£1 million cashback! Omar will get what he is owed, says new Bradford Bulls chief (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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£1 million cashback! Omar will get what he is owed, says new Bradford Bulls chief Ryan Whitcut
Ryan Whitcut has paid tribute to Omar Khan following the Bulls’ change of ownership and insisted the former supremo will get back every penny owed to him by the club – a figure approaching £1 million.
Khan relinquished control of the Bulls last week and cited ill health as the reason following a shock exit which also saw Gerry Sutcliffe and Vipin Joshi depart before assistant commercial director Roy Davison left yesterday.
General manager Whitcut and BedzRus owner Mark Moore seized control and are currently compiling a business plan to put forward to the RFL as they bid to become ratified as the new owners of the club.
Khan, who rescued the Bulls from the brink of oblivion when he took over in September 2012, mortgaged a number of his properties in order to pay the wages of players and staff earlier this year.
Whitcut said: “I think it needs to be said that without Omar last year there would be no Bradford Bulls.
“Although I was part of the team, it was Omar who put his cash into the club when it was 45 minutes away from being liquidated.
“Omar made the decision to complete the asset purchase of the club without any RFL approval or guarantees of Super League status.
“Of all the people involved, he was the only one to step forward and do that.
“Omar worked tirelessly day in and day out to make the club what it is today, when we are in a much stronger position than we were this time last year.”
Whitcut said the monies owed back to Khan amounted to “just below £1million” but would be returned to him over time.
Whitcut said the stresses and strains of owning the Bulls had taken their toll on Khan and that concerns over his heart led to him being hospitalised recently.
“Omar has ploughed a hell of a lot of money into the club, which he hasn’t taken out yet, but there will be gradual payments over the years to him,” said Whitcut.
“He’s not going to demand his money any time soon – he still loves the club and he wants it to succeed.
“I think he’d still like to be here but his health is far more important than the rugby club.
“Even since we completed the purchase last week, Omar has been getting better but it’s very slow.
“His heart was the problem and he had advice from his doctors that he needed to get out, otherwise he was going to have a heart attack because all the signs were there.
“But the effort that he and Gerry put in during the past year was immense.”
Whitcut said the deal for him and Moore to take the club off Khan’s hands began to materialise last month and was “in no way hostile at all”.
“It was a decision from Omar and we made the decision from our side to go ahead with it,” explained Whitcut.
“I’ve known Omar for a long time and he can never take a back seat.
“But Mark and I have analysed everything and if we didn’t believe it was possible to take the club forward then there is no way either of us would have done it.
“There is lots of potential here and last year was about steadying the ship. This year is about moving forward. We are confident that we are going to exceed last year’s total of around 6,000 (season-ticket holders) and we are talking to potential new investors all the time.”
Whitcut said work would be carried out during the off-season to improve the Rooley Lane end, Touchdown Bar and the Coral Stand.
The Bulls have two more signings lined up but cannot register and announce them until the RFL rubber-stamp the club’s change of ownership.
Whitcut, who confirmed the Bulls would again be given only half the central monies from the RFL, added: “We will give the RFL finalised documents early next week and they will put that to the board.
“There was no way we would have taken this on if we didn’t think we were going to get the ratification from the RFL.
“It was an educated decision to take the club on. Bradford Bulls has taken over my life for 15 months now and I will do everything I can to make us the best team in Super League again.”
Bulls duo Nathan Conroy and Alex Mellor have been included in a 20-man England’s Academy squad to face Wales in a two-Test series.
Both matches will be played at Taffs Well RFC in Cardiff on October 13 and 18.
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