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More money being made available for Jeffries

Adam Bell  Friday, May 11, 2001  08:46 GMT

From Yorkshire Sports

Bradford City boss Jim Jefferies is in line for a transfer boost because of a dramatic rise in season-ticket sales.

Chairman Geoffrey Richmond today delivered a broad hint that the £5m wage budget he had allowed for Division One could be increased if fans continued to show their commitment for next season.

Jefferies' war chest will be swelled by £500,000 when Lee Sharpe completes his move to Portsmouth. The midfielder is expected to travel down to the south coast early next week for talks after both clubs agreed the fee.

And Rich-mond has now indicated that consistent season-ticket sales may further increase the manager's summer spending power.

Sales have trebled in recent weeks with the current season-ticket figure around 7,300. Already 778 of the 1,000 25-year tickets have been sold.

And City are hoping the upward trend will continue after extending the deadline before the prices increase until May 31.

Richmond said: "We were facing the nightmare scenario a couple of months ago where 2,500 was looking as though it might be the figure.

"But now there is a great momentum and that's very encouraging. Now we have been relegated, thoughts have turned to next season and beyond and I think there's considerable optimism based upon the last eight or nine performances.

"The team have been playing well and the fans are happy and that has certainly spilled over into season-ticket sales figures.

"There is a momentum and one has to say that although the £5m players' wages budget has been fixed, clearly the better than expected sales will possibly give some further elbow room in the final budget which will be final-ised in late June.

"And for the army of waverers that are still out there, they have until the end of May to renew their season ticket or buy a new one before the prices may be raised."

Robert Molenaar is losing his fight to be fit for Sunday's derby clash with Leeds United at Elland Road.

The Dutchman, desperate to play against his former club, has not trained since being forced off at half-time against Middlesbrough with a groin injury.

City were back in training this afternoon after yesterday's day off, but Jefferies admitted: "Robert's got to be rated very doubtful."

Gareth Whalley has seen a specialist to try to clear up the virus that he has been suffering from for nearly a fortnight.

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