10 Years Of Torment For Bradford City


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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10 Responses

  1. Phnom Penh Andy says:

    The saddest irony is that the moment of your greatest glory was the moment that precipitated the whole downfall. If only you’d failed to get that result against Liverpool, you could have taken relegation, regrouped with sensible financing and possibly done a WBA between the top two divisions. Curse that day. Who knows maybe later you’ll pass the trophy onto the one and same Liverpool FC.

  2. Tim Vickerman says:

    Thanks for the article. A really thorough account of Bradford’s decline. It was funny for a while but us Terriers are starting to miss you Chickens! I really hope things get sorted out soon and you regain your rightful place – midtable in League 1.

  3. Michael Rogers says:

    As a Bradford City supporter who has lived through the period in question, not to mention the previous 40 years, I am disappointed that Jason has pointed the finger solely in Geoffrey Richmond’s direction. Geoffrey didn’t just “attract new investment” from the Rhodes family, that investment gave them 50% ownership of the club. Therefore, everything that happened from 1998 until Geoffrey was pushed out of the club after the first period of administration had to be sanctioned by the Rhodes’. So the “excessive dividends” quoted by Jason were also received by the Rhodes family and they were also party to the signings made in the second year in the premiership. Clearly Jason has a personal vendetta against Richmond but appears to have conveniently forgotten the full part played by the Rhodes’.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing and, yes, it may have been better if Geoffrey had walked away and Jewell had stayed 10 years ago but my take on this is whether it would have been better if Geoffrey had never been connected with the club and the events of the last 16 years had never happened?

    This would have meant a small, skint, 3rd division club on meagre crowds in a small stadium (as it was when he took over) struggling to avoid relegation to the division they are now in. Instead we had the triumphant play off final at Wembley Jason refers to with 30k City fans in attendance, promotion to the second tier and a last match win to stay up the following season. Thereafter players of the calibre of Chris Waddle, Peter Beagrie and Robbie Blake were signed and the team gained promotion to the Premier League with a win at Wolves in a never to be forgotten final game at Wolves. Two seasons in the Premier League followed when the bookies and most of the fans thought they would be relegated by Xmas of the first season. Wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea among others were achieved which we couldn’t have dreamt about before Geoffrey arrived. We also had a good run in the Intertoto Cup!

    So, Geoffrey or no Geoffrey? No matter what has happened in the intervening years I would not give up the fantastic memories of the period of his chairmanship in exchange for not being bottom of the lowest division of League football.The co owner Rhodes is still there as co owner and joint chairman 3 relegations later. Would I turn back the clock and keep Richmond or Rhodes? What do you think?

  4. Hi Michael

    To be fair I was talking about the decline of the club over the last 10 years, and if the article stretched to looking at the 90s Richmond would have got a lot of credit and praise from me too.

    In terms of the dividend issue. Yes the Rhodes family were paid dividends too, but they put all of it back into saving the club and Richmond refused to do the same. Without the Rhodes family there would not be a Bradford City anymore, so I know who I’m glad we kept.

    I have no vendetta against Richmond. He gave this club a lot of fantastic memories I will treasure to my dying day. But the damage he also instigated is there for all to see.

  5. Jertzee says:

    As much as I am sure Bradford fans have suffered over the last 10 years, we (Wimbledon fans) had our club stolen.
    It doesn’t get worse than that, no matter how bad you think things have been for you.

  6. Ray (AFCW) says:

    I remember some Bradford fans waving a banner on the pitch after they beat Liverpool saying “Bye Bye Wombles”

    Karma eh?

  7. Andrew Gott says:

    Yeah, that was an ill-advised thing, to say the least.

    What often goes overlooked on that day is that if Liverpool had won, they finished third and so bumped Leeds out of the Champions League placings as well. The onset of ‘living the dream’ would have been delayed a year at least. You could argue two clubs ultimately got bankrupted on the back of that one result.

    Blame Gunnar Halle for his goalline clearance from Michael Owen on the stroke of half-time.

  8. Phil says:

    Maybe a big difference between Bradford City and Wimbledon is that the latter are the trendy, media-fashionable club and get all the headlines. I have as much contempt for Wimbledon as I have for Milton Keynes Dons. Any thoughts about how Kingstonian supporters feel about their ground being taken from them? No doubt if that ground was not good enough for the FL we’d find the Womble gypsies decamping to Selhurst Park again if they win promotion.

  9. Jonesy says:

    Yawn. Try researching the actual relationship between Wimbledon and Kingstonian (I’ll help you start – they never owned their ground before we bought it, repaired and improved it with no charge giving them a long lease with low payments and all matchday income).

    Or alternatively rant away to confirm you actually know fuck all about it.

  1. June 10, 2013

    […] the cup final humiliation to Swansea. Bradford were back on the map. Just short of three years ago, I wrote an article for this site about the 10 years of despair we Bradford City supporters had been …. That decade saw City go from beating the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier […]

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