Bradford for sale as players face sack

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The Independent Online

Bradford City was put up for sale yesterday after the club's dire financial situation saw it placed into administration.

Bradford City was put up for sale yesterday after the club's dire financial situation saw it placed into administration. The future of the First Division strugglers, who are £13m in debt, will remain in doubt until a buyer is found. A substantial number of the playing staff face immediate redundancy.

"Any sale must be completed as early as possible in order for the club to meet its obligations for the forthcoming season," said Mike Moore, of the administrators Kroll Buchler Phillips. "Although the administration can be funded, there is limited money available and unfortunately, it will therefore be necessary to terminate the contracts of many players."

Bradford's chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, met with supporters last night to answer questions about the future of a club relegated from the Premiership a year ago. The first season back in the First Division ended with a 15th-place finish.

Trading in the club's shares was suspended last week, when it was also outlined how two major factors have pushed Bradford to the brink. The first is the ITV Digital crisis, which will see a hole in Bradford's accounts of around £6m over the next two seasons. The second is the failure to sell the striker Benito Carbone, who earns around £40,000 per week, to Middlesbrough, where he has been on loan. These will lead to "a negative financial impact of £10m" over the next two years.

Richmond has been trying for months to promote schemes that might boost the income of the First Division's 24 clubs. Yesterday he had hoped to invite Celtic and Rangers to join the First Division in an attempt to boost the Nationwide League's attractiveness to broadcasters.

But he could not attend the League board meeting to float the idea officially. The plan, already dismissed by the Football Association, may instead be discussed when all 72 League clubs meet today.

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