The Michael Wood Column

Tuesday 2 July, 2002

Just how grateful should we be to the PFA?

The PFA, and Gordon Taylor, are being trumpeted as the white knights who have ridden to City's rescue bailing the club out of it's crisis.

I guess we have to thank them for the cash. Without it there would not be a Bradford City next season and with that as our driving point taking the money from the PFA is no doubt a good thing. Players get paid, we get a time, three cheers for the PFA?

Not in some corners. The likes of Steve Smith, City's former youth team coach who fears he may never get another job in football has done much for members of the PFA, but the PFA did nothing for him.

Kevin Hornsby, part of Nicky Law's backroom team who is looking for work, gets nothing from the PFA.

The staff at Valley Parade, all 31 of them, who were sacked, get nothing from the PFA.

Of course City did not need to right matters with these people in order to carry on playing in the First Division. The staff at Up Front could not get there jobs back by threatening their former employer's future.

They did not have a gun to the head of the club, the PFA did.

Yes City needed saving and yes the PFA have saved us, but they have saved us from the PFA.

It was the PFA who called for City to be thrown out of football. Our crime? Daring to treat it's members as we did the 31 staff and eight of the backroom team who were sacked by the club but did not have a strong arm union behind them.

PFA have come to City's aid for one reason and one reason alone. To maintain the grip on the game. Imagine if you will if City could not have paid the players, if we did not get a loan from the PFA. Imagine if we had followed that course of action and not been thrown out of the league?

Where would the PFA be then when there unsackable members were sackable?

Remember when we tried to sack Richard Liburd when he was sent to prison but could not until he missed two week's training? Heard the one about the member of the City squad who the club have to tidy up after when they would rather axe him but cannot because of the PFA? Recall when the PFA were going to stop football because they wanted more money? This is not a white knight.

The PFA is a monster. In the end it decided that it was more of a risk for us to challenge the unsackable nature of it's members than it was to lend us the money to pay them but never forget when the history books say that the PFA saved Bradford City that it was the PFA that were threatening our existence.

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