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Bulls' fans clarity call over penality cash
Bradford Bulls’ fans have called for clarity after the Rugby Football League revealed it has made no decision about what it will do with the slice of £1.2 million cash the club’s new owners sacrificed in return for Super League status.
The governing body last night confirmed it had made no decision about what will happen to the “sizeable” chunk of Bulls’ central funding which new owners Bradford restaurant boss Omar Khan and former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe agreed to forgo as part of the deal which saw the side offered a probationary 12-month licence to stay in the competition.
An RFL spokesman said the undisclosed sum would remain in Super League (Europe)’s bank account until a decision was made and it could be discussed during a meeting of the top-flight teams in November.
But Michael Farren, of supporters’ trust Bullbuilder, said fans wanted to be clear about why the club had incurred a “penalty”.
“We’re obviously pleased that the club has been saved and appreciate the problems from the previous regime mean they should incur some sort of penalty, but we would like some clarity about what the penalty is.
“I don’t think it’s the fans’ place to dictate where that money should go, but I do think we should know what the penalty is and why that amount.”
Bulls agreed to surrender the “significant” sum of money after its owners were told rival Super League sides were not happy for them to continue playing in the competition unless they gave up part of their share of the annual £1.2 million Sky distribution cash paid to each club.
The outfit’s former owners, Bradford Bulls Holdings, entered administration on June 26 after running up debts of about £1.5 million.
It is believed it would be unlikely the RFL could legally distribute the money to creditors who lost cash when the previous company collapsed.
Mr Khan, who owns restaurants in Bradford and Skipton , said the side was being “punished for someone else’s sins” and hoped rival clubs would agree to give some of the money to Bulls.
“I hope some of it comes back to us, but if it doesn’t I’d like to see it used to make rugby league bigger and better. I don’t see any reason why it should go to other clubs,” he added.
“But if we don’t get the television money, we will be fine. This is a club that’s going to go places with or without it.”
Mr Sutcliffe agreed it would be “unfair” if rival sides decided to award themselves the cash.
“If other clubs got the money it would create an unfair advantage when we’re already starting from a raw basis compared to other sides,” he said.