A call for calm was made today as a simmering row continued between Bradford City Football Club and a leading councillor.

Bantams' chairman Geoffrey Richmond has demanded a public apology and threatened legal action after Councillor Syd Collard suggested that the Council had been misled over the size of the new Kop stand at Valley Parade.

Coun Collard, who made the remarks when he was chairing a meeting of Bradford Planning Sub-committee which was discussing the club's planning application for a second tier to its main stand, also described the new £6.5 million development as a monstrosity.

Today, he refused to comment on Mr Richmond's demand for an apology.

But he reiterated his comments about the new development which was given planning approval by three votes to two by the sub-committee despite his and fellow Labour supporters' refusal to support it.

Mr Richmond said: "Coun Collard is entitled to his opinion about the new stand. I have no problem with that. But I have brought him to task over his insinuation that the Kop stand was in some way bigger than the plans that he voted for, when in fact it was built to the exact specifications he voted for.

"I want that statement retracted. It can be withdrawn quietly and without fuss, but if he chooses not to I will seek legal redress."

Coun Collard, who voted against the new stand plan, is against further development of the stadium. He said his decision was right and he would do it again.

"I do think it is a monstrosity and it would certainly be a monstrosity for people living very near it in Valley Parade," he said. But Conservative Councillor Stanley King said: "What Bradford City and the city of Bradford needs is a large dose of common sense. No more wild or foolish talk please. Let's move one step at a time.''

At the sub-committee meeting last Monday, Labour councillors indicated that they felt there was no scope for further expansion at Valley Parade and urged the club to look elsewhere for a home. In turn, Mr Richmond said he would not go ahead with the current scheme if the Council maintained its threat of no future expansion. He also insisted that his club's directors would actively consider moving to a new purpose-built stadium at Odsal.

But Coun King, who voted for the stand extension, said: "One of the key points of my argument for approving the new stand was that a major football stadium such as Valley Parade cannot simply be uprooted and dropped somewhere else. Yet here is Mr Richmond saying that it can. It doesn't make sense at all.''

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