By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jun 3 2020 10:14AM
It appears the for City fans this season is almost certainly over although we are waiting for a confirmatory EFL decision which is expected on the 8th June. The reason why it is taking so long is that for League Two, member Clubs have unanimously agreed to curtail the season, and the Championship Clubs wish to continue but there is a split in League One where financially going up or down can mean so much. And the Championship Clubs wish to continue, following behind the Premier League.
The cost for League One and Two clubs to finish the season has been estimated at between £300k and £400k per club. For many Clubs, especially more so in League Two that cost is unsustainable with no match day income, which, as has been explained publicly by Ryan Sparks, our Club's Chief Communications Officer.
We have recently met Ryan through a Supporters' Board catch up meeting, as there are concerns about how the Club is managing through this period and understandably the question was raised how can supporters practically help the Club going forward. Ryan was grateful of idea of a fans coming together to raise funds to help with operational costs, but felt that for the time being the Club are managing a tight budget. He said that the Club are looking forward to more certainty as to what next season will look like and when it will begin so that repackaged season tickets can be offered to fans.
Many of us however will be nervous of how the 'Lock-down' is being released in managing the virus at the moment. We hope that it doesn't have any detrimental bearing in further delaying any planned date to begin the new season.
On a broader development, there has been an initiative led by two supporters Trusts, from Cheltenham Town and Wycombe Wanderers who have been canvassing Trusts of the 47 League One and Two Clubs about a national 'Fans Fund' whereby fans raise money online and will be able to raise money for their respected Clubs. We feel there is some potential mileage for something like this in the future, although we realise that some clubs will need something now. As such it benefits all if this initiative does indeed bear fruit. We shall keep you posted.
In keeping with the issue of funding, the Government needs to take urgent action to “save professional football as we know it”, says Damian Collins MP, the influential former chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. What he and Charlie Methven, Co-owner of Sunderland, are proposing is the idea of a Government bail-out for Clubs that need it for short-term operational liabilities, and in return the set up a Football Finance Authority (FFA) by the FA, backed by government funding. Supporters' organisations would have a direct role in overseeing the public investment in clubs. Read more here.
There is still a lot of uncertainty for all of us, not just our football clubs. We've all being missing our traditions of going to the match and loved ones too, but we must keep going practising being safe and supportive to others. We will update you further hopefully with more certainty.
Best wishes and stay safe
From all of us on the Bantams Supporters Trust Board