The Michael Wood Column

Thursday 23 May, 2002

City look to the end after sixteen players are sacked

My hands are shanking. I can barely even begin to comprehend what has gone on at Valley Parade today.

Sixteen players have been sacked from Bradford City including some of the great names in the club's history. Wayne Jacobs, former longest serving player has been dumped after nine years. David Wetherall, hero of the hour in our finest hour is gone. Gary Walsh out. Benito Carbone out.

Of course we will be glad to see the back of Ashley Ward, Juanjo, Andy Tod and a few others but we had not even begun to see the best of Danny Cadamarteri and Claus Jorgensen. Losing them is a crying shame.

All of which adds up to one thing at the moment. Relegation, if we are lucky.

Nicky Law may be a good manager, but even Bill Shankley could not take four young professionals and build a team capable of doing anything next year. At the moment relegation looks like a bang on certanty.

I'm at a loss to suggest why the Administrators have dones this. How can they expect to sell a football club that owns no footballers? What would anyone want to buy?

Practical concerns: Where will Nicky Law get enough players to field a team from? Who will they be? The guys dumped today cannot play for Bradford City for another 12 months even if a new owner did want to get them back because of league rules, league rules that we would seem to have broken by doing this.

Without knowing the ins and outs of the situation it would seem as if City face a tough time from the governing bodies of the game who will want to know expectly how a player like Cadamarteri, who was "and early summer signing", can be sacked in this way.

If the forces against us are in the right, and they could be, we might not see next season indeed we might not see any season.

And what of Bradford City now, a sea of unfamiliar faces await us. Of the that started against Walsall in the final game of the season only Tom Kearney and Mark Bower remain. If even Claus Jorgensen, who by his own admission was one of the poorest paid players in the squad, can not stay then what sort of spending power will Nicky Law have as he looks to get in what will be, in essence, a whole new squad.

A month ago I said in The Observer that Bradford City fans do not use the word distaster to describe on field events. It is common and trite to say that every hiccup is a major setback but this is the worst thing to happen to Bradford City 11th of May, 1985 aside. This is Bradford City year zero.

So good luck to Walshy, Jakes, Wethers, Beni, Lockey, Cadders, Jamie, Myers-y et al. No doubt we will see you again and in a way you will be the final Bradford City team because even if we make next year, we are not what we were and never will be again.

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