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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Richmond fears for other clubs
Benito Carbone
Bradford cannot afford Carbone's wages
Bradford City chairman Geoffrey Richmond has warned that other clubs will be forced to follow the Yorkshire club into administration.

Bradford announced on Thursday that they have gone into administration just a year after being relegated from the Premier League.

The club were granted a limited order by the High Court in Leeds and will have its position reviewed in July.

And Richmond warned that his club were not alone in finding themselves in dire financial trouble following the collapse of ITV Digital.

What we expect is that all contracts are honoured
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor

He said: "It is a uniquely difficult time for football and it is my belief there will be a large number of clubs who will have to take some sort of action over the next four to eight weeks.

"I know several clubs who are seriously considering their position at the moment.

Bradford are one of the 72 football clubs affected by the collapse of ITV Digital, which owes the three lower divisions 178.5m.

Player wages

Bradford City's share of those television rights would have been approximately 5m.

The club has also been financially crippled by players' wages since suffering relegation from the Premier League in 2001.

The Bantams spent heavily after their promotion from the First Division in 1999, signing Benito Carbone, Stan Collymore and Dan Petrescu among others.

Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond
Richmond said he was shell-shocked

Although Collymore and Petrescu have since moved on, the club have found it difficult to sell Carbone, who reportedly earns wages of 40,000 a week.

Richmond admitted: "I will never, ever, forgive myself for spending the money we did.

"Looking back now, it was six weeks of madness and I hold my hands up.

"But I couldn't be expected to know we would have an ITV Digital situation that would take income away that was due and the effect it would have on the transfer market.

"Every club is laying off players. There isn't a prayer of selling a player, there isn't a prayer of giving away a player."

The chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, is to hold crisis talks with Bradford's players on Monday.

He is furious at suggestions that players' contracts will be torn up as the club tries to cut costs.

"A number of clubs have gone into administration and what we expect is that all contracts are honoured," he said.

"If they are not, then football will lose all credibility. The game here will become like a Banana Republic."

BBC Sport's James Pearce
"Bradford are struggling for survival"
Bradford manager Nicky Law
"We have to be realistic, many may have to go"
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor
"Clubs must honour the players' contracts"

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Football feels pinch
See also:

28 Mar 02 | Football
17 May 02 | Bradford City
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