Today saw news that we all wanted to hear emerge, that Bradford City are to remain at Valley Parade for the foreseeable future. This has come about due to the directors finding enough money to buy the offices and shop back which will ease cash flow. Obviously, this is wonderful news meaning the club remains at its spiritual home and doesn’t have to go play matches up at Odsal.
The biggest positive from remaining at VP is naturally the tribute to the 56 fans who died in the 1985 disaster. Leaving Valley Parade would have been heartbreaking such is the level of history that the ground is steeped in. I’m sure the fans we lost that day would rather have seen the club continue to survive that fold under financial pressures at VP, but there is no better memorial to them than Valley Parade.
The purchasing of the offices/shop will also give Bradford City something which it has not had in almost a decade – an asset. OK, it may be in the hands of BC Bantams Ltd, but it is by all intents and purposes in the clubs hands. And with the way rent appears to be structured, the club pays what it can, when it can – meaning that cash flow will be much less strained and can be directed to where it is needed most.
This will also mean that the club can finally plan full steam ahead for next season with the immediate future sorted. Having seen umpteen players released and a solitary signing in Ross Hannah, much work is needed on the squad. With the news that the search for a permanent manager is over, the new man having been told, things seem to be much more positive at Valley Parade. And perhaps Clayton Donaldson will finally sign on the dotted line........?!
Unfortunately the club still lacks what it really needs – ownership of the ground – but hopefully today is the beginning of the process to get it back in the clubs hands, ensuring a long, sustainable future at Valley Parade.