Date: 11th June 2009 at 9:51pm
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Nicky Law has signed a two year contract with Rotherham United. And Matt Clarke has signed his contract.

Those stories say a lot about where these two sides hope to be come next May.

For the Bantams next season promises to be quite a slog. It doesn’t look hopeful that we will get rid of the ‘Big 4’ and it’s unlikely that any of them will ingratiate themselves wih the fans by willingly forgoing their income.

Matt Clarke is taking a pay cut to stay at Valley Parade but then for a player that splits opinion (and I’m fairly sure not equally) in the way that he does the offer to ply his trade in Manningham may well have been the safest one he had on the table.

Certainly the announcements we’ve had so far speak of consolidation. Lee Bullock is a grafter, Matt Clarke is a lump of a defender, Luke O’Brien is an exciting prospect, but he’s still a full back. Zesh is apparently going to sign his contract, but that’s been the case for a few weeks now, so is it dependent on Graeme Lee? And again, another defender.

Stuart’s building a team that’s solid from the back. Or should be in theory. He’s offered a trial to a non-league striker but asking him to step up and repeat the feat of 44 goals in two seasons is a big jump. It’s a big ask; hopefully not too big.

But it is losing out on Nicky Law to a fellow League Two side that is almost incomprehensible. Stuart McCall knew Nicky from Bramall Lane. He reignited his career, and Nicky has acknowledged the important role the gaffer played. At the end of last season a slip of the tongue gave away how much he wanted to continue playing in Claret & Amber.

Did we offer him a deal? Was it towards him that Stuart directed his criticism of players going elsewhere for an extra £50 a week? Did he laugh at us and walk away for the riches of South Yorkshire? Was the appeal of staying (underwater) in the Don Valley too great? Or did we just mess him around with the promise of a contract that didn’t materialise, dependent as it is on what we do with the ‘Big 4’?

It’s hard to think that Nicky Law is being mercenary in his decision to play for the Millers. Ultimately a two year deal in the current climate is a fantastic opportunity. It’s certainly a statement of intent for a Rotherham side that would have challenged for a League One position without their points deduction. One imagines they haven’t pushed the boat out to sign the inventive and hard working midfielder which just raises further questions about how severe the financial situation at Valley Parade truly is.

The rumour of Simon Ramsden leaving for a club financially outside Rochdale’s grasp can surely no longer be linked to BD8 and irrespective of whether or not we receive a windfall from the Fabien Delph sale any other attractive signings (like Dean Furman) are surely just pipedreams. We have allowed an exciting prospect, who wanted to stay, literally slip through our fingers and land in the laps of our neighbours.

Thank you for your contribution to Bradford City Nicky. Good luck at Rotherham, and for the rest of your career. Today’s news is a statement of intent. For Millers’ fans that’s encouraging, for us it certainly isn’t.