Exclusive: Jackson finally reveals why he resigned from Bradford City (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Exclusive: Peter Jackson finally reveals why he resigned from Bradford City
POINTING THE FINGER: Peter Jackson says a breakdown in his relationship with joint-chairman Mark Lawn and head of player development Archie Christie saw his dream return to the club he skippered as a player quickly turn sour
Peter Jackson has finally broken his two-year silence on his exit from Valley Parade and claimed: I felt undermined.
Jackson had never discussed his reasons for resigning as City boss just four games into the 2011-2012 season.
But the former club skipper has at last given his side of the story in a new autobiography, in which he criticises former head of player development Archie Christie and joint-chairman Mark Lawn.
In his book Living with Jacko, Jackson said his relationship with the board suffered after Christie’s arrival during that summer.
“It was a bizarre appointment. It was hard to find anyone who knew him or anything about him. People looked him up on the internet but until he joined Bradford, there didn’t seem to be anything.
“He used to claim Tiger Woods had taught him to play golf, Jamie Oliver taught him how to cook and the actor Denzel Washington was a good mate. I used to wonder who taught him to drive, Michael Schumacher?
“I felt they were taking his side rather than mine. Day by day I felt my authority was being undermined – and not only by Christie.”
Jackson was also unhappy that Lawn would turn up at the training ground. He claimed things came to a head when the chairman arranged a practice match for a striker called Jay Jay he had been recommended from South Africa.
Jackson added: “I could tell straight away that he wasn’t going to be good enough. The match hadn’t been going many minutes when Mark started complaining that the pitch wasn’t good enough, that the other players weren’t passing the ball to Jay Jay and he wasn’t getting a chance.
“He abandoned the game and said we had to re-arrange it for the following Sunday at Valley Parade. That was the final straw.
“I knew that the senior players were starting to ask questions about who was in charge and now the chairman was trying to arrange a practice match over my head.
“My standing as manager would have been terminally weakened if I’d rolled over and let other people run the football club.”
Two days later, Jackson’s reign was over. He attended the board’s monthly meeting after training and was running through the list of injuries when Lawn cut in to say that the players weren’t good enough.
“Okay, we’d taken only one point from four matches and lost 1-0 at home to Dagenham the previous week. But I felt I was getting it right. I would have expected the directors to take a more sensible view. Instead Christie was talking about why we’d been beaten by Dagenham.
“He was wrong but I had a feeling I was the only person in the room who thought so.
“So I said, ‘Right, if everyone feels the same way, I’ll offer my resignation’. I didn’t quit, I offered to resign.”
Jackson was told to leave the room for 20 minutes. He returned to be told that his resignation had been accepted unanimously.
“I feared I might have serious misgivings when I woke up next morning but I didn’t. I knew then that I’d done the right thing. I would have been compromising myself if I’d worked under Christie.
“Even so, I was desperately upset. When I first arrived at Valley Parade, there was no spirit at the club.
“My first priority was to bring it back to life and raise morale and that’s what I did. And I believe we would have been promoted, either that season or the following one.
“With the support of the fans and the spirit of the players, I would have done it. I’m convinced about that.”
Living With Jacko, by Alison and Peter Jackson, will be published next month by Great Northern Books.
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