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Benito Carbone
"I want to try to help this club be a big team"
 real 56k

Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond
"I'm certain that it will prove to be a great signing"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 9 August, 2000, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Carbone promises to stay
Benito Carbone
Benito Carbone meets the Bradford City fans at the Valley Parade
Bradford City have finally signed Benito Carbone after a dramatic u-turn by the Italian striker.

Carbone stunned Bradford by pulling out of a three-year deal just hours before a press conference was due to take place at the club to unveil the striker.

But Carbone underwent a change of heart in the early hours and was unveiled at Valley Parade after signing a four-year contract.

Carbone arrived to a rapturous reception, just hours after it appeared he had delivered an embarrasing snub.

He explained: "After talking with the chairman Geoffrey Richmond and manager Chris Hutchings, I understood what they wanted to do over the next three or four years.

Bradford City chairman Geoffrey Richmond - delighted with deal
Bradford City chairman Geoffrey Richmond - delighted with deal
"They have big ambitions to grow at the club and that is why I decided to come to Bradford."

He refused to reveal the names of any other clubs interested, but played to the Bradford gallery as he said: "The people from the football club told me they loved me - and now I know the fans here love me as well after this reception.

"I am very happy to keep playing in England. I have a big chance here and I just want to do my best on the pitch."

Bradford chairman Richmond admitted: "If I'm being honest, I thought the deal was dead.

"One minute it was on, the next it was off. It was a very long night for all of us.

"But Benito slept on things. He is 28, and to sign a four year contract is the biggest decision of his career. We are delighted he is here.

"People called us 'Boring Bradford' last season. They can do it again - but seeing Benito here proves we are serious."

Carbone had rejected a move after six hours of talks in Milan, but Bradford chairman Geoffrey Richmond received a telephone call in the middle of the night to re-ignite the deal.

The people from the club told me they loved me - and now I know the fans here love me as well
  Bradford new boy Benito Carbone
Mr Richmond, managing director Shaun Harvey and boss Hutchings had all flown to Milan in the hope of concluding Carbone's move to Valley Parade.

Personal terms had already been agreed and Richmond described the transfer as "the most exciting in the club's history".

But Bradford's worst fears were realised when, following six hours of exhaustive talks up until midnight, Carbone decided to pull out of the deal.

After one last twist in the saga, Carbone finally arrived at Valley Parade.

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Former Owls embrace Carbone
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