Call for lessons to be learned after report claims Bradford Bulls' players were ‘treated like assets not people’

Bradford Bulls players were “under-appreciated, under-valued and under-represented” during the club’s financial crisis, according to a new report.

1eagu3, the Super League players’ association, said the players lacked emotional and financial support during this period and warned the trauma experienced by the Bulls’ players could be repeated unless action is taken.

“The problems suffered by Bradford could happen to any club within Super League,” the association said.

“No club is immune to financial problems. If a club experiences financial difficulties, then the players should not be an afterthought when resolving those difficulties.

“Super League is the most vibrant and exciting elite sporting competition in the country yet the men who make it such a spectacle feel under-appreciated, under-valued and under-represented. It is clear that the players at Bradford could have received better support during that period.

“If the sport is to make progress with player satisfaction then these lessons should be learned and changes made to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated.”

The report also said the players were seen as assets and not people, news of the administration came totally out of the blue to them and players need to be encouraged to seek support.

The report calls on 1eagu3 to be officially recognised by the game’s governing body, the Rugby Football League, and to engage in at least quarterly meetings.

It also calls for the production of a single career-planning service for the players and for counselling services to be transferred from the RFL to improve the trust of the players.

St Helens and England forward Jon Wilkin, who is chairman of 1eagu3, said: “I hope that the RFL and the clubs listen to the views of the players and are prepared to work closely with 1eagu3 to improve player satisfaction within Super League.”

Ernie Benbow, 1eagu3’s chief executive, said: “The themes that emerge from the report lead us to a belief that there needs to be an improvement in the structure of the engagement and involvement of the professional players.

“It is they after all who are the heartbeat of the game. Their voice, engagement and involvement needs to improve and be enhanced.

“We now look towards open, positive dialogue with the RFL and clubs about the report messages and our recommendations. Let us grasp this opportunity to work together in partnership.”

Comments (22)

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7:06am Thu 15 Nov 12

Liam22 says...

The players were never under appreciated by us fans....
The players were never under appreciated by us fans.... Liam22

7:11am Thu 15 Nov 12

Blotto says...

Compared to the rest of the staff the Players were cosseted, Typical rant and cant from a Union? begging to be recognised and missing several key points by a mile. Not worth the effort to explain!
Compared to the rest of the staff the Players were cosseted, Typical rant and cant from a Union? begging to be recognised and missing several key points by a mile. Not worth the effort to explain! Blotto

8:03am Thu 15 Nov 12

Old Dave says...

This new union and it's leadership, in some ways are an indication of everything that is wrong with our game. Jon Wilkin, on the field, is a sly, dirty player who never misses an opportunity to hurt the opposition with a "lazy" swinging arm, or a late shot. How dare he tell clubs how to run their affairs when, if the match officials were stronger, and the disciplinary more transparent, he would have lots more time to spout rubbish as a union leader as he would be playing far less!

The heartbeat of the game isnt the players, its the fans at all levels and the amatuer players and coaches who nurture the talent ata young age. Superleague was meant to bring financial stbility to our game, but instead the players earn more than they ever could have wished pre 1995 and the extra funding goes into the pockets of agents.

I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to those BUlls players who remained loyal to the club and the cause, and who continue to do so now. The fans of the club are very proud of your efforts in adversity last season, and even though we have had many trophy winning sides, and this squad isnt at the same playing level as those, this group of players are legends of the club for a very different reason.

BUt do we need Jon Wilkin to tell us that?
This new union and it's leadership, in some ways are an indication of everything that is wrong with our game. Jon Wilkin, on the field, is a sly, dirty player who never misses an opportunity to hurt the opposition with a "lazy" swinging arm, or a late shot. How dare he tell clubs how to run their affairs when, if the match officials were stronger, and the disciplinary more transparent, he would have lots more time to spout rubbish as a union leader as he would be playing far less! The heartbeat of the game isnt the players, its the fans at all levels and the amatuer players and coaches who nurture the talent ata young age. Superleague was meant to bring financial stbility to our game, but instead the players earn more than they ever could have wished pre 1995 and the extra funding goes into the pockets of agents. I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to those BUlls players who remained loyal to the club and the cause, and who continue to do so now. The fans of the club are very proud of your efforts in adversity last season, and even though we have had many trophy winning sides, and this squad isnt at the same playing level as those, this group of players are legends of the club for a very different reason. BUt do we need Jon Wilkin to tell us that? Old Dave

8:22am Thu 15 Nov 12

Uglytruth says...

I feel sad to say this but this report makes interesting reading, and makes me understand why so many players left bulls, take hargreaves for instance. he wouldnt have retired had this crap not occured, i dare to say jefferies wouldnt have either. if bulls had of been stable they would have stayed. its common knowledge that the union bloke knew bulls hadnt abided by the correct employment law proceedures during the take over by OK bulls and the players were ill advised of their options. many were angry that they were stuck at bradford and hadnt been informed of their route out when a new buyer comes in.
I feel sad to say this but this report makes interesting reading, and makes me understand why so many players left bulls, take hargreaves for instance. he wouldnt have retired had this crap not occured, i dare to say jefferies wouldnt have either. if bulls had of been stable they would have stayed. its common knowledge that the union bloke knew bulls hadnt abided by the correct employment law proceedures during the take over by OK bulls and the players were ill advised of their options. many were angry that they were stuck at bradford and hadnt been informed of their route out when a new buyer comes in. Uglytruth

8:40am Thu 15 Nov 12

Mumby was the best says...

ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz
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ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz z Mumby was the best

9:07am Thu 15 Nov 12

ifallwerelikemumby says...

I see Mumbly tired again, he must be away with viking on a special holiday, as for the story: welcome to planet earth Bradford the whole country like that so stop feeling sorry for yourselves as usual .
I see Mumbly tired again, he must be away with viking on a special holiday, as for the story: welcome to planet earth Bradford the whole country like that so stop feeling sorry for yourselves as usual . ifallwerelikemumby

9:17am Thu 15 Nov 12

Steam Pigs says...

Bradford Bulls players were “under-appreciated
, under-valued and under-represented” during the club’s financial crisis, according to a new report

So just the same as any other employee that hs to go through administration......


Stop mollycodding the players,they are all grown men, they do not need wrapping in cotton wool, they are no different to anyone else
Bradford Bulls players were “under-appreciated , under-valued and under-represented” during the club’s financial crisis, according to a new report So just the same as any other employee that hs to go through administration...... Stop mollycodding the players,they are all grown men, they do not need wrapping in cotton wool, they are no different to anyone else Steam Pigs

9:31am Thu 15 Nov 12

Old Dave says...

Uglytruth wrote:
I feel sad to say this but this report makes interesting reading, and makes me understand why so many players left bulls, take hargreaves for instance. he wouldnt have retired had this crap not occured, i dare to say jefferies wouldnt have either. if bulls had of been stable they would have stayed. its common knowledge that the union bloke knew bulls hadnt abided by the correct employment law proceedures during the take over by OK bulls and the players were ill advised of their options. many were angry that they were stuck at bradford and hadnt been informed of their route out when a new buyer comes in.
The union should have been advising them better then! If the union had done their job more effectively, then the true motivation of some of the players would have been seen. Just like Kopzcak!

The fact is that the BUlls now is a new company, and realistically, how many of this crop of players (except Gale, Lulia, Whithead, Bateman) would have been wanted or able to be fit under the cap by other SL clubs?
[quote][p][bold]Uglytruth[/bold] wrote: I feel sad to say this but this report makes interesting reading, and makes me understand why so many players left bulls, take hargreaves for instance. he wouldnt have retired had this crap not occured, i dare to say jefferies wouldnt have either. if bulls had of been stable they would have stayed. its common knowledge that the union bloke knew bulls hadnt abided by the correct employment law proceedures during the take over by OK bulls and the players were ill advised of their options. many were angry that they were stuck at bradford and hadnt been informed of their route out when a new buyer comes in.[/p][/quote]The union should have been advising them better then! If the union had done their job more effectively, then the true motivation of some of the players would have been seen. Just like Kopzcak! The fact is that the BUlls now is a new company, and realistically, how many of this crop of players (except Gale, Lulia, Whithead, Bateman) would have been wanted or able to be fit under the cap by other SL clubs? Old Dave

10:22am Thu 15 Nov 12

ifallwerelikemumby says...

The players did not take a pay cut and still have their job. Yes its a hard life.
The players did not take a pay cut and still have their job. Yes its a hard life. ifallwerelikemumby

12:35pm Thu 15 Nov 12

BN1934 says...

Welcome to the real world of administration.Bull'
s players may well argue that they were placed in a difficult position but if reports are true they were always paid, albeit a little late at times. I have been a follower of the Bradford Northern and Bulls since 1934 and am very pleased that the club has survived,but during that time I have also had to deal with the real world. My last job before I retired involved making 300 people redundant. and seeing 3 factories close their doors. Compared to the way these people were treated the Bull's players had it easy. I do not condone the way the Bull's players were treated and they are justified in their condemnation of the attitude of the administraters but they were not singled out, administraters have a very differenf viewpoint of these situations. I have two grandsons that have played professional sport so I have some idea has to how such people are treated. To quote Brian Clough it's better then working for a living.
Welcome to the real world of administration.Bull' s players may well argue that they were placed in a difficult position but if reports are true they were always paid, albeit a little late at times. I have been a follower of the Bradford Northern and Bulls since 1934 and am very pleased that the club has survived,but during that time I have also had to deal with the real world. My last job before I retired involved making 300 people redundant. and seeing 3 factories close their doors. Compared to the way these people were treated the Bull's players had it easy. I do not condone the way the Bull's players were treated and they are justified in their condemnation of the attitude of the administraters but they were not singled out, administraters have a very differenf viewpoint of these situations. I have two grandsons that have played professional sport so I have some idea has to how such people are treated. To quote Brian Clough it's better then working for a living. BN1934

2:14pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

The players all ended up getting paid in the end and missed the savage redundancies of the time.

There were many more people who were seriously put out more than they were.
The players all ended up getting paid in the end and missed the savage redundancies of the time. There were many more people who were seriously put out more than they were. Thee Voice of Reason

2:55pm Thu 15 Nov 12

ifallwerelikemumby says...

Don't worry our biased friends will be along soon enough to look even more stupid if that is possible.
Don't worry our biased friends will be along soon enough to look even more stupid if that is possible. ifallwerelikemumby

4:10pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Shipley Paul says...

Steam Pigs wrote:
Bradford Bulls players were “under-appreciated

, under-valued and under-represented” during the club’s financial crisis, according to a new report

So just the same as any other employee that hs to go through administration......



Stop mollycodding the players,they are all grown men, they do not need wrapping in cotton wool, they are no different to anyone else
True. They all got paid and many said that they were shielded from the crisis during that time. Welcome to the real world Ernie Benbow, many people at Odsal worked on voluntarily. Everyone was appreciated and vaued by those who count.....the fans.
[quote][p][bold]Steam Pigs[/bold] wrote: Bradford Bulls players were “under-appreciated , under-valued and under-represented” during the club’s financial crisis, according to a new report So just the same as any other employee that hs to go through administration...... Stop mollycodding the players,they are all grown men, they do not need wrapping in cotton wool, they are no different to anyone else[/p][/quote]True. They all got paid and many said that they were shielded from the crisis during that time. Welcome to the real world Ernie Benbow, many people at Odsal worked on voluntarily. Everyone was appreciated and vaued by those who count.....the fans. Shipley Paul

4:34pm Thu 15 Nov 12

raisemeup says...

It was the most horrendous time for all concerned, and it is no good trying to compare someone else's experience with what happened at the Bulls. As we all know times are hard, but the saga went on for far too long and all concerned were kept in the dark which made it impossible to make plans for a very uncertain future. Luckily everyone(almost) kept faith and the new owners are very proactive in attempting to ensure success at the Club. Perhaps the RFL need to adjust to meet modern standards, which would include Player welfare where help is needed.
It was the most horrendous time for all concerned, and it is no good trying to compare someone else's experience with what happened at the Bulls. As we all know times are hard, but the saga went on for far too long and all concerned were kept in the dark which made it impossible to make plans for a very uncertain future. Luckily everyone(almost) kept faith and the new owners are very proactive in attempting to ensure success at the Club. Perhaps the RFL need to adjust to meet modern standards, which would include Player welfare where help is needed. raisemeup

4:35pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Will, Huddersfield says...

While most fans will appeciate that staff who lost their jobs were the biggest losers in the recent administration crisis, the players were left in a no-man's land for several months unsure of whether they had a future with the Bulls or not. From a supporter's viewpoint we were left in the dark by the unfolding shambles that took place and I doubt that the players were any the wiser. 1eague3 is a new superleague players' association spun out of the GMB union. They want to ensure that at the very least, the lines of communication are kept open and their voices are taken into consideration. What's wrong with that? Jamie Peacock is a leading light in the organisation and he certainly backed the Bulls when things were looking grim.
While most fans will appeciate that staff who lost their jobs were the biggest losers in the recent administration crisis, the players were left in a no-man's land for several months unsure of whether they had a future with the Bulls or not. From a supporter's viewpoint we were left in the dark by the unfolding shambles that took place and I doubt that the players were any the wiser. 1eague3 is a new superleague players' association spun out of the GMB union. They want to ensure that at the very least, the lines of communication are kept open and their voices are taken into consideration. What's wrong with that? Jamie Peacock is a leading light in the organisation and he certainly backed the Bulls when things were looking grim. Will, Huddersfield

7:44pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Wipsi says...

ifallwerelikemumby wrote:
The players did not take a pay cut and still have their job. Yes its a hard life.
For once, just once, I have to agree with you!
[quote][p][bold]ifallwerelikemumby[/bold] wrote: The players did not take a pay cut and still have their job. Yes its a hard life.[/p][/quote]For once, just once, I have to agree with you! Wipsi

8:22pm Thu 15 Nov 12

ifallwerelikemumby says...

Why thank you, I do believe its a much better place with good discussion when viking away and Mumbly got an orange in his mouth.
Why thank you, I do believe its a much better place with good discussion when viking away and Mumbly got an orange in his mouth. ifallwerelikemumby

8:44pm Thu 15 Nov 12

murphyslaw says...

“Super League is the most vibrant and exciting elite sporting competition in the country"...... Well it may be to all RL fans but unfortunately it's certainly not the case country wide. In fact while we all love RL such statements do us no favours whatsoever and only serve to antagonise an already anti RL baised media even further. As for the players, have to agree Admin is unpleasant and they largely came out of it better than most do in other walks of life.
“Super League is the most vibrant and exciting elite sporting competition in the country"...... Well it may be to all RL fans but unfortunately it's certainly not the case country wide. In fact while we all love RL such statements do us no favours whatsoever and only serve to antagonise an already anti RL baised media even further. As for the players, have to agree Admin is unpleasant and they largely came out of it better than most do in other walks of life. murphyslaw

9:21pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Lone shark says...

Not as bad as the poor creditors who come out of this with nothing.
I don't expect much will change with this bunch in charge, not exactly exemplary are they, squeak squeak ;)
Not as bad as the poor creditors who come out of this with nothing. I don't expect much will change with this bunch in charge, not exactly exemplary are they, squeak squeak ;) Lone shark

11:39pm Thu 15 Nov 12

raisemeup says...

Lone shark wrote:
Not as bad as the poor creditors who come out of this with nothing.
I don't expect much will change with this bunch in charge, not exactly exemplary are they, squeak squeak ;)
You complain about an article that is not even generated by the Bulls or the present hierarchy at the club.

I'm all in favour of good debate, but let's get some semblance of accuracy into the situation.

All you do is attack those who will not or cannot defend themselves.

Personally I am fed up with the spineless goons that seem to infest this site, and who attempt to railroad any sensible suggestions or opinions, by their silly comments.
[quote][p][bold]Lone shark[/bold] wrote: Not as bad as the poor creditors who come out of this with nothing. I don't expect much will change with this bunch in charge, not exactly exemplary are they, squeak squeak ;)[/p][/quote]You complain about an article that is not even generated by the Bulls or the present hierarchy at the club. I'm all in favour of good debate, but let's get some semblance of accuracy into the situation. All you do is attack those who will not or cannot defend themselves. Personally I am fed up with the spineless goons that seem to infest this site, and who attempt to railroad any sensible suggestions or opinions, by their silly comments. raisemeup

11:55pm Thu 15 Nov 12

Shelfrhino says...

raisemeup wrote:
Lone shark wrote:
Not as bad as the poor creditors who come out of this with nothing.
I don't expect much will change with this bunch in charge, not exactly exemplary are they, squeak squeak ;)
You complain about an article that is not even generated by the Bulls or the present hierarchy at the club.

I'm all in favour of good debate, but let's get some semblance of accuracy into the situation.

All you do is attack those who will not or cannot defend themselves.

Personally I am fed up with the spineless goons that seem to infest this site, and who attempt to railroad any sensible suggestions or opinions, by their silly comments.
Ey up Brian,
Having a go at somebody else now?

Take no notice of this one Lone shark, you never know if it's him or his wife posting, either way it's normally mind numbingly dreary.

Have you thought any more about how wrong you were about your owner being a halal caterer, and how wrong you were to deny it eh Brian, or do you just prefer to live in denial and pass things off as trolling any thing that shows you for what you are, a know nowt bore.
[quote][p][bold]raisemeup[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone shark[/bold] wrote: Not as bad as the poor creditors who come out of this with nothing. I don't expect much will change with this bunch in charge, not exactly exemplary are they, squeak squeak ;)[/p][/quote]You complain about an article that is not even generated by the Bulls or the present hierarchy at the club. I'm all in favour of good debate, but let's get some semblance of accuracy into the situation. All you do is attack those who will not or cannot defend themselves. Personally I am fed up with the spineless goons that seem to infest this site, and who attempt to railroad any sensible suggestions or opinions, by their silly comments.[/p][/quote]Ey up Brian, Having a go at somebody else now? Take no notice of this one Lone shark, you never know if it's him or his wife posting, either way it's normally mind numbingly dreary. Have you thought any more about how wrong you were about your owner being a halal caterer, and how wrong you were to deny it eh Brian, or do you just prefer to live in denial and pass things off as trolling any thing that shows you for what you are, a know nowt bore. Shelfrhino

8:00am Fri 16 Nov 12

Thee Voice of Reason says...

You have to laugh at the same 4 or 5 who come on here to rewrite history.
I mean what is raisemeup on about now.
No one can talk about what went on before we just have to pat the new owners on tge back and say job well done.
Wonder if Mr Sutcliffe was in parliment this week or if the day job is still on the back burner whilst he plays with his new toy.
You have to laugh at the same 4 or 5 who come on here to rewrite history. I mean what is raisemeup on about now. No one can talk about what went on before we just have to pat the new owners on tge back and say job well done. Wonder if Mr Sutcliffe was in parliment this week or if the day job is still on the back burner whilst he plays with his new toy. Thee Voice of Reason

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