Issue Knocking back the Bantams

As told by Michael Wood

Another day, another rejection for Peter Jackson as he tries to bring in an experienced midfielder to join the Bantams. Today Gavin Skelton let it be known that Barrow rather than Bradford was his destination of choice.

Skelton is a product of Archie Christie’s scouting – Dagenham were in for him as well – having done wonderful things with Gretna in his time and his choice seems to be to not go further from home rather than further his career.

Such is the problem that City have operating at League Two Level. Offer Benito Carbone £45,000 a week and one would expect him to move from anywhere to Bradford, offer Skelton less a year to join and he thinks twice about uprooting his family, taking his kids out of School, re-mortgaging his house of whatever else footballers do when the work on the same economies that the rest of us have to. Some readers would uproot for £40,000 for a year, others would not, and footballers are in the same position.

Is the club best served by making it worth the while for people like Skelton, Tommy Miller, or whomever to move? If they are not – as we understand Guy Branston was – gripped by the idea of playing for Bradford City do we want them if they get gripped by the thought of another £10,000 a year. Recent history says no.

The likes of Paul McLaren and Michael Boulding had their heads turned to play at a lower level than they could have by the thought of more money and the results – while not massively poor – were not what the club wanted. Indeed McLaren ended up losing his place to two young loanees.

The poster boy for not wanting to join a club but having a dumper truck of money driven up to your house is – of course – Ashley Ward who did all he could to resist the Bantams until such a time when he was offered a life changing amount. Ward’s contribution always looked reticent, and probably was. You can not buy passion.

What you can buy though is a mystery. Peter Jackson needs more bodies in his squad – or believes he does – and his targets elude him for whatever reason.

Perhaps the question is though not if the player who does put pen to paper is fifth or sixth choice but rather is he the right choice, and has be made that choice for the right reasons.