To say this has been a successful week for Bradford City is an understatement. At the start of the week, most supporters will have been thinking that their team was probably going to be out of both domestic cup tournaments, following expulsion from the FA Cup and the prospect of facing Arsenal in the League Cup. However, after overcoming the Gunners in terrific fashion on Tuesday evening, the Bantams have been dealt another piece of fantastic news after the FA decided to overturn their initial decision to throw them out of the FA Cup.
It was only last week that Bradford were handed the news that they would not be allowed to progress to the next round of the FA Cup, even though they had drawn and forced a replay against Brentford in the second round. The decision was made after it was discovered that City had fielded an ineligible player, with the on-loan Curtis Good not permitted to play in the fixture as he had not been registered in time.
Such a decision was crushing to the hopes of City – who have suffered several financial problems over the last decade. The FA Cup is regarded as one of the biggest money spinners around for lower league outfits and as well as gate receipts, Bradford would have been entitled to £27,000 if they had beaten Brentford in the replay match.
They have now been given a chance to earn that money, with the FA deciding that the initial punishment was too harsh. They have now fined Phil Parkinson’s men £1,000 – meaning they are free to play in a replay against the Bees sometime in the near future. It is understood that one of the main reasons for the change in the decision was a letter of support sent by Newcastle – who are the parent club of defender Good. The Magpies allegedly took responsibility for the problem and the FA concluded that Bradford acted as fairly as they could under the circumstances, and no attempt at deceit was made.
Such news caps a superb couple of days for Bradford, who have rose to national attention following their penalty shootout win against a strong Arsenal team in the League Cup. That result, along with today’s news, means that the Bantams are actually involved in three cup competitions at the moment. They have also managed to reach the semi-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area, meaning that Parkinson’s side certainly have everything to play for. As well as the above, they are on the hunt for promotion from League Two and currently sit in 4th position, with three points separating them from 4th place.
Already, the club’s director of operations has claimed that Bradford’s immediate financial future is secure following the League Cup win. It was understood that the Valley Parade management had overspent by around £600,000 in an effort to get the team promoted, meaning that all of this news is of great relief to absolutely everyone associated with the club.