Former Bradford Bulls chairman Peter Hood told he will not face sanctions for his part in last year's financial crisis

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Former Bulls chairman Peter Hood is told he will not face sanctions for his part in last year's financial crisis Former Bulls chairman Peter Hood is told he will not face sanctions for his part in last year's financial crisis

Former Bradford Bulls chairman Peter Hood has been told he will not face any sanctions for his role in last year’s financial crisis – and has claimed he could have saved the club from administration had he not been forced out.

The conduct of Mr Hood and fellow former directors Andrew Bennett and Ryan Duckett was investigated by the Insolvency Service, a Government agency, after Bradford Bulls Holdings Ltd entered administration in June 2012.

Mr Hood was quizzed by administrator Brendan Guilfoyle about his conduct in a range of areas – including the sale on the lease of Odsal to the RFL and the Quest for Survival campaign – but he produced a portfolio of evidence to support his actions.

After a lengthy investigation, all three former directors have now received a letter from the Insolvency Service, seen by the Telegraph & Argus, which confirms they are to face no further action – effectively clearing them of any wrongdoing.

Of the three, only Mr Hood was formally interviewed by Mr Guilfoyle, of the P&A Partnership, an accountancy firm specialising in insolvency.

Mr Hood also claimed the Bulls would be in a far better financial position had he and Mr Bennett remained at Odsal.

He said: “I remain convinced that had we been allowed to continue, most of the jobs that were lost could have been saved and the club would today be on a very different financial footing.”

The departure of Mr Hood and Mr Bennett in May 2012, who between them owed 25 per cent of Bradford Bulls Holdings, came during the most turbulent period in the Bulls’ history since club legend Trevor Foster’s reformation of the club in 1964.

After the pair announced in March of last year that the club was to hold the pledge campaign, supporters and the wider rugby league community rallied round to raise about £500,000.

Mr Hood said the club’s financial position had worsened because the Rugby Football League “moved the goalposts” on the terms of an advance of £325,000 of central monies which followed the sale of the lease of Odsal by the club to the governing body for a seven-figure sum.

Mr Hood said the RFL wanted him and Mr Bennett to individually provide personal guarantees on the advance, which they said they were not in a position to do, and so it didn’t happen.

That, coupled with the Royal Bank of Scotland reducing the club’s overdraft facility without warning, had further hampered its cash-flow, he said.

“We launched the Pledge initiative to help address short-term problems caused largely by those changes," said Mr Hood.

“Our priority was to work to safeguard the future of Bradford Bulls and maintain the club’s status in Super League, an ambition in which we had fantastic support from thousands of loyal supporters and right across the rugby league community.”

Mr Hood and Mr Bennett were forced out by a group of majority shareholders in May 2012 and it was hoped the group would find the investment required to keep the club out of administration.

But it was not forthcoming and, after the club was placed into the hands of Mr Guilfoyle on June 26 that year the entire coaching staff was made redundant along with key administration personnel.

Restaurant boss and businessman Omar Khan took control of the club in September 2012.

The Insolvency Service said it could neither confirm nor deny any details of the investigation into the administration.

Mr Hood, who runs his own marketing company in Liversedge, has not been to a Bulls match since his reign as chairman ended but said he plans to start attending games this coming season.

He added: “The club’s new owners and chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul deserve the full support of Bulls’ fans and the city of Bradford so that the club can once again be a major force in English rugby league and continue to positively promote Bradford – locally, nationally and internationally.”

* Peter Hood said all the monies raised during the Quest for Survival campaign went straight into the club’s bank account – which he claimed had about £200,000 in it when he departed.

The former chairman said all the funds went into “one bucket” – the Bulls’ bank account – and was used to meet the club’s day-to-day running costs.

Mr Hood said the Quest for Survival raised about £500,000 and the pledges were only cashed in when it reached that amount.

He added that it was designed to help the Bulls through the first few months after the campaign was started to assist with cash-flow and help the club to get through to the end of 2012.

He said: “We were able to show that in May 2012, when Mr Bennett and I stepped down, the club had substantial cash at bank, it had repaid all of its historical loans from RFL/Super League, and it was able to deal with ordinary trade creditors."

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