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Adam Chabukiani: Defying All Odds

The story of a young Georgian refugee, born through the chaos of the Abkhazia War to find his feet in the footballing world.
Started on 5 October 2015 by Jack
Latest Reply on 5 July 2019 by Justice

As the news arrives that current chairman John Dean is stepping down his full-time involvement with Bradford Park Avenue, it has opened the eyes of many investors.

One of those investors reportedly being a business tycoon who is looking to pump large amounts of money into the running of the club to help steer the West Yorkshire side to the Premier League.

The tycoon is yet to be given a name by the media as he begins to look into the healthy financial books of the club as part of due diligence.

However, it seems that the tycoon that has been making all of the headlines isn't the only entity in the running for the complete buyout of the club.

A consortium formed by Bradford-born businessman Jack Carroll has led to a transfer embargo being imposed on the club. However, despite supporting Bradford PA as his second team after Leeds United, it makes sense that if he took over he would appoint former Leeds manager Teemu Tainio as new Bradford Park Avenue manager.

The news of these takeover rumours come as soon as John Dean announced that he was going to only be working part-time hours due to his older age of 68. He admitted that the club was up for sale days before the news of the tycoon was arriving.

Adam Chabukiani commented on the pending change of ownership: 'It's a frustrating time for any manager when a club is changing hands, but as much as I would have loved to take Avenue all the way with Dr Dean, I do understand his reasoning for this.'

In recent weeks, Chabukiani's future has been in doubt after talks in France regarding the Lille managerial job. However these talks broke down after a chat with Bradford chairman John Dean a few days ago and is set to carry on his £2,000 per week job at Horsfall Stadium.

In a very, very swift turn of events, Bradford PA chairman John Dean has decided that he will stay at the club for the foreseeable future!

This comes as Jack Carroll's proposed takeover collapsed due to the Avenue fan not revealing that he had sufficient funds to pull off the deal.

This comes as delight for the Avenue manager and fans alike, who have both shown their affection for current chairman John Dean, who has been with them all the way since the 1997/98 season when they were in the 7th tier of English football.

In 2015 he hired current manager Adam Chabukiani while they were sat in the 6th tier of English football and since then it has been a marvelous time for the club and its fans, as they secured four consecutive promotions in the last four years and now find themselves playing Championship football.

'In the end, I just had to tell them that they can't have it. I did it on the basis that I couldn't let anyone take over this club completely without me knowing that they were safe. If I let a maniac take over, if I let a man who couldn't run a football club take over, I would never ever live it down. I want my legacy here to be a great one and by doing that, I need the right buyer to come in and take this club further.' Dean said to the local press.

The 68-year-old then went on to say that he was staying at the club until he knew that it was time to go, and that he had the correct buyer to take the reigns off of him.

But what is next for Bradford Park Avenue? When will John Dean be able to peacefully retire from his role as the chairman of the club? Will it be this summer? This winter? We'll all find out soon in the Bradford PA fairytale.

Yes, Horsfall Stadium is once again under the hammer, with an expansion of 1,875 seats now under construction in West Yorkshire.

But due to its scale, unlike small upgrades of 200 seats at a time, it requires Bradford Park Avenue to play its home fixtures at The Shay until February 2020.

The Shay is FC Halifax's home stadium, which was rebuilt in 2010. The stadium holds 14,061 fans in an all-seater arena. Halifax have failed to reach anywhere near a capacity crowd since it was even built, averaging crowds of around 2,000 on a normal basis.

However, with Bradford PA packing out their Horsfall Stadium home every single game last season, it is understandable why an expansion was needed and it will be especially interesting to see if Avenue can manage to get near to a capacity crowd in a stadium of near 15,000.

The expansion work going on at Horsfall Stadium costed around £2,200,000. The Chairman, John Dean said that he was delighted that no loans were taken out to pay for the expansion, with funding coming from council grants worth £1,000,000 and the rest of the finance coming from the club itself. That in itself shows a club on the rise.

The minimum stadium capacity in the Sky Bet Championship is 5,000 - Horsfall Stadium held 4,750 pre-expansion.

If Bradford were to pull off the impossible this season and grab a fifth consecutive promotion into the top-flight, they would at least be doing it on the home soil of Horsfall Stadium, with the expansion expected to be completed in mid-February, with approximately 15 games left at that point.

Curtis Good has today departed the overcast West Yorkshire for the humidity of the Mediterranean coast as he joins Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

The Australian centre-back joined Bradford at the beginning of their League One promotion season last year.

The 26-year-old was a big part of their campaign as he linked up with Jamaican captain Adrian Mariappa at the back until Tyias Browning's arrival in January. Following the Wolves' mans arrival in Bradford, Good found his starting spot a lot more limited.

His departure has been met with some questions from the Bradford fans, with some saying that the former Newcastle defender was worth keeping at the club throughout their time in the Championship.

Chabukiani brought him to the club on a free transfer on 1st July 2018, but almost a year later, they have made a fantastic profit of £400,000 as Good has his chance to play in the UEFA Champions League with Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

'Peter Bosz has given me an amazing opportunity here as I get to play in Israel and the UEFA Champions League. I will take what he has given me and use it to get the best results for the fans here.' said the Israeli team's new centre-back.

Good will be playing alongside the likes of Itumeleng Khune and Marco Motta at M. Tel-Aviv.

In other transfer news, Bradford announced that none of their players have been released this season, with Aidan White and Grant Getty receiving new contracts from the club. In terms of arrivals, Bradford are trying to work a deal with Ashley Douglas who has been released by Arsenal this season.

Adam Chabukiani has today made his mark on the transfer window this season by grabbing three out-of-contract players, including a former England captain.

Ashley Douglas, Gary Cahill and Kelechi Iheanacho have all signed deals with the West Yorkshire club for the upcoming Championship season.

With the loss of Curtis Good to Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel-Aviv, a replacement was necessary and Adam Chabukiani has chosen to go with experience as he signs up former England captain Gary Cahill.

After John Terry and Steven Gerrard's international retirement, Gary Cahill was the next in line to pick up his national captaincy, leading England to famous wins over Germany and Italy over the years.

33 years old now, Cahill's contract with Chelsea has finally run its course and found himself a free agent until Chabukiani came knocking on his agent's door. The 6'4" centre-back signed a one-year contract with the club as Bradford race towards their preseason debut against Preston North End.

Ashley Douglas was recently by Arsenal this summer after three seasons tied down at the club. The 18-year-old failed to make a single first-team appearance. Last season the ball-winning midfielder went on a short loan to York City, making three appearances for the North Yorkshire team in League Two.

Priced at £225,000, Douglas looks set to be a squad player at The Shay this season. Douglas admitted that he was looking forward to life up north with Bradford, commenting that he hopes to learn a lot from Chabukiani's wisdom.

Ashley Douglas joined Bradford on a free transfer and agreed a three-year contract with the club as Chabukiani puts his trust into the youngster.

The final to join out of the three players is young Manchester City star Kelechi Iheanacho, who also joins on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract.

Tracked by Liga BBVA side Cordóba upon his release, the Nigerian wonderkid preferred to stay in England. The pacey forward went on loan to Serie A outfit Empoli last season, scoring three goals in twelve substitute appearances.

Fans are said to be delighted with the signing as Iheanacho offers something new to the current strikeforce, which is bombarded with height and a lack of pace. Iheanacho certainly offers pace, winning a 100 meter sprint race at Man City among the likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Domenico Berardi over at the Etihad Stadium.

The 5'10" striker has been likened to Manchester United star Anthony Martial in terms of playing style due to his pace and finishing ability. Bradford seem to really have a talent up their sleeve in Iheanacho.

Adam Chabukiani has let two more players leave the club as he prepares for life in the Sky Bet Championship this year.

Adrian Mariappa is perhaps the bigger loss out of the two players who have left the club today, due to his mass of appearances in the League One promotion season.

Arriving from Barclays Premier League side Crystal Palace last season on a free transfer, Mariappa had a great season last year for Bradford Park Avenue. He immediately took the captaincy from Kasjusz Piwowarczyk who had previously left for Polish team Lech Poznan - who Bradford play in preseason.

But Mariappa has chosen to swap the life in the second tier of English football for the Spanish top-flight as he joins Liga BBVA's Rayo Vallecano for £125,000.

However, despite receiving a bigger fee than Mariappa, Paul Turney hasn't had half the impact that the Jamaican defender had on the club last season.

Turney was placed in the development team for most of last season and went on two different loan spells to Hartlepool United and Port Vale - both in League Two.

Turney joined on a free transfer last season from Arsenal after coming through the academy at the same time as new Avenue signing Ashley Douglas.

Despite having no input in last season's promotion apart from one first-team cameo appearance in the league, when promotion to the Championship was already confirmed, Turney has somehow caught the eye of fellow Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.

Forest manager Ronny Deila bought the young striker for £300,000 - an abomination to Nottingham Forest fans, and a delight to Bradford fans who barely got to know who the former Arsenal graduate even was!

It is unknown what role Turney will have to play this season for Forest, but if he doesn't come good soon then Deila's integrity will have to be questioned upon this transfer, which is regarded as free money for Avenue.

The left-sided Irish pair of Aidan White and Kenny McEvoy have both departed the temporary home of The Shay in Halifax.

After going on a tour pretty much all around Yorkshire, with his career spanning from Leeds, to Sheffield United, to Rotherham and then Bradford Park Avenue, Aidan White has finally broken that sequence by agreeing a £325,000 move to Bristol City.

'Yes, I've liked to stay around my family here in Yorkshire and Yorkshire is all I've ever known since I was a kid growing up in Leeds' academy. To move away from there is a big step for me, but I love that Bristol have shown faith in me and I'm glad to be here.' said Aidan White.

Despite being born in Leeds in 1991, White is declared Irish but has yet to play an international match for Chris Hughton's Ireland team. White battled it out with both Anthony Breslin and Tony Cooke last season for the left-back spot and made 26 league appearances for Avenue as a result.

The other player to leave the club is Irish left-winger Kenny McEvoy who joined the club from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2018.

McEvoy had a great start to life up in the north of England, cementing a regular starting spot over Bradford veteran Jack Hallahan for the first part of the season. However after the Christmas period, McEvoy began to lose his foothold on the starting spot to fellow Irishman Hallahan and was eventually relegated to the bench.

Despite losing his spot, he appeared all of the time in Cup competitions as he scored 8 goals in just 7 cup games last season in Bradford's F.A. Cup adventure which took them to a Quarter-Final loss to Arsenal.

He now moves to fellow Championship outfit Leeds United for a very large fee of £900,000. That fee is just creeping behind Avenue's record received fee, which still stands with Alex Fletcher when he moved to Swansea last season.
Two very large fees indeed!

Former Watford left-back Miguel Layún has finalised his move to Bradford Park Avenue after his release from Vicarage Road in the summer

The Mexican star spent five years under contract with the London-based side and made 59 league appearances for The Hornets in total. In the second season of his contract with Watford, Layún went on loan to Portuguese giants FC Porto for the season and was a great success there.

Layún went on his loan spell during Watford's only Premier League period during his contract. This meant that the left-back only ever played in the Championship for his parent club throughout the duration of his stay.

With Bradford Park Avenue just gaining promotion to the Championship, the fact they have bought an experienced defender in the Championship is great management by Adam Chabukiani.

Wolves bought Avenue's previous starting left-back in the form of Anthony Breslin back in January this year, and now with Bristol City taking Aidan White from Bradford's books, they were left short with promising youth graduate Tony Cooke as their only natural left-back in the senior team. This led to the signing of Layún.

Signing on 13th July, this is Avenue's fourth acquisition of the summer transfer window of 2019.

In other transfer related news regarding BPA, John Payne has gone on loan to Tipton, Carl Worthington has joined Northallerton on loan, Jamie Wilson has joined Bradford's new affiliate club Sheffield F.C. on loan for the season, Vinícius has left on loan to Spanish side Deportivo, meanwhile Gage Tracey has left on loan to fellow Championship side Preston.

However, the biggest news of the loan deals is that Roger Pursehouse will spend yet another season on loan to Alfreton Town. Ian Yeowart decided that it was the best financially for the club, with Bradford Park Avenue valuing the young star at £300,000 to Alfreton.
That's a lot of transfer business mate, hope it works out for you in the long run!
Layún is a huge capture! I know he'll be a big hit
I hope they contribute right away
IHEANACHO! I have been trying to develop him all this time for the time he comes off contract while on loan at Toulouse and he is performing so well this season he is pushing Ben Yedder!
mgriffin2012: Aye, I've only made four transfers incoming to the club, but seeing so many leave might have an impact on the team last season, who knows in football?!

Justice: Good full-backs are always difficult to come by in these leagues, so to say we have one with Championship experience as well is good business imo!

Griffo: Certainly a significant capture for us, and to say he's pushing the first team for you in your save it makes it all the better ;)

With transfers a plenty in Bradford Park Avenue's summer, now is the time that the club's media officers have finally unveiled the new Avenue strip, as well as squad numbers for the new season as selected by manager Adam Chabukiani.

In Bradford's commercial strategy called 'Avenue. Forever.', fans are flocking to the Horsfall Stadium store to get their hands on the brand new kit.

With the club's kit sponsors of Yorkshire Building Society to run until the end of this forthcoming season, the sponsors will make their final appearance on Bradford PA's jerseys for 2019/2020.

Reception for the new kits have been met with a great deal of satisfaction again by the club's supporters.

All kits have been branded by Nike and are fitted with some of the best materials around and the away kit is most definitely a throwback to Avenue's certainly colourful history.

The home kit details the main colour of green in this new kit produced by Nike. With the dominant colour of green, there is the white stripe going diagonally across the kit. However it is the collar which has caught the attention of fans, with certainly old-fashioned fans loving the old-school collars on all three kits.

Bradford Park Avenue originated from the town's local rugby team and its football team immediately adopted the rugby team's colours of black, yellow and red stripes all the way down. To keep in with club tradition, the designers have kept in with the diagonal stripe design, but have chosen yellow as the dominant colour, with black and red appearing on the diagonal stripe.
Once again, this kit has delighted all fans as not only is it traditional, but it is also a lot more unique and identifiable as Bradford PA colours.

However, the club's third kit appears to be the most questionable among supporters, despite it only being an alternative kit and to be used rarely during the season. The third kit is dominated by a strong purple colour, with the stripe diagonally across appearing as a lighter purple with a white pinstripe which divides the stripe into two halves. This is also the only kit out of the three to not have a white collar.
Reception to this kit has not been met with the admiration as the other two, but the fact it will be worn so little during the season makes up for that.

Bradford manager Chabukiani is once again very happy with the new kits: 'The designers have done a terrific job over the past few years and have done it yet again, with some marvelous kits that still keep in sync with the club's history. I'll be delighted to watch my team walk out in this strip.'

In correspondence to the kit release, the club also posted the players numbers for the upcoming Championship season. This is the list:

#1: Ben Foster (GK)
#2: Caner Dumlupinar
#3: Miguel Layún
#4: Tyias Browning
#5: Gary Cahill
#6: Ben Blackmore
#7: Jordan Graham
#8: Matty James
#9: Matthew Fletcher
#10: Michael Lieblein
#11: Jack Hallahan
#12: Ashley Douglas
#13: John Watt
#14: Fredy Guarín
#15: Magnus Mattiasson
#16: Shigeru Gondo
#17: Kelechi Iheanacho
#18: Alexander Kamanzi
#19: Tony Cooke
#20: Dave Millington
#21: Luke Lloyd
#22: Mason Holgate
#23: Kim Myung-Hoon
#25: Shaun Barrow
#26: Kyle Williams
#27: Michael Yates
#29: Nelson Coronado
#30: Lewis Bennett
#32: Callum Saunders
#36: Josh Burns
#38: Andre McCourt
#40: Andre Grant.

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