The Real McCall Begins The Third Coming

From The Real McCall which was written in 1998 by by Alan Nixon and Stuart McCall

One day, in the distant future I would love to manage Bradford City. If I had the choice, that would be where I would start. I would like to repay the Bradford fans for all their support and courage for those years ago. There is some unfinished business to be done as far as I’m concerned. I have never meant to put pressure on the manager in charge of Bradford at the time, I am talking down the line…

Andrew Stuart Murray McCall will begin his third spell at Bradford City with a weight of expectation. His first spell saw triumph and tragedy in the same afternoon in 1985. His second saw the hugh achievement of Premiership promotion and the subsequent fall into administration. His path is littered with success.

As the ink dries on the two year deal to manage the Bantams there is no idea of anything other than a replication of those glories.

Julian Rhodes has stood alone over the past few years keeping the club together – let history record that and damn the doubters – but now he is joined and in pursuing McCall so fervently that he was prepared to knock back a job two divisions higher to join City he has made the decision Geoffrey Richmond failed to.

Back in the summer of 2000 when Paul Jewell left the job at Bradford City the invigorating force of McCall should have been employed as manager with Chris Hutchings kept in the role of number two. Bygones. A mistake is only a mistake if it is repeated.

McCall takes over City and immediately has decisions to make. Dean Windass is keen on a transfer to Hull but the return of McCall may see the striker rethink. Windass is McCall’s second call.

McCall’s first call no doubt will be to the man he has in mind to be his assistant. Some think Terry Dolan, others Terry Yorath. Do not be surprised if McCall pulls out a name from his time at Rangers – do be surprised if that name is Paul Gascoigne. Also do not be surprised if David Wetherall’s coaching is rewarded with a place on the staff.

Once his backroom is in place and the Windass situation is resolved McCall will look at the out of contract four of Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Steven Schumacher, Richard Edghill and Xaviar Barrau and make some decisions. No, Yes, No, No.

After that McCall begins to build and he could start that building at Southend United although not (just) for target man Billy Paynter but for former Bantam and Blade Simon Francis.

Lincoln City’s play off defeat means Spencer Weir-Daley favours us over them. It remains to be seen what McCall thinks of him.

Had we been two years ago then McCall’s side would have no doubt included If McCall gets a call from Italy from an excited Benito he should take it. If he gets one from Lancashire from a bloke called Ashley he can hang up. Players want to join clubs where they can see good things happening and this is Bradford City’s Keegan to Newcastle.

Decisions to be made. McCall is understood to have cancelled his family holiday to start work and what glorious, what long awaited, what wonderful work it should be.

The Third Coming – Stuart McCall Is The New Bradford City Manager

Bradford City have confirmed that Stuart McCall will be returning to the club as the new manager. The former Bantams skipper shook hands with Julian Rhodes on the deal and is expected to be presented to City fans on the 1st of June following a two week family holiday.

McCall returns City after five years away at Sheffield United having previously rejoined in June 1998 when he skippered the Bantams to Premiership promotion. Previously McCall played for City from 1981 to 1988 with distinction taking the club to the brink of the top flight. He played and scored in the World Cup for Scotland in 1990. He was part of the Rangers team that knocked Leeds out of the European Cup. His nobility as a young profession following the fire of 1985 is marked with unspoken appreciation. He is – without doubt – the definitive legend of Bradford City and he is back.

His return today – a return which comes in preference the job at Sheffield United despite the word coming out of South Yorkshire – shows the meaning of that legend status. McCall returns at Bradford City to find a club on its knees and in doing so shows a massive faith in the club and the supporters.

It is up to the supporters – to us – to repay that faith. It is up to Bradford City supporters to put an end to the negativity and bad atmosphere that has blighted the club since the fall from the Premiership if not before. It is up to us – to all of us – to match McCall’s faith with some of our own.

McCall’s faith will be matched at Valley Parade soon with investment and aid for Julian Rhodes – Rhodes’s work in keeping City alive to this day is matched by McCall’s joining and has made it possible – arriving within the next two weeks that will mean that McCall’s first job at Valley Parade will not be to sell because we have been relegated but rather to start building a team for promotion. McCall may choose to sell Mark Bower or Dean Windass but – as BfB understands it – he will not be forced to.

McCall has shown the faith and it is up to all supporters to keep it. This can be the catalyst for this club turning round. If we owe Stuart McCall anything it is to take up an attitude of positive, positive, positive in matching the faith he has shown.

In being positive McCall returns to Bradford City to find not a club in its knees but an endless potential for the future. How many times did we see promoted teams from League Two flying by us in League One? McCall, Rhodes, the new investor can take heart from that. Should the innovation of Julian Rhodes’s season ticket policy be rewarded with a significant supporter boost then we could be on the brink of a push that could put the Bantams back into The Championship and then set us to push on from that.

McCall has shown faith and we must reward him for that by putting every resource we can as supporters into turning this club around into a place fit for McCall’s level of passion. Make no mistake about no matter what comes out of Sheffield United McCall has selected City over The Blades.

I’m sorry to say, dear reader, that we must have some secrets and I have been withholding from you the fact that Stuart McCall agreed to become City manager on Wednesday morning. When Terry Robinson talks about not offering Stuart the chance to manage The Blades because “(They) didn’t feel Stuart met the criteria necessary to get the club back into the Premiership” he speaks with forked tongue because while The Blades were lining Stuart up Stuart was confirming to City that he would be joining us.

Stuart has knocked back a good job at Sheffield United to show faith in us. We owe him everything we can do to ensure his and our success with him at the helm.

We owe Stuart McCall a repayment on the faith he has shown us. This club was going to Hell in a handcart despite the best efforts of many but this is the moment that everything turns around. This is year zero. This is Bradford City Resurrectus. Scratch that, even Jesus only came back once.

He is the resurrection and for this club he is the life.

Welcome, one and all, to the Third Coming.

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