Support floods in for crisis-hit Bradford Bulls

Former Bulls star Jamie Peacock

Former Bulls star Jamie Peacock

First published in Bradford Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A wave of support has been flooding in to the Bradford Bulls following the cash-strapped Super League club’s pleas for help.

Pledges, fundraising efforts and offers of support have been pouring in from fans, players and staff at clubs from across the game.

On Tuesday the Bulls revealed the Good Friday visit of Leeds Rhinos could be their last-ever game at Odsal unless the club raised at least half of £1 million needed by mid-April.

Yesterday the Telegraph & Argus reported how fans had already donated almost £50,000, while negotiations with potential saviours had begun.

But offers of help continued to flood in yesterday including fans organising sponsored runs, a pledge from the Bradford-born Lord Mayor of the City of London David Wootton and Bulls winger Shaun Ainscough selling his shirt to the highest bidder on eBay.

Bulls football manager Stuart Duffy said: “We have been inundated with offers for help from loads of people and in particular ex-players of the club, such as Brian McDermott, Jamie Peacock and Stuart Fielden.”

Mr Duffy said Leeds Rhinos manager Mr McDermott had offered his Challenge Cup winner’s medal, along with the shirt he wore in the final, while Wigan Warriors player Mr Fielden, who is currently injured, was on the phones at Odsal yesterday ringing people to try to drum up support.

Mr Duffy said: “The response from other clubs has been absolutely amazing. We have had requests from all sorts of fans, saying how can we help, how can we donate? It’s actually taken our breath away.”

Lifelong Bulls fan Kenny Parsons, 26, originally of East Bowling, is planning a sponsored run from the Headingley Stadium, in Leeds, to Odsal for the match on Good Friday.

Mr Parsons said: “I had heard we have obviously been having some funding problems but it came as quite a bit of a shock to realise we have to find half-a-million pounds by a week on Friday or it might be the end of the club. I thought ‘I want to try and do something about this’ rather than just asking people to donate money.”

To make a donation, search on Facebook for Run For The Bulls or donate directly to the club and leave a Twitter message for @kennyidc11.

Mr Wootton, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, has made a pledge to the Bulls’ campaign.

He said: “As a lifelong Bradford fan, I am deeply saddened to see that the club is suffering severe financial difficulties. I remember my time on the terraces at Odsal with great fondness and still try to watch the team whenever possible. I wholeheartedly back the Bulls' fundraising drive and call on all fans of rugby league to help support this great institution.”

Bulls fan Craig Wood, 20, of Wibsey, has organised a sponsored scrum walk and game of tag rugby, to be held at Bowling Park from noon on Sunday.

Mr Wood said people were welcome to attend the event and join in either or both of the activities for £5. Contact Mr Wood on 07787 426611.

Comments (17)

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9:06am Thu 29 Mar 12

sam-tyler says...

I'm not a Rugby or Football fan, so I'm not really bothered to be honest, but I found this quote from the T&A Forum, hits the nail on the head ...

From Yorksha T
"They need an immediate 500k to survive, but the bigger picture says they need £1million to continue beyond the short term.

What happens when the £1million runs out in a few months time?

I would hate to think that the public have scratched around and stumped up silly money only for the club to eventually fold anyway!!"
I'm not a Rugby or Football fan, so I'm not really bothered to be honest, but I found this quote from the T&A Forum, hits the nail on the head ... From Yorksha T "They need an immediate 500k to survive, but the bigger picture says they need £1million to continue beyond the short term. What happens when the £1million runs out in a few months time? I would hate to think that the public have scratched around and stumped up silly money only for the club to eventually fold anyway!!" sam-tyler
  • Score: 0

9:48am Thu 29 Mar 12

born n bred says...

I am supporting the bulls in any way I can. a sport that has thrilled me for years.
I and my mates are going to see new2, a U2 tribute band on the 14th April at The Live Lounge @ Utopia in Bradford. fundraising by donating £2 from every ticket entry price, plus collections through the night.
Seen it on their facebook site.
I will also be rallying the troops at the Leeds game.
Then hoping they put a board in place who can run the club as it should be run!!!
I am supporting the bulls in any way I can. a sport that has thrilled me for years. I and my mates are going to see new2, a U2 tribute band on the 14th April at The Live Lounge @ Utopia in Bradford. fundraising by donating £2 from every ticket entry price, plus collections through the night. Seen it on their facebook site. I will also be rallying the troops at the Leeds game. Then hoping they put a board in place who can run the club as it should be run!!! born n bred
  • Score: 0

10:39am Thu 29 Mar 12

Avro says...

Bradford Council have anounced they have a £5.7milion surplus, why not direct the begging cap at them?
Bradford Council have anounced they have a £5.7milion surplus, why not direct the begging cap at them? Avro
  • Score: 0

10:41am Thu 29 Mar 12

cookie_brighton says...

Been a follower of the Bulls since they were Bradford Northern....this is sad news.
I am also a City fan.....who also at the moment are fighting for survival from leaving the football league.
A sad time for Bradford sport.
Been a follower of the Bulls since they were Bradford Northern....this is sad news. I am also a City fan.....who also at the moment are fighting for survival from leaving the football league. A sad time for Bradford sport. cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 29 Mar 12

cookie_brighton says...

Avro agree with your post....Bradford Bulls are as much part of Bradford as is William Morrisons...
Avro agree with your post....Bradford Bulls are as much part of Bradford as is William Morrisons... cookie_brighton
  • Score: 0

10:55am Thu 29 Mar 12

JAtkinson says...

Like many people, I saw the news the other day and thought, "Taht's it: we're over." However, I've been bowled over by the support of Bulls followers, City fans, Bradfordians and people, especially rugby league fans, from all over the country. I caan't help that this has really brought out the best in people.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all those who have pledged support and money, offered items for auction, gone out of their way to do something or just wished us the best. Thank you.
Like many people, I saw the news the other day and thought, "Taht's it: we're over." However, I've been bowled over by the support of Bulls followers, City fans, Bradfordians and people, especially rugby league fans, from all over the country. I caan't help that this has really brought out the best in people. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all those who have pledged support and money, offered items for auction, gone out of their way to do something or just wished us the best. Thank you. JAtkinson
  • Score: 0

10:57am Thu 29 Mar 12

bradford_Northern says...

This is one of the low points in Bradford's history, but we have been there before. I will be pledging to try and keep the club alive.
If we drop out of superleague then I do hope that we can put the Bulls behind us and re-form back as Northern.
Whilst I would rather be in the top division I would rather the club be secure at a lower level than lurching from one financial disaster to another.

I think if we are all pledging this money then we need answers from Hood as to how the money is to be used and what the strong business plan they have going forward that they keep telling us about. (I keep hearing Duckett going on about a blip - one hell of a blip!)

I would also like Hood to elaborate on the terms of Whitehead's new contract. I do hope that the club have put a genuine sustainable offer on the table that will actually keep Elliot at Bradford. Cynic though I may be, but it does seem that they may have perhaps offered him a cracking deal that he couldn't refuse in the knowledge that it was all going belly up and that we would at least have a decent asset on our hands should we have to start offloading - Whitehead with a 5 year contract worth lots more than Whitehead on a one year deal.
On another Whitehead note : does he remind anyone else of Fairbank? everytime I see him I think his running and tackling style is so similar. Shame Karl never pplayed in the superleague era - He would have been amongst the best second rowers in the game.
This is one of the low points in Bradford's history, but we have been there before. I will be pledging to try and keep the club alive. If we drop out of superleague then I do hope that we can put the Bulls behind us and re-form back as Northern. Whilst I would rather be in the top division I would rather the club be secure at a lower level than lurching from one financial disaster to another. I think if we are all pledging this money then we need answers from Hood as to how the money is to be used and what the strong business plan they have going forward that they keep telling us about. (I keep hearing Duckett going on about a blip - one hell of a blip!) I would also like Hood to elaborate on the terms of Whitehead's new contract. I do hope that the club have put a genuine sustainable offer on the table that will actually keep Elliot at Bradford. Cynic though I may be, but it does seem that they may have perhaps offered him a cracking deal that he couldn't refuse in the knowledge that it was all going belly up and that we would at least have a decent asset on our hands should we have to start offloading - Whitehead with a 5 year contract worth lots more than Whitehead on a one year deal. On another Whitehead note : does he remind anyone else of Fairbank? everytime I see him I think his running and tackling style is so similar. Shame Karl never pplayed in the superleague era - He would have been amongst the best second rowers in the game. bradford_Northern
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Thu 29 Mar 12

spudulike says...

never been to a rugby match in my life but i'll support the bulls and contribute,they are part of bradford fabric and need to keep going for our city pride,come on you big business men of bradford-show your selves-including you ken-you've made millions from bradfordians toiling for average wages!
never been to a rugby match in my life but i'll support the bulls and contribute,they are part of bradford fabric and need to keep going for our city pride,come on you big business men of bradford-show your selves-including you ken-you've made millions from bradfordians toiling for average wages! spudulike
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Thu 29 Mar 12

Albion. says...

cookie_brighton wrote:
Avro agree with your post....Bradford Bulls are as much part of Bradford as is William Morrisons...
Possibly so but Morrisons keep in the black by selling their product to their customers, Bulls don't.
[quote][p][bold]cookie_brighton[/bold] wrote: Avro agree with your post....Bradford Bulls are as much part of Bradford as is William Morrisons...[/p][/quote]Possibly so but Morrisons keep in the black by selling their product to their customers, Bulls don't. Albion.
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Thu 29 Mar 12

Albion. says...

Avro wrote:
Bradford Council have anounced they have a £5.7milion surplus, why not direct the begging cap at them?
They don't actually have a surplus to declare until the next two years are up, they are just ahead of target but that can soon change.
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: Bradford Council have anounced they have a £5.7milion surplus, why not direct the begging cap at them?[/p][/quote]They don't actually have a surplus to declare until the next two years are up, they are just ahead of target but that can soon change. Albion.
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Thu 29 Mar 12

JAtkinson says...

spudulike wrote:
never been to a rugby match in my life but i'll support the bulls and contribute,they are part of bradford fabric and need to keep going for our city pride,come on you big business men of bradford-show your selves-including you ken-you've made millions from bradfordians toiling for average wages!
Come down v Leeds on Good Friday. Easily the best match of the season with the biggest and best crowd.

Come down, fall in love and see why it's such a big deal.

You're welcome to join the Rugby League Family.
[quote][p][bold]spudulike[/bold] wrote: never been to a rugby match in my life but i'll support the bulls and contribute,they are part of bradford fabric and need to keep going for our city pride,come on you big business men of bradford-show your selves-including you ken-you've made millions from bradfordians toiling for average wages![/p][/quote]Come down v Leeds on Good Friday. Easily the best match of the season with the biggest and best crowd. Come down, fall in love and see why it's such a big deal. You're welcome to join the Rugby League Family. JAtkinson
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Thu 29 Mar 12

flashdonut says...

JAtkinson wrote:
spudulike wrote:
never been to a rugby match in my life but i'll support the bulls and contribute,they are part of bradford fabric and need to keep going for our city pride,come on you big business men of bradford-show your selves-including you ken-you've made millions from bradfordians toiling for average wages!
Come down v Leeds on Good Friday. Easily the best match of the season with the biggest and best crowd.

Come down, fall in love and see why it's such a big deal.

You're welcome to join the Rugby League Family.
Spud. I will pay your admission. Chuff knows how we can sort it, but I have a season ticket and I am also fortunate enough to have been invited on a corporate do in the Coral Stand. I will pay you in. Not only will I be donating to my club, it will give you chance to fall in love with the greatest game.
[quote][p][bold]JAtkinson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]spudulike[/bold] wrote: never been to a rugby match in my life but i'll support the bulls and contribute,they are part of bradford fabric and need to keep going for our city pride,come on you big business men of bradford-show your selves-including you ken-you've made millions from bradfordians toiling for average wages![/p][/quote]Come down v Leeds on Good Friday. Easily the best match of the season with the biggest and best crowd. Come down, fall in love and see why it's such a big deal. You're welcome to join the Rugby League Family.[/p][/quote]Spud. I will pay your admission. Chuff knows how we can sort it, but I have a season ticket and I am also fortunate enough to have been invited on a corporate do in the Coral Stand. I will pay you in. Not only will I be donating to my club, it will give you chance to fall in love with the greatest game. flashdonut
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Thu 29 Mar 12

terrysblackchicken says...

Ridiculous. Why should the council bail them out ? Only 10k season ticket holders at reduced price = about 3k in monetary real terms, how many people live in bradford that could keep the club afloat by going through turnstiles ? Aye thought so
Ridiculous. Why should the council bail them out ? Only 10k season ticket holders at reduced price = about 3k in monetary real terms, how many people live in bradford that could keep the club afloat by going through turnstiles ? Aye thought so terrysblackchicken
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 29 Mar 12

wooly 2708 says...

If the Bulls are appealing to their fans to bail them out then they should convert into a mutual.

If there was a supporters' trust set up it could buy shares in the club until it took control and converted it into a co-operative society. This would put fans in control electing the board, agreeing how money should be spent and so on.

There is a movement towards this in soccer because of the financial mess so many clubs have got into. Co-ops tend to be cautious in how they operate, making decisions for the long-term rather than a quick buck. John Lewis is a good example of this in retail and how many building societies needed bailing out during the financial crisis?
If the Bulls are appealing to their fans to bail them out then they should convert into a mutual. If there was a supporters' trust set up it could buy shares in the club until it took control and converted it into a co-operative society. This would put fans in control electing the board, agreeing how money should be spent and so on. There is a movement towards this in soccer because of the financial mess so many clubs have got into. Co-ops tend to be cautious in how they operate, making decisions for the long-term rather than a quick buck. John Lewis is a good example of this in retail and how many building societies needed bailing out during the financial crisis? wooly 2708
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Thu 29 Mar 12

Danstarr69 says...

So what if the council have another £30 million to save in the next 2 years. £1 million from £5.7 million is spare change...at the moment anyway. They should do something to help!
So what if the council have another £30 million to save in the next 2 years. £1 million from £5.7 million is spare change...at the moment anyway. They should do something to help! Danstarr69
  • Score: 0

2:08pm Thu 29 Mar 12

Albion. says...

Danstarr69 wrote:
So what if the council have another £30 million to save in the next 2 years. £1 million from £5.7 million is spare change...at the moment anyway. They should do something to help!
They have done things in the past to help and it's come to this.
[quote][p][bold]Danstarr69[/bold] wrote: So what if the council have another £30 million to save in the next 2 years. £1 million from £5.7 million is spare change...at the moment anyway. They should do something to help![/p][/quote]They have done things in the past to help and it's come to this. Albion.
  • Score: 0

6:54am Fri 30 Mar 12

Mike Strutter says...

It's one thing asking the general public ie fans to donate but public funds provided by the council to a private company should definitely not be used.
Sentiment no doubt will take over but if you were going to donate wouldn't you want Hood to show you his plans ? Didn't he say a few weeks back the sale of the lease wasn't for financial reasons ?
What's to stop the 1 million evaporating ?
Exactly why council money should not be wasted.
It's one thing asking the general public ie fans to donate but public funds provided by the council to a private company should definitely not be used. Sentiment no doubt will take over but if you were going to donate wouldn't you want Hood to show you his plans ? Didn't he say a few weeks back the sale of the lease wasn't for financial reasons ? What's to stop the 1 million evaporating ? Exactly why council money should not be wasted. Mike Strutter
  • Score: 0

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