Bradford City sold to new owners

Image: The takeover of Bradford City has been completed

Bradford have confirmed German investors Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp have completed their takeover of the Sky Bet League 1 club.

The Bantams announced the sale on Sunday and both Rahic and Rupp flew into the country on Tuesday to finalise the deal with the club's joint chairmen Julian Rhodes and Mark Lawn, who will depart Valley Parade.

Rahic, named as chairman and chief executive, is moving to the UK with his family and will work closely with Bradford's chief operating officer James Mason, while Rupp will remain in Germany but make frequent visits to England.

"Both myself and Stefan have a background in business and sport, and after looking at a number of clubs in England, Bradford City had the potential and fan base that interested us most," Rahic said in a statement.

"We do not have plans to make big changes but to work with the existing structure. We have seen the way the club and fans interact and the model of affordable football is very important to us.

"I met with (manager) Phil (Parkinson) this morning and we had a very encouraging discussion about the future.

"We understand there is a lot to do over the summer and we must manage expectations of the fans in the short term. We are looking forward to working with everyone associated with the club and respect its traditions."

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Mason added: "This is a new era in the history of Bradford City football club. Both my team and I will be giving our new owners all the support the club needs to succeed. I'm sure the fans will do the same."

Bradford finished the season in fifth place before losing out 4-2 on aggregate to Millwall in the play-off semi-finals.

Rhodes, 47, twice rescued the club from administration, alongside former chairman Gordon Gibb in 2002 and again in 2004 soon after Gibb had left the club.

Lawn, 55, co-founder of nationwide business Driver Hire in 1983, joined the Bantams as joint-chairman in 2007 after agreeing to wipe out their remaining debts and became the public face of the club.

Bradford, relegated from the Premier League in 2001, spent six seasons in the basement division before winning promotion back to League 1 via the play-offs in 2013 under current manager Parkinson.

Parkinson also led the club to the League Cup final in 2013 - they lost to Swansea but became the first English club from the bottom tier to reach a major final at Wembley - and last season guided them to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after wins against Chelsea, one of the biggest FA Cup upsets, and Sunderland.

The West Yorkshire club averaged 18,090 at home games in the 2015-16 season and only Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United had higher average gates in the division.

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