Former Bulls owner Omar Khan repays some of the £200,000 loan - but Bradford Council refuses to say how much (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Former Bulls owner Omar Khan repays some of the £200,000 loan - but Bradford Council refuses to say how much
9:10am Monday 14th July 2014 in News
Bradford Council insist former Bradford Bulls owner Omar Khan has repaid some of the £200,000 loan he got from the authority - but are refusing to say how much.
The authority granted the Super League club the cash shortly after restaurant boss Mr Khan took the helm at Odsal in September 2012.
Last March, Mr Khan vowed that the money would be repaid, shortly after the repayment was raised at a Council meeting.
But now, although Council leader Councillor David Green insisted Mr Khan had made some repayments, he refused to reveal how much or how much was left to pay.
When asked how much the remaining balance was, Coun Green said: "We do commercial agreements with individuals and companies and, by and large, we retain that commercial confidentiality."
When pressed further, Coun Green added: "I do not have all the information. If I was told by our legal department that I could tell you, I would."
The Council has previously clarified that the loan was made to the company that ran the club, OK Bulls, and not Mr Khan directly. But it has also previously stressed that Mr Khan had signed a separate guarantee as security for the loan.
Coun Jeanette Sunderland, who quizzed Coun Green about the money in March, said she understood Mr Khan had made a couple of repayments, but that there was a "big chunk of money that is due any time now".
She said: "They should be absolutely open about it - it is public money and it was a decision taken behind closed doors. If this decision had been taken in public, it would not have gone through."
Coun Sunderland added: "What I am really disappointed with is that because it's this bloke and the local rugby team, we are jumping through all sorts of hoops.
"If this was someone on low income forced into paying Council tax for the first time, we would have them in court. We would not have been so lenient."
A Bradford Council spokesman said: "The Council made a commercial loan that was secured. The Council has taken appropriate steps with regard to repayment, as we would with any other commercial transaction, and has received scheduled loan repayments.
"We continue to work with Bradford Bulls and the Rugby Football League in seeking to ensure a sustainable future for the club, whilst protecting taxpayers’ interests."
Mr Khan declined to comment on the matter.
The link between the Bulls and the Council will be raised at a meeting of the full Council tomorrow. Coun Simon Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural) has submitted a question, asking how much in outstanding business rates is the Council owed by the Bulls.