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Size matters in Bradford City player pursuit
David Baldwin insists the Valley Parade faithful have retained their pulling power as City topped 12,000 in advanced ticket sales for next season.
Director of operations Baldwin believes the size and noise of the home crowds remain a magnet for attracting new recruits.
City have sold 12,039 season tickets and flexicards during the early-bird phase – which saw prices frozen from last term.
The Bantams boasted the third highest home support in League One in 2013/14 and Baldwin believes that consistency of backing is a key weapon for Phil Parkinson’s squad revamp.
City last week beat Port Vale for Billy Knott’s signature and are thought to be pursuing former Notts County midfielder Gary Liddle.
Baldwin said: “There are three things that appeal to a player coming to the club now.
“They look at the stadium first and foremost because that is the platform where they can showcase their talents.
“They also get the information about the volume of noise and the number of fans that you can expect.
“A lot of players who we talk to me have been here before with an opposing team. So they will have seen for themselves the situation.
“It really just cements their desire to come when we can tell them we are still achieving those numbers.
“The third key area is the training ground facility. We were a bit embarrassed ten years ago but now we’re proud of what is available through our link with Woodhouse Grove.
“It’s no surprise that in the run-up to the Capital One Cup final and the awful weather during that time, we were still able to train every day on a brand spanking new synthetic pitch there. That comes from money that can be provided from other incomes because the playing budget is covered by the season-ticket sales.”
This will be the eighth successive campaign that City have stuck with the cut-price offer – and the current sales figure, made up of 9,464 season tickets and 2,575 flexi-cards, will encourage them to carry on.
It is less than this time last year – season tickets are about 500 down – but well within the club’s estimate. Baldwin stressed once again that the turnstile cash provides Parkinson’s player budget.
He added: “It looks like a bit of a strapline to call the crowd the 12th man but it genuinely is. Ultimately it dictates the tone of the season.
“All the general expenditure goes on the running of the football club. The corporate money, the commercial money, the Sky money all pay for the operational costs like the ground maintenance, the rent, rates, travelling expenses and so on.
“The reality is that the money going through the turnstiles is near enough a direct reflection of the manager’s player budget.
“Obviously we top it up a bit but that figure we raise from ticket sales is pretty much where we can set the budget.”
Season-ticket prices have now gone up by £100 to £299 for adults. Flexi-cards are no longer available.
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