Flynn signs showing the shape on the field if not off it

Former Huddersfield and Gillingham midfielder Michael Flynn has ended Stuart McCall’s search for a partner for Lee Bullock signing for the Bantams and being expected to make his debut on Saturday.

Diminutive Welshman Flynn takes the number four shirt although perhaps not the role with the player being considered by followers of his former clubs as an attacking midfielder rather than the ball winner to replace Dean Furman.

Flynn signs the day after City caught the prospect of a near million pound payout after an offer was accepted for Fabian Delph of Leeds. Flynn is thought to be thinking over the clubs offer from before that Delph news rather than having come as a result of it.

The Delph move, the transfer income generated and the relationship between that income and the directors loans and funding to the club have come under scrutiny with calls from some of the support to open the clubs books – or at least allow more light to shine from those books – in the name of transparency.

It is impossible to gauge if and why the club would or would not let this occur and they are under little legal prompting to do so and no doubt considerable pressure from suppliers, players et al to respect confidentiality but any increased transparency is good and the Bantams could set best practice by showing what they can of the accounts.

Should the club account penny for penny how much comes in and goes out from the Delph deal would the education not be of benefit when addressing supporters?

For example when the mental totting up of the Delph Million begins will anyone include the tax City have to pay on the amount received assuming City will have to pay tax on it.

Such transparency helps fans understand the boardroom and the board understand fans and is no bad thing, even if it is limited by practicalities of confidentiality.

The shape of the club on the field and in the midfield especially is changing with Flynn’s signing but the shape of the club off it is needlessly and unhelpfully vague.

City are building a team in hard financial times we are told by Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes and if the books were edged open a crack to show thinks like the cost of NI payments for professional footballers, the expenses occurred running a club or the thousand of other factors on a balance sheet that never figure in the mental totting up of income and expenses then I’m sure the picture of a club balancing in and out coulmns would be aptly illustrated and understood.

Through the looking glass

Through the looking glass

It’s almost upon us, as always in a summer bereft of international action, the gap between end and start of season stretches out like a shimmering hot desert, the oasis of that first game still a mirage on the horizon. The Ashes wets the whistle but nothing quenches that thirst like the first roar of the home crowd, the first sight of a new team lining up, full of optimism, the first goal of the season from a man in a claret and amber (or now mainly claret) shirt.

This summer has been all about money, Manchester City offering the England Captain £250,000 to join the Eastlands revolution, Real Madrid buying up just about every sought after footballer on the planet and bizarrely, Sven-Goran Eriksson being installed as director of football (though some think he might be manager in all but name) at the newly oil-rich Notts County.

Of course for those of us not owned by rich consortia from the middle east, the opposite has been true, purse strings have been tightened, wages have been slashed and optimism is a word whispered quietly, especially around the streets of Bradford. You see, we bantams have had our fingers burned. Cast your mind back to last season, full of bluster and bravado after the signings of players with proven calibre in a level above, we played Notts County in a mirror image of this seasons first game and, it must be said, came away fairly happy with a 2-1 win. However, the tale was a cautionary one, we flew too high too fast and came down with a bump, now it is Notts County with the millstone of money around their necks and I for one, think this will aid us.

This league asks for passion and desire, with an ability to deal with the physical side of things, something maybe players such as Paul McLaren didn’t have the stomach for, in this respect I believe the signings we have made, whether they be forced upon us by circumstance or not, will be ideal for the league. Steve Williams and James Hanson have served their apprenticeships in non-league, they know the game is kick and be kicked. Non-league is no longer a footballing wasteground, the level of football has long been improving and there is no doubt that players coming from that background can step up, you only have to look at Stockport and Peterborough in recent years for examples of how buying players with a point to prove from lower levels can work.

Gareth Evans and Simon Ramsden know this league well, Evans should hopefully develop and blossom alongside the experienced finishers we have in Michael Boulding and Peter Thorne and Simon Ramsden seems to be the kind of solid, no nonsense full back Stuart has been looking to fill that gap for some time.

So come the first day of the long awaited season, when Sven looks out onto the Meadow Lane pitch and wonders what the hell he’s got himself in for, City fans, with our hearts full of pre-season optimism, should relish being the poor relation as it might just have forced our hand into getting what we wanted all along, a ticket out of this league.

O’Brien signs short term deal

James O’Brien has signed a three month deal with City as Stuart McCall tries to put the finishing touches to a squad that could grow following on from yesterday’s news on Fabian Delph.

McCall has told a number of targets that today is the cut off point to sign for the club and runs the rule over Stephen O’Leary once more in a closed doors game with Sheffield Wednesday.

So it would seem that City have someone to play midfield in what The Times would call the top of the table game on Saturday at Notts County. If O’Brien is that fabled number four depends on how this influx of cash affects the player budget.

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