The ownership of Bradford Bulls appeared to have been settled last night.
The Super League club’s current board of directors, under the guise of Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd, have had their bid accepted by the administrator.
They had faced competition from London-based businessman Richard Lamb, who tabled an offer yesterday, but it is understood that that did not match the one put forward by the directors led by chairman Mark Moore.
A separate consortium, which included representatives of Bradford Park Avenue Football Club, are understood to have pulled out at the last minute from bidding for the Bulls.
Bradford City joint-chairmen Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes had also expressed an interest in buying the Bulls but stopped short of making an offer.
Both Park Avenue and City were involved in the bidding process to buy the Bulls during the club’s previous spell in administration in 2012, which resulted in Omar Khan taking control.
All interested parties had to table their offers to Leeds-based administrator David Wilson by the the end of business yesterday.
The current directors have made it clear they want to take the club forward and chairman Mr Moore used his programme notes for last weekend’s game against Castleford to outline his plans for the club should Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd see their bid accepted.
Mr Moore said: “I have in place a five-year plan for the club, designed to take us forward and eventually make this a profitable business – something it has not been for a number of years.
“For me, it is all about sustainability and that is what me and my team are working towards.”
Mr Lamb had also spoken publicly during the past fortnight about his desire to transform the club’s fortunes.
OK Bulls Ltd was placed into administration on January 31 after a winding-up order from HMRC following an unpaid tax bill. Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd was given a temporary 28-day licence to run the club.
Mr Wilson, the appointed administrator of OK Bulls Ltd, agreed to sell the club to Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd, a company set up last November and whose directors include Mr Moore, Robbie Hunter-Paul, Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert.
However, as a term of that sale, the new company has been operating under a temporary Super League licence for 28 days to allow Mr Wilson the opportunity to acccept any higher bids.
Although Bradford City’s interest came to nothing after Mr Rhodes held a meeting with the RFL, Mr Lawn said: “We tried to look at something that would have merged both City and Bulls and safeguarded both club’s future in Bradford over the long-term – and not just another short-term fix.
“As things stand, I fear for the future of professional rugby league in Bradford.”
The Bulls were in action against Wakefield last night and are facing a possible points deduction from the RFL following the club’s second spell in administration in less than two years.