Bradford Bulls: Super League makes offer for club

 

Super League's parent company has tabled an offer to purchase Bradford Bulls on behalf of the competition's 13 other clubs.

The Bulls have been in administration since 26 June, with the Rugby Football League rejecting two conditional bids for the club from the ABC consortium.

But Super League (Europe) Ltd have now made an offer to try to save them.

"Direct positive action is required to safeguard the club's future," Super League chief executive Nigel Wood said.

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle had previously warned that if a buyer could not be found the club faced "extinction".

It is to the credit of the Super League clubs that they have given their unanimous support to this move and are not prepared to stand idly by and see Bradford Bulls disappear

Super League chief executive Nigel Wood

Since the club went into administration in June no bid has been put forward which meets the criteria outlined by the RFL.

The game's governing body reiterated that they would not be willing to accept a conditional offer for the Odsal-based club when they turned down the ABC consortium's second bid on Wednesday.

It is believed that both offers were dependent on assurances from the game's governing body on the Bulls' Super League future and being allowed to purchase the ground back from the RFL.

Wood, who is also the chief executive of the RFL, said that the uncertainty surrounding the Bulls' position had gone on for too long and that swift and decisive action was now required.

"This saga has gone on for far too long, the club has been in administration for five weeks now and during that time not one single offer without strings attached has been submitted to the administrator," he said.

"This situation is clearly unacceptable and raises the tangible prospect that we could lose one of our most famous clubs, which would be a tragedy of significant proportions, not just to the sport and the city of Bradford but to the remaining staff, players and volunteers who all deserve some stability after the turmoil of recent events.

"It is to the credit of the Super League clubs that they have given their unanimous support to this move and are not prepared to stand idly by and see Bradford Bulls disappear.

Bradford's major honours

World Club Championship - 2002, 2004, 2006

Super League champions - 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005

Minor Premiers - 1999, 2001, 2003

Grand Finalists - 1999, 2002, 2004

Challenge Cup winners - 1943-44, 1946-47, 1948-49, 2000, 2003.

"The time has come for strong and decisive leadership and this course of action, which is based on sound business principles, represents just that.

"Under the ownership of SLE, we can plot a course for Bradford Bulls which is in the best interests of the club, the competition and the wider game."

Guilfoyle welcomed the move and said: "It was totally unexpected and is completely unprecedented, but a brilliant development.

"If the deal goes ahead, then the Bradford Bulls will become the first club ever to be owned by the Super League clubs themselves."

Details of how the Bulls would be run under the ownership of Super League are yet to be released.

As a result of entering administration the Bulls were deducted six points last week and are currently ninth in the table, four points outside the play-off positions.