Bradford Bulls: Debt revealed to be around £1.5m

Bradford Bulls are approximately £1.5m in debt, it has been revealed.

On Thursday, Super League (Europe)Ltd submitted a bid to administrator Brendan Guilfoyle in order to save the Odsal side from potential liquidation.

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.
  • 27 July - ABC consortium launches second conditional bid.
  • 1 August - Bid is rejected with RFL reiterating their position that any bid for the club must be unconditional.
  • 2 August - Super League Europe submit an unconditional bid for the club to administrator Brendan Guilfoyle.
  • 3 August - Level of debt revealed to be approximately £1.5m.

Bullbuilder, the Bradford Supporters' Trust, met with Rugby Football League director of licensing Blake Solly after the bid was placed.

They said in a statement: "We were told the debt of the club remains a concern and is estimated to be around £1.5m."

It is understood that the bid from SLE would effectively mean that they, along with the 13 other Super League sides, would become the club's administrator while efforts continued to find a long-term owner.

The statement continued: "In a constructive meeting, we established that SLE look on this as a short-term measure and are confident of attracting a long-term, unconditional bid in the near future.

"Solly could give no guarantees about the division in which the club will play next season.

"However, he assured BullBuilder that the club would continue to play at Odsal for the foreseeable future.

"If the SLE bid is accepted, we understand that players will then be free to speak to other clubs to secure their future for next season."

The Bulls have been in administration since 26 June after initial attempts to raise £1m to keep them afloat proved to be unsuccessful.

The ABC consortium submitted two conditional bids for the club but both of these were rejected by the RFL.

Guilfoyle made the whole of the club's coaching staff redundant on 2 July and they have been working, along with many of the office staff, in a voluntary capacity since 4 July.

Bullbuilder now believe that they could be re-employed but until that point will continue in their efforts to raise money for them through their hardship fund.

"Where recently redundant backroom and coaching staff are concerned, there is a likelihood that some may be re-employed," said the statement.

"However, in the interim, those staff are still not being paid and are unlikely to be reimbursed for their unpaid work in the meantime, so the hardship fund instigated by BullBuilder is still required.

"Therefore, BullBuilder intend to carry out a bucket collection in support of the hardship fund at Sunday's home game against Widnes."

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.