to think that city have dodged a bullet rather than missed an opportunity.
    Like all supporters though I am fed up with the longstanding struggle and failure.

  5. Thoughtful piece but my worry is we seek this unattainable investor. So what they dont know about soccer, Richard Branson can’t fly a plane but has successfully built airlines.
    Unless we change our outlook and think differently we will continue to be in perpetual decline.

  6. What rubbish. It’s actually a well balanced piece on what could have been a life change for Bradford City football club, for good or bad. Of course it was worth the effort.

  7. Absolutely agree with your feelings on this issue Jason. Having nearly lost our beloved club before I don’t have the stomach for something that sounds so flimsy carrying huge risk. Maybe we might look back with regret one day but I’d rather the club was secure than risked in this way. I hadn’t even heard of NFT’s until this raised its head and I’ll be honest that it isn’t something that floats my boat at all! Maybe I am more conservative but I still like things that are more tangible! Thank you Stefan for not throwing us under the bus!

  8. Good article. While we all hope for a change of ownership, all the indications were that this lot were charlatans and that their joke of a business plan would have spelt the end for the club. I for one am glad they have been sent packing.

  9. Phew is all I can say. This was nonsense and disrespectful from the beginning – surely designed to attract media interest in any club that is desperate enough for this sort of consortium. (Derby anyone)!?
    Not us thankfully. The reverse of this is that potentially it’s made a few would be potential investors in our great club take note that we are perhaps for sale but only with serious offers. This news for good or bad has been a global news story for 48 hours. It does show that Rupp has respect for his legacy at BC as he could easily of bitten their hand off and never been seen in BD8 again.
    Aside – Anyone who expected DA to move mountains, sign all the players he needed to succeed in one transfer window is deluded. He’s here for 3 years not 18 months. I’m patient and expecting some more decent signings to come in next month to give us vain hope that once assembled 8 to 10 winners then we will have a serious chance next season. At the min I can see 4-5 with the belief, mentality and talent. A few others have talent but don’t really believe. Normal at this level.
    8-10 winners will be able to drag the rest with them over the line. 4-5 are never enough to get promoted with.
    Well done Rupp for Sending the fresh air millionaires packing. Now let’s get back to reality. Merry Christmas one and all and thanks Jason for such quick articles on this.

  10. This all prompts me to reflect on football ownership. To me, hitching our fortunes to a group like WAGMI United is the equivalent of a crack junkie thinking that his street dealer has his best interests at heart. We all yearn for a footballing Santa Claus who is as emotionally invested in our club as a local, long term fan, with the deepest pockets to fund a team that blows away the competition and takes us the up the leagues, and is generous enough to do it out of his pocket not ours, leaving us with our affordable season tickets. Sadly the Jack Walkers of this world are as rare as lottery wins.
    When I reflect on what good fortune would look like for BCFC, it goes deeper than just wins & promotions- a squad that I want to support that plays its heart out for us, terraces full of fans of all types with a positive bouncing atmosphere, affordable and accessible football, a club rooted in its community, that is valued by that community and gives back to that community; and does all if this year in year out, in a sustainable way. After all, if it was just the success, I might as well become a Manchester City fan tomorrow.
    In ownership terms, what I would love to see is a club and its stadium jointly owned by some sane, credible & Bradford focused high net worth individuals, but also by all of us, a community supporter based trust, and maybe also the local community- maybe the Council. In short, an ownership model funded & controlled by those who are invested in these broader aims and values.
    This may well be a total pipe dream..I know a small number of clubs like AFC Wimbledon are owned by the fans- but I’d challenge anyone to look at the long term ownership story of the 92 football league clubs and tell me what how many have had long term sustainable, happy stories for those who care most about those clubs.

  11. This was not about dodging a bullet, it was about avoiding a mega tonne thermo-nuclear missile and I am very relieved that the club hasn’t been sold into a giant ponzi scheme.
    You can bet that part of the investment plan would have involved persuading those among our more impressionable support base that they should convert their mortgages, savings and pensions into crypto assets. (That option still exists of course for those recently converted and currently proclaiming the benefits of NFTs to allow them to match their own money with their words, albeit now without the bantam dimension.)
    This decision by Stefan Rupp is in the best interest of the club and he has acted as a responsible investor, standing back from the brink and forsaking the prospect of getting his money back and making a tidy profit. In the cold light of day he will probably wonder why he didn’t snatch the cash and run instead of putting up with the hassle at Valley Parade. But in the cold light he also deserves the credit for his decision. With the devil on their shoulders, I doubt that many other football owners in similar circumstances would have done the same thing.

    • Nobody is saying we want to gamble on the future of our club .But what most supporters want and will soon demand is change ,because carrying on the way we are is a real gamble .The Genie is out of the bottle .

      • Don’t delude yourself – if the club had been sold to these snake oil salesmen as many fans wanted – you would have been gambling the future of the club. It would have been casino management at the extreme and no doubt directed by noise on social media.

        BTW not sure I understand the point about ‘The Genie’ and equally I am not convinced that most supporters subscribe to your perspective either.

      • Cryptocurrency is heading towards a crash – then there would be absolutely no bail out for the club what so ever?
        What then?

      • Under Rupps tenure we had a budget that Edin totally wasted cos he didnt have a clue. Even after that, we had Bowyers reign which saw us with a squad that should have been competing for the autos. Doyle and Vaughan alone were possibly the best strikers in that division that year and the squad was large enough to withstand any injuries.. Bowyer failed IMO and not Rupp. since then we have defo reigned in spending. Indeed Stuarts last tenure had probably one of the worst squads in my lifetime watching city to choose from. So we have a mixed bag in ambition and investment in truth. latterly we need more ambition and a little more speculation and certainly better use of any financial resources this entails.

  12. Despite the madness of what this takeover could have done, it is clear that Rupp has lied from this. WAGMI have no incentive to lie about this. To say this was just an email is ridiculous. It’s clear to me that this is going drag out still and if he had our best interests at heart, he would have seen Rahic was incompetent and corrupt from the start.
    Also, the fact that he’s gone public about rejecting this one and not any of the others (e.g. Gibb went public about s potential bid s fee years ago) suggests to me this offer was close to what he wanted.
    The club isn’t worth £10million and not even worth the £6million they paid for it.

  13. I honestly don’t care if Rupp has lied as to what’s gone on here – we are far better off with him than under some massively risky set up and deal!
    Even if we are currently on a road to nowhere under Rupp – at least we are getting there safely in these times!
    Selling NFT’s based around Bradford City – we own nothing! So what are they going to sell the NFT’s of?
    Pictures of Andy Halliday knee sliding at Chelsea? think they are owned by the photographer!
    And do traditional yorkshire even know what NFT’s are really about and can you see them buying them? (not trying to be disparaging here but you know what I mean)
    I don’t think they’ve done their homework properly and that should worry everyone!
    I also don’t believe they have idea about what it takes to be running a football club in England or even what football is all about.

    • However much some people don’t want to hear it, I think a significant number of supporters are fed up with the club’s tenure under Stefan Rupp, since 2017 we have regressed massively, this time last year we were dicing with relegation to non-league. This summer we were promised by the club’s CEO that we would be pushing to build a team for promotion, we are currently nowhere near good enough, the promise soon became questionable with signing Kelleher, Robinson etc. Utter bargain basement players. To do nothing, and not invest in the playing side of things means dicing with that trapdoor, the ball is firmly now in Stefan Rupp’s Court and the pressure is on him to fund Derek Adams with a much enhanced budget both in January and the summer. If not, then the clamour in the supporter base for a change of owner will get ever louder and probably much nastier. All this of course is a result of this takeover failure. Weather WAGMI’s plan was sound or not, I’m not an expert in Bitcoin etc, but snake oil salesmen they are not. The same group has just made an NFT deal with Adidas, pocketing them millions of dollars, perhaps the way they went about things was totally different and unorthodox, with a total lack of cultural awareness of how football in this country works. Everybody just seemed too gung ho on their side of the fence, lacking emotive understanding of our club and its past etc. I know one thing about Bitcoin, and that is to people who trade in that sphere can make a helluva lot of money if they know what they are doing. (My Niece’s boyfriend, age 21, has just ordered an Aston Martin……..) So, perhaps in the end this takeover wasn’t for us, too avant garde, too much of a risky experiment, whatever you think. What it has shown is that,.they maybe people out there interested in buying the club (and get flushed out soon enough to make an offer) and that the current owner is at a real crossroads, because with the rejection of the bid, he’s ramped up the pressure on himself with the “Custodian of the club line” and increased expectation from an increasingly volatile, frustrated fan base that will be voting with their feet and season ticket sales. Over to you Stefan to provide us with a well funded plan to get us out of the doldrums.

      • You’re right, me too to a certain extent – I’m as fed up as the rest of them…

        but I come back to my point – better the devil you know than some massively risky investment that is based on highly dubious market that will no doubt crash at some stage.

        If China are going to the lengths of banning crypto-currency – the rest of the world will follow suit trust me!

  14. Enjoyed the article. Leaving the pros and cons of the takeover aside (I think Jason covered it all). On reading Rupp’s statement my wife was stuck by how little he said and how little he revealed. Sparks goes on about transparency, with this I believe we do deserve more. As we are the club, as so well put by Jon a couple of days ago, we need to be told more of what has gone on here.
    I like Rupp and he does seem to be a decent person but we do need more from him (money and words).

  15. I think Rupp has a hard time from us fans. Yes he got into this mess and Rahic fooled him and all of us to start with, but he has stuck with us and and this shows more than anything that he does care about the club and isnt the type to cut and run. We could have much worse.

    I too long for a fan based collective ownership – after all Barcelona isnt short of success. I would love to see and would buy into a long term plan that
    bought back Valley Parade
    established some kind of community partnership to own the club

    For me this shows that Rupp isnt just going to throw us under the bus to get out

    The one thing we all agree on is that the merry go round of the last several years has to stop.
    Well that means sticking with Ryan Sparks – a young man with energy and vision
    Derek Adams a manager with a track record of sorting out clubs at our level today

    Yes the early season hopes are disappointed to put it mildly – but this is early days
    After all Ferguson was nearly sacked at United in his early days

    Patience – we arent going backwards even if we are stalled in the middle of a junction!!! with other clubs working their way past the blockage

    • Barcelona lost 481 million euros in 20-21 and were technically bankrupt at one point with a negative net worth of 451 million euros. They have huge debts, 390 million related to players salaries, 670 million related to debts with banks and 40 million related to membership losses. The Spanish league have slashed their budgets. They are a perfect example of a club recklessly spending money they don’t have in order to achieve success. Not an example we should follow and the ownership model clearly does not work for a sustainable future

  16. Rupp went public twice a few days.
    Prior to this he made Julian Rhodes look like an extrovert.
    But if this whole Wagmi saga has done anything it has forced Rupp to speak.
    I was beginning to think he was a reincarnation of Bob Pearson (John Dochertys right hand man who was never actually seen).
    He exists and he speaks.
    Now he has spoken and publically rejected an offer to.sell the club, am I not alone in thinking that this is a seismic change.
    Rupps words (though brief).reveal that he realises the value of the club to Bradford City fans and the wider community.
    Prior to the statement there was a widespread belief that he was happy to own us as long as we were not a cost until an acceptable offer came in.
    It also smacked of a lack of willingness to further invest leaving us in the situation.we find ourselves in.
    In short he was seen as part.of the problem.
    Now he has said he his proud to.own us whilst expressing the value of the club on a local.basis.
    So will we now hear more from him?
    Has a new dawn arrived?
    I truly hope so for I much prefer the conventional style of that of Wagmi.
    As long as that ownership.provides the means to offer some success on the field.
    So over to you now Stefan.
    How about a statement.of your short, medium.and long term aims and ambitions for the club?

  17. Let’s be clear shall we. If the Chairman wanted to sell he would have sold it for a quantity of brussel sprouts if there were enough of them. If he didn’t really want to sell, he probably would have done anyway if there had been even more sprouts. Clearly there weren’t enough sprouts available right now but there might be, come Easter, but then substitute Easter eggs for sprouts and we are back in the same position.

    Even a reluctant seller must realise that the more successful a business is, the more valuable it becomes. I hope Mr Rudd, Mr Sparks, Mr Adam and Co. achieve so much success that a sale becomes more and more attractive to potential buyers whilst also giving the owner more reasons to stay but also giving him better options to get out if he wants. Success from where City are now will not be easy or quick and some patience is needed.

  18. Good piece, Jason.

    I think the clamour for investment is a bit OTT from some, bare in mind Rupp has had to deal with Covid football for the majority of the non-Rahic era.

    Didn’t Rupp splash the cash in that awful relegation season? The losses made were atrocious and we still finished rock bottom. Money isn’t everything.

    What I am starting to see at the club (slowly) is a shift into a more modern perspective of operating throughout the club. It takes time, we have a manager who got Morecambe up with a tiny budget. Cambridge, Cheltenham, Burton etc have all progressed without spending tonnes of money.

    Can fully understand the frustration of those sick and tired of the same old though, we all feel it. We don’t need huge sums of £ though as some are talking about, we need to be clever & patient.

  19. Breaks my heart that supporters are happy that we continue as a shit show of a club rather than take a punt on a dream. I’d rather it go wrong and we end up non league or even starting again that continue this slow depressing existence. But never mind about the dream, Sparksy might have completed a deal with a local energy drink company for £5,000 over the nest 3 seasons.

  20. Those who are using terms like circus and snake oil salesmen simply dont understand block chain technology.

    Lets stick to our pints of tetleys and big thick steaks of gammon while we draw 2 – 2 to Sutton Bloody Utd.

  21. We will just have to wait and see which EFL club WAGMI United graciously select to take up to the Premier League instead of Bradford City. Don’t hold your breath.

  22. Whilst I do not “understand block chain technology” I do understand that cryptocurrency and NFTs are a volatile and unregulated financial market populated by unscrupulous people queuing up to relieve the gullible of their hard earned cash in high risk investments with practically nil possibility of turning that investment into cash.

    To those who do not understand any of the issues involved or believe it is the future there are lots of well-informed articles on the internet from well researched and reliable sources that will give you an insight into why we should steer clear of this kind of deal.

    I recommend “Football, Cryptocurrency and NFTs: Why Fans Will Be The Biggest Losers From This Unhealthy Relationship”. Also to get a feel for the world of cryptocurrency and how organisations such as WAGMI United (WAGMI being an acronym for “We’re All Gonna Make It”) operate, try this scary article about WAGMI’s offer for Bradford City, “Crypto is Coming For English Football – And Gary Vee and NFTs Are Coming With It”

    There is nothing to stop the club from generating income by generating and marketing its own NFTs, though most of those already on the market have dropped significantly in their “alleged” value since first purchased along with many cryptocurrencies, leaving punters not just financially embarassed . Keep your cash!

    Merry Christmas Herr Rupp! A cask of Tetleys and a couple of gammon steaks are on the way.

    • Pint of Tetleys for me ( I will pass on the Gammon) and congratulations on a welcome dose of sanity. You cannot create value without some proper(“Tyke”)graft. Block chain technology my arse.

    • Those articles you refer to do not make for good reading. For those, and other, reasons I am very glad the Wagmi group has been sent packing.

      A warning of another kind should be given here though: I searched for them by title, finding several hits. I read the “Football, Cryptocurrency…” piece on without problems. The second one however is repeated on at least one dodgy site. The version on didn’t cause problems, but the one on caused my anti-virus program to switch into overdrive, and block access due to numerous attempts by the site to install malware. Readers be aware.

  23. Seems clear to me that Rupp was entertaining a bid for the club from early November; nothing wrong with that of course. I believe he has acted in good faith to turn the offer down ; either because it wasn’t enough or he maybe realised he would be a forever pariah to sell to such shallow interests.
    Let Adams get on with managing the club at least until the end of next season; if we are not showing signs of progress, however small, then by all means show him the door. The main question is what is the Sparks communication machine up to? Seems it is effervescent when there is good news (pre season announcing a new player every week) but seems to withdraw rapidly when the going gets tough. He has made some good progress in terms of the match experience but I would expect a little more leadership, visibly, than we are seeing now.
    On balance this announcement is good news but the fans deserve better communication

  24. This sounds like someone 20 years ago who said this internet thing won’t take off. When NFTs become every match day ticket you buy, every car you buy, every house you buy, every single contact you sign.. you’ll then realise how important NFTs are. The lack of (understandable) understanding of crypto and NFTs with it being so early in existence has scared/overwhelmed people into thinking the deal is bad, when in fact we may never get this opportunity again.

    • It is quite possible that NFTs will become commonplace but we are a long way off a time when everyone can participate or have the enthusiasm to do so.

      For now this constitutes a massive experiment. Not only in terms of financing a football club but also about how best to manage its affairs and decision-making. The latter aspect is as critical as the first and with all the money in the world if you don’t have the appropriate organisational structure you won’t get anywhere. We’ve heard nothing to give comfort that the WAGMI bunch had any idea of the practicalities of making their scheme work. Early stage experimentation is invariably associated with failure, an historic fact in every industry and economic cycle. I’m not keen on BCAFC to be the guinea pig to provide proof of concept or otherwise.

      However irrespective of the funding and the technology, no business can defy financial gravity. The need to make a profit, generate cash and meet the expectations of stakeholders whilst also putting in place a stable platform. The basic economics of throwing crypto assets at BCAFC doesn’t make sense for a sustainable business. Not in the real world at least. Even NFTs will be subject to the laws of economics and like all ponzi schemes will inevitably fall foul of them.

      • The success of the NFTs will have been used to raise the capital and then the creation and sale of NFTs will be used to increase revenue long term. I think people are a little too intimidated that it’s going to be an experiment just because words ‘crypto’ and ‘NFT’ have been used. It’s not like we are suddenly going to be paying players or having to buy season ticket in crypto. They will create the NFT (for practically free) and sell them (for potentially millions) and if they don’t sell then not much is really lost. The assets of the company (players and training facilities) will still be there, owned by Bradford City and live on the balance sheet as will a lot of the cash. Some of the investors / stakeholders allegedly involved in this investment (e.g. Gary Vaynerchuk) MORE than know what it is to run a sustainable business – he’s a board advisor to some of the worlds biggest brands! Crypto will be common on balance sheets as early as 2022 and in time everyone will realise that this is the new real world.

      • Ponzi scheme? showing your age there methinks.

        You should leave the next generation to build the future and keep your negative uninformed opinions out of it.

        New tech and business ideas are a risk that is correct, it can go wrong. But old fashioned thinking and what can only be described as change averse luddites ALWAYS have a negative impact. Maybe think about that if you want bradford city to join in with the 21st century.

      • No doubt some in big business will take a punt on NFTs. They can afford to lose cash. City cannot. Anybody who thinks there will be a market for City related NFTs in competition with the established global brands is deluded. Ultimately that gamble is the basis of the deal. Opposition to a highly speculative takeover has nothing to do with age and everything to do with common sense. Thankfully good sense prevailed in the end

      • Hi Clity,

        If NFTs and Cryto currency is such a good idea maybe you’d like to share what proportion of your net wealth is invested in them….

    • So NFT will become common place and let’s say every club is involved. The common denominator remains that clubs will still be promoted, some relegated and fans will be happy or down right angry accordingly. With our luck the latter.

  25. Guys. Well done for a sensible debate and interesting points. I still can’t make my mind up about it all but the contributions from both sides have all been thought provoking. Thanks.

    • There will be a lot of collateral damage before new business models become established. Look up ‘dot com bubble’ as the most recent example of market carnage. For the moment no-one can point to a football club that has been run along these lines and the concept remains unproven. A comment above cited a number of articles written by commentators who appear to be pretty familiar with the world of NFTs and whose investigations hardly endorse the practice.

      The dot com frenzy whipped up a lot of enthusiasm for schemes that sounded cutting edge at the time but which proved to have no economic substance. The same will be true of the frenzy for ventures with the words ‘crypto’ and ‘NFT’. In its day tulip mania also attracted a lot of enthusiasm and the promise of a remarkable new world as those who invested discovered for themselves.

      • I agree completely that there will be a very similar type of bubble to what happened with the internet in the 90s. At least 98% of NFT projects will fail and people will lose an incredible amount of money… especially those buying JPEGs of monkeys and penguins etc. However, the concept of an NFT itself won’t fail, just like the concept of the internet didn’t fail. NFTs are here to stay. Every single contract in the next 10-20 years will be an NFT smart contract which sits on a blockchain / decentralised server.

        From a financial perspective… The plan wouldn’t make sense to go invest in a load of NFTs (which you could lose money on). The plan would more likely be be to use the money they have already made from NFTs to improve the squad and facilities and then create / sell NFTs to generate more revenue. Should those newly created NFTs fail and become worthless, it’s the people worldwide who bought them who will lose out, not the club who created and sold them. On the flip side, if they worked (which there is a clear belief they will), not only will the club benefit from the sale of that NFT, but then also on a royalty from every single time that same NFT is sold on, forever more!

        It then becomes whether you trust whether the new owners would do what is right for the club such as keeping the history, tradition and values.. which would be a fair debate. But to think it’s the NFT part which is the risk is in my opinion shows a level naivety of what this opportunity brings and resistance of something new and innovative.

        I hope you treat this debate with the spirt intended – I fully respect your opinion and it seems many others agree with you (it’s a new unknown concept which is why I said it is understandable people feel this way). However, I hope people start to be a little more open minded to what this will do and bring to us all. It now seems the matter is closed as the club have made their position clear – but a sport club, at some stage, will make the decision to run with this new direction and it will be very interesting to see what happens with the club they do work with. It’s flattering we were chosen and shows what potential people feel there is at our football club.

  26. Why would you buy something, that you cannot see.

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