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Political heavyweight George Galloway fighting Bradford City and Bradford Bulls' corner
The city’s newest MP says he genuinely plans to use his worldwide contacts to attract investment for the Bantams.
But first he is in talks to try to help safeguard the future of the Bulls as they look for another £500,000 cash injection in the coming weeks.
Outspoken Galloway believes that reviving the fortunes of the two clubs is vital to save Bradford from “sinking”.
He is keen to sit down with City owners Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes – once the Bulls have been taken off the critical list. Galloway told the T&A: “Their situation is marginally more perilous in a sense of days rather than a determinate amount of time. But both are in a difficult condition and if I can help, then I will.
We’ve got a city that is literally sinking in that big hole in the centre where Westfield should be. The sinking feeling about the football and rugby league clubs helps to portray the picture of a sinking cityGeorge Galloway
“I’m doing my best to stave off the imminent disaster and see what can be done viz-a-viz sponsorship or even taking a share. That’s not me personally but people I can influence.
“As a sports lover and Bradford MP and somebody expected to make a difference, I’m starting with iconic things like City and the Bulls.
“To go from world champions of rugby league to being on the verge of going under is a pretty catastrophic drop.
“And City have been twice in admin and there is always a danger of a third. You don’t want to talk them down but they are in a bad situation financially and in terms of their position in the Football League.
“We’ve got a city that is literally sinking in that big hole in the centre where Westfield should be. The sinking feeling one gets about the football and rugby league clubs obviously helps to portray the picture of a sinking city.
“We want to pull ourselves up from that as quickly as possible and these two clubs are something I can influence.”
City have heard grand plans of investment before which have come to nothing. They will wait to see if Galloway’s words are more than just politician’s rhetoric.
The Bradford West MP, whose constituency includes Valley Parade, has been invited to the next home game against Macclesfield on April 21.
Galloway added: “If you’ve got a high profile and you have important international connections then we should try and put these two things together.
“I haven’t visited the football club yet but I do want to meet them. I want good relations with the people who are currently in charge.
“Both sporting stadia are impressive, iconic and historic. We need to join up our thinking on these things. It’s so important for the self image of Bradford.
“I watched Norwich beating Tottenham the other day. That’s a far smaller place than Bradford but what they are doing is pretty impressive.
“That’s the feelgood factor that sporting success can bring to a city.”
Lawn made it clear that City’s door is open.
He said: “I would love to think there’s something behind it. But if George is serious, we will speak to him at any time.
“If people want to invest in Bradford City and can do better than Julian and I, then we will gladly walk away. That has never changed.
"But there's nobody queuing to come in. The last one we talked to about investing was Steve Parkin and that never got beyond talking."