The totally unique and utterly turbulent last few years of Bradford City

2005/2006

2005/2006 came and went without much notice. Players who from much big things were expected – such as Bobby Petta, Danny Cadamarteri and Owen Morrison – did next to nothing and the Bantams flirted with relegation more often than promotion before settling in mid-table.

And then came hope in the form of Peter Etherington – the clubs commercial manager – who ruffled feathers and looked to be getting things done until one day just before the 2006/2007 season it turned out that any money Mr Etherington had his partner – in both business and other matters – wanted a share of after they parted company and so City were left without investment.

The Bantams push for a play-off place in League One fizzles out despite a fine away record but fans were heartened by a 2-0 win over Huddersfield which did the double over the local rivals and by Dean Windass’s remarkable goalscoring with the 36 year old notching 27 league goals.

2004/2005

Despite working with a financial hangover Colin Todd built a capable Bradford City team which at one point one five games on the bounce including an amazing 5-4 win at Tranmere Rovers. City had a first meeting with Huddersfield Town since 1999 which the Bantams won 1-0.

After a third of the season the Bantams looked in a good position for an automatic return to the now renamed Championship but a poorer middle third left the club in the upper reaches of mid-table.

2003/2004

Bradford City struggled to survive to the kick off the 2004/5 season with £250,000 being raised by supporters to keep the club in June 2004 after which time the Gang of Five lead by Jim Brown came in to help the club and Julian Rhodes returned with a new CVA.

Colin Todd took over from Bryan Robson during the summer of administration which saw much of the squad, including player of the season Paul Heckingbottom and Danny Cadamarteri, leave.

Bryan Robson took over as Bradford City manager with Colin Todd as his assistant. That did not really work and after City slipped into the relegation zone the club plunged into a second spell in administration and were relegated to the second division which was then renamed League One.

2002/2003

Nicky Law kept City in the First Division with a series of great away wins in 2002-2003 and the emergence of some great young talent but the season after Law was fired after 11 games without a win.

With the CVA that got the club out of administration accepted City started the season a team reborn with a new chairman, 26 year old Gordon Gibb, buying the club from Geoffrey Richmond for one pound. The new Bantams started the First Division season well with an impressive win at Ipswich Town making light of those who had the Bantams down as certain relegation candidates.

2001/2002

With debts of £13m City went into administration and sacked all 16 senior professionals. A CVA was drawn up to get the club back a float after Geoffrey Richmond returned to Valley Parade.

City finished the season 15th in the First Division, a disappointing return on what promised to be an excellent campaign.

Jim Jefferies resigned as Bradford City manager. Nicky Law replaced him as City boss.

City started the Divison One season well but after a slump Jim Jefferies job came under pressure in October 2001.

After a summer of wrangling City boss Jim Jefferies agreed on a wage budget of £7.5m with Geoffrey Richmond allowing him to keep captain Stuart McCall, defender Robert Molenaar and Eoin Jess from the team that performed well towards the end of the Premiership season.

City were relegated from the Premiership after a two year stay following a season of turmoil.

Chris Hutchings is replaced by former Hearts boss Jim Jefferies as City manager. Jefferies clears out Valley Parade ridding the club of Dan Petrescu, Stan Collymore, Dean Windass, David Hopkin, Peter Beagrie and Andrew O’Brien.

2000/2001

The Bantams made a minor quake in football by signing Aston Villa’s talented Italian star Benito Carbone. Carbone joined Dan Petrescu, Ashley Ward, Peter Atherton and Ian Nolan who had already arrived at Valley Parade in the summer and would soon be followed by Stan Collymore.

1999/2000

Defying all predictions Bradford City retained a place in the Premiership after beating Liverpool 1-0 at Valley Parade on the final day of the season. To remember the luckiest win in football history listen to Stuart Hall wax lyrical about Derby 0 City 1 or to recall our great escape hear Alan Green talk about City 1 Liverpool 0.

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