LOVE them or loathe them, football clubs are part of the fabric of everyday life, especially in major cities and towns.

Big names like Manchester United and Liverpool are synonymous with the communities they represent. It’s safe to argue that, thanks to the Beatles, Liverpool would still be a name fixed in the international psyche, but would anyone in, say, China (where United claim to have 108 million followers) have heard of Manchester without its football club?

Those teams, in particular, have become torchbearers for pride and passion in the cities themselves; knock the club and you knock the city and its people.

There are plenty of theories about what embeds some teams so deeply in the hearts and minds of their communities; is it a tribal mentality (“us against the world” or just “United against City”)? Or is it that people invest their hopes and dreams in the fortunes of their favourite team as a release from daily struggles?

Psychologists could make a living out of debating all the theories (and some probably do) but, whatever it is that binds people to their local teams, there are football club owners across the country who wish it could be bottled.

Which theory, if any, fits Bradford is harder to pin down. Are the Bantams’ fantastically-loyal fans wedded only to the club, or are they just as proud of the city itself? An average home game attendance of 19,787 for the 2017/18 season, by far the highest in League One, would suggest City’s fans are among the most loyal in the country.

Joint owner Edin Rahic certainly believes the club’s fortunes are inextricably bound with the fortunes of the city itself and that what’s good for Bradford is good for the club - and vice versa.

That’s why he decided to volunteer thousands of pounds a year to support the proposed Business Improvement District (BID) and is urging city centre businesses to “Vote Yes!” when it goes to a ballot on September 13.

“It’s important the club is part of the city and I think it’s a great way to improve and bring businesses across Bradford together,” said Mr Rahic. “Every business should be involved in this project.”

More than 630 businesses and organisations will be asked to vote on whether the BID should go ahead. If the ballot is successful, the BID will be set up before the end of 2018 and will run for five years. Businesses in the area will pay a small percentage levy on their business rates, raising more than £2.5 million to spend on improvements over the BID term.

Bradford City is among a growing number of businesses outside the levy area that have offered to make voluntary contributions of thousands of pounds a year to help ensure the BID is a success.

Mr Rahic said: “If the city is successful, we are successful - helping us get to the Championship and bring more away fans from other clubs to Bradford. Backing the BID will show how proud we are to be Bradfordians and also how professional we are when doing business.

“It will benefit our supporters massively. Many live in Bradford so by the club being part of this project, we can help our fans love their city even more than they already do. By improving the city, this increases footfall and could possibly lead to more spectators attending our matches at The Northern Commercials Stadium - bringing everyone together.”

He said he was impressed by the BID’s Business Plan which was unveiled last month: “Bradford BID is a real project with a plan behind it. I think we know how we should use the money and this will show quick results. In the long term, the amount of money which is expected to come in will create a better atmosphere in the city.

“The main aim would be to improve the city centre and bring in more people, whether that’s for work, leisure or someone’s new home. It would be great to see more energy in Bradford, to use the budget to improve empty shops and introduce more street entertainment, attracting more business.

“There are only positive factors from this plan, nothing negative. If everyone sticks together, it gives every business the best chance to improve and it shows proper commitment to our great city. So, I suppose the question is, why not support the BID?”

Ian Ward, chairman of the BID Development Board, said: “We are really thrilled that Bradford City are backing the BID and offering a major financial contribution to help ensure it works and works well, even though they are outside the defined BID area.

“The Bantams are a key part of the fabric of our community and if people feel good about the city they’ll feel good about the club – and vice versa.

“As well as being passionate about his football and his club, Edin is a businessman and he knows what businesses have to do to thrive. His support for the BID should encourage other business owners across the city centre to see that voting Yes in September is in all our interests.”