Bradford: RFL agrees deal for new club in city after Bradford Bulls liquidated

Odsal Stadium
Bradford has had a rugby league presence since the beginning of the Northern Union in 1895

The Rugby Football League has agreed a deal that will see a new club set up in Bradford for the start of the season.

The old Bradford Bulls was liquidated earlier this month after its latest spell in administration, after years of financial problems.

Four bids to revive the club were received by the game's governing body.

The identity of the winning consortium is not expected to be revealed until next week, but it is believed to be headed by Andrew Chalmers.

He is a former chairman of New Zealand Rugby League and used to be a director at Salford Red Devils.

Former Wigan and New Zealand coach Graham Lowe is also believed to be involved.

The group came close to taking the Bulls out of administration during the Christmas period, when a bid they made was rubber-stamped by the RFL, only to be rejected by the administrator.

Chalmers registered the name Bradford Bulls 2017 at Companies House on Friday, and is now expected to meet with the former Bradford Bulls players.

RFL director of operations and legal, Karen Moorhouse, said: "The RFL is confident that the consortium selected to run a new club in Bradford will provide an exciting and stable future for rugby league in the city."

Earlier this week, a proposed pre-season friendly for a Bradford Select XIII due to take place on Sunday was called off because they do not have enough players.

The new club will remain in the Kingstone Press Championship, but will start the new season with a 12-point deficit.

They will also continue playing at Odsal Stadium, the lease for which is owned by the RFL.

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