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‘Unrealistic’ Bulls bid gets thumbs-down
Bradford Bulls were today in danger of going into liquidation after the Rugby Football League rejected a consortium’s bid to save the crisis-hit club from collapse on the eve of a deadline to find a new buyer.
The governing body last night confirmed it had thrown out an “unacceptable” offer for the rugby league club by a group of Bradford businessmen, known as ABC, and branded conditions attached to their bid as “unreasonable and unrealistic”.
The consortium, which had submitted an offer conditional on the stricken side remaining in the Super League and the RFL handing back the lease to Odsal Stadium, has now put a new deal on the table with only hours to go before today’s deadline.
The terms of its new offer are not yet known.
A spokesman for the RFL said last night: “Details of a further offer for Bradford Bulls are currently being assessed by the RFL, which will continue to work with the administrator to help find new owners for the club.”
Joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, of The P&A Partnership has previously indicated the deadline could be extended if he could find £200,000 to pay the club’s August wage bill.
Last night he said he was “depressed” to hear about the rejection.
He said: “I have been made aware the consortium’s offer has been rejected and that there is also another offer which I will be asking about when I meet the RFL today.”
He also said the self-imposed deadline to find a new buyer was always extendable depending on the progress that is made.
“We really need a purchaser. I’m hoping there will be more developments at the meeting. The clock is ticking very quickly and we will soon have more wages to pay.”
Former Sports Minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, honorary chairman of a rival bid for the club, said the RFL’s announcement was a “blow” but would not affect a potential offer by Bradford curry house boss Omar Khan.
The pair, whose bid was exclusively revealed in the Telegraph & Argus yesterday, met Mr Guilfoyle yesterday to discuss Mr Khan’s plan to buy the Bulls for an undisclosed sum. Mr Sutcliffe said he still hoped a last-ditch bid could be put together before today’s deadline, although their offer carries the same conditions as ABC’s.
“It doesn’t affect our bid at the moment,” he said.
“Our bid’s not been seen by the RFL so we will have to wait and see, but it’s clearly a blow.
“I think the ABC bid was a genuine bid from people who care about the club.”
Mr Sutcliffe said yesterday’s meeting with the administrator had been “constructive”, but there were “complex issues” to be resolved.
He said Mr Khan, who runs Indian restaurants in Bradford and Skipton , was now waiting to hear if any support would be made available by Bradford Council.
Council leader David Green, confirmed the authority had been approached by the pair on Tuesday and its financial officers were looking at the paperwork.