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Geoffrey Richmond
"Stan does not fit into Jim Jeffries new plans."
 real 14k

Monday, 8 January, 2001, 04:50 GMT
Bradford ready to off-load stars
Benito Carbone looks set to pack his bags
Benito Carbone looks set to pack his bags
Bradford's big-name stars Benito Carbone and Dan Petrescu could join Stan Collymore in being shown the door at Valley Parade.

Following a meeting with City chairman Geoffrey Richmond last week, manager Jim Jefferies is now ready to wield the axe - just as he promised upon his arrival seven weeks ago.

Jefferies vowed players he felt were not ready to fight for the Bradford cause would be booted out, with Collymore leading the way.

I always said during my first few weeks I would assess the situation and eventually reduce the size of the squad.
  Bradford boss Jim Jefferies
Jefferies has made it clear to the troubled striker he does not have a future with the club, leading to negotiations over the weekend regarding a move to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart.

But the 500,000 deal was last night on the brink of collapse due to Collymore's excessive wage demands as he currently earns 13,000-per-week, plus an extra 7,000 when he plays.

With Jefferies having to cut the club's wage bill, and given his belief Bradford's bid for survival needs to be built on determination and desire, rather than flair, then Carbone and Petrescu may also face the music.

Bradford's first away win in the Premiership for more than eight months at Leicester on New Year's Day came with neither Carbone nor Petrescu in the side, and with Collymore only playing for the last five minutes as a sub.

'Cut the wage bill'

Jefferies, likely to make an announcement after Monday's FA Cup third round tie at home to Middlesbrough, said: "I've had a discussion with the chairman.

"I've made it clear that with the players I've added, and with a few coming back from injury, the squad is excessive and so not everybody can play.

"I always said during my first few weeks I would assess the situation and eventually reduce the size of the squad.

"Obviously, you are going to get players who are unhappy at not playing and one or two who want to move on anyway to get a regular game.

"If that's the case, we're not going to stand in their way, but it's something we have to address in order to try and cut the wage bill.

"I'll be having a chat with one or two shortly to let them know if they want to play regularly then they will have to move on."

With a fourth-round tie at home to Wimbledon or Notts County as reward for the victors, there is the prospect of a relatively comfortable passage through to the last 16.

But Jefferies is looking for the win more as a confidence-booster ahead of Saturday's visit of Manchester United, a team against which Bradford have lost all three previous Premiership meetings without scoring a goal and conceding a staggering 14.

"If we can play as well as we did against Leicester and get through, then it will be back-to-back victories and another step forward," added Jefferies, who is certain to field an unchanged line-up.

"We gave ourselves a boost at Leicester and if we can get into the next round then that will really lift us for the game with Manchester United."

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See also:

02 Jan 01 |  Bradford City
Jefferies praises battling Bantams
01 Jan 01 |  Eng Prem
Bradford stun Foxes
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