The Jonathan Jackson Column

Sunday 10 February, 2002

Load of Bullocks


City's MD Shaun Harvey has refuted claims that the postponement of the game with Birmingham was owing to rugby being played at Valley Parade.


Sorry Mr Harvey, but you fool no one with this load of bollocks.

Had the that game of synchronised off ground tig not been played on Saturday, the rain that fell on Sunday would have had FAR less impact on the pitch. You only need to go back to the Leeds match last season to realise this. (Which was BEFORE rugby arrived)

The Valley Parade pitch is not a poor drainer and with the exception of the abandoned Palace match in 1998, I can't remember the last time water logging affected a fixture. At least not since the new drains were put in.

Sufficient water to play the match would have drained off a well forked good condition grass pitch (as ours was until 3.00pm on 9 February). It doesn't, however, drain off a mud bath however much you fork it.

I saw the pitch after the Cows defeat and any fool knows that the decision to play the game the day before ours has had a devastating effect on the pitch.

Stand by for more of the same, because the damage is now done and with rugby every other week from April onwards there will be no full recovery until the oval ball chasers bog off forever.

I am aware that they are contracted to play at VP for SL season 2002, but under NO circumstances should they be allowed back for 2003.

The effect of Saturday could cost us a good deal more than £60,000. It could cost us a decent crack at promotion next season.

The Bulls should be given notice to quit as soon as SL 2002 is over. The revenue they generate is not worth the risks involved to OUR pitch.

EVEN IF THIS MEANS THAT THEY QUIT BRADFORD FOR THE NEW SHAY, which they will do if the planning permission for a supermarket at Odsal if turned down.

You don't fool me, and you wont fool anyone except the very few supporters who are Bulls first and City second.

Reply from Shaun Harvey

City's MD Shaun Harvey made this reply to Jonathan Jackson. It is presented unedited:

Bradford City vs Birmingham City
Sunday 10 February 2002

Further to your recent e-mail in respect of the postponement of the above game, please find listed herewith facts which I hope will make things clearer for you to understand the reasons:

  1. The referee was happy at 3.00pm for the game to go ahead and would have kicked off at that time.
  2. In view of the weather forecast for more rain he decided he would review the position every 30 minutes.
  3. At 3.45pm the pitch was still playable and it was decided that both Managers should have an input into the decision with the referee at that stage still prepared for the game to go on.
  4. Both Managers and referee in view of the weather report decided it would be impossible to have a sensible game with the pitch conditions as they were particularly as they were not going to get any better at 4.25pm.

The postponement of the fixture was nothing to do with the stadium being used the previous day by Bradford Bulls. It was unfortunately down to the amount of rain that fell onto an already wet playing surface.

At 7.15pm (scheduled start of the 2nd half) it was still raining with at least half the pitch totally under water.

The game would have started at 3.00pm if that had been the kick off time or earlier.

Those with tickets for the fixture should keep them as they will be valid for the rearranged date which will be announced in the next few days.

Kind regards.

Managing Director

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