Tag: Bradford City

Bradford City’s Joy Eclipses Aston Villa’s Bleakest Night Yet

As jobs go, Bradford City’s is only half-done. Their win against Aston Villa this evening in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final still has to be followed up with undoubtedly daunting trip to Villa Park for the second leg, and it would be foolish to believe that the Villa players could possibly not be stung to feelings of retribution by what happened at Valley Parade this evening. Tonight, however, is a chance for the club and its supporters to dream. The club from League Two is ninety minutes from achieving what we might have considered to be the unachievable – taking a club from the fourth tier of English football to Wembley for the final of a major trophy – after beating Aston Villa by three goals to one at Valley Parade, continuing what has become one of the most extraordinary stories of this season so far. This evening, they met a Premier League club as equals, and faced them down. Every step of way, Bradford defied the shortcomings that we might have expected a club from their division to display. There was no nervousness, they took their chances when presented to them, and they didn’t collapse after conceding a goal which halved their scarcely-believable two-nil lead with less than ten minutes of the match to play. At no point did this team allow itself to get...

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Arsenal’s Torpor Shouldn’t Detract From Bradford City’s Achievement

The headlines tomorrow morning, of course, will all be about Arsene Wenger. This was not only a chance to give a strong team a run out against apparently weaker opposition, but it was also in a competition which, whilst it might not be capable of equalling the delirium of winning the Champions League in the excitement stakes, offered a great chance of lifting a piece of silverware and dissipating the smell of mustiness that has been starting emanate from Arsenal’s trophy cabinet of late. That Arsenal lost was one source of woe for those that travelled from London to West Yorkshire, but layered upon this was the nature and timbre of that defeat. This was a team performance that Arsenal were fortunate get to as much as extra-time from. It was, in one performance, a series of manifestations of every shortcoming of which they have been accused of suffering from in recent years. Every excuse sounds inadequate. The League Cup is a trophy at the end of the season. It cannot be argued that it doesn’t matter. Wenger didn’t play a significantly weakened team – it was a full first team. They created little of note for the first sixty minutes of the match and required an inelegant goal three minutes from the end of the ninety to force so much as extra-time. As late as the penalty shoot-out...

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100 Owners: Number 84 – Geoffrey Richmond (Bradford City)

It can be astonishing how quickly fortunes, both in business and in football, can be lost. Reputations can be won or lost in what seems like the blink of an eye, with adulation turning to derision on the basis of the slimmest of margins. Bradford City, throughout the decade from the middle of the 1990s on, lived through a full roller coaster of emotions, ascending to the Premier League and then, to general astonishment, not getting relegated straight back to the Football League. That remarkable first season in the Premier League, however, turned out to be the beginning of the start of a downhill slide for both the club and the chairman that had got it there in the first place, and the clubs subsequent fall from its previously lofty perch became somewhat iconoclastic in itself, even earning itself a motto which came straight from the horses mouth itself. Bradford City Football Club was undone by ‘six weeks of madness’, and the architect of both that phrase and the undoing of the clubs success was Geoffrey Richmond. In the middle of the previous decade, Bradford City had become tragically synonymous with the frightening decline of professional football in England. The club became, in 1983, one of a rash of mostly lower division clubs to enter into receivership in the early 1980s and differing insolvency laws and Football League rules...

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Is Gorgeous George Making Eyes At Bradford City?

There are some things that politics and football have in common, not least of which is the feeling that, in order to survive and thrive at the top table, you need a big ego. It should probably come, therefore, as no great surprise to hear that the new Member of Parliament for Bradford West, George Galloway, has marked his first week as the elected representative for his new seat by making soothing noises in the direction of Bradford City Football Club and its supporters. Whether you agree with his politics or not, it is difficult to argue that Galloway’s win in this seat was not stunning. He managed to take the seat from the Labour party with a massive majority of over 10,000, a result which, somewhat ironically, may have been cheered as loudly at the headquarters of the Conservative party amongst his own supporters for the reputational damage that his victory did to Labour at a time of considerable difficulty for the coalition government. What, though, is a newly-elected Member of Parliament to do, once he is safely installed in office? Well, Galloway has big plans for some of the city’s more venerable landmarks, and Bradford City Football Club is amongst them. “I have big plans for Bradford City FC”, he told the press last weekend.”With my connections in the Arab world, I am actively speaking to and seeking out sovereign wealth...

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Bradford City vs Crawley Town, Or The Decline & Fall Of Western Civilisation

To wake up this morning and watch the sport segment from the BBC’s Breakfast programme, one might have figured that League Two had witnessed the beginning of the decline and fall of western civilisation rather than a fight at the end of a football match. Brows were furrowed and the tone of the presenters was hushed and dark. Indeed, it was almost difficult to believe that they had just watched a video of bunch of young men in polyester throwing punches at each other for thirty seconds. Just as Rome was neither built nor collapsed in a day, the world will not end because a handful of players from Bradford City and Crawley Town couldn’t rein it in at the end of last nights match at Valley Parade. Sure enough, to start pushing, shoving and throwing your fists around in a football pitch is not the smartest thing in the world to do, and even if we allow for the likelihood that the average professional football isn’t necessarily the sharpest tool in the box, the players involved last night should surely have known that, but a rush of blood to the head can do strange things to the brain of the male of our species. These things happen, and it seems unlikely that no amount of hand-wringing can prevent this. None of this means, of course, that the Football...

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