CITY fear the impact of a vaccine passport to get into Valley Parade will create an unfair playing field compared with the rest of the division.

The Bantams would be hit financially by any plans to enforce strict Covid regulations on crowds of more than 10,000.

They are the only club in League Two who fall into that category – and could expect to pay at least £2,000-£3,000 more per home game for increased staffing and testing requirements.

City would have to employ up to 40 additional stewards to cope with the logistics should the government push ahead with the scheme as part of their autumn/winter plan.

Chief executive Ryan Sparks admitted: “We would have costs placed upon us to get as many people as we would like in the stadium, be it for vaccine passports or lateral flow testing. That could be four figures a match.

“They are costs that other clubs in our division simply wouldn’t incur.

“Would we get support from somewhere for that? Probably not.

“If it comes in, and I’m not sure it does, then we’ll have to be ready for it.”

New rules came into place in Wales this week where fans must now take a negative lateral flow test or show proof of their vaccine status to enter stadiums.

City are bracing themselves for the possibility of something similar taking place in England.

“We don’t have enough detail but we know it could happen quickly,” added Sparks. “I think Wales have imposed a version of it inside seven days.

“We believe it is being discussed now behind the scenes.

“Every club in this division runs its own way. Our supporters are the lifeblood and something like this would certainly harm our model.

“It almost punishes us for working towards sustainability and working towards event culture with big crowds and memorable moments.

“If our average crowd was 8,000, we wouldn’t be wasting our time concerning ourselves about it.

“We’re not sure this will happen and we don’t know the likelihood either way. But I’d like to feel the supporters are in the loop and prepared.

“It might happen now, next month, at Christmas and might only last two or three weeks if at all. But it could happen and it would be wrong of us not to try and bring people up to date about what it means.

“We’re not putting barriers in front of people. It’s about the barriers that would be placed upon us.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chief executive Ryan Sparks is warning fans about the potential impact of Covid restrictionsChief executive Ryan Sparks is warning fans about the potential impact of Covid restrictions

City’s current average attendance of 15,711 is nearly double that of Swindon, the second highest in League Two. While fans would have to meet Covid regulations to watch at Valley Parade, they could still freely attend away games.

Sparks said: “Like a lot of things that have happened during the pandemic, there has been a huge level of inconsistency. That’s what has brought so much frustration.

“There might be a case where a couple of hundred people can’t attend a game at home. But then one week later we play Rochdale away and they can travel 20 miles down the M62 and walk straight in.

“I’ve had my jabs but I would never dream of commenting on everyone else’s views. It’s a dangerous game to start forcing people to live their life in a certain way.

“As Derek (Adams) touched on with regards our playing squad, you cannot force anyone to do things unless you make it a law.

“But it seems if you don’t get the jabs, your life might be made a little bit more difficult even if it’s just the inconvenience of getting a lateral flow test.

“Hopefully as a country we can bite down on the gumshield and get through it and the vaccines protect as many people as possible.”

City are scheduled to play at home on Boxing Day, traditionally the biggest-seller on the calendar, for the first time since 2017.

They have been targeting the Yorkshire derby against Harrogate as the chance to beat their own record for a fourth-tier game of 17,974 set 57 years ago.

“We’ve had plenty of spanners in the works at this football club for a while and coped with these challenges like no other club in this division,” added Sparks.

“It is a potential problem but we’re still focused on the positives. We still intend to break our League Two attendance record on Boxing Day.

“Even with the measures brought in play, we might need to spend more money and inconvenience people in some degree to attend matches.

“But if we’re told to bring it in by people above us, we’d try to make it as seamless as we can.

“We are already working on that. We have a plan of how that would look.

“We have a clean record with regards to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and let’s keep it that way. Valley Parade isn’t in any way more unsafe now than it was before all this began.”