Deal pulls Bradford back from the brink

Mark Pierson
Saturday 07 December 2013 05:27
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Bradford City staved off the threat of liquidation when their creditors accepted a financial package yesterday which will allow the First Division side to keep on operating.

The club have been in administration since May with debts of £33m. Bradford's administrators, Kroll Buchler Phillips, said the club's creditors had approved a rescue plan ensuring the club's future.

"Whilst there is still some way to go, today was a massive step towards ending the saga for Bradford City, its players and its fans," the administrator, Neal Brackenbury, said. "Our next step is to meet with the board of directors of the Football League next week to obtain its agreement that Bradford City remains a First Division Football League club."

A key issue threatening the club's survival has been the salary of the Italian striker Benito Carbone, who is owed millions by Bradford for the remainder of his contract. The administrator added that the Professional Footballers' Association had helped finance a deal to move Carbone to the Serie A side Como this week. Carbone's release should enable the club to offer contracts to 19 players who would otherwise have been released.

Geoffrey Richmond, the Bradford chairman, said: "It's a considerable relief. It's a good day for Bradford City." The Bantams should be free to kick off the season at home to Wolves on Sunday week.

Dave Watson, the former Everton defender, has been sacked as manager of Tranmere Rovers, who were beaten 7-0 at home by Birmingham City in a friendly on Tuesday. Watson took over in May 2001 after Rovers had just been relegated to the Second Division and was unable to revive their fortunes last season.

The Tranmere chairman, Lorraine Rogers, speaking after announcing Watson's departure, said she would "consider her own position if she did not get the backing of the owner and the board over changes".

The Department of Employment has rejected Juninho's application for a work permit to play for Middlesbrough, because the Brazilian falls short of the requirement that he should have played in 75 per cent of his country's competitive fixtures over the last two years. Boro will appeal in order to revive the 27-year-old's £6m move back to England.

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