Business model

Bradford City boss talks about Crawley’s business model

MARK Hughes has warned that football could never be an exact science as he prepares to take on the team built on cryptocurrency.

Crawley’s visit to Valley Parade this afternoon added spice after American investors behind the club tried to buy City last season.

Stefan Rupp rejected WAGMI United’s offer just before Christmas and instead they turned to the Sussex club – completing a takeover in April.

Hughes watches Crawley’s situation with interest but admits he is slightly in the dark about the owners’ methods.

“I don’t really have strong opinions because I don’t really understand the model, if I’m being honest,” he said. “You’ll probably have to explain it to me!”

“But it’s a different way of seeing things and investing in the club. They seem to have clear ideas.

“The thing with sport is that you can’t fix everything to the ‘umpteenth’ degree. Sport is fluid and things can happen.

“You can legislate for a lot of people but sport has a way of disappointing you on occasion.

“All the best-laid recruiting plans and trends and everything they envision always mostly comes down to relationships and how you can make the team work on the pitch.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tobi Brown, aka TBJZL, makes a sliding tackle in the charity match at CrawleyTobi Brown aka TBJZL makes a sliding tackle in the charity match at Crawley (Picture: PA)

“That’s the important thing. When you’re not having such a good time, it’s what you look at, the performance of the team and not what’s happening away and the model of the club itself.

“It’s about getting it right on the pitch.”

Crawley caused a stir when he invited a YouTube star to join them in training next week – with the possibility of making the squad for their FA Cup draw against Accrington.

Tobi Brown has a total of 13 million subscribers on his social media platforms after helping to create YouTube group The Sidemen nine years ago.

The 29-year-old, known as TBJZL, will train with brothers Manny and Jed after impressing club scouts at a charity game last month.

“We wouldn’t have to,” Hughes added, when asked if he would ever consider doing something like this.

“We have people in place whose job it is to recruit and make suggestions to me as manager of the team.

“It’s a different way of looking at things. The reality will be whether it is successful or not.

“If they are and they keep moving up the leagues then maybe more people will watch it.

“It’s not the traditional way to build a club, but who’s to say who’s right or wrong.

“If this is seen as a success and they can continue on the pitch, they will say their model is the way forward.

“But there’s a lot more interest in Crawley and everyone is watching from the outside and seeing how it’s going to progress.”

Crawley co-owner Preston Johnson believes Brown’s appearance with the team will only cause a “minor distraction”.

“Tobi is very aware that the fans are happy with what we’re doing,” he said. “We won’t force anything that can upset people.”

Johnson is back in California but Eben Smith, another of the Americans behind the club, arrived yesterday to be at Valley Parade.