Bantams board edging closer to Taylor deal

BRADFORD CITY hope to have taken a major step towards retaining Peter Taylor as manager by securing a new training ground.

The Bantams are keen to keep the 57-year-old beyond the end of the season after an encouraging start to his reign in charge.

Talks have been ongoing for several weeks over a new contract, during which Taylor has made it clear he wants the club to find new training facilities after being unimpressed by the set-up at the club's current base of Apperley Bridge.

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Now it seems the Valley Parade board have been as good as their word with the Bantams very close to agreeing a deal with Leeds University to use their facilities at Weetwood.

Joint chairman Mark Lawn said: "The place is top class, a very good facility and a lot better than what we have got. It is certainly up to Championship standard."

City have trained at Bradford Council-owned Apperley Bridge for decades but Taylor felt the facility was out-dated and not conducive to the running of a professional sports club.

What particularly irked the Bantams manager was that his players have to change at Valley Parade before travelling the four miles to the training ground in private cars.

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The return trip then has to be made in the same manner, often with the players caked in mud.

Taylor told the board he also wants his players to be able to eat together on-site, while an inability to put on double sessions at short notice is something that has frustrated the City chief since succeeding Stuart McCall in February.

Weetwood, which represents a move out of their home city for the League Two club, was used as a training base by Bulgaria during Euro 96.

Now the stumbling block of new training facilities appears to be out of the way, Bradford are confident progress can be made towards keeping hold of the former England Under-21 manager for next season.

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If agreement can be reached, Lawn is hoping it will act as a spur to fans still waivering over whether to take advantage of the club's latest cut-price season ticket offer.

City, who shifted 6,500 season tickets before the turn of the year, hope to sell a further 5,000 at the new pricing structure of 184 for adults. The deal runs out on May 9.