Bradford Bulls co-chairman Gerry Sutcliffe has spoken of his delight after Akbar’s founder and managing director Shabir Hussain presented £25,000 to the Super League club.
The Telegraph & Argus reported in July last year how the Bradford restaurant chain was willing to give the club between £25,000 and £50,000 “unconditionally” per year over three years after he left a consortium which was vying to save the Bulls from administration.
That had not yet materialised until this week when Mr Hussain handed over a cheque for £25,000, with the Bulls hopeful of further donations in the coming years.
Mr Sutcliffe (Lab, Bradford South), who is a former Sports Minister, said: “We sincerely appreciate the generous donation from Mr Hussain.
“Akbar’s is a major business not only in Bradford but throughout the UK and it’s fantastic to have its support.
“We hope that this could encourage further support from more Asian businesses in the city and indeed the Asian community as a whole. We look forward to Akbar’s’ continued support in the coming years.”
Dill Butt, corporate director at Akbar’s, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be making an initial contribution of £25,000 to the Bradford Bulls.
“Every year we set aside a budget for this type of donation and Mr Hussain regularly contributes to various ongoing projects and charities in the Bradford community. Last year he donated £50,000 from a charity event at the Hilton Hotel for Marie Curie.
“Mr Hussain has always wanted to put back into the community in return for what the community has done for him over the years in helping Akbar’s to grow.
“His philosophy has always been to put something back into the community and this is another example of that.”
Explaining Mr Hussain’s decision to quit the consortium bidding to buy the Bulls last year, Mr Butt added: “He realised at the very early stages that he could not dedicate the time required to the Bulls.
“He preferred people with the right expertise to take control, so he decided not to be part of the consortium but he always said that he would support any new owners financially.”
Mr Butt said any further donations would be dependent on the restaurant chain’s profitability.