Stuart stays

Stuart McCall will remain as Bradford City manager ending two months of speculation brought on by the manager’s assertion that he would leave the club should we not end the season in the play offs.

That McCall has opted to stay at City and work within a reduced budget brought about by that play off failure and the receding economic times is no surprise – ask yourself, dear reader, what you would do if given the chance to continue influencing the results of the club you support and your answer is his – but how much weakened the City manager is going into next term following his uncarried out threat is a subject of debate.

In a manager as parent scenario one should never make a threat one is not prepared to carry out and doing so makes one wonder about the possibility of the next time the manager attempts to instil order by dictate and how successful it will be. Kevin Keegan proved that overuse of the “I Will Leave” card brings a tedium rather than an iron fist to the manager’s job.

Statements such as “maybe I am a crap manager” will haunt McCall for his career but it is perhaps credit to him that he is able to be so introspective in a world that prized the opposite. He is not the alpha-male personality of The Apprentice and we all should be thankful for that. As a player McCall wore his heart on his sleeve and it would seem as a manager he will do the same.

In this respect as much as he is weakened from this last two months McCall can draw strength. The backing shown in the Save our Stuart campaign gives him an unprecedented mandate to be the manager of the club and the experience of assembling what was – ultimately – a squad that underachieved stands him in good stead for a future at the club in which he is able to approach the job with more experience, more wisdom, and achieve more of what he and we want.

The public debate around McCall has been informative to the attitudes of the mainstay of football supporters. We are accused of constantly lusting for short term success at any price but our experiences with Stuart say that at Bradford City at least we are prepared to prize consistency in the belief that that will bring longer terms rewards and that we wish to show loyalty to one who has shown loyalty to us.

Perhaps that is worth dwelling on for a moment. It is commonly held that there is no loyalty in football but here it is – the club, the fans and the manager yoked together in a trust based on that very concept. That fidelity to one another should bring rewards.

McCall will have added to his critics with the last two months but his advocates can be numbered now holding up banners and showing support for him and the believe that with him – together – we can build a future rather than hoping for success by the random act of management change. Consistency, learning, experience and work – through which success comes. These are the watch-words laid down today.

McCall stays as Bradford City manager and the work continues.