Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford City: Lawn counting the cost of cup run
City could lose money from their first League Cup third-round appearance for 11 years.
The Bantams face fellow League Two side Burton on Tuesday aiming for a spot in the Capital One last 16.
But the unexpected cup run, which included a shock win at Watford, has not earned them anything because there is no prize money in the early rounds.
That was stopped last season but the players still receive win bonuses for going through as part of an agreement with the union.
City joint-chairman Mark Lawn admitted: “If we don’t get a good crowd against Burton then, with the bonuses we have to pay the players, we could technically make a loss. That’s ridiculous at this stage of the competition.
“They have changed the whole aspect. There’s no win bonuses for getting through the rounds until you reach the semi-finals and then you have to win that to receive £25,000.
“People call the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy a Mickey Mouse cup but at least you get money for winning each round. It may not be much but at least it covers the costs, which is more than you get in this one.”
City received £11,000 as their share of the net receipts from last month’s win at Vicarage Road. But they estimate that half of that disappeared on player bonuses with travel costs on top.
Lawn added: “When we’re playing Watford, we aren’t a big draw for them so it’s hardly going to fill the ground, particularly on a Tuesday night when a lot of fans don’t come out anyway.
“The bonuses were set by the PFA (professional footballers association) when teams were getting prize money. Now they won’t let you alter bonuses unless the players agree to it as a group and who’s going to do that?
“So we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s a good competition but we’re not going to win it and from a monetary point of view it’s not the best.
“We need to get a big draw if we get through with some Sky money. Man United or Arsenal away would do but knowing our luck it will be Crawley!”
Not that Lawn is expecting an easy ride against the only other survivor from the bottom division. Burton have won three on the bounce and will be just as confident of making it to the big boys.
He said: “We have got to be wary because they are winning games and scoring goals. Burton are certainly a lot better than last year and have been on top form.
“But it’s good to see us playing well at home. The fans deserve it and they are getting good value for money at the moment.”