THE Bantams family is a term regularly pushed by the club during the recent years of progress.

City have prided themselves on building a tight relationship with a fanbase that is the envy of most clubs in League One.

But like any family, there will be periods when they squabble and fall out.

It has felt like that since the turn of the year heralded a dramatic plunge in fortunes at Valley Parade.

January was terrible on the pitch and pretty toxic off it. The fall-out is still apparent.

But in the week that City launched their latest wave of cut-price season tickets, there are signs that disconnect is being worked on.

The Supporters’ Board believe they can help with restoring the unity between club and crowd.

They see regular conversations with chairman Edin Rahic as an effective route to getting everyone back onside.

“There has been some mistrust and rumours and speculation,” said board chairman Adam Baker. “Maybe the club haven’t helped themselves by not nipping some of that in the bud.

“Edin asked us what they could have done differently to address the issues. A lot of these rumours and Chinese whispers grow out of proportion.

“In the end, every little negative story on social media or whatever gets pounced upon, whether it’s warranted or not.

“The club should have quashed some of it but that’s obviously what they wanted to do with the fans’ forum the other week.

“Naturally, they would like a line drawn under it all but fans will continue to look at the situation as they see it. Hopefully that’s where we can come in to try and help.

“The Supporters’ Board is not a closed shop. We’re about being transparent and representing the views of the fans.

“If they have issues, it’s for us to put those to the club.

“The beauty of the Supporters’ Board is that it is done in a constructive way. It’s not a slanging match.

“It may have been viewed wrongly in the past as simply a group of people who turn up and use the platform to air their grievances.

“It isn’t about that at all. We need to change that perspective.

“Fans raise certain issues and we ask the club how they might address them. It’s about finding solutions rather than problems.”

Formed in 2012, the Supporters’ Board was as much an open shop for handymen as a sounding board to represent the fans.

David Baldwin, City’s chief executive at the time, encouraged supporters with particular skills to become involved as an avenue of potentially cheap maintenance around the ground.

They also still met him on a monthly basis to discuss issues directly related to the fans, which were mostly “ticket gates” during City’s history-making Capital One Cup run.

James Mason maintained the club’s presence at those talks when he came in. And now the Supporters’ Board are looking to expand to take in regular meetings with Rahic.

Baker added: “It’s something we’ve wanted to really push since Edin and Stefan (Rupp) came in.

“Obviously the first year was very much a transition period. We didn’t have that relationship with them to start with.

“We were talking with James but we wanted to get the new owners on board as well.

“Coincidentally we started really talking with them earlier in the year just as the issues in January came to the fore.

“We pushed it a little bit further and met with Edin a few times to show him what the Supporters’ Board is for.

“He apologised with not getting around to the various supporters’ groups in the first year. Their workload was a bit higher internally than what they had expected.

“But now, it’s something that Edin is quite happy to be engaged with.”

The Supporters’ Board currently consists of nine members representing the various groups from the Friends of Bradford City and disability branch to the club’s women’s football side.

The imminent relaunch will see numbers increase to around 20 in a bid to get more voices heard. They are also setting up a new website to detail all the discussions.

“We’re conscious that not everybody is affiliated to our supporters’ groups,” said Baker. “We do have individual members of various ages and backgrounds.

“That’s something we hope to increase and branch out with new blood.

“We want to make it far more inclusive in terms of representing a more diverse range of fans.

“It’s an easy way to get feedback to as many people as possible.

“The club are also guilty at times of not pushing some of the good work they actually do. It works both ways.

“Obviously we’ll still encourage open fans forums but to have that regular dialogue means we can address the concerns of supporters and highlight how the club have dealt with these issues.”