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At the movies with City’s German owners

A BEHIND-the-scenes film charting the first 12 months in charge for Bradford City’s German owners has been showcased.

Matter of Heart follows the first season under the ownership of Stefan Rupp and Edin Rahic after they bought the club in May last year.

The 90-minute movie was premiered in front of an audience of 240 VIPs at the Pictureville Cinema, at the National Science and Media Museum.

The audience included City’s first-team squad, management team and invited guests including Councillor Richard Dunbar, who has been a City season ticket holder for the last 20 years.

An international film crew followed the first German owners of a British football club through a turbulent first campaign at the helm.

The documentary, directed by Franz Stepan, shows behind-the-scenes footage, following everything from dressing room team talks to meetings involving the owners.

In pre-season, the Bantams had to rebuild after manager Phil Parkinson and members of his backroom staff quit the club and they were left with only eight players on contract. The footage includes the sale of fans’ favourite James Hanson and the signing of striker Charlie Wyke from Carlisle United during the January transfer window.

It also follows events including the highs of their League One semi-final play-off victory at Fleetwood Town and City’s heartbreak at Wembley, where they lost 1-0 to Millwall in the final.

Mr Rahic said the film covered a successful season and he hoped the club would go up via a play-off final win this season to avenge the last campaign’s loss.

Mr Rupp told the audience that he wanted to show the hidden side of a football club.

The film features on-screen contributions from both joint owners, City chief operating officer James Mason, manager Stuart McCall, head of recruitment Greg Abbott and Telegraph & Argus chief sports writer Simon Parker.

There is also a poignant section of the film devoted to the Bradford City fire, which claimed 56 lives on May 11, 1985.

Mr McCall said the Wembley heartbreak at the end of the film made it a hard watch for him.

He said: “I know the ending was not what we wanted. It gave me mixed emotions watching it.

“It was a hard watch as ultimately we did not get what we wanted to get.”

Mr Mason said: “It has been a successful event, we had 240 people here. It helps to put Bradford City on the map.

“We were quite brave to do it. We have got to be proud of what we achieved last season.”

Matter of Heart will also reach a wider audience when it is broadcast in four 30-minute shows on satellite channel Eurosport this month and in December. Fans can pre-order a free copy of the DVD for free, at matterofheart.co.uk/order. It will be available to buy in City’s club shop at a later date.

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