A bitter war of words has broken out tonight between the Rugby Football League and the consortium, which today suddenly pulled out of its agreement to buy Bradford Bulls from the administrator.

Mark Moore, chairman of Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd, the holding company which had a bid to purchase the club officially accepted last Thursday, withdrew the offer after the RFL docked the Bulls six points for entering administration.

In a statement, Mr Moore said: “It is with great sadness and frustration that we have been led to this point.

"I believe that we have been forced into making this decision, due to the Rugby Football League's proposed sanction of a six-point deduction, making relegation almost a certainty.

"In addition, the governing body wished to place the club's licence into special measures, which, as successful businessmen, will likely taint our personal dealings while embarrassing us all professionally.

"I am also extremely surprised by the current position of the RFL, given the fact that it has guided us and advised us on the majority of decisions made over the past five to six months.

"More frustratingly, this process has been amplified by the fact that administration could have been avoided.

The RFL's chief operating officer, Ralph Rimmer, responded: “It is disappointing and disingenuous for Bradford Bulls to suggest that the RFL has acted in any manner other than fairly and properly throughout a crisis which is entirely of the club’s own making.

“The root cause of the current situation is the failed attempt by Mark Moore and Ryan Whitcut to use the club’s own money to purchase Bradford Bulls from Omar Khan, who had left the club in a parlous state.

“Had Mr Moore not refused to honour the agreement he signed to buy the club from Mr Khan, Bradford Bulls would not be where they are today.

“Throughout our dealings with them, the club’s directors were unable to provide any evidence of new capital investment into Bradford Bulls and consequently, the RFL Executive had no confidence in the business plan that was presented."