This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Fan Perspective’ series, this content strand is where we deliver an opinion-based outlook from the perspective of a certain club’s fanbase on the matter at hand…
Having been relegated to the fourth tier last season, Bradford fans will be expecting an immediate return to League One this time around.
Bradford City began this season as one of the promotion favourites, and rightly so, with a squad full of vast experience and promising youth. However, it’s been a decent start so far as even though Bradford sit in sixth, they are currently only three points off of top spot (Forest Green).
During the summer, Bradford brought in a host of players bringing in a wealth of experience and quality. Most notably, the signings of Clayton Donaldson, James Vaughan, and Paudie O’Connor catching the eye due to their experience in higher divisions. It boded well for Bradford going into the season, building a squad around some other solid players in Hope Akpan, Jake Reeves and Anthony O’Connor to name a few. The transition in this squad was always going to take Gary Bowyer time to see the best of, with only five of the current squad spending more than one full season at the Bantams.
The amount of change seen at Bradford may be an all-too-familiar feeling for the fans, but this season spells a break in the cycle with faith in Bowyer to manage the team in his own way by recruiting his choice of players over the summer and having a lot of time to work with the squad before this campaign rolled around. It had a sense of giving the manager the freedom and trust to implement his own plans and begin a project.
Former Bradford CEO, James Mason, had similar thoughts on the new owner, Rupp, and his influence so far, which he shared with Dream Team FC: “It has taken relegation to start the recovery process and credit has to go to Stefan (Rupp) because whilst he admits he let things go too far he has stayed put and committed finances to make amends.
“This characteristic in itself is something that will be welcomed by many City fans. It may take time but the club looks to be going in the right direction which is great to see.”
Patience within the club from top-to-bottom has been a breath of fresh air and one that has seen some much-needed stability in all aspects, both on and off the pitch. The performances on the pitch have seen Bradford look like solid shouts for promotion already, but also that with the quality they have in their ranks, why they can also kick on and really put the pressure on their rivals and set a pace leading into the new year.
With this in mind, fans will be feeling positive that the turbulent past 18 months are behind them and the club can look forward to level-headed ownership, management and consistent performances on the pitch.