The Jonathan Jackson Column

Sunday 16 June, 2002

Another one bites the dust

Another scheme to redevelop the landfill site that is Odsal Stadium has bitten the dust, the Bulls hierarchy are getting ready to spit out the proverbial dummy and both Bradford Bulls and the Council seem genuinely shocked.

Fools. It didn't really need the powers of Mystic Meg to predict that this would happen, yet all parties concerned continue to give the impression that EVERYONE wanted this to be built. Fools.

A letter in the T&A on Friday sums it all up for me, when the correspondent (who was also a Bulls/ Northern fan of 30 plus years) said that he would love a new stadium but the hassle of a supermarket/ shopping centre on his doorstep 24 hours a day outweighed the benefit many times over. Clearly the people of Rooley Lane and surrounding streets don't want it.

The fact is that the stadium idea was a "bung" by Tescos to get a 24 hour a day mega store built in South Bradford. An area that already has an Asda, a Tesco and a Morrisons within 5 minutes drive.

Add to this the fact that the Govt have a moratorium on the building of "out of town retail areas" and it should be no surprise to anyone that a public enquiry was called in. Yet the dummies are still being spat.

What concerns me in all of this fiasco is that Bradford Bulls have (albeit allegedly/ reputedly etc) been reported as being interested in co-ercing the Administrators of Bradford City FC into selling them Valley Parade. (which personally I would rather see knocked down than sold to them).

This is the same Bradford Bulls who have got Bradford Council over the barrel with a contract to maintain Odsal and claim that this contract includes the provision of, in the words of their Chairman, upgrading to meet the facilities and standards of a modern stadium.

Cost = £millions to you, me and every other resident of Bradford Met, because Bradford Bulls (or to be more precise the people who run it) would quite happily force Bradford Council to spend millions giving them a new stadium (at no cost to the Bulls).

Millions that are required to fund little unimportant things such as road repairs, street lighting, education, policing, refuse collection, public sector housing etc etc.

My concern is a point that I think Bradford Council ought to seriously consider.


Odsal is a huge site. Odsal is also a residential area. Simple equation here is Bradford Council SELL the land to the Bulls, (which releases them from that onerous contract), who in turn sell on some of the site for residential development and finance the redevelopment of a scaled down stadium from this. On the basis of their crowds at VP, something along the lines of a 15,000 capacity would suffice.

Simple isn't it.

Buying Valley Parade is not an option. Tax payers funding Bradford Bulls desire to have a new stadium shouldn't be either.

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