Bradford Bulls: RFL receives four bids for club

The Rugby Football League has confirmed it has received four unconditional bids for administration-hit Super League side Bradford Bulls.

A deadline of 21 August has now been set for the bidders to present a concrete business plan for the club.

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) Ltd submit an offer for the club.
  • 3 August - Level of debt revealed to be approximately £1.5m.
  • 8 August - Unnamed bidder submits unconditonal offer.
  • 9 August - RFL set a deadline of 10 August for any final bids to be made.
  • 16 August - Governing body reveal there are four bids under consideration, with all four needing to show thier business plan by next Tuesday.

In a statement the RFL revealed the offer from Super League (Europe) Ltd is one of the four under consideration but the other three could not be named.

The Bulls have been in administration since 26 June.

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: "We had constructive meetings with all the consortia that have submitted proposals to the administrator on Wednesday and we're optimistic about the future of Bradford Bulls.

"There are now four confirmed bids for the Bulls and each consortium has been asked to submit business plans to us by Tuesday, 21 August. Due to the sensitive nature of the current discussions we are unable to confirm who the bids are from at present.

"However, it does appear that this renewed interest has come as a direct consequence of the offer from Super League Europe Ltd, which remains on the table.

"We understand the frustration regarding the on-going process but it is vital that due diligence is carried out on all the bids and that ultimately the right owners are found for the good of the club and the sport as a whole."

Administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who said the club faced "extinction" upon entering administration at the end of June, has said he is happy with how the situation is now progressing.

"We are pleased to be working collaboratively with the RFL to agree on a purchaser and sell the club. We now have all the ingredients that the RFL has requested and funds proven from three bidders plus the Super League Europe Ltd offer.

"The RFL will consider the bidders' business plans which are to be received by the Tuesday deadline, and all concerned do understand the need to bring this to a swift conclusion."

Last week the RFL set a deadline of 10 August for any final bids to be submitted for the Odsal club, who were docked six points for entering administration.

Guilfoyle told BBC Radio Leeds on Monday that he was hopeful the club was nearing salvation, ahead of his meeting with the RFL.

With three Super League regular season games remaining the Bulls are level on points with eighth-placed Hull KR.