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Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 16:08 UK

McCall will stay on at Bradford

Stuart McCall
McCall has been in charge at Valley Parade since May 2007

Bradford City manager Stuart McCall has decided to stay at the League Two club and has agreed a two-year contract.

The 44-year-old had been discussing his future over the past few days after initially saying he would leave if they did not reach the play-offs.

"With the budget cuts coming, the last thing I could do was walk away," McCall told BBC Radio Leeds.

"I'd have felt like I was quitting a sinking ship. I couldn't do that and it's the main reason why I've stayed."

McCall is held in high regard by City's supporters after two successful spells as a player and an association with the club that stretches back over 25 years.

"I've been debating whether to go or stay over the last few weeks and it's swung both ways," he added.

"Then on Monday it levelled out and when I met with the chairmen this week I made my mind up and knew it was right to stay."

The former Scotland and Bantams midfielder will also be taking a pay cut, as the club seeks to reduce its overall costs.

McCall is due to meet with eight players on Thursday to discuss their current contracts with the club.

He must make "substantial" budget cuts next season if he decides to stay on at the club.

It is thought as much as a third of the League Two side's £1.9m player budget will need to be cut.

Bradford's budget is one of the highest in League Two but failure to make the play-offs means savings have to be made ahead of the new campaign.

That means that some of the top earners at the club are sure to move on, while the future of some of the coaching staff could also be in doubt.

Stuart needs to talk to certain players to make them realise the situation

Joint-chairman Mark Lawn

Eighteen of the current squad are out of contract in the summer so it could be a very different Bradford side next season.

McCall added: "The expectation may not be as high next season because of all the cuts but we will maintnain that we want to be as successful as we can.

"It will be very tough next season, but it's current climate and we have to lose players and staff, you have to cut your cloth according

"It has cost the club a lot of money not reaching the play-offs this season.

"We build a team good enough that we thought was good enough not just for League Two but much higher too, but it just didn't work out.

"Now I don't want the club going through those dark economic times that it has done in the last 10 years, so cuts have to be made.

"Next season we will see more young blood coming through.

Joint chairman Mark Lawn told the Telegraph & Argus: "Stuart is facing some strong decisions. That's why he wants to talk to the players first before announcing anything about himself.

"He has got to talk to some of the players on two-year contracts. With the budget how it's going to be, if we kept them all we'd only have about six players.

"We wouldn't be able to afford any more pros, only kids - and that would be a recipe for disaster.

"Decisions have to be made and Stuart needs to talk to certain players to make them realise the situation."


The former Scotland international made his threat to leave in March after the Bantams' 4-1 away defeat by Bournemouth.

Because of a poor end to the season, which has seen McCall's side win just one in 10 games, Bradford will finish outside the play-offs.

Fans held up a 'Save our Stuart' banner during the 3-0 win over Rotherham and local figures, including sports minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, have also voiced their support.

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