City can put their shirt on a new business venture coining it in - after signing a deal with kit makers Surridge Sports to take over the running of the club shop.

Under the terms of the contract, Surridge have taken charge of the Upfront Store until June 2011. And it guarantees City four and a half times the profit they made from the shop last year.

It is similar to the long-term deal struck with catering firm EMC for the Sunwin Stand banqueting facilities and will further help the club to eat into their Valley Parade overheads.

Chairman Julian Rhodes said: "It's definitely a win-win situation and fits in with our overall strategy to franchise out the operations we aren't specialists in and concentrate on the football. We receive a guaranteed sum every year or a percentage of the sales, whichever is greater.

"The shop has been badly neglected ever since we had this new establishment. But this deal guarantees us four and a half times the profit we made from it last year.

"Surridge came in here when we were in a very difficult position in 2004. We were still in administration, the Diadora deal had gone out of the window and we weren't even sure we would start the season.

"But they showed great faith to come in and you don't forget things like that. We've built a good relationship since and hopefully this will ensure it becomes even better."

Surridge run similar retail outlets at MK Dons and Accrington Stanley as well as Durham, Glamorgan and Gloucestershire county cricket clubs. They also have a base at South Leeds Stadium.

Upfront - which Geoffrey Richmond once claimed was the biggest club shop in Europe - will be divided up so that the extra space can be sold to other businesses while giving the store a more comfortable feel.

City will benefit from every sale but Surridge intend to expand the stock to take in cricket and rugby and are keen to push their line in team-wear.

"What Bradford are good at is running a football team," said director Charles Lord. "What we are good at is kit and retail and we are trying to help them on that side.

"We didn't need much persuading to get involved and the final details were done fairly quickly."

Surridge also plan to involve the players a lot more for signing evenings and stock launches.