Issue What we learn as Parkin fades away

As told by Michael Wood

His attempts to buy Bradford City, and then to join the board of Bradford City, seemingly having failed local businessman Steve Parkin seems to be moving on and away from Valley Parade.

Said Park “It’s cooled off a little bit. We’ve had further talks and can’t get to a deal” which seems to translate towards the idea that he wanted the club for less than the price tag put on it and Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes knocked him back.

He talked about joining the board but again those talks seem to have stalled. The less said about other things, the better. City move on and are seemingly more able to distinguish between the bend in the arm from the but that one sits on with appointments of coaches, scouting networks and the like starting to resemble a plan for improving the club.

So what have we learnt from Steve Parkin’s attempts to buy City? Firstly – and surprisingly perhaps – that while Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes are not everybody’s cup of tea they seem to represent familiarity. The last four years seem to have taught the chairman a thing or two about running a football club – the impotencies of sacking managers, the ineffectiveness of wholesale squad changes, the need to bring in the best backroom staff you can – and that is not worth swapping for whomever comes along with the only attraction seemingly being that he is someone else.

Secondly that the Bradford City books are in a good state. Steve Parkin’s people looked over them and liked what they saw. The club are investable – if you have enough money – and that suggests that the business the club is doing is on a sound footing. The curiousness of the summer is that while it started with the threat of administration it ends with the knowledge that the bottom line does not put anyone off.

However people are put off by the idea of a Bradford Sporting Club. The Rugby chasing people of Bradford Bulls seem to be in a sticky situation and the football club regularly lurch in and out of such a state. Perhaps neither look across at the other expecting stability and supporters certainly have no great will to united.

Parkin seemed to offer very little and there were question marks around what he could deliver that could not match even the slight returns that the current board have brought. Four years of League Two football is thin, but many club has been ruined by unscrupulous owners and all emerged as Parkin did as wanting to improve the club. Perhaps the greatest thing we have learnt, as City fans, is that we cant get fooled again.

Rhodes and Lawn have promised to move out of the way – with the caveat that they will not be out of pocket – should someone come along who will improve the club and nothing Parkin said seemed suggest he was that man. He had some plans to improve the club but everyone does and his seemed no more fated to success than Lawn or Rhodes’ and perhaps much less having not been tried.

Parkin moves on saying “Unfortunately I’ve got a very big deal going down right now with something else which I’ve got to get over the line.” One awaits to see what it could be.

At Valley Parade though Lawn and Rhodes sit a little more comfortably in their seats having had their guardianship of the club tested, and passed that test.