Newest Review: ... better English players being forced down the leagues by foreign Premier League imports, foreign agents and owner's love of buying non ... more
Phoenix from the Fire...
Bradford City A.F.C.
Member Name: thedevilinme
Bradford City A.F.C.
Advantages: A true British club!
Disadvantages: Cold ground on the hill
If you need anymore evidence that our game is being stolen away by foreign interests then you need look no further than Bradford's astonishing win over Aston Villa to make the League Cup Final, the first bottom tear team to achieve that since 1962, some 50 years ago. In fact this is the greatest ever achievement by a lower league club in a domestic cup, Rochhdale's appearance back in '62' a two legged game and not at Wembley, and very few top teams entering the fledgling League Cup back then. Bradford's last domestic Cup Final success was winning the FA Cup some 100 years ago in 1911, fellow finalist Swansea City also enjoying their first major final in their history in their centenary year. If Bradford wins the cup then they are also in Europe, their first adventure abroad since their Inter Toto Cup adventure and semi-final defeat in 2000 against Zenit St Petersburg. This is a bigger story than it looks.
The headline figure has been the one that Bradford City's team has been assembled for less than £10,000, which is not strictly true as its all about loans now. But they did finish 18th in Divison Two last year and only secured their status in the league on the last day of the season and so this final even more astonishing. They are also the lowest places team in the ladder that has been in the Premier League, residents of the big table back in 1999 after 77 years outside the top flight. Interestingly their Wembley opponents Swansea City were a point from dropping out of the league in 1999, ships in the night. My point here is Bradford, and indeed Swansea, are at Wembley for a reason, better English players being forced down the leagues by foreign Premier League imports, foreign agents and owner's love of buying non British players and managers meaning good British players land on their heads at places like Bradford. One too many of those foreigner players are inferior to our lads and only here because the clubs are using questionable agents to bring them in to our game, a piece of the pie for all concerned on the transfer, if you know what I mean, how they do businesses the other end of the Channel Tunnel. This means English guys good enough for the Premiership end up in The Championship and so on and so on. This means teams like Bradford can pick up some tasty loans on the way down the ladder that shouldn't be and so end up in a major final. It would have been two Wembley Finals if they had beaten Crewe in the second leg of the Northern Area semi-final of the Auto Windscreens Trophy last month. I'm sure they are happy with this though.
Some £72 million pounds was officially taken out of the British game by agents in 2011, and who knows how much 'unofficially' went out of the game through other 'unregistered' agents and interested parties. Bebe, the £7.2m Portuguese misfit at Manchester United, is an example of what is destroying our game. He was openly being hawked around Europe for as little as 165,000 Euros, an orphan kid from Portugal who had even been suggested to have played in the 'Homeless World Cup' for street kids when he was 16. But once he became a free agent when leaving local Portuguese team Estrela Amadora FC, United could have had him for nothing. When he moved to Guimarães a year later there were a host of clubs keen to sign him, including a Turkish club offering six million Euros. When he moved to United, a Portuguese sports agents got involved and his price rocketed in just seven months, third party ownership allowed in Portuguese football, the sports agency eventually receiving 30% of that undisclosed £7.4 million transfer to United. The question then was how much of that agent's fee ended up where and to whom. Manchester United have denied making or receiving payments from the agents in question to initiate a move for a player Sir Alex clearly didn't want, and, unbelievably, never saw play when he sanctioned the deal, not even on YouTube! Bebe has done nothing at United and again out on loan, scoring a grand total of four goals in four years for five different clubs, loaned this time around to a Portuguese club not 50 miles form his old orphanage. What could Bradford do with £7.4 million! It stinks. Tim Howard's move to United under Sir Alex saw the now Everton keeper have five agents involved in his misfire move to Old Trafford. Five???
Bradford City can proudly boast that they have never had a foreign manager, although, rather chaotically, they have had 50 plus mangers since their FA Cup win, 17 in the last 15 years alone. Their squad is similarly British with two Aussies and a Bermudan striker their overseas compliment. Sadly, for a city one third British Asian, there are no Asian names on the team sheet. I know kids from that community are discouraged from mixing with white kids and certain sports clubs but there really should be better dialogue between the two. Worcestershire Count Cricket Club has exploited the local Asians kids in their area and they have helped them stay in the top league in the county championship on a low budget with some excellent young players, turning a profit for their third year in a row. I don't think its racism but just mistrust between the two communities, cricket, not football, the Asians thing.
Before the win over Villa it was the Bradford City fire that defined the club, 1985 seeing 56 people killed in the antiquated Valley Parade stadium, most trapped behind locked doors at the back of the stand stairwells. Litter and fag buts would slip through the cracks in the wooden floor over the years and eventually went up, the wooden roof idea fuel for combustion. The council had repeatedly warned them of the obvious fire risk. It took just four minutes for a small fire spotted by a commentator to engulf the whole stand in the swirling winds. If you didn't go against your natural instincts and hurdle the fence on to the pitch you were in trouble. It was Hillsboro in reverse, locked gates topping the fans from breaking out to freedom and fresh air. The people of Bradford showed dignity in the following investigation and accepted the club was partly to blame but the hooliganism culture and drinking before the match over the years that had penned and locked them in and was also to blame. My best mate at the time was at the game and made that decision for some older fans and dragged them on to the pitch. Alas it takes catastrophes like this for things to change and if the Liverpool fans hadn't had done what they did at Heysel and Hillsboro we would be no further along the line in safety for fans and still standing in the cold.
Bradford City are currently 10th in League Two, three points off the play-offs on 40 points.
Summary: The game is being reborn