Jon Blakely's Canadian Chronicles

Thursday 16 May, 2002

Gob-Smacked! Richmond or the Monkey?

Sitting here reading all the articles (and there are many already) and I don't think I said a word to anyone for half an hour (the only word I said to myself was a quiet and reserved "sh*t")

I started supporting Bradford City in the summer of 1983, even though I'd been to two games of the previous season, it was really during the summer when the club was in dire trouble that it all started for me. I suppose it augers well for our future now that two seasons later, Trevor Cherry had molded a young hungry side together to take the 3rd Division by storm.

One thing I cannot fathom is why supporters who have critisised Geoffrey Richmond are being made to be the 'bad guys' in all of this. Surely it is a times like this when those supporters who spoke to, emailed, or somehow contacted Mr Richmond and foresaw this day have the rights to say "told you so".

Days like this are black, and maybe they take a weight off ones shoulders, but as the PFA has said "If he (Richmond) wants to start writing his own rules he's going down a very dangerous road. If you want to have a competition that's credible there should be no place in the league for a club run according to the chairman's particular whims."

Mr Richmond has continually told fans who questioned the club's financial situation to mind their own business and it is this attitude which has led many fans to turn on the once likeable Chairman.

If the company that I work for, A huge retailer, went into administration, do you think we would blame our customers (even the ones who said that they didn't like our products and maybe we should change our attitude on a few things) Not a chance! The people who sit atop our ship would be accountable, and I don't think many people would still be saying "Trust our Chairman", they'd be asking what were the decisions that got the company to that point, and who is responsible?

I supported Geoffrey Richmond to the hilt up until the moment he appointed Chris Hutchings. And unlike a lot of critics, I told him face to face (or e-mail to e-mail at the time) and once again, he told me to sling my hook and that Chris Hutchins would do a fine job.

Since that day I cannot think of a single good business or footballing decision he has made. It was around that time that City would have got their second Premiership TV Payment and the time that the dividends were paid out. When asked by the Media if signing Carbone was a price City could not afford, Richmond said that it was "ok" because City would have enough TV Payments and parachute payments (if we went down) to cover his wages. City will have had three Premiership TV payments by now. City have sold a great number of players over the past two seasons or so. You do the sums (Start with Andy O'Brien for 2 million and work from there) WHERE HAS THE MONEY GONE? Premiership TV money, Gate Money, Selling Players, Division One TV money last season.....

By using the argument that "You can't think of a Replacement Chairman so shut up" is so lame it is deplorable. When David Simpson was Chairman, no-one knew of a good replacement, but that didn't mean that one wouldn't come along, and one did.

Geoffrey Richmond guaranteed that he wouldn't put the future of this club at risk.

He has.

We are one month away from never seeing Bradford City colours run out onto Valley Parade ever again.

My fault? Your fault? The TV Monkey's fault or Geoffrey Richmond's fault? You decide.

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