CITY held their first fans’ forum since last summer last night, and chief executive Ryan Sparks had plenty to say to pique the interest of the club’s fans.

A whole range of topics were covered, from streaming to season tickets, and signings to strips.

Sparks made some strong statements, insisting the club have “accepted mediocrity” for too long and that has to change.

In a wide-ranging discussion about all things Bradford City, here are six of the key topics Sparks discussed at the forum.

1) Valley Parade

“Nothing is off the table in terms of potentially buying the ground off Gordon Gibb, who I’ve actually met with this week.

“We have a lease until 2028, and an option for another 25 years after that.

“One stand has an issue with the roof and water damage, so there’ll be scaffolding put up in the coming months. We’re working on the suite areas too.

“We want people to return and feel differently about the place. It has been left without soul and we want that back.

“With the pitch, we will rip it up as soon as the season is over and we’re hoping for friendly on it in July.

“But safe standing is not going to happen at the moment, as we can’t afford to install it.”

2) Season tickets and fans return

“There’s optimism from the government on fans coming back but I’m not feeling the same.

“The Euros and EFL play-offs will be important on that front, and at this stage, I imagine a friendly of ours will be a pilot event for spectators.

“We might not be able to start the season with full crowds and probably need at least another six to eight weeks to be more sure on that. We hope to have season tickets on sale by May, but it might be June, as we can’t put them out as a non-viable product.

“The understanding is that we’ll have to start with smaller crowds.

“The hope is that that will be friendlies and then we can open the doors to all at the start of the season on August 7.

“Working out the way forward is a challenge, as if we can only have say 6,500 for our opener, can we expect to sell (and fairly sell) the 14,000 season tickets we normally would?

“One thing that is true is that we have no desire to increase the price of season tickets. We have a loyal fanbase who we want to repay.”

3) iFollow and away supporters

“I hope it will continue into next season. We should have £500,000 in revenue from it by the end of season and the numbers have been fantastic. We’re getting 3,000 tuning in to every away game, which is second to Bolton in the whole division.

“I’ve argued to the EFL that our away support wouldn’t take a hit if we kept it, as some will always go to games and some will not.

“I think it’s a backward step if we reduce the offering to what we had before this season, as we have to develop streaming in sport.

“A lot of people in the division don’t share my view, as they rely on us for their payday. But that’s not my problem and we know we’ll take fans there anyway.

“We’ve also upgraded our ticketing operation, so you will see a difference.

“We get data on who’s been where and can carry a points system into next season for away games.

“It allows us to deal in facts, not fiction, and means we can reward the genuine loyalty of away fans.”

4) Recruitment

“We’ve already identified targets for this summer, as that recruitment process didn’t stop in January for us.

“We know where we need to strengthen and which players can add to what we’ve got, but unfortunately the budget is impossible to know at moment.

“We’ve no intention of turning up and making up the numbers next season, we want a squad who can challenge for the title.

“There’ll be some clubs, and I won’t name names, who will just blow what they want.

“But we have no intention of doing that, as money is not always the answer, just look at Newport.

“It will be a competitive budget this summer though. There are set to be some surprises and some unknowns that we bring in, and we’re looking at all divisions in the UK.

“There won’t be anyone coming in from Europe, due to the signing rules around Brexit.

“We have a good relationship with clubs higher up like Leeds, Barnsley and Huddersfield. To have them on our doorstep is ideal, and they can help us add to what we already have too.”

5) New kit

“It’s already been decided for next season and we’re doing something different to mark an occasion in our history, a real one off.

“The home kit will be very different, but claret and amber will always be on the pitch next season regardless of the game, and that’s all I’ll say.”

6) Charity

“Our charity work is massive to us. Our final match here of each season is our memorial game (for the 1985 Valley Parade Fire Disaster).

“There’s not going to be anyone here, which is sickening. But we want to run a virtual ticket campaign for it, like Marine did in the FA Cup, and raise money for the Bradford Burns Unit.

“Our charity partners always change but things like the Bradford Burns Unit and the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, we want to stay with us for a long, long time.”