Former Bradford Bulls boss Omar Khan launches legal action against Mark Moore and Ryan Whitcut

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Former owner Omar Khan Former owner Omar Khan

Omar Khan, the former boss of Bradford Bulls, has started legal action against Ryan Whitcut and Mark Moore to claw back money he says he is owed by them.

The revelation comes as the club’s ex-general manager Mr Whitcut has gone public to defend himself from heavy criticism by the new board of directors following the club’s latest financial crisis.

The legal action that Mr Khan is taking is against Mr Whitcut and Mr Moore and not the club itself.

Mr Whitcut, who was appointed as general manager at the Super League outfit following businessman and restaurateur Mr Khan’s takeover in September 2012, left the club last month after it became clear he would not pass the RFL’s fit and proper persons test required to become a director.

It had been revealed that Mr Whitcut, who previously owned Lister Hotel in Bradford, had been involved with eight dissolved companies.

His departure left the club in the hands of businessmen Mr Moore, Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt, who this week revealed the Bulls must make savings of £400,000 over the next 12 months to survive.

The new owners had listed a number of perceived failings against the previous regime, led by Mr Khan, Mr Whitcut and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe.

They said that loans had been taken out against the club which had only come to light in the past four weeks and cited “poor leadership and corporate offerings from the former administration which turned away many traditional sponsors and thus income, which we now have to recover from”.

Mr Whitcut has denied any improper conduct regarding financial transactions he made at the club and said an agreement had been made to pay back Mr Khan monies owed to him following the change in ownership in September.

Mr Whitcut, who also revealed his relationship with Mr Khan had been “ruined” by events at the Bulls, added: “An agreement was signed by Mark Moore and myself to pay a certain amount of money to Omar Khan for the purchase of the club.

“At this point both Mark and myself were aware that Omar had put over £1m in the club last year.

“When we realised monies were not going to be paid on the due date I had discussions with Omar to find a solution.

“He agreed to extend the time for payment. The board refused to pay altogether and provided no legal basis for doing so. Since then Omar Khan has issued statutory demands on both Mark and myself.

“It was the decision of the new board to challenge legalities of the debt even though monies were left in the club’s account by Omar on his departure.”

The new directors told supporters at a fans forum on Wednesday night how the previous owners had badly miscalculated budgets for the 2014 season, leading to overspending in several departments, including head coach Francis Cummins’ playing squad and backroom staff.

They also alleged that the sale of star player John Bateman to Wigan last month had been authorised by Mr Whitcut without the knowledge of the board of directors.

But Mr Whitcut insisted the new owners and chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul were fully aware of the club’s financial predicament before they got involved and said they were blaming the previous regime because they did not want to put any money into the club.

Mr Whitcut said: “It appears to me that the new board has no desire to invest in the club and are blaming whoever they can in order not to part with any money.

"Before any of the new board signed any agreements, they were given full and unrestricted access to all the accounts of Bradford Bulls, including purchase and sales ledgers, future projections including budgets of all areas.”

Mr Khan was not available for comment last night.

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