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Mark Lawn hoping to keep Bradford City squad intact
Mark Lawn believes that Phil Parkinson and his history-making squad should stick at Valley Parade however the season pans out.
Manager Parkinson is in demand after leading the first club from the fourth tier to a major Wembley cup final.
But Lawn is confident that he will commit his future to the Bantams – and reckons those players who are also out of contract in the summer should do the same.
City’s giant-killing antics have captured the attention of the nation and potentially put the team in the shop window. But the cash generated from the Capital One Cup exploits gives the club a stronger hand for trying to keep their prize assets.
Lawn said: “Phil’s been as good as his promise. He said he’d clear the deficit and he has done.
“This means that next year we can probably keep this squad together in the main and have another push at promotion if we don’t do it this time.
“I’m not unrealistic but they’ve got to Wembley and who says they might not be able to do something like that next year, whether it’s promotion, in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, whatever?
“You will always have opportunities when you’ve got a good side like that. I think there’s some great spirit in that dressing room and why would you want to break it up?
“I’d want to be part of what we’re building and that’s what Phil is trying to do now.
“We’ve got a tight bunch and I’d like to think they will give us another year. I’m not saying we’re not going to get promoted now, but financially it offers us the chance to keep this squad again.
“We should earn about £1million from the final after you take off VAT and will be paying out bonuses for the staff for £300,000. But the rest gives us that over-spend for next year.”
Negotiations are ongoing with Parkinson and his coaches and Lawn insists the club share their manager’s ambitions.
“Phil might go on to do other things in his career but he won’t rewrite history again like this,” he said.
“If he went to somewhere like, for example, Bolton Wanderers, he’s not going to make history there – unless he wins the Champions’ League final. That would be the only comparison.
“What we have done already will never be forgotten. I’m not being disrespectful to Rochdale but nobody entered it in 1962 because there was no Wembley appearance.
“It’s not like we are talking to football players. It’s a lot nicer because you are dealing with ‘grown-ups’ and they aren’t swayed as much by their agents.
“I think we’ll get there. Both parties want it to happen, so I’m sure it will. We’ve got to be fiscally tight. We’ve got to give him decent budgets and that has to be manageable.”
Lawn has again urged fans to play their part by snapping up the current season-ticket offer. Tickets for next term are currently on sale for £199 until the end of March.
He said: “If we can get back to the 13,000 season-ticket holders we had before, we can put more in Phil’s budget.
“That’s how the people of Bradford can say thank you to the club. Give us that money and we’ll put it back on the pitch next season. You want Phil to stay, come and show your support behind him.”