Bradford Bulls: RFL grants club Super League licence

 

The Rugby Football League has handed Bradford Bulls a one-year probationary licence to stay in Super League.

Bradford were taken over by Omar Khan's consortium at the end of August, with the governing body ratifying the deal at the start of the week.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said: "This is a very positive development which provides stability for all the clubs in Super League and below.

"It allows the sport to approach next season with even greater confidence."

He added: "The board deliberated long and hard and took into consideration the many views of the sport's various constituents before reaching a decision which we believe is in the best interests of the whole game.

"The new owners of Bradford Bulls are to be congratulated on their foresight in purchasing a club which we always knew was a very attractive proposition. Their investment in Bradford Bulls is a vote of confidence in Super League."

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 news comes on the same day that Bulls coach Mick Potter elected to leave the club in order to return to his native Australia.

There had been some debate about whether the four-time Super League and five-time Challenge Cup winners would be allowed to stay in the top division.

Bradford entered administration on 26 June, with administrator Brendan Guilfoyle warning they faced "extinction" unless a buyer could be found.

They were docked six points for going into administration, a move which meant they missed out on the play-offs, and remained in danger of being liquidated until the bid from Khan's consortium was accepted on 31 August.

Wood said the decision to award the Bulls a probationary Super League licence would mean the RFL could keep a close watch on Bradford's progress and eradicate the possible need to undergo a mini-licensing round.

A mini-licensing period would have given clubs in the Championship a chance to put forward business plans in order to be considered for a place in Super League.

"A probationary licence allows us to closely monitor the performance of Bradford Bulls next season and develop a view on what direction we take in future years. That direction will be framed by the ongoing strategic policy review that we expect to present to clubs in the first half of 2013," he said.

"The probationary licence also precludes the need for a mini-licensing round, which the overwhelming majority of clubs accept was impractical given the timeframes involved."