The late call off, the conspiracy and what it says about Bradford City

“I don’t like that frost,” I remarked on Thursday looking over my garden in Clayton about two miles from Valley Parade. Forty eight hours later when the news came out that City’s game with Burton Albion had been called off the frost was gone but putting foot to turf this bit of suburban Bradford was frozen an inch down.

This is, and always has been, my call off test and grumpily I took off my coat and headed for the sofa and the wisdom of Garth Crooks for an afternoon.

The call off might work out well for City with injury problems having mounted up but sitting eighteenth and with trips to Crewe and Chesterfield in the week City might rock up against Lincoln City in the next home game on the back of four away defeats. Peter Taylor – one doubts – was happy with the call off just as Burton Albion manager Paul Peschisolido was not.

Within minutes off the call off though worries had started. City’s pitch was relaid at some cost in the summer, is it not able to withstand what seemed to be what could hardly be described as extreme weather? Was there not covers and precautions to be taken.

The worries were quickly replaced by an idea that the call off was not motivated by the conditions but rather that is was a part of a plan. The plan changed depending on the telling. Some said it was Taylor trying to get his players fit, others that it was the board making it easier to fire him on the back of (one assumes) worse away results. It was about playing the game when City had made various signings, it was about doing it when City were in better form. It was to do with pressing the books to make it seem like City were earning now and more later.

And so on. Conspiracy theory of course and you, dear reader, will have your own view on what is or is not accurate in those tellings. Me, I don’t find it too great a leap that when I put my foot through an inch of grass onto hard frozen ground that the same might be found at Valley Parade. Willem of Occam agreed with me, but he is not always right.

Conspiracy theory is a stock in trade these days. Student cuts, shootings in America, uprisings in foreign lands, financial collapses. If it has happened then there is probably a guy on the Internet telling you it was caused by the machinations of shadowy people in dimly lit rooms. The rooms are always poorly lit but although, obviously, ave enough brightness enough to cast shadows on the people.

The conspiracy theory is a fascinating insight into the mind of some, but ultimately tiresome and one worries – and to paraphrase Jon Ronson – that the really scary thing is not that someone rules the world but that no one does.

However ignore the conspiracy theory of Bradford City’s call off for now and wonder how we have ended up in the position where there is so much talk and so much suspicion that Bradford City might be putting one over on us.

Are we so ready to believe that the club we support is amongst these “shadowy people”? That they are so untrustworthy that they are conspiring against our interest. Do we really look at Mark Lawn like Alex Jones looks at Obama and Bush?

How did the level of trust between club and supporter rot to this level? What does it say about the relationship between fan and club that these conspiracy theories emerge so quickly?

Recent Posts