As Bradford Bulls board drop new financial bombshell, Cummins admits: I may lose some of my players (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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As Bradford Bulls board drop new financial bombshell, Francis Cummins admits: I may lose some of my players
FACING FACTS: Pragmatic Bulls coach Francis Cummins knows “one or two” of his high-earners may leave Odsal to save the club money
Francis Cummins last night accepted the Bulls must do “what is best for the club” as it was revealed that huge savings must be made to safeguard its future.
The head coach addressed supporters at the latest fans’ forum in the Coral Stand, where directors Ian Watt, Andrew Calvert and Mark Moore spoke of the club’s financial plight.
The Bulls must make savings in every department as they bid to shed £400,000 from their outgoings in the next 12 months.
Cummins and his players were told about the situation yesterday and, while the first-team squad are being “ring-fenced” from the proposed cuts, the head coach admitted a number of high-earners could depart to ease the financial burden.
Cummins said: “We’re going to have to do what’s best for the club and that might be that one or two players move on.
“If that means that the club can go forward and build then that’s what we are going to have to do – but none of the young players will be leaving.”
Crucially, the directors stated that any player who leaves will be replaced, albeit on vastly reduced wages.
Cummins, who was assistant to Mick Potter when the club’s entire coaching staff were made redundant by administrator Brendan Guilfoyle during the summer of 2012, said his squad had taken yesterday’s news on the chin.
He added: “There have been easier times to play, coach and support Bradford Bulls but there have been a lot worse as well.
“I was here when we were in administration and people were working without pay, so it almost feels better for me straight away.
“I always find that if you know where you are then you can confront it, start making changes and improvements.
“I think the players appreciate the honesty because they have been given it straight – this is the situation.
“I told the players that the things we can affect are how we play on a rugby field and, fortunately, most of the squad are battle-hardened.
“They have been through the worst time when we were in administration last year, they went through that wobble earlier this year of getting paid late and then there were all the rumours of administration.
“I think they are probably more relieved than anything that it’s not gone to administration and we can kick on, although it’s clear the club needs to make some pretty significant savings.”
Cummins has assembled a sizeable backroom staff during the close-season and added cautiously: “We can’t function and look after our players with two or three staff.
“It just doesn’t work but if you have to find a different way to provide the same level of support then we would have to look at the next-best thing.”
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