I don’t want promotion

Unless Mr Jackson gets us on an unbelievable run, and I’m not saying that isn’t possible, 2011/2012 will be the 5th season that Bradford City have lined up in the 4th tier of English football. It will be the 5th time we have been proclaimed as one of the favourites for the division (it appears the bookies do sometimes get it wrong) and it will be the 5th time we hear comments from the club and the fans that we “must get out of this division”, “promotion is a must” and “we can’t keep going in this division on this budget”.

Now I know little about the clubs finances, other than what can be gleamed from reading websites like this one and the odd comment from Mr Lawn in the T&A but as far as I can see it, the club has actually survived, and unless we are in for a shock, will be there next year. So how important is it that we actually do get promoted and is the aim of promotion actually helping us?

We have seen differing strategies for gaining promotion each year in this division, McCall simply being here was one, a Large budget was another, scouring the lower leagues yet another and finally the hiring the best available manager for the job (which at the time, Taylor unquestionably was) and giving him everything he wanted. All have failed.

The reason they have failed is because we, as a club have forced them to fail. There is much talk of time being needed for managers to stay in a job to build a team. McCall had plenty of time but on the other hand only ever had a season at a time. Nothing was ever carried on from one year to the next. Taylor didn’t have the time (and I’m glad he didn’t have any more) but again, would only have had a season at a time. The talk was always of a new reduced budget next year (and I fully understand why this was needed) which would have resulted of an overhaul of the playing staff again had he stayed.

This all sums up why I don’t want us to go up next year, because if I do, we won’t, or the year after, or the year after that.

In my mind, and bearing in mind, my biggest achievement in football is doing 24 keep ups in the park and beating Ben Shuttleworth aged 11 to the ‘Longest throw in’ award (I was 26 at the time), we should be setting ourselves up as a 4th Division team. We should be having a budget that will remain the same year on year, based on season ticket sales. We should be saying to Peter Jackson, we want to improve on this season, that is all. You don’t need to get us up, or even in the playoff’s, we just want to improve and build.

There are numerous examples of this working, look at Dagenham, Bournemouth, Exeter, Rochdale. All have built teams and built form without the added pressure on them. When they have been high up in the table they have known they have been performing above expectations which then relieves the pressure on them, making it easier to play.

After what Peter Taylor has provided us with this year, all I want is to see a team I can relate to and a team that will go and try and win each game they play. We have forgotten that ultimately football is entertainment. 90 minutes to be thrilled, excited, disappointed, angry and overjoyed. We are all looking at football as 46 games, desperate for that promotion. When it comes, will it be as good as we have built it up to be? Probably it will, but it will be a hell of a lot better if we have enjoyed the ride as well.

A few more wins this season and it won’t have been too bad… still, we had better go up next year…