UPDATED: Directors back running Bradford Bulls after 'constructive' summit meeting with Omar Khan (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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UPDATED: Directors back running Bradford Bulls after 'constructive' summit meeting with Omar Khan
Talks aimed at resolving the ownership of Bradford Bulls were tonight described as “constructive” as it was revealed that directors Ian Watt, Mark Moore and Andrew Calvert were back running the club.
Rugby Football League chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer today chaired a summit meeting at Odsal between Bulls owner Omar Khan and the group seeking to gain control of his shares, which comprises of Mr Watt, Mr Calvert and Mr Moore.
The trio of businessmen announced they were standing down as directors of OK Bulls Limited on Christmas Eve and walking away from the club altogether after failing to come to an agreement with Mr Khan over the transfer of his majority shareholding.
However, it is understood that the three men have not resigned as directors and that negotiations with Mr Khan will continue after today’s positive talks.
The meeting encouraged hopes that a resolution could finally be found after it was revealed that Mr Watt, Mr Calvert and Mr Moore, who all joined the Super League outfit as directors earlier this year, were still involved with the running of the club on a day-to-day basis.
The Bulls said in a brief statement: “Bradford Bulls are pleased to announce that constructive talks have taken place today, between all important stakeholders, under the chairmanship of the Rugby Football League.
“All parties concerned are working to maintain positive levels of progression, with a view to a final agreement being made over the club’s ownership in the near future.
“Ian Watt, Andrew Calvert and Mark Moore will now continue to direct the business and the club will make no further comment at this time.”
Bradford restaurant boss Mr Khan has so far refused to transfer his stake in the club, claiming Mr Moore and former director and general manager Ryan Whitcut have not paid him an undisclosed sum for the sale of the business.
Mr Khan last week insisted he would continue to take legal action against the two men he agreed to sell the club to in September, after a stand-off over the transfer of his shares led to the Christmas Eve walkout by directors Mr Moore, Mr Calvert and Mr Watt.
The three had said they found “massive holes” in the club’s finances, including £400,000 outstanding to creditors and a £180,000 undisclosed loan.
However, Mr Watt attended today’s meeting along with Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, the club’s former director and co-chairman during Mr Khan’s reign, Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul and Marc Green, of Leeds-based Safeguard Security Group, which owns one of the 100 shares in OK Bulls Limited.
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 of money involved is not disclosed, but it is believed be £180,000. The club’s assets are listed as security on the loan.
Meanwhile, Bulls’ players and staff were understood to have been paid this month’s wages yesterday following a delay over the Christmas period.
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