12:32 15 February 2012
Philip John Parkinson became Bradford City's new manager on Monday 29 August 2011.
He took his first steps into football management following a playing career that lasted 15 years - the majority of which were successfully spent with Reading. Parkinson's time in football began at Southampton as an apprentice before he made the move to Bury in 1988. In the same year, Parkinson made his professional debut with the Shakers. Four years later, he was transferred to Reading in a deal worth £37,500. It proved to be money well spent as he gave 11 years of great service to the Royals. His committed style of play in the centre of midfield soon made him a favourite with the fans. Not long after his arrival, he formed part of the side that won the Division 2 championship in 1994. He also captained the side to promotion in 2001/02 and just weeks after that achievement, Parkinson celebrated his testimonial year with a game at the Madejski Stadium against an England XI which included the likes of Paul Gascoigne and John Barnes. His popularity at the club was highlighted by the fact that 20,000 fans turned up for the occasion. By the time he left Reading in 2003, Parkinson had made the vast total of 425 appearances, although that number could have been higher had his last few months with the Royals not been ruined by injury. In August 2005, Reading ran a fans poll to try and find out who their favourite players were in certain positions. With a whopping 60.3% of the votes, Parkinson was voted as Reading's outright greatest central midfielder. Following his eventual departure from the Madejski, he began the start of his management career as he took up the reins at Colchester United.
Parkinson's first game in charge couldn't have gone much better as the U's beat Port Vale 4-1 at Layer Road and he steered his side to a mid-table finish. He gradually built his side up and during the 2003/04 season - his first full campaign in charge - he enjoyed a successful run in the FA Cup, losing 1-0 to Sheffield United in the 5th round. A year later, Colchester beat Hull City in the third round, setting up a tie with Premiership side Blackburn Rovers which they lost 3-0 at Ewood Park. It was during the 2005/06 season that Parkinson really threw himself into the national spotlight though, amazingly winning promotion to the Championship with Colchester after finishing as runners-up in League 1. In the same season, Parkinson's Colchester also enjoyed another successful run in the FA Cup. Following victories over the likes of Sheffield United and Derby County, the U's were handed a dream 5th round tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The dream lived on for a while longer as Colchester went a goal in front, but the Blues hit back to win 3-1. During his time at Layer Road, Parkinson would also win the Manager of the Month award for both March and September in 2003 and January 2006. Parkinson's exploits during that particular campaign created interest from several clubs keen on securing his services. It would be Hull City who were to win the battle for Parkinson after paying a reported £400,000 to Colchester to allow the Tigers to appoint him as their new boss. After just six months at the KC Stadium, he turned down a managerial offer from Northampton Town to becom Alan Pardew's assistant at Charlton Athletic in January 2007, a man under whom he played at Reading. While still acting as Pardew's assistant, Parkinson also opted against a return to management with Huddersfield Town a few months later to concentrate on Charlton's ultimately unsuccessful attempts to secure Premier League safety. And even though the Terriers offered a deal that meant he wouldn't start work at the League 1 club until the summer, Parkinson revealed he could not walk away from Charlton. He was initially installed as caretaker manager following Pardew's exit in November 2008. His first game in charge saw the Addicks slip to an unlucky 2-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, and after a further seven matches in temporary control, Parkinson was named Charlton's 19th permanent manager on the final day of 2008. Parkinson's first league win was a memorable 1-0 victory over rivals Crystal Palace in late January, but with confidence in the squad at a severe low, he faced an uphill task to keep the Addicks in the division. He was ultimately unable to stave off relegation, although Charlton did lose just one of their final eight games that term. Under his guidance last season, Charlton lost just eight League 1 games and made a very strong start to the campaign. Parkinson also won the Manager of the Month award for August 2009 to go with the three similar awards he collected during his time as Colchester boss. Charlton were strong contenders for automatic promotion throughout that season but eventually lost out to Leeds United for the coverted second spot in the League 1 table that year by just two points. In the Play-Offs that followed for Charlton, the Addicks were eventually edged out at the semi-final stage after a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Swindon Town at The Valley. After battling with severely limited resources during his time at the club, with the club's financial position forcing the sale of the likes of Nicky Bailey and Jonjo Shelvey, Parkinson rebuilt his squad for the second time the following season. Charlton's fortunes eventually picked up after starting the 2010/2011 campaign slowly and Parkinson was awarded his fourth Manager of the Month title in November 2010. Unfortunately for Parkinson, Charlton's form dipped slightly once again later into that same season and he eventually left The Valley in January 2011. In his time away from management, Parkinson had recently been scouting for Arsene Wenger at Premier League side Arsenal. Parkinson is also the holder of UEFA's highest coaching qualification - the Pro Licence - something he earned two years after taking charge of Colchester at the start of his managerial career.
Steve Parkin - Assistant Manager
Nick Allamby - Head of Sports Science and Fitness
Lee Butler - Goalkeeper Coach
Matt Barrass - Head Physio
Chris Royston - Club Physio
John Duckworth - Kit Man