You sent in your questions to our co-chairman Edin Rahic via Social Media, and he has answered them!
The answers, first seen in The Parader match-day programme ahead of the Fleetwood Town play-off semi-final first leg, can be viewed by supporters now via the club website as well.
Out of all the teams why did you and Stefan decide to buy Bradford City? @robertsteers941
ER: ‘At the end of our analysis of 72 clubs, we had a shortlist of five. For us, this club is like a sleeping giant. In our strategic plan of 8 to 10 years, we want to be in the Premier League. Of course Bradford City was in the Premier League so the infrastructure is there which is very positive. Bradford City as a company was debt free and obviously this helped when comparing with other clubs. The club has a massive fan base and I think we deserve to be able to get back to the Premier League.’
Having now completed a season in charge, what are your thoughts on the running of a football club, is it better than you initially expected? @jjfreeman87
ER: ‘It’s different. It’s different from running a company but you have no expectations if you buy a club in England. The most positive thing what I’ve seen is that this is a family club. I wasn’t expecting that and it is a big positive.
What off field priorities have you set for the club? @bantamtayls
ER: ‘We have a lot of things to do off the pitch. We’ll probably be looking at new lighting if we’re in the Championship, ticketing systems, a new fan shop which we are now creating and a new admin hub for employees. We have a lot of things to do and we need to priorities things but it will take 2 to 3 years for us to get onto a level where we think everything is in place for us to take the next step.’
Is there anything in particular from German football that you would like to see City adopt? @bantamtayls
ER: ‘Yes, several things. One thing is safe standing, but it’s not in our hands. The second thing is to name the players. It’s so important in German football to have a stadium speaker who mentions the first name of the player and the whole stadium then shouts the second name. It really brings the atmosphere onto another level and of course we want a massive support and a massive atmosphere from each stand. In Germany, at Stuttgart there is 50,000 supporters all shouting. It is a good atmosphere at Bradford, a very good one but this we can adopt because in Germany there is a really top atmosphere in the stadiums. As we saw in the Four Four Two magazine’s analysis and research, we have the third best atmosphere in the country, but we want to have the best one in England. That’s our aim.
Any plans to increase investment in the academy setup? @jeffreysls
ER: ‘Firstly, we don’t have our own training ground. Yes, we want to invest in things. It’s very, very important to have a top level academy for our category three level. We want a Head of Coaching and to bring in some very talented coaches with potential. That’s what we’re looking for and we’re wanting to invest in the academy because that’s our basis for success in the future.
How have you found your move to England? Have you picked up any new hobbies/tendencies? And have you learned Yorkshire dialect? @SimplyBcafc
ER: ‘Living in England is different and sometimes it is a culture shock for me. I lived in Scotland for a year several years ago but it is different and I am learning every day. We like it as a family, so it was a positive move for us. I haven’t come close to picking up a new hobby, I haven’t had the time. I’ve worked every day since the takeover last May and my only hobby is Bradford City now, my hobby and my passion. Have I learned any Yorkshire dialect? Aye!
What plans do you have for Valley Parade? I.E Kiosks in the ground, redecorating? @B_Wright97
ER: ‘We have outsourced the kiosk deal, so we have to think about what we’re doing for the next several years during the next year. We have some ideas and we have some plans. It will be different but gives us time to sort this out, it’s not perfect, it’s ok but we have ideas and plans to change it, and probably with German beer!’
Favourite thing about Bradford? @__AdamWilliams
ER: ‘The great thing about Bradford is the melting pot and due to our social responsibility with the club it would be great to bring all the different communities together in the stadium and around the club. It’s a massive challenge but I think in two or three years’ time we will be a top club in that aspect and a good example showing that communities don’t live next to each other, they live together and are mixed up.’
How different is a matchday experience from Germany to England? @bantamtayls
ER: ‘It’s a little bit different. In Germany there is more things going on around the game and fans are coming into the stadium much earlier. If the kick-off is at 3pm the fans will come into the ground at 1pm, not like in England where fans come at 2.50pm and leave the stadium five minutes after the game has finished. There is more of a programme around the game in Germany and that is the main difference.’
Great season...going forward how can the club improve the match day experience for supporters over 75? Is it possible to have a family/pensioner section in the ground? Robert Rishworth
ER: ‘It would be great to discuss that after the season has finished. If there are some ideas regarding the matter then we are very open to discuss them. We have some ideas of our own but it would be great for people who are over 75 to tell us the positive and negatives from their match day experience and then they can influence our opinions.’
Now you are a Bantam, are you enjoying seeing Leeds fall apart in their promotion challenge? Richard Williams
ER: ‘Why would this be interesting for us? I don’t think it’s the right thing for us to be happy about, another team’s failure, and no matter which team it is. I think for us and our fans the most important thing for us is to concentrate on Bradford City and then we will have success, there’s no doubt.’
Why on earth can’t we get the playing surface to last a whole season? Every year we dig it up. Same old, same old. Tony Wetherell
ER: ‘I discussed this with different pitch experts and also people at another club that has a very, very good playing surface and a very good pitch. We have no proper drainage and no proper levels of soil underneath the surface to allow the water to move faster and faster. The issue would cost us more than £1 Million to resolve. We would have to smash the building to allow trucks to come in. Simply put, we can’t afford it. It would be great to do something, but the pitch has improved comparing to years ago and we are going to improve it more and more now. The basic thing is without proper drainage, you have no chance to bring it onto another level.’
Are you planning on having an open day for fans to meet players and have a look behind the scenes? Andrew Clough
ER: ‘Yes, we’re planning this now because of course in Germany in pre-season you have all the time to be able to organise fan games or open stadium days where the fans can meet the players and get informed about new things. So, yes this is a plan of ours.’
Had you ever heard about Bradford City in your own country before the take over? Andrew Parkinson Baker
ER: ‘Yes, one negative thing and one positive thing. The negative thing of course, when I was 12 back in 1985 I saw the tragedy on the TV. The positive thing the 2013 run to the League Cup final as well as the win against Chelsea. These things were also mentioned in Germany and that was obviously very positive for Bradford City.’
Hi Edin! Great Job so far! For a working class Club is it important that some players from the own academy are in the first team? Do you think about investing money in a Development Centre like RB Leipzig, BVB Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen (or a Little smaller)? Oliver Siefert
ER: ‘I don’t think investing in a Development Centre like this is suitable for a working class club like Bradford City. A working class club for me is more centred on the fans, the employees, the support and the atmosphere in the stadium. The other thing is about investing in the academy if you want to be successful. As a business model, you have the have a good academy to build and develop players for the first team and then you can buy and sell players. You can’t compare Bradford City with Leipzig, Dortmund or Leverkusen because behind these clubs are big companies. Behind Leipzig is Red Bull and behind Leverkusen is Bayer. We don’t want to be compared with that, we want to have smaller groups of proper talent for our level and I think we will be successful with this idea, to concentrate on less players but excellent players.’
‘At Dortmund and Leipzig, they have hundreds and hundreds of talented young players and we don’t have the investment money for that. I don’t think them clubs even make money out of their Development Centres. Leipzig pay millions and they have stopped their Under-23s team for next season. Why? Because they make no money out of it. It’s better to concentrate on smaller excellence groups and bring out of 8 players, 2 through into the first team per year. That would be massive for the club, instead of having 25 or 26 players in the Under-18s squad only to bring 1 or 2 players through.’