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Fans get chance to buy Bradford Bulls shares
Bradford Bulls’ owner Omar Khan has spoken of his dream of building a ‘community club’ as he announced fans will soon be able to buy shares in the outfit.
The restaurant boss, who saved the ailing club from the brink of liquidation six months ago, revealed it was always his plan to allow supporters to own a stake in the club once the Super League side was back on a sound financial footing.
“I want the fans and community to be involved in the club, so I have decided to release some shares and let them be part of the club,” he said.
“Bradford Bulls is part of the community and I want to give everyone the chance to come on board.
“I wanted to make sure the club is secure and everything was up and running before I would announce this, but it has always been part of my vision from the moment I took over the club.
“I have the support of the board and this is what we will do.”
Mr Khan will remain the largest stakeholder and said he has yet to decide what percentage of shares will be available to fans.
But he added: “The supporters were fantastic when the club was in difficulties under the old regime, but now the club is flourishing. I want people to feel it’s their club.
“I think the club needs somebody like myself in charge. I will never walk away from the club. It’s my passion, my life – I’ve been following it for 20-30 years – and have put my soul into it.
“From the start I wanted to turn it around and make it successful. Shares will be available to anyone who wants them.”
Former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, honorary chairman of Mr Khan’s OK Bulls Ltd, said the club would be valued before shares were made available and the move would bring in investment.
He also revealed how three businesses had been in touch to express an interest in getting involved at the club, which has been in talks with government officials in Qatar about how to replicate the success of its world-class Aspire sports facility.
Mr Sutcliffe said: “When Omar bought the club he always wanted to turn it into a community club. We want to do that by having shareholding fans and bringing businesses on board as a positive development.”
Shareholders from the defunct previous company Bradford Bulls Holdings Ltd lost out when the business went into administration last year, running up £1.5 million of debts.
But asked if he believed fans would be unsure about investing their cash after the collapse of the former business, Mr Khan said: “What we don’t want to do is go back to those days. We need to further the growth of the club. We need investment to secure the financial well-being of the club.”