After a promising performance and well fought draw away at promotion chasing Peterborough on Saturday, I, aware of the underlying stupidity behind it, am daring to ask the question- What exactly are the chances of The Bantams avoiding relegation from League One this season?
As far as betting goes, its always best to take odds with a pinch of salt. However, with the state of City so far this season, its hard to argue with the fact that the odds are highly stacked against the idea of Bradford staying up.
Sky Bet have David Hopkins’ men down at 1/6 to be relegated, with the odds of City staying up being at 4/1 on the website.
Meanwhile, Bet365 and Ladbrokes have the odds at 2/7, with fellow betting outfits Betfair and Paddy Power sharing the odds of 1 /4.
Yikes. But again, with the torrid state of the club on and off the field currently, it’s not hard to see why.
Comparing with the past
Next, a look at how City’s chances fair in comparison to teams in their position in League One as of today’s date of 17/11, in the year of that season, over the past few years.
Bury- RELEGATED, finishing in 24th with 36 points.
The team in the shoes of City this time last year were big spenders Bury. The Greater Manchester side had spent big the summer before bringing in a number of high-profile signings like Jermaine Beckford and Chris Maguire on high wages in an attempt to push for promotion. Unexpectedly, Bury found themselves bottom of League One as of 17/11/17; a place where they would ultimately finish at the end of the season, with a measly 36 points all season, 15 points from safety.
In comparison, City found themselves in 4th place, just behind Charlton, Wigan and Shrewsbury on 17/11/17 and finished the season in 11th place.
Chesterfield- RELEGATED, finishing 24th with 37 points.
This time out it was the now non-league side Chesterfield; a side that only 2 years earlier found themselves in the top 6 and beating The Bantams to the last playoff spot by just four points. This was a Chesterfield side that had a certain star striker Eoin Doyle being the key contributor before his move to Cardiff in January that year. Since then however, the club have been in free fall, and were relegated from League One with only 37 points in 2016/2017, 13 points from safety.
In comparison, Bradford were 2nd in the table, just behind Scunthorpe on 17/11/16 and finished the season in 5th place.
Crewe Alexandra- RELEGATED, finishing 24th with 34 points.
Seeing the pattern here? On 17/11/15. Crewe were the side that were at the foot of the League One table, after narrowly avoiding relegation by 2 points the year before. This particular year though, it was a struggle for them, as they finished bottom of the league at the end of the season, a whopping 16 points from safety.
In comparison, City occupied the last playoff spot as of 17/11/15, sitting in 6th, and finished the season in 5th.
Yeovil- RELEGATED, finishing 24th with 40 points.
Yeah, I know. This time round it was Yeovil, the side who beat City in the FA Cup at the start of this year, which ultimately began City’s downfall. A side only relegated from the Championship a year earlier, the Somerset outfit found League One life just as difficult as that of the division above and sat 24th on 17/11/14. The side were relegated to League Two the same season, finishing bottom, 12 points from safety.
In comparison, Bradford sat comfortably mid table in 13th on 17/11/14 and finished the season in 7th.
Notts County- SURVIVED, finishing 20th with 50 points.
Finally, an anomaly that might just give us some hope. The first victim of City’s astonishing 2012/2013 Capital One Cup run were in peril at the basement of the division on 17/11/2013. However, unlike the other examples, Notts County managed to pull of what appears to be have been an impossible task over the years, and finished outside of the relegation zone, scraping survival by 3 points.
In comparison, City sat in 7th on 16/11/13 in their first season in League One since 2007 and finished in 11th place.
So, what does this show?
This goes to show just what a task the club has on its hands if it is to turn it around and avoid relegation. Only 1 out of the last 5 teams who were bottom of the league at this point survived at the end of the season, and with 7-point deficit and poor form, its really hard to see where City might hit some form and get out of the rut.
Can it be done? Probably not, but we’ve dared to dream before, and that apparently worked out pretty well.