London-based businessman Richard Lamb is hoping to make a bid to buy Bradford Bulls next week after holding talks with the Rugby Football League yesterday.
Mr Lamb, chairman and co-owner of Lucid Direct, a 13-year-old business which was responsible for the hospitality at last year’s Rugby League World Cup, made a flying visit to the RFL’s headquarters in Leeds to meet chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer and Blake Solly, the director of licensing and standards.
The RFL is understood to be speaking to a handful of prospective new owners of the Super League outfit, whose former holding company OK Bulls was placed into administration on January 31.
The move has left the Bulls facing the prospect of a points penalty from the RFL – a decision on which is likely to be announced next week.
Mr Lamb, who has extensive experience working with rugby union clubs, said: “Meeting the RFL allowed me to give them my view about what it would to take to build a commercially-viable club.
“It also gave me greater clarity not only about the situation with the creditors but the state of where the club is at and what the challenges are going forward.
“I think all of us agree that this is a huge opportunity and that it’s very clearly possible to make a success of Bradford Bulls.
“The RFL said the most important thing is that we move forward with clarity and speed but the challenge will be that whoever takes it on will have some uncomfortable conversations with the creditors.
“There are a few areas that I’d need to work through about how we’d get through to the end of the season but for me it’s about investing for the long-term and not just trying to make a fast buck.”
David Wilson, the appointed administrator of OK Bulls, agreed to sell the club to Bradford Bulls 2014, a company set up last November and whose directors include Robbie Hunter-Paul, Mark Moore, Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert.
However, as a term of that sale, the new company is operating under a temporary Super League licence for 28 days during which period, if an alternative and better offer is received and can be progressed, it is understood Bradford Bulls 2014 could step aside.
Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, Mr Lamb added: “The next stage now is to move forward and carry out more work based on today’s conversations.
“I’m due to see the RFL again next week to go through what I think a profit and loss would look like, and a cash-flow based on if we were successful to take over the club at the beginning of March.
“From there, if we all agree that the assumptions I’ve put together and the thought processes are robust, then I’ll make an official offer to the administrator.
“If the club can get through the next few weeks and months, and avoid the boom and bust, then I believe it can emerge in a strong position going forward.”
The Bulls open the season at home to Castleford Tigers tomorrow.