Another manager change at Bradford City as Derek Adams is sacked

By Jason McKeown

Here we go again. Again. After a season of underachievement, Bradford City are once more changing managers with the news that Derek Adams has been sacked.

The Scot departs with City languishing in 11th in League Two, eight points off the play offs and with only nine wins in 31 league matches. Three of the last five games have ended in defeat, including Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Exeter City that ended with loud home supporter chants for Adams to go.

The revolving managerial door at Valley Parade shows no sign of slowing. Since Stuart McCall’s second spell in 2016-2018, no City manager has lasted more than 11 months in the hot seat. Simon Grayson, Michael Collins, David Hopkin, Gary Bowyer, Stuart McCall (again) and the partnership of Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars. All came and none could conquer. The dice rolled again and again.

It was to be hoped it would be different this time. That in Derek Adams we had a proven winner, with the ability to revive Bradford City from its downwards spiral. He’d just taken Morecambe – favourites for relegation in 2020/21, with the lowest budget in the league – to promotion. A fourth such success over his managerial career.

Everywhere he had been, there had been success. And though Adams’ reputation as a controversial character and for deploying a pragmatic style of football left some worries, it really did seem as though City had pulled off a major coup by securing his services last May.

Yet despite the apparent security of a three-year contract that suggested City were prepared to let Adams build, the pressure was always there from day one for instant success. The decision to stand down Trueman and Sellars at the end of last season to make way for Adams was a statement of ambition. Promotion was the aim, and Adams himself made no attempt to downplay expectations.

“Next season, my aim is to take us beyond this division and into League One,” he said on his unveiling last May. “That is the pressure I put on myself….We all know Bradford City finished in the bottom half of the table last year. Now, we will aim to be in the promotion picture.”

Hindsight suggests that such high expectations – driven by the club, manager, supporters and media – was a mistake. The truth is that City were nowhere near it in 2020/21, and the gap needed to move forwards from a 15th place finish to getting promoted was huge. When the summer transfer activity played out, this disparity between expectations and reality began to widen. Some of the close season recruits looked decent on paper, others did not. You could see what was still missing, but it was never addressed.

And it left the greatest of ironies. For a club that has gone through manager after manager, without any progress, this season once again seemed to hinge on the cult of manager.

Everyone talked up City in pre-season. Pundits tipped us to win the league, bookies installed us as favourites, fans chanted about getting to 100 points and the club itself came across just as bold. But when you stopped to question just what it was that gave everyone such confidence in City’s prospects, the answer was always the same. Derek Adams. And his great track record.

But that was all we had.

The reality is he didn’t have the squad to live up to the pre-season favourite tags. It started well enough with 10 points from the first 12, including brilliant wins over Stevenage and Mansfield. But then it fell away. Just two home wins since August. Long stretches of draws. Some really poor defeats. And the occasional victory but not nearly enough of them.

Automatic promotion hopes faded to play off, but before long City were stuck in midtable. Still in with a chance of getting back up there, but only if they went on a run. Yet the fact they have not since August achieved back-to-back wins has kept them well off the pace.

And with Adams, the frustrations have grown. He talks after almost every game about how much his team dominated. If they didn’t win, it was down to not taking chances or the opposition goalkeeper playing really well. He spoke often about how good the underlying stats were – and they were, at least until recently – and when quizzed about struggles to convert good stats into three points, he would blame injuries or individual players. At other times, he complained openly about the fitness and performance management teams at the club.

There just didn’t seem to be any hint that Adams had the desire or capability to improve results by doing something different to what wasn’t really working in the first place. Continually complaining about bad luck, and performances not reflecting the stats, is to suggest he was never going to adapt anything – and instead just assume that in time results would improve. And for a while that seemed fair enough, but the longer it has gone on the more it just didn’t wash. There seemed to be no appetite to change things tactically. No evidence of his managerial excellence to find solutions that would improve results.

Then there is the way he has conducted himself. The public lambasting of certain players, whilst others seemingly could make mistake after mistake without ever getting called out. The “it’s not my fault” comment after the Exeter cup defeat. The claim that the club would be “immature” to sack him after the Harrogate loss. And of course Saturday’s statement that the club wouldn’t be able to find a more successful manager than himself if they were to remove him. There was never any humility from Adams. Any public acknowledgement he might have made mistakes. It just didn’t feel like he was being honest, and that made him a difficult person to respect.

The fact that he has made no attempt to build a relationship with supporters has also hurt him. I remember going to Tranmere away in November, and at full time the players came over and received plenty of stick from travelling City fans for the way they collapsed in the second half. Adams was nowhere to be seen. He never goes over to fans at full time in victory or defeat. That might be fine when we win, but in loss it reflects badly on him.

What must players think when they come over and face the wrath of a crowd, and they look behind them and see their manager – their leader – hasn’t come over to join them? Would that help their trust towards him, and their motivation to play for this manager, or did it damage that?

Ultimately Adams just didn’t build up any credit in the bank. If he’d been able to field a team who played a style of football we could enjoy, and if we saw the players having a go, there would be greater tolerance of results not being great. The fact is, the games have been dismal to watch. There is no entertainment. Little to cheer. Very limited belief and buy-in to the plan. Adams can argue he doesn’t have the players and that’s true to an extent, but he has himself admitted he dictated the signings of the last two windows. He has to take responsibility for the issues with the squad.

The problem with trusting in Adams to keep building something is that there is little evidence he will sign players suited to the club and who can handle the expectations. Scroll to the bottom of our website and look in the bottom left at our list of players in contract and out of contract this summer – there’s plenty of good players, aged between 21-27, whose deals expire in a few months time. These are the sort of players who – with the right additions around them – could be the positive drivers of taking City forwards over the next few years.

Are they enjoying playing for Adams? Would they have wanted to stay? And if they didn’t, how much faith did we really have in the Scot that he could replace them when so far so many of his signings have been so average?

It is of course fair comment that Adams has not really had enough time. As a club we have to stop expecting instant success. Constant ripping up of the plans.

But this just looks such a bad fit. He doesn’t seem suited to the club. And we could have stumbled on into next season, hoping that would change. But when you get the kind of supporter reaction you did on Saturday towards Adams, the situation seemed beyond repairing.

Still, there can be no question this is a blow for Ryan Sparks. He invested his reputation in Adams, and getting him into the club was a coup. There will inevitably be criticism of the CEO, who many fans would like to hear more from in these difficult times. But I think there is a shared culpability in this situation.

Let’s be honest, Adams was the overwhelming choice of fans last May. His arrival was viewed very positively, and the majority of supporters were right behind him. Not just for his track record, but his manner and approach. The Bradford City of the last few years can be accused of being too nice and passive. Not being aggressive enough. Accepting the body blows. On social media during the summer, a Twitter thread of Adams’ most controversial moments was widely shared as a positive validation of what City were getting.

Fans loved the idea of his blunt, confrontational style. “Up the sh**house Bantams” was a phrase regularly repeated.

What we expected with Adams’ abrasiveness was that we would be lining up alongside him, revelling in him taking pot shots at others and upsetting opposition fans. If this was a playground, we would get to stand next to the bully belittling others, hoping that they saw us as on their side and so would look after us. Instead, we quickly learned that Adams would behave as aggressively and aloof towards us as much as anyone else.

With Phil Parkinson, he cultivated an us-against-the-world ethos that as a fanbase you felt a part of. Adams never let us in. He came across as having no appreciation or respect for us supporters. A coldness that didn’t invite any warmth in return.

As a fanbase, we wanted Adams to succeed. We bought into that cult of manager, yet again. And we so must share some responsibility for the failure – just like Sparks and Stefan Rupp. We want to have a say on how the club is run, and for our views to be acted upon. And if we want the club to keep listening, we also have to maintain a sense of responsibility with those views we gave in the past. Hiring Adams was acting on the majority opinion. We can’t go back and pretend otherwise.

Just as Adams is not a miracle worker after all, sacking him probably won’t change much in the short-term. City will hopefully get better from here on, but a mid-table finish appears to be our destiny. The hunt is now on for a replacement, and with Mark Trueman at the helm as a more than capable caretaker, the club can take its time with what will be an even bigger decision over who should be the next manager of Bradford City.

We’ve got to end this cycle of short-termism. And that challenge remains just as difficult to solve as it was when Adams took charge 256 days ago. A big few weeks once again faces the football club.

Categories: Opinion


75 replies

  1. Can’t we sack a few of the fans whilst we are at it?

    • What a wnderful idea, wonder what no ones ever thought of it before?……

      • I’m surprised that it hasn’t occurred to you that the pathological behaviour of keyboard warriors is a big part of the problem. But there again maybe I’m not surprised.

      • Yeah it was the fans fault that Dodgy Derek couldn’t put players in right positions or make one single improvement in his time here. It was the fans fault the owner went with a CEO who only training in the job was from Captain Admin. It was the fans fault we have an owner with no interest in the day to day running of this club. It’s the fans fault we are looking for the 8th managerial candidate in 4 years.
        The club is failing massively and shows no sign of reversing that trend due to fundamental problems in the ownership and running of this football club. And yet your answer is ‘to sack some of the fans’.
        Hats off.

  2. Well done to the club today for making the right decision, keeping Adams would have caused so much damage to next season’s budget with the massive loss of season ticket sales.
    I’m all for having management stability but that’s got to start with having the right manager in the job. In my opinion Adams was not the right man for the job and It’s pointless giving someone a long time just for the sake of it. Every extra week he got was just a wasted week in my opinion.
    Basing judgement purely on the job he’s done whilst managing Bradford City and not his history before he joined I could think of many reasons to get shut and none for him to stay.

  3. Grant McCann the stand-out name now being touted by bookies as a possible replacement?

    • Great shout that !

      • Arguably McCann has a better managerial record than Michael Flynn, who is one of the others being mentioned by the bookies…

    • I have received this from a mate who supports Gillingham: ‘Don’t touch Evans with a barge-pole… he has had no success since Rotherham and Leeds, since then, just failure.
      Sorry to be blunt, I’m all for younger coaches, not some fat slob just standing on the touchline bellowing orders to all and sundry.
      You might as well sell all your ‘wingers’… as he just likes playing through the middle … generally by a long ball. Never seen him motivate good players, especially in midfield.’ Let’s hope we don’t get Evans.

      • did he really have any success at Leeds? Managed to stop them going down but then I reckon they wouls have stayed u regardless…..

  4. Been on morecambe and Plymouth forums and it’s clear City are a joke. Two comments as a taster – “why don’t Bradford issue 6 month contracts and save a fortune in compensation” and “if you need a good laugh the Bradford fans comments are always hilarious”.
    I don’t agree with all your thoughts Jason but I think you hit the nail on the head when you say we, the fans, are partly to blame.
    False entitlement, belief that we should win every game in style, turning on the manager, the chief exec and even ourselves so rapidly.
    I am worried that once again the boo boys start threatening “I won’t my renew my season ticket” so the club takes fright. This time however there’s many saying they won’t renew the season ticket because they are fed up at the turn round.
    Once again City have taken a massive gamble. Meanwhile the rest of the league looks and laughs.

  5. Adams brought in around 17 players whilst our manager, we all knew that our priority was to sign some good forwards, and despite signing several, most from our division, none had prolific scoring records with their previous clubs. I even brought this to the attention of Ryan early in the season. Despite giving Adams a 3year contract (too long) I support Ryan Sparks, as he has improved all our commercial and off field money raising efforts, and gave Adams full control over recruitment.

    • I agree. Was our CEO supposed to take control of team selection coaching and recruitment?
      We can debate the rights and wrongs of the sacking until we are blue in the face but it is clear that there are strong feelings on both sides of the debate. On balance I believe it was the right decision albeit one that will not have been easy to make.
      Either way we have to move on and it serves no benefit to look for scapegoats. I just hope that we can attract a decent manager and players to Valley Parade but we shouldn’t deceive ourselves that we are an attractive option. The reality is that there has been such a turnover of disgruntled players and managers that it will a tough job persuading people that things have changed for the better and that BCAFC is not a career risk. And therein one of the reasons why it has proved so difficult for anyone to get a grip and drive a turnaround with fresh faces in the past few years.

      • There has to be a plan laid down and this has to be adhered to. Even this season we’ve gone from one recruitment strategy to another after getting rid of the recruitment director. No point changing managers at will when there is no tangible plan for them to work to. Sparks needs to decide on a plan and stick to it.

      • None of us know the facts behind Turnbull leaving the club but it’s a fair bet that DA didn’t agree with him being in place, had a bust up and I suspect that he held a gun to the head of the club about getting him replaced. However I wouldn’t be so quick to make judgements in the absence of knowing what went on in the background.

  6. I think you got it just right at one point where you said, it looked like such a bad fit. I understand we may be pulling the trigger again and again we may be shackling ourselves by ditching another manager, however overall, this looked such a bad fit it had to end sooner rather than later.

  7. The club is an absolute shambles and run by clowns. But I’ll still come to watch – if we succeed it will be down to luck not judgement.

  8. Derek is full of contradictions.
    The football’s been dire but amongst that we’ve played some good stuff – most recently against Crawley. Never for more than 45 minutes and never two games running but his team did have it in them.
    Then there’s his media style.
    His post match interviews and supporter engagement has been woefull yet I remember being very impressed with him at the fans forum. He was honest, articulate and fronted up to everything that was asked of him.
    As you point out we like a bit if siege mentality at VP – us against the world – but it was never that with Derek, it was Derek against the world. We wanted a rough, aggressive personality in the dugout but we also needed a leader.
    My overriding emotion is one of sadness. A guy’s lost his job, City have failed to move forward and we roll the dice again. My only consolation is that the sacking of the last ‘outstanding candidate’ (Peter Taylor) with promotions galore under his belt eventually led to success under Parky
    Let’s hope history repeats itself.
    I hope Mark just throws caution to the wind for the rest of to he season. We’re not going down. Let’s see what this group of players are capable of – they may surprise us.

    • Mark had the opportunity to throw caution to the wind last season when we had a sniff of the playoffs, what happened, he became even more cautious and afraid of losing. He also favours 4-2-3-1 which is fine away from home, but surely we need 2 up top at home.

  9. Another January window has gone and another manager has been sacked after making multiple signings. He who hired and fired him can hardly emerge unscathed from this latest debacle. Sparks extended McCall’s contract only to terminate it in a matter of days. He hailed the appointment of Turnbull as bringing in a new style of recruitment then less than a year later dispensed with him. He appointed novices Trueman and Sellars from within, giving them the single mission of avoiding relegation. When this was more of less achieved, he showered them with praise and made them permanent. After duly sacking them a couple of months later, he head-hunted Adams, slavered all over him, paid a fee to get him, gave him the longest contract in the club’s history, then sacked him after eight months. He then turns to Trueman again. Bearing in mind that Sparks is himself new to the job, we are entitled to ask was this the behaviour of a man who knew what he was doing. Is he the right man to appoint the next manager!

    • 120% spot on.
      All these decision fall on Ryan Sparks.
      He must go if this club is to succeed. Unfortunately WOAP doesn’t highlight these points you made to try protect him.

      • I’m sure WOAP would publish an article that argued your point if it were if high enough quality, articulate and well reasoned.
        Put your pen to paper Alan.

  10. Just get on with it and announce Steve Evans, someone who will actually get us out of this league. Not only that but hopefully last seasons balti pies (not those awful Pukka ones) might be back on the menu if Evans comes in 🙂

    • He last achieved that in 2013, ie like Parky did.
      He had a similar ‘nothing to do with me guv’ attitude at Gillingham and then they got rid when he clearly couldn’t change it,
      There’s nothing on his recent past that makes him better than taking Stuart back!!

    • If we didn’t like Adams because of his behaviour with fans, players, club and media I can’t understand the logic behind appointing Evans.

  11. The correct decision, without a doubt. For us, on the pitch, and off it, a failure. Your comments say it all, Jason. Never made an effort to connect with the fans or, it seems the club. Kept dropping the innuendo of “that which he couldn’t talk about”. The fall back excuse for his shortcomings. I bet a number of the squad are celebrating today.
    But, why, oh, why do we let these failures have the January window and then sack them?

  12. You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head Jason.
    Sparks has to take a large slice of the blame. His repeated poor decisions are costing the club a lot of money it simply can’t afford. I’d like to see him move to just look after the commercial side and have somebody with the correct experience and expertise run the football side.

    • Yes, I think many of us feel the same way. Indeed as I commented on a previous article, the club’s structure ought to be re-organised so that we do have football- and non-football divisions, with an experienced football person running that side. Sparks has been good on the non-football side, so I would leave him to run that. I think his lack of football experience has been amply shown by the number of appointments/sackings of managers, and the over-exuberant nature of the pre-season comments.
      Overall, I’m glad the club has taken this step. It is not good to, yet again, be on the manager hunt, but I think this was necessary.

  13. I don’t know if it’s possible and I really do get the animosity towards Steve Evans but I’d bite the bullet and give him the job no question in my mind.

    • I’d look at his last few months with Gillingham. He had a similar ‘not my fault’ attitude and by the time they sacked him, they’re virtually doomed.
      I don’t see what good he is now. 5/6 years ago, then yes.

    • Absolutely no different in attitude or outlook to Adams. Difficult time to pull out a managerial master stroke

  14. The timing is terrible, straight after the window two years in a row and that does reflect badly on our CEO (never actually seen a list of the executive officers he is chief of; perhaps a break down of them and their roles at some point WOAP?).
    That said, he was unpleasant, the football dire and it”s an entertainment business. Roll on the next coach..

  15. If we end up with McCann, Lee Johnson or even less likely Exeter’s Matt Taylor then my now lack of faith in Sparks, will be restored.
    My worry is, now all we have to see is a few boo boys a few threats about season ticket renewals and it’s soon be the 9th manager in less than 5 years.
    There’s some sense in it. Re-reading his post match comments, you could see that actually Adams was almost goading Sparks to sack him (don’t be surprised if he’s the next Aberdeen manager!!). And it’s fair to say that we could never see a bond developing with him.
    It’s just worryingly mistimed. Give him all the help in the January window and then sack him 2 weeks later. We did this with both McCall (first time) and Bowyer, which resulted in an actual downturn the following seasons.
    Like I said this manager needs to be sensational. Otherwise, what’s the point?

  16. We are in this division for one reason and one reason only. Stability!!

    We have had 25 different managers since Paul Jewell left in 2000. Yes some of those have been caretakers but at the same time you aren’t able to build a squad worth doing anything unless you’re allowed to have time. Take Gary Neville and what he said about firing managers, he always tries to give them a few seasons. How many times does a club get lucky and gets promoted in the first season with a new manager? The answer, very rarely.

    Who ever comes in next, needs to have two/three seasons to get us out and it has to be part of a long term plan. Derek Adams for all his wrong doings and finger pointing, for me could have been that man. As could Gary Bowyer, we all know the football between both managers was poor but i’d take a season or two of poor football to get out of this league.

    Who’s actually going to want this poisoned chalice now??

  17. I knew before the start of the season Adams was a dour character and his tactics were defensive and frankly dull, but I was happy to have him here due to his reputation for gaining promotion out of this league. Get us promoted, consolidate us in League 1, and wish well on his way….That’s what I thought would happen. He’s now just another manager, in a growing list of successful managers with multiple promotions under their belt, who have struggled here since 2018.
    We see ourselves as big club and very appealing to outsiders to come join, but what worries me is if managers start viewing City as a club not to go anywhere near? If you’re somebody like McCann (doubt he would drop down this low), Wellens, Flynn etc…. Would you not look at how Grayson, Bowyer and Adams have all now struggled and been subject to some quite visceral criticism over the past few seasons and think to keep well clear? I pray I’m wrong but I think we could be in a much more dire position than we think.

  18. Well the fickle city fans have got there way and another city manager bites the dust.This time at quite a cost.Ryan Spark should have faith in is conviction and not bowed to fan pressure.I’m like majority of fans thought the football served up was dire But surely he deserved to see the season out.This managerial post is becoming a poison Chalis that no manager worth is salt will want.You reap what you sow.From a very disappointed and off fan

  19. City ARE a joke,,,,,,,,but only to the supporters of all the other clubs in the bottom 2 divisions.
    To us supporters City are an embarrassment, a humiliation and source of shame. I live in Harrogate and am pitied by Harrogate Town fans who, although few in number, have something to be proud of.
    We criticise some of our fans, but , really, we have had to put up with dross for too long.
    The decline started in the autumn of 2000 and has continued ever since, with the exception of the Parkinson years and most of McCall’s second spell.
    I agree with John Dewhirst that we have to support Ryan Sparks and believe we should give the players a real 100% backing. Sparks seems to be getting the off-field organisation in good shape, and I think he inherited a mess.
    Similarly, at Oldham and next Tuesday, get behind Trueman and the team. And do the same to the new manager.
    The alternative is to walk away, cease to support City……….and very few of us could or would do that.
    I just hope better times can come.

  20. At the start of the window, there must have been at least sixty points to play for. This is such a poor league, that’s plenty of game to have made up the points deficit.
    So did we write off the season, with a loss limitation exercise, by signing temps because of doubts about the manager at that stage?
    If that’s the case, I really wonder why I bother supporting this club.

  21. Sorry Jason.
    There is a lot of sense in most of what you say ( as usual) but there is one point I strongly disagree with.
    You say. “ We want to have a say on how the club is run, and for our views to be acted upon”
    Well, it just won’t happen. I accept that you also make the point that if the club then gets it wrong, supporters will have to accept some responsibility. Whoever heard of supporters getting the sack?
    Of course the club should listen to the fans but it is surely just one of a number of factors to be taken into account when considering a new appointment.
    It wouldn’t matter if Brussel Sprouts ( to coin a phrase) were running the club if the team was winning and, very definitely secondly, playing attractive football whilst doing so.
    So good luck to the owner and management. I hope THEIR choice is a good one because ultimately they will have to accept the consequences.

  22. I think it’s important to acknowledge how dour the tactics and playing style was. I live in the USA but I have the iFollow app and this past month, 15 minutes into the second half I invariably turned off the game. It was frustrating to watch a team retreat into a defensive mode as if we were facing a relegation match and a point was more important than going for three. There are a few skilful players in the team who have been stifled for weeks because of the playing style Adams had them play. It is OK saying “we have to get out of this league but don’t we have a right to be entertained too? The fact that he knew 15000 people gave up their hard earned money and time to come and watch the game, yet he thought he owed them nothing in return.
    I have been in management for over 40 years and the first thing I learned was not to single out people publicly when things go wrong within the team. It’s done behind closed doors. He lost the dressing room a while ago and when one of our best defenders who always gave a 100% did a runner, it said everything.

  23. I would love Warnock & MCcall as no 2

  24. In amongst all this woe, and some feeling City are currently a poisoned chalice to attract the next manager, I was trying to discover an objective fact….
    If we have had the unenviable record of 8 managers in 4 years, is this now an English league record (across all divisions)? I couldn’t find any stats, but just wondered if anyone can verify this. How ironical to be top of one stat if it’s true. A loyal fan through thick and thin

    • I may be wrong but I believe Watford could be on their 9th manager

    • If my working out is correct Steve, Nottingham Forest had 8 different (permanent) managers in a period of 4 years between January 2015 and January 2019. So that’s another damned draw then!

  25. Wasn’t the 100 points thing a bowyer chant?

  26. “We’ve got to end this cycle of short-termism.” We- the fanbase and City leadership- are like the alcoholic who says he’ll reform tomorrow, as he sidles up the bar to order another pint.
    We will only turn a corner when we exercise some maturity & patience to stick with a manager, ride out bad results, build a squad.

    • Yup the tragic drunk at the bar …so hammered he’s wet himself, lost his wallet and does not have the bus fare home.
      My wife’s reaction to our sacking ANOTHER manager was to roll her eyes and laugh knowingly. Summed us up perfectly.

  27. Whether Adams should’ve been sacked is perhaps a matter if debate, but I think it raises two wider issues.
    Firstly, how can we ever expect to succeed if we can’t even give a manager a full season in charge?
    Secondly, Sparks appears to have wilted under the pressure put on him from all those supporters threatening not to renew. I think it sets a very dangerous precedent, if the club is going to always bow to the demands of those that want the manager sacked a few months into every season.

    • I think when we do get the right manager then we need to give him time, the club needs that stability.
      But to me we shouldn’t keep someone just because of the previous high turnover of managers, it’s pointless giving the wrong man time just for the sake of it.
      In all the comments these last few weeks about Adams I haven’t actually seen anyone give any good reasons for persisting with him based on what he’s done at this club, I’ve seen plenty of good reasons posted why we should part ways.
      As for the loss on season ticket sales I don’t blame the club for being worried, it wasn’t fair weather fans saying they weren’t renewing, it was supporters that have been season ticket holder 30 plus years who you could never see not renewing previously.

      • I don’t believe that 6 months into a season, is enough time for you to fully assess that they are not the right man, particularly as Adams has got 2 teams promoted at this level, both in his 2nd season.

        We always tend to think things are worse at the current time, forgetting what we’ve had to endure in the past, and I’ve seen far worse in my time, even in recent years, and I don’t think Adams’ football was as bad as under Bowyer and Grayson.

        If a supporter of 30 years is not renewing then while it is regrettable, that is entirely their perogative. What I object to is those fans using the threat of not renewing their season by tickets, to force the club to sack the manager, and if this is the main reason why the decision was made, then we are setting a very dangerous precedent.

  28. As you stated in your article, Jason, the club effectively wrote cheques it couldn’t cash.
    Pre season the message coming out of VP was all about promotion. Even the choice of home kit was a nod to a promotion out of this division in 82. All this meant the club backed itself into a corner before a ball had been kicked.
    Unless we lived up to this pre-season hype what happened today was inevitable. There was no wiggle room.
    Let’s hope the next appointment comes with less hyperbole and a little more patience from both the boardroom and the stands. Otherwise we’ll be here again in 12 months time.

  29. Well, I am speechless. I wish the club well. At what point does the transient manager problem become an issue for the assessment of the performance management of the CEO, or is that not the point here? In any other business, such a performance would elicit a fair degree of scrutiny of the CEO’s decision making capability. I have no doubt Ryan has the best interests of the club at heart ,but perhaps he needs some external football expertise to help him get it right next time and support his development!

  30. Adams has been a major disappointment and its 100% the correct decision. Had we given him the full 3 years, I genuinely don’t believe his recruitment would have got any better and he wouldn’t have got us up. His striker signings have been nothing short of woeful – and he has the audacity to blame missed chances to explain our league position. You signed the strikers Derek!! Woeful signings, woeful tactics, woeful attitude to the fans. Good riddance.

  31. Jason poor article by you, why no mention of owner or the guy who appointed this manager Ryan Sparks?
    Obviously he is your buddy & you won’t hear a bad word about Ryan Sparks.
    Take your Ryan Sparks rose tinted glasses off & maybe you’ll see what hope did Derek Adams or any manager have with a clown running the club..
    If this club is to go anywhere or succeed then RYAN SPARKS SHOULD RESIGN.

  32. We don’t own the ground, nor our training facilities. Owned by a fella who wished he never brought us. Run by a CEO who with all the best of intentions, has made several errors. How much of a hit are we taking due to Adams severance package, surely that will impact next seasons players budget. Stocked piled with players who won’t be around once the new manager gets his 1 (maybe 2 if lucky) transfer windows to build his own team.
    We have a legion of fans who religiously celebrate on social media any City anniversary (Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal etc) because they love living in the past.
    I’m struggling to think how we get out of this sorry mess. Change is needed from the very top to the bottom but to be frank that ain’t going to happen.
    At least we have the WOAP to share our grievances with.

    • It’s not unusual even at Premier League level for clubs not to.own their stadiums or training facilities.
      With the compensation issue in mind there is a possibility that City did not expose themselves to.having to pay the remainder of Adam’s contract. It may well have been that the contract was performance related. We dont know but with recent past experience City would be foolish to have exposed themselves to a big compensation.package.

      • Mark this is a genuine not a sarcastic query. Which Premier League clubs do not own their own ground? I could only come up with Leeds and I think they bought it back recently.

      • To be fair Ian, nobody owns anything these days.
        My bank owns my house, Spotify owns my music, a lease company owns my car, Netflix has replaced my DVD collection and my phone belongs to EE.
        Its seems to be the modern way, assets are so 20th century.
        Whilst I would undoubtedly prefer City to own the things mentioned above its maybe not as much of a hindrance as we believe.

      • I have not got time to research the ownership of stadiums in the Premier League but a quick check reveals that Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool do not own their own ground.

  33. The fact the decision was made on the same day our most credible option agreed to join Walsall is a further concern. I would hope sucession plans had been reviewed in advance of the decision being made and therefore should the action have been undertaken earlier? Flynn’ s knowledge of the club would have accelerated the change in culture.

  34. Today was the most positive day at my football club since last May.
    Mr Adams will have plenty of time on his hands now to read his precious stats, & remind himself what a brilliant manager he is.
    Meanwhile Bradford City can now begin to heal, move on, and get stronger.
    Up the Bantams!

  35. With respect Jason finishing 15th one season shouldn’t prevent too big a swing to go up the following season in league 2. City finished 17th in 1975/76 and were promoted the season after with just a couple of new signings. We also finished 2nd in 81/82 after finishing 14th the season before. Then of course recently after fighting relegation in 2011/12 we famously had the legends season one year later. It’s all about the right manager and getting the best out of the players. Don’t forget last season we finished 15th mainly due to being totally undercooked at the start of the season but under Trueman and after a decent January recruitment we at one time took 34 points from 15 games so there was something to build on for Adams.

    • Hi Keith

      100 per cent agree with you. Apologies I probably didn’t express my point well enough.

      I absolutely agree that finishing 15th one season doesn’t mean you can’t go up the season after. Your examples show that and there are plenty of examples of other clubs in recent years who did that. Not least Derek Adams’ Morecambe.

      But it needs dramatic improvement and my point is that it seemed last summer the only reason everyone expected promotion was Derek Adams. And that he alone would make it possible.

      I don’t think the summer signings reflected this idea we are suddenly going to storm to promotion. I remember arguing with people “I dont see how player x is good enough for a team pushing to win promotion” and the response was always “Yes but we have Adams and he will get the best out of them”.

      It wasn’t just fans, pundits were the same. I remember listening to pre season predictions we will the league and the reason given was simply Adams.

      And that’s what I mean by saying that to go from 15th to promotion in a year, just because we had a manager with a brilliant track record, was never going to be enough. When you saw what we did in the transfer market vs expectations for the season, to me there was a huge gap.

      I think Stuart Rayner in the Yorkshire Post said it brilliantly yesterday:

      “It was with good intentions they were so blatant in their target of promotion this season but it left them looking for quick fixes instead of proper rebuilding”

      • A city as big as ours, with its stadium size and fan base should not be in the bottom division. However football is played on the pitch and not on paper. Our lack of quality off the field flows on to the pitch and we are where we deserve to be. Sadly it means that’s we have no patience or understanding for the huge task in hand of rebuilding the entire club and some demand 100 points before a ball is even kicked

  36. Hi, sorry to bother you, but I posted a comment on this article about 7pm last night, and it is still not showing, despite there being several comments on from today? Thanks.

  37. Steve Evans would be a step too far. We have heard a lot about the Bantams values. If we appoint Evans, which of those values would we be living?
    If you don’t live the values, don’t bother having them.

%d bloggers like this: