By Bradford City Supporters Trust, Jul 17 2020 09:23AM
It has been over a month since we last wrote to update you on proceedings at the club. so far in terms of the season so far. We can safely confirm that season 2019/20 has drawn to a close, and you can claim back your remaining balance on the unfinished season ticket. The club survey found that 80% of City fans want the club to retain the balance for future operations, and only 5% wanted the refund. If you do require a refund, you only have until the end of July to do it.
So we are looking forward to the start of the new season, looking set to start in September after the first round of the League Cup, but that is not without uncertainty around arrangements in view of the Covid 19 situation. Discussions are also going on between the EFL and member clubs around a 'players wage cap' for Leagues One & Two and the impact that will have on football clubs. There is little being said officially from the EFL about it but it has been written about in the local papers, and has been discussed at our Supporters Board meetings with Ryan Sparks (the Club's Chief Communications Officer), coupled with discussion around the start of the season and how that could possibly look.
It has been well documented in the local press and confirmed in our Supporters Board Meetings that the Club is opposed to the idea of a 'wage cap'. In fact the cap is not really based on individual players' salary cap, but a 'Squad Salary Cap' based on the overall spend on wages. And the cap for League Two is £1.5m. The Club says the set limit is too low, and the Trust believes the restrictions should not be based on a set limit but measured by the percentage of revenue of each club - that would be fairer! The Salary Cost Management Protocol is an EFL rule for L1 and L2 and already states that only a certain percentage of revenue can be spent on player salaries. The concept is good but the rule should be strengthened and properly enforced.
The principal aim of the EFL Salary Cap proposal is to promote a sustainable model for running clubs and this should include greater regulation checks in terms of transparency - opening the books for example. A more holistic look at this proposal should bring into the picture a fairer redistribution of Parachute Payments (paid to clubs relegated from the PL for a period of 3 years, decreasing each year) and Solidarity Payments (paid to all other EFL Clubs) which could potentially benefit greater sporting competition and ensure greater financial security at the same time. The ideal proposal however, would be an even greater share of wealth distribution from the PL flowing through the football pyramid.
Regarding the preparations for the start of the season, the Club are working on the guidance with regard to Covid 19 safety around the possibility of a reduction in ground capacity to 25% of the regular total, but the Club's preferred option is either no capacity or full capacity. It is unlikely, however, that the latter will be an option considering the current situation.
From a Football Supporters' Association perspective the EFL is consulting with us around all aspects of the return to live football. Our Trust Chair, and FSA National Committee member recently attended a Zoom meeting of fans' reps to discuss a 'Fans Charter' around the issues of the Coronavirus and its impact on the new season. We will update you on the detail of that shortly.
And finally, an online forum hosted by Radio Leeds featuring Stuart McCall is scheduled for the 27th July on 'Zoom'. See more details here.
We will keep you updated with any new information as it arises.
Best wishes and stay safe.
From all of us on the Bantams Supporters Trust Board