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No more player departures, says Bradford Bulls chairman Mark Moore
Bulls chairman Mark Moore today insisted there would be no further player departures following the club’s change of ownership yesterday.
After OK Bulls Ltd was placed into administration, Bradford Bulls 2014 will now run the club with Moore, Ian Watt, financial director Andrew Calvert and chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul on the board of directors.
Frank Winterstein’s contract with the Bulls was cancelled before he had played for the club but Moore said the rest of Francis Cummins’ squad would remain intact.
Moore said: “Yesterday provided a brand-new beginning for this famous club and I am delighted to announce that there is no longer an appetite to make player sales.
“We have in the past held talks with other clubs about a few of our players, but prospective deals never came to fruition for one reason or another.
“However, none of that matters now. As of today, our first-team squad is ring-fenced and no-one is for sale.
“I am extremely confident in the ability of the players present within Francis Cummins' squad and I believe they are capable of competing at the very least this term.
“This is by some way the most exciting team this club has had for a number of years and I am proud to say that.
“The way in which the team performed, while at full strength against Hull FC earlier this month, was hugely impressive and certainly raised a few eyebrows among members of the media.
“That display epitomised what we are going to be all about in 2014 and it was great to see.
“I cannot wait for tomorrow's visit of Castleford Tigers. It is our final dress rehearsal ahead of what promises to be one of the most exciting Super League seasons in the history of the sport.”
Moore also issued an apology for a story on the Bulls’ official website which claimed the club would start the season without a points deduction.
The story was quickly taken down after contact from the RFL, who insisted that no decision had yet been made on any possible sanctions to the Bulls’ following the club’s administration.
The RFL’s board of directors are set to meet next week to decide on what action, if any, will be taken against the Bulls as they seek to avoid a points penalty.
Moore, who said the club would work with creditors, added: “I made my first mistake, by having a misunderstanding of the due process needed to guarantee starting the Super League equally with all other clubs.
“As we have publicly stated, we would be working with creditors of OK Bulls Ltd and I wrongly perceived that this would guarantee us starting the season without a points deduction.
“It was quickly pointed out to me that first the governing body has the responsibility to follow a due process and undertake a thorough investigation, for which we will be completely compliant and will assist in every way possible.
“I apologise, as my newness to the sport means I still have some structural conditions to become familiar with.
“We are very confident, however, that we will fulfil the requirements needed and will work tirelessly to make sure the Rugby Football League receive exactly what information is required.”
Moore also paid tribute to fans, adding: “The new company brings with it an air of transparency, which Bradford Bulls supporters have been seeking for some time now.
“Our supporters now have a clear understanding of who owns, and who is running and directing their club.
“We are determined to take this club back to where it belongs and, with the support from the terraces, we will succeed.”
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