BBC BLOGS - Matt Slater

Should fans take the Bulls by the horns?

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Matt Slater | 14:32 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2012

The Bradford Bulls Supporters Trust was set up three years ago by volunteers who shared two beliefs: the success of the Bulls was vital to the well-being of Bradford; and fans could do more to help than just turn up and cheer.

Not blessed with much spare time and confident the club's directors must know what they were doing, the trust decided to focus its attention on the team's talent pipeline. And so BullBuilder was born, a democratic organisation designed to subsidise the club's academy and junior teams.

What the trust was not designed to do, however, was form a board in waiting for that moment when those directors who must know what they are doing announce the club needs £1m by the end of April or else. That moment came late last month when Bulls chairman Peter Hood revealed the gory truth of the club's finances.

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Crunch time for Poppies' appeal

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Matt Slater | 11:59 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

Kettering Town have scored more FA Cup goals - 843 of them - than any other club. They were also the first British team to carry a sponsor's name on their shirts and the first to have their initials spelled out in their floodlights.

But hopes of scoring an 844th cup goal, providing a national stage for another local firm or seeing their name in lights again are teetering on a precipice called debt.

With only nine league games to play, the Poppies are facing relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier - the national division of the Conference - but the prospect of sixth-tier football is the least of their concerns.

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Rangers are dead, long live Rangers

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Matt Slater | 12:03 UK time, Wednesday, 29 February 2012

With all due respect to lovers of lazy afternoons spent reading new books for free and fans of cheap kitchens, trying to keep the likes of Borders and MFI from ruin is not quite the same thing as rescuing Rangers.

Borders' typical customer might write an angry letter about its demise to a broadsheet but they are unlikely to chant obscenities at you for 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon. And the death throes of a furniture chain were meat and drink to the Financial Times but they were not the stuff of front-page splashes in the tabloids.

That, however, is the situation Paul Clark and David Whitehouse find themselves in now as the joint administrators of a Scottish institution and global football brand.

The bankruptcies of Borders and MFI were no doubt painful for all concerned, particularly the staff, but they will seem like minor disappointments compared to the apocalyptic gloom that will descend if the Duff & Phelps pair lose Rangers.

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