The new owners of Bradford Bulls will meet Rugby Football League bosses next week as they seek ratification of the club’s change of ownership.
The Super League outfit announced yesterday that it had entered administration for the second time in 19 months.
The club also revealed it had changed owners from OK Bulls Ltd, the company established by former owner Omar Khan, to a new company, Bradford Bulls 2014, which will now take over the running of the club pending RFL approval.
The move came after no deal could be agreed between Mr Khan and the board of directors, including Mark Moore, Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert, over a change of ownership despite mediation by the RFL.
But restaurant boss Mr Khan, who along with Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe took over the Bulls in September 2012, last night told of his shock at the move to put OK Bulls Ltd into administration and said he was seeking legal advice.
Mr Khan stepped down from the helm of the club at the end of September, but continued to hold 99 of 100 shares in OK Bulls Limited with the remaining share held by Leeds-based business Safeguard Security Limited.
Mr Khan said: “I am shocked and surprised at today’s events regarding OK Bulls Ltd.
“I have referred this matter to my legal team. I understand that the club has been put into administration by Marc Green of SSG, whose involvement with the club occurred after I left the club.”
According to a document filed with Companies House on September 30 – four days after Mr Khan announced he had left the club – OK Bulls entered a deed of debenture with the firm, as part of a loan agreement.
The sum was in excess of £150,000 and the club’s assets were listed as security on the loan, which Marc Green, managing director of SSG, is understood to have called in, leading to David Wilson, of Leeds-based DFW Associates, being appointed administrator of the club’s former holding company.
Mr Wilson said: “Upon the sanction of the Rugby Football League, we will have concluded the sale of the club to Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd. It had not proved possible to resolve the ownership of the company with the previous owner and, as a result, the company’s financial position had become untenable.”
All players, employees and assets will be transferred to the new company, which will continue to function as Bradford Bulls under new directors Mr Calvert, Mr Moore and Mr Watt, with chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul.
The Bulls’ board of directors has stated its intentions to continue to work with creditors to avoid a possible points penalty.
A Bulls spokesman said: “Although a resolution wasn’t found after all avenues were exhausted, we feel the new company will give the club’s supporters much-needed clarity in terms of who is running, directing and owning their club.”
Blake Solly, the RFL’s director of licensing and standards, confirmed the change of ownership would not affect the central money allocated to the Bulls and that the club would again receive only half of the usual amount for the second successive year.
Explaining the club’s move into administration, Mr Solly said: “In essence, what the debenture holder has done, through the administration, is attempt to realise the monies owed to him that the debenture represented.
“He tries to realise as much as he can from the assets of the club during the administration to pay back to the debenture holder.
“The administrator comes in and sells the assets – goodwill and the liabilities of OK Bulls Ltd to Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd.
“The transfer of both the Super League and RFL membership from OK Bulls to the new company is subject to RFL approval.
“The points deduction is more difficult because until we see the proposals from the directors, we won’t know if a points deduction is appropriate and how many points that might be.”