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Decision hoped for soon to bring end to crisis
The battle to save crisis-hit Bradford Bulls is now a two-horse race, with a decision on the rugby league club’s new owners expected as early as next week.
And hopes the struggling side will remain in the Super League have been bolstered by rival top-flight clubs uniting to give a significant vote of confidence for one of rugby league’s most famous names.
Bradford businessman Omar Khan and Bradford Park Avenue Football Club are now the only parties vying to take over the struggling side after a bid by sporting rivals Bradford City Football Club was withdrawn earlier this week.
An offer from Super League (Europe) – credited for bringing new prospective buyers forward – remains on the table as a last resort.
Former Sports Minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe, who is fronting Mr Khan’s bid, said an end to the protracted saga now looks to be in sight and the governing body could make its decision next week.
“There’s still information that we need to give and details we need from them, but we’re trying to get this resolved as soon as possible,” he said. “We just want what’s in the best interests of the Bulls and the future of rugby league in Bradford.
“It’s gone on for too long for the staff and the fans.”
Top-flight sides were updated on the progress of the Bulls bids during a meeting led by RFL interim chairman Maurice Watkins, chief executive Nigel Wood and director of licensing Blake Solly on Wednesday.
It is believed clubs gave their backing to the ailing Super League outfit, speaking against reducing the competition from 14 clubs to 13.
Mr Solly said: “The Super League clubs were encouraged by the detail presented to them and have mandated the RFL executive to continue working towards bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
“The RFL will now continue discussions and meet the bidders as soon as possible. I think everyone would agree that it has gone on too long but we want to make sure that the people who are awarded the club are the right people.”