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New-look Bradford Bulls add another investor
Andrew Calvert yesterday became the fourth shareholder to come on board at the Bulls as the new regime moved a step closer towards being ratified by the Rugby Football League.
The 50-year-old Bulls fanatic owns Elland-based debt collection agency Credit Resource Solutions, which boasts an annual turnover of £2.5million, and has pumped a significant, undisclosed sum into the club.
Calvert’s business acumen will see him act as the Bulls’ financial director and join Ian Watt, Mark Moore and Ryan Whitcut as part of the Bulls’ new corporate ownership structure.
Watt will become managing director while Moore and Whitcut will work closely alongside chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul, with the new board’s first meeting due to be held today.
The team met with RFL director of standards and licensing Blake Solly yesterday to provide full details on Calvert’s investment as the ratification process gathers pace.
Calvert, who grew up in Thornton but now lives in Halifax, said: “This club is a big part of my life and I’ve been coming here since I was ten.
“That was in the Keith Mumby era and I remember all the dark times with Northern and glory days with the Bulls.
“Although I’m a lifelong fan, the main reason I’m on board is that I think I can help from a business perspective.
“I believe there are a lot of positive things we can do at the club and a lot of improvement to make.
“I’m well versed in credit control and management of contracts – most of my clients are blue-chip organisations – so issues around compliance and audits are key in my line of work.
“Mark’s expertise is based around merchandising and internet sales and Ian is about corporate communication and infrastructure.
“With Mark, Ian and myself in place, coupled with Robbie’s marketing background and Ryan’s overall general management, we’ve got a team who can really drive the club forward off the field.
“I believe we will get this business turned around very quickly because we’ve got people with different core skills.
“I will commit at least one day a week to the club in terms of my time but I’m sure it will run beyond that.”
Calvert, whose company has been involved in player and match sponsorship at the Bulls, stressed the importance of running the club as a business.
He said: “If you look at the successful club nowadays, they get their off-field activities right. That’s what allows them to sign better players.”
The new five-strong board will consist of Calvert, Moore, Watt and Whitcut as directors and Hunter-Paul as non-executive director. It is hoped that the change of ownership will be ratified by the RFL next week.
Moore, owner of Bradford-based internet company BedzRus, said: “We are not investors in name only – we all have key responsibilities too and it’s now down to us to do the job.
“There are four shareholders and no-one has a majority share, so we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. That’s why it’s going to work.
“We had a really good meeting with the RFL and have further meetings tomorrow and Tuesday. We’re hoping for some good news very soon.”
Whitcut applauded Calvert’s cash injection and said that no further investors were due to be announced, although a number of parties remained interested in coming on board.
Whitcut said: “Andrew, Mark and Ian run very successful businesses and see Bradford Bulls as an iconic brand that they want to be involved in.”
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