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London entrepreneur expresses interest in taking on challenge of transforming club
A London-based businessman is set to make an offer to buy Bradford Bulls after speaking of his desire to transform the club’s fortunes and capitalise on its “iconic brand in rugby league”.
The Super League outfit has faced several months of uncertainty over its ownership, culminating in OK Bulls Ltd, the club’s former holding company owned by Omar Khan, being placed into administration on January 31.
The move has subsequently left the Bulls facing the grim prospect of a points penalty from the Rugby Football League which could be announced this week.
But Richard Lamb, chairman and co-owner of Lucid Direct, a 13-year-old business which incorporates marketing consultancy, events and was responsible for the hospitality at last year's World Cup, believes he can make the Bulls “a successful club” again.
David Wilson, the appointed administrator of OK Bulls Ltd, agreed to sell the club to Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd, a company set up last November and whose directors include Robbie Hunter-Paul, Mark Moore, Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert.
However, as a term of that sale, the new company is operating under a temporary Super League licence for 28 days during which period, if an alternative and better offer is received and can be progressed, then it is believed that Bradford Bulls 2014 could step aside.
Mr Lamb, who has extensive experience working with rugby union clubs, has held discussions with Mr Wilson, and Blake Solly, the Rugby Football League’s director of licensing and standards.
Mr Lamb said: “Bradford Bulls is an iconic brand in world rugby league and despite the problems of the past few years there is the opportunity to build a successful club.
“The fantastic support of fans and sponsors over those trying years show that the Bulls play a huge role in people’s lives.
“By focusing on the key elements of the club – the players, the staff at the club and the fans – there are the basics for delivering a sustainable club.
“Last week I approached the administrators, in line with RFL guidelines, to understand the position of the company in administration – OK Bulls – with a view to making an offer to purchase the club.
“I have also contacted the RFL to ask for its support to move forward so that I can have access to the creditors that have led to the club going into administration.
“Over the next few days and within the 28-day guidelines, I hope to be in a position make an offer.
“My desire, if successful, is to ensure that the fans are actively involved in the club and that they can see the challenges and obstacles ahead to getting the club back into a successful position.
“Whether they be sponsors or fans, people should have the right to understand that their hard-earned money is spent wisely.”
It is understood that in order for Mr Lamb’s bid to be accepted, he would need to work to pay back creditors and monies recently advanced to the club by the RFL.
Mr Lamb added: “With regard to the creditors, administration is a huge worry for any business small or large, and ensuring that they are supported is critical.”
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