Francis Cummins has spoken of his belief that the Bulls can avoid relegation after they were docked six points and the board of directors withdrew their bid to buy the club.
The Bulls’ worst fears were realised on a tumultuous day which saw their survival hopes dealt a savage blow and prospective buyers Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd walk out.
The company, led by directors Mark Moore, Andrew Calvert, Ian Watt and Robbie Hunter-Paul, were told by the RFL that the Bulls would be placed in special measures had their bid to buy the club from administrator David Wilson been completed.
Special measures apply when the governing body does not have sufficient confidence in a club to pay wages and fulfil its fixtures.
In short, it means a club cannot do anything without RFL approval, including making permanent player signings, and Cummins was left bitterly disappointed with the RFL’s stance.
The Bulls head coach said: “Losing the points is a body blow but I wasn’t too concerned about that because I believe in the group we’ve got.
“I’d be confident to recoup the points provided we can strengthen the squad and look to add in some loans.
“While we’re not going to be signing Sonny Bill Williams, we need some cavalry coming somewhere along the line. But if you’re not being allowed to compete then it gets tougher and tougher because we’ve got a small enough squad as it is.
“It’s ludicrous and has been like this for a long, long time. I just hope that finally something happens now because it’s a really poor situation.
“But like I say, I’m totally confident in those boys we’ve got.
“We weren’t that far away against Castleford and their attitude at Wakefield was superb, so we’re getting better and better.
“Half our money has been taken away and even some of our players have been taken away but things are still happening here.
“We’ve had our hands tied behind our back anyway but maybe this is one punch in the stomach too many. It’s just a very difficult time.”
Cummins and his players had yesterday off but will be back at their training base at Tong in preparation for Sunday’s game with London Broncos.
The Bulls boss admitted he was unsure what state of mind his players would be in, adding: “The one thing that has kept us going through all this is how well the boys have been training. If they decide that they want to keep that going then great.
“If they don’t, then who can blame them?”
Cummins said he had never contemplated the prospect of quitting despite the constant obstacles which have barred his way since taking the job 17 months ago.
But he vowed that him and his staff would not work without pay again as they had done during the Bulls’ previous spell in administration in 2012.
Cummins said: “I’ve never once thought about walking away, I would never do it.
“But those days of volunteering from the staff are gone.
“That will never happen again because the staff have gone further than their job description and have done so much for this club.
“They have worked for free and done all the extras hours but there will be none of that now because people feel there is a massive sense of injustice.”
The club’s players and staff are due to be paid imminently and the RFL’s director of licensing and standards Blake Solly said: “That’s a discussion we are having with the administrator at the moment.
“The wages are not guaranteed but history would suggest we’ve done everything possible to ensure they are met.”
* Wakefield Trinity Wildcats centre Dean Collis received a two-match ban last night after submitting an early-guilty plea to a dangerous tackle on Bulls stand-off Lee Gaskell during his side’s home defeat last Thursday.
But London Broncos’ hooker Scott Moore was cleared to play in Sunday’s game at the Bulls after being found not guilty of a dangerous tackle on prop Darrell Griffin during his side’s 44-18 defeat by Salford City Red Devils last Saturday.