Bradford Bulls: RFL rejects conditional bid for club

The Rugby Football League have rejected the conditional offer from the ABC consortium for administration-hit Super League club Bradford Bulls.

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle warned that if the bid, which was submitted last week, was not accepted the club could "cease to exist".

Bradford Bulls crisis timeline

  • 27 March - Then-chairman Peter Hood announces the club need £1m to stay afloat after the bank changes the conditions of their overdraft, with the first £500,000 needed within 10 days.
  • 10 April - Having extended the deadline the club reach initial target.
  • 9 May - Hood steps down ahead of an EGM where he was likely to face a no-confidence vote.
  • 2 June - Director Stephen Coulby reveals the club's debt is worse than first feared and that £1.25m is needed to get the club to the end of the season.
  • 14 June - Handed a winding-up order over unpaid tax.
  • 26 June - Bulls enter administration with Guilfoyle saying they have 10 working days to save themselves from "extinction".
  • 2 July - Entire coaching staff are among 16 employees made redundant.
  • 4 July - Head coach Mick Potter and the other coaches return to the club for free.
  • 10 July - Guilfoyle extends the deadline for when the club needs to have a new buyer to 27 July.
  • 19 July - ABC consortium of local businessmen submits conditional bid for club.
  • 25 July - RFL deducts club six points for entering administration.
  • 26 July - RFL rejects bid from the ABC consortium for the Bulls.

In a statement the RFL said: "The board of directors has deemed its conditional nature unreasonable and unrealistic.

"Details of a further offer are currently being assessed."

Guilfoyle confirmed that the bid for the club was conditional on the Bulls being allowed to continue in Super League and the new owners to buy back the ground, which is currently owned by the RFL.

Any prospective buyer needs to satisfy the RFL of their intentions before the club is re-admitted to the league and, although the governing body have the final say on the Super League licence, they are obligated to consult with the other 13 clubs, who are known to be split on the subject.

Earlier on Thursday, Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe confirmed he is part of a rival consortium weighing up a bid for the club.

Along with Bradford-based businessman Omar Khan, Sutcliffe has met with Guilfoyle.

"It's a great club and I want to make sure that the long-term future is secure," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"I see it as more than just a business venture, it's about the heritage of the city.

"Brendan was very frank about what was required and it is now a case of us trying to put a bid together in time for the deadline."

The final day for bids to be submitted for the Bulls, who were deducted six Super League points on Wednesday, is Friday.

Bradford Bulls entered administration on 26 June after attempts to raise £1m to keep the club running were unsuccessful.