Playing Torquay was harder than playing Arsenal, claim Bradford

League Two side beat Gunners on penalties

Even if Bradford City's appeal against expulsion from this season's FA Cup for inadvertently fielding an ineligible player had not been successful today, manager Phil Parkinson could surely be forgiven for suggesting he would not be losing any sleep over the possible ramifications of the club's decision to play Curtis Good, on loan from Newcastle United, in their drawn second-round tie against Brentford without having first obtained written permission.

There may be some at the League Two club who were less sanguine. After all, if the reprieved Bantams go on to beat Brentford in the replay next Tuesday, and then Southend in the third round, the fourth-round draw could be another money-spinner.

According to director of operations Dave Baldwin, the money City made in beating Arsenal in Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final, estimated to be around £300,000, is only enough to wipe out half the club's projected overspend on wages this season. This suggests they are paying rather more than the average weekly League Two wage of £750 a week, though possibly not quite as much as the average of £60,000 Arsenal pay each of their players.

But Baldwin went on to say that the money Bradford will make from the televised two-legged semi-final – at least £1m, whoever they play – will secure the club's long-term future. Not surprisingly for a team which, in the last 11 years, has plunged from the Premier League to League Two, has twice entered administration, and no longer owns its own ground, he did not define "long-term", though only one player in their team against Arsenal cost them a fee. City paid local non-league side Guiseley £7,500 for centre-forward James Hanson.

As the victory over Arsenal sunk in, Bradford's captain Gary Jones added insult to injury by claiming Torquay had given his side a tougher test in City's 1-0 home win in League Two on Saturday. "I think they did," Jones added. "It was like a role reversal. Torquay defended really well against us and we defended really well against Arsenal."

For Parkinson too, the result must have felt like redemption of sorts. Having been regarded as one of the game's rising young managers when he steered Colchester to promotion in 2006, subsequent lack of success at Hull City and Charlton saw him happy to be given another opportunity by Bradford last year. Last season they secured their league status only in the penultimate game of the season.

This season, however, Parkinson's team-building has begun to bear fruit. They will go into Saturday's league match at Southend fourth in the table, three points off an automatic promotion place. If Nakhi Wells, the 22-year-old Bermudan striker who gave Per Mertesacker and in particular Thomas Vermaelen such a torrid evening, maintains the form which has seen him score 11 league goals in 19 starts this season, they will certainly be close.

"We want to try and put Bradford back on the map for the right things, and nights like this will certainly help do that," said Parkinson, after the raucous support of a record seated attendance of almost 24,000 at Valley Parade helped his side beat the Gunners.

"The people of this city have been superb with the club. Their support was magnificent, and they deserve a team they can be proud of. I believe we are getting there with this one."

Arsène Wenger's insistence on Bradford's excellence may have got a little lost in the torrent of criticism aimed at the Arsenal manager, though the fact that City won the penalty shootout (their ninth consecutive success, an English club record) was as much down to Arsenal's failings as Bradford's competence.

Related articles...

Arsenal are fighting to avoid catastrophe as new reality bites

Ivan Gazidis: Arsenal were not good enough... but Arsene Wenger's job is safe

James Lawton: Admiration for Arsene Wenger's achievements should not stop Arsenal acting decisively

Ray Parlour rejects suggestions Arsene Wenger runs Arsenal like a 'dictatorship'

Playing Torquay was harder than playing Arsenal, claim Bradford

Arsenal assistant Steve Bould 'furious' over reports of rift with Arsene Wenger

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable