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Khan targets City's appeal to Asians
City’s first Asian ambassador today pledged to “break the barrier” stopping the community from getting involved at Valley Parade.
Well-known Bradford entrepreneur and restaurateur Omar Khan has taken up the post with the goal to integrate more supporters from different backgrounds.
Khan plans to work closely with local primary schools and Asian businesses – and he is confident of making an impact in an area that City have struggled to tap into over the years.
Khan said: “We need people to feel part of the society where they live and at the moment that’s not happening. For some unseen reason, we haven’t broken that barrier.
“We need to keep Asian youngsters off the streets and give them positive role models. I’m sure the younger generation would love to be part of something that is very popular and have mentors they can identify with.
“I want to throw away the negative mentors and bring in a positive. Sport brings the community together and you can have every culture and nationality under one roof, all wanting the same thing.
“I love Bradford City because they are my club and I want everyone else in the Asian community to feel the same.
“This club has been turned round since Mark (Lawn) came in. The past 18 months has seen such a difference.
“They have opened the gates for everybody, whatever their background, and we want the Asian community to feel part of that.
“They need to understand that the club would embrace them with open arms. If I can do something to help in that way, I would love to.”
Khan is a long-time friend of City joint-chairman Lawn, who believes he will be the ideal man for the job.
“He’s a long-standing and well-respected businessman in the community and seemed the ideal person to bring on board,” said Lawn.
“We want to make it more friendly for the Asian community as a whole to come to the ground. There have always been opportunities to get involved with the club but by bringing in Omar, they might feel happier getting in touch.
“We’ve got British Asians who are third or fourth generation and love their football. We want to accommodate them and if there’s something that is stopping them from coming, we’d like to get round that.
“Omar can be a conduit for the Asian community. You need people to feel comfortable and having someone who people can come to that understands their culture will help.”
Khan can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.