Brian Carney questions Bradford’s decision to sack head coach Francis Cummins

Last Updated: 26/06/14 10:37am

Cummins should not be the scapegoat for All Bradford's problems

Bradford sacked Francis Cummins after nearly two years in charge at Odsal and announced this week that former player James Lowes will take over the relegation-threatened club.

It has been a turbulent couple of years for Bradford but things were looking up at the beginning of 2014 after local businessman Marc Green completed his takeover and was looking to bring some stability back to the club.

However being docked six points and losing half their money for going into administration has cost them dearly. Despite all the problems – including losing most of their better players – Brian Carney is surprised that Cummins has gone.

“I don’t think that Francis Cummins has done anything to merit a sacking and it begs the question why didn’t they wait until the end of the season to make the change?” said Carney on Boots ‘n’ All.

“Tony Smith has given a right broadside to the club and to some of the people he thinks are advising Marc Green. Smith thinks it is a horrendous decision and can see the folly of sacking Francis Cummins.

“He is now disassociated from the Bulls so whatever happens he can start building himself and developing his reputation as a coach. But I don’t understand the rationale of getting rid of him – every player at Bradford who has spoken publicly has said it is not his fault.”


Bradford have battled through last season and half of this season on half the money than the rest of the Super League Clubs and should they be relegated, will actually have more money to recruit – something which Carney simply cannot understand.

“That is just one of the incomprehensible – how the other clubs could vote to hold half the money back for two seasons from Bradford and then expect them to be competitive," he claimed.

“They should have kept that money and put it aside and given it to Bradford when they came out of their trouble – not divvy it up and throw it out to the other clubs. It was one of the more ridiculous decisions I have seen the other clubs make in recent years.”

Carney does however believe that Lowes will make an excellent coach and would have learnt his trade well after his stint as head coach of union side Leeds Carnegie.

“Jimmy [James Lowes] is an interesting one,” added Carney.

“I was at Warrington when he was an assistant coach to Tony Smith there. I got the feeling that he loved the coaching on the field, he absolutely loved it and was very good at it.

“What he didn’t get was all the other things that are associated with coaching - structuring a club, planning well in advance, recruiting well in advance. I believe that is one of the areas where he would have worked on when he went away. I think he has developed himself as a more rounded coach.”