Bradford Views: Clubs should follow our cheap football example

Bradford Views: Clubs should follow our cheap football example

Bradford City fans acknowledge they’ve had a poor start but think their season ticket prices should be copied by other teams

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About Opposing Views: Before each first-team game, OVF regular REP will bring you the views of the opposition with one or more supporters answering our questions. This time it’s the turn of Bradford City

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About the fans

 We had ten years of decline, no money and awful football before the amazing cup runs and play-off success of recent seasons…

JDC – My first game at Valley Parade was in 1987 when we were top of the second division. Within 18 months we’d sold our best players and been relegated. It was a valuable early lesson in what it’s like to follow City.

SHEFFIELDB – I started following City in 1997/98 (the season before we were promoted to the Premier League) and my first game was a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield. Barring two seasons I’ve had a season ticket with my Dad ever since. We had ten years of decline, no money and awful football before the amazing cup runs and play-off success of recent seasons. Most City fans feel as though we deserved that!

How do you expect your team to do this season?

I said seventh before the start of the season, which is looking a bit optimistic now…

JDC – I said seventh before the start of the season, which is looking a bit optimistic now.

SHEFFIELDB – We have improved every season under Parkinson and I fully expect us to improve again, despite our poor start. That will mean top six after finishing seventh last season. Unlike many, my benchmark isn’t promotion but merely steady improvement.

Who should we watch out for?

JDC – Steve Davies. Get ready to duck if he takes a pot-shot!

SHEFFIELDB – Billy Clarke is our most dangerous player but is out injured for three months. Most teams are terrified of Hanson, and if we play to his strengths, rightly so. I expect big things from Paul Anderson, but he’s had no pre-season so maybe not yet.

What are your thoughts on your manager and his signings this season?

The best thing that could have happened to our club was employing Phil Parkinson and his team…

JDC – Too early to say, I think. I’ve not seen much of his new signings yet.

SHEFFIELDB – The best thing that could have happened to our club was employing Phil Parkinson and his team. He’s led us from the foot of LeagueTwo to being a strong League One side with unimaginable cup success on the way. His signings look good quality but we are still short of a striker to replace Clarke and a long term solution at centre half. We’re not a million miles from being a very good team.

What are your thoughts on your board?

More clubs should follow our example and reward their fans with cheap football- it can work if marketed well…

JDC – We’ve had worse. It’s nice to have City fans in charge, just a shame they aren’t hugely wealthy City fans with money to burn.

SHEFFIELDB – The board have done wonders (be that through luck or judgement) in running City on a break even budget. The season ticket scheme has revolutionised the Valley Parade experience and offered cheap football to the masses. That, coupled with the success on the pitch, has been a breath of fresh air. More clubs should follow our example and reward their fans with cheap football- it can work if marketed well enough.

Which one Vale player would you take past or present to add value to your squad?

JDC – Lee Mills. Although I’d settle for Darren Beckford.

SHEFFIELDB – I’d like the Billy Knott we signed last season, not the one that’s turned up so far this!

How do you expect Vale to do this season?

JDC – I’ll guess mid-table.

SHEFFIELDB – I had you down as relegation candidates but can’t say I know a great deal about your squad.

A score prediction?

JDC – 1-1, Uche and Hanson.

SHEFFIELDB – I’m an eternal optimist when it comes to City, so a 2-0 win with a couple of goals for Jimmy Hanson would be lovely. Knowing our home form over the last year or so, we’ll draw 1-1 from a winning position.