The new owner of Bradford Bulls has been congratulated on his successful bid – by the rivals he beat in the race to buy the club.
Marc Green was yesterday confirmed as the new owner of the struggling Odsal club, with new holding company Bradford Bulls Northern Ltd taking full control.
Leeds-based businessman Mr Green, who owns Safeguard Security Group Ltd, saw his bid accepted by administrator David Wilson ahead of offers from Richard Lamb and Mandy Koukash, as well as consortia from Bradford Park Avenue and Bradford City.
The Bulls had been in administration for the last eight weeks.
Mr Green, 48, who will be the sole shareholder but might appoint other directors, said: “I am really pleased to have completed the takeover of this fantastic club.
“Now that the takeover is complete, the team and I are in a position to move forward with the business.
“We will be working extremely hard over the coming months, with our number-one objective and main priority being to ensure Super League survival for this historic club.”
It was claimed yesterday that one of the failed bids was backed by a Bradford-born oil billionaire now based in Texas.
Kevin Hainsworth, who was part of the Bradford Park Avenue bid, said Gareth Roberts, non-executive chairman of Petro Harvester and said to be worth about £8 billion, was backing the attempt to buy the club.
“We are extremely disappointed not to have won the bid,” said Mr Hainsworth.
Mr Hainsworth said Mr Roberts grew up in Holme Wood, went to school in Tong and was taken to Bradford Northern games as a boy by his father.
“We felt we had the right resources behind us,” said Mr Hainsworth. “But we have got to accept defeat and we wish Marc Green all the very best.”
Marwan Koukash expressed disappointment on behalf of his wife, Mandy, but said: “We would like to wish Marc all the very best, and Francis Cummins, the players and the fans all the very best this year.
“Rugby league needs its bigger names – and they don’t come bigger than Bradford.”
Mr Koukash dismissed working alongside Mr Green, saying: “The last thing on Marc’s mind now would be to sell half the club.”
Richard Lamb expressed his frustration at the Rugby Football League, saying it had asked him to show proof of funds to the value of £1 million within 24 hours.
“I couldn’t get clarity from the RFL of what they wanted to see and why. The administrators were fine and the funds we showed were considerable,” he said.
Mr Lamb said the door was still open if Mr Green wanted to work with him on the Bulls.
The Bulls said in a statement: “Mr Green, managing director of Leeds-based Safeguard Security Group, has acquired the club having agreed a fee and terms with the administrator, which was later ratified by the sport’s governing body, the Rugby Football League.”