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Lawn pitches in as City investor
City today unveiled successful businessman Mark Lawn as the investor who will be sharing power with Julian Rhodes.
The 46-year-old, who made his money from founding a driver recruitment agency in Bingley, has taken up the position of joint chairman after signing a deal which has wiped out the club's remaining debts.
A delighted Rhodes said: "This last five years has been all about reaching this solvent state and we are finally there. We've got rid of all the debts apart from a small overdraft facility.
"It doesn't mean there's going to be millions of pounds chucked at the team but it does give us a bit more financial stability and allows the resources we do generate within the club to go towards building the team.
"It's been a tough few years and Mark's involvement will help tremendously because we now have two people supporting the club financially.
"Mark is an avid Bradford City fan who, by his own admission, isn't in this to make money. He has got involved for all the right motives."
Lawn, who saw his first match at Valley Parade more than 40 years ago, set up Driver Hire in 1983 and saw it expand into a nationwide firm now boasting more than 100 franchises. He left the business in 1999.
Rhodes said: "Mark is somebody I've spoken to on and off for a number of years. He reapproached me in March to help out with a loan to keep the season-ticket pledge going and then we started talking about doing a deal again.
"He hasn't worked since selling Driver Hire eight years ago and this is the only thing he would come back to working full time for. He is raring to go.
"I'm quite happy to be in a joint position and it will be good to have somebody else to talk to and share the decisions. Of course there will be times when we don't agree but good partnerships are all about balance.
"Mark will be the public face of Bradford City. I'm not going to deny the fact I'm not really one for fans' forums and I'm more than happy to leave that with Mark."
Lawn's arrival hot on the heels of new boss Stuart McCall has already got fans licking their lips about next season, despite City's drop to League Two, but Rhodes has offered some words of caution.
He said: "Everybody is excited we've got Stuart and Mark on board but we've got a couple of very busy months ahead of us. We've only got a handful of players and we need to maximise the revenue before the season starts.
"It all comes down to how many people buy season tickets and spend sponsorship money and we really do need everyone to play their part. We need the positivity around the club to translate into finances that we can spend to rebuild."
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