Salford Red Devils owner Dr Marwan Koukash last night said he was “90 per cent confident” his wife’s bid for Bradford Bulls would be accepted after the deadline for buyers passed.
Mandy Koukash, businessman Richard Lamb and a consortium led by representatives of Bradford Park Avenue Football Club all tabled offers with Leeds-based administrator David Wilson by 5.30pm yesterday.
Former Bulls owner Omar Khan did not make a bid but Bradford City joint-chairmen Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes put a proposal forward they say would have kept the Super League outfit at Odsal for the foreseeable future.
“But we won’t be drawn into a bidding war,” said Mr Lawn.
Debenture holder Marc Green, the managing director of Safeguard Security Group, is also believed to be in the running to take control.
A decision is expected to be made by the administrator and the Rugby Football League by early next week at the latest.
The club will go to the highest cash bidder provided they have proof of funds and a business plan to satisfy the RFL.
Blake Solly, the RFL’s director of licensing and standards, said last night: “The administrator asked for all bids to be in by the close of play today.
“We’ll be working with the administrator tomorrow and over the weekend to assess those offers.
“There should be an announcement on the successful bid early next week.”
Mr Solly was unable to comment on individual bids but it is understood that Mrs Koukash has already passed the RFL’s fit and proper persons test.
Dr Koukash, a one-time Palestinian refugee and multi-millionaire racehorse owner, bought Salford just over a year ago but there is nothing in the rules to prevent a husband and wife owning different Super League clubs.
There is a precedent, with Gary Hetherington holding the role of chief executive of Leeds while his wife Kathy, a former Hull chairman and major shareholder, is now acting as consultant chief executive at Wakefield.
Dr Koukash said that he and his wife planned to attend Sunday’s home match with Huddersfield at Odsal.
He told the T&A: “I’m 90 per cent confident Mandy’s bid will be accepted.
“She has the funds and the resources to take the Bulls forward because it’s a massive brand with huge potential.
"Mandy is not going to be hands-on but she’s got a team that would come in and do a good job for her.
“Mandy’s like me, she absolutely loves rugby league and people have to realise that we genuinely want to help Bradford.
“If her bid is not accepted, I’m sure Mandy would still look at ways of being involved in the club. That could mean buying a stake in the Bulls as an investor.”
Former Bulls coach Brian Noble, who is a freeman of the city after guiding his hometown club to five successive Grand Finals, advised the Koukash family.
Mr Noble said: “I’ve given them a feel for the club and how massive Bradford can be if it is run properly.
“I’ve certainly suggested that should Mandy want to get involved because Bradford has the potential that Salford has now.
“First and foremost I’m a proud Bradfordian – I remember walking up to the club when I was 15-years-old – and I really want them to be second best behind Salford.
“I hope Mandy gets it. If she can bring the same enthusiasm and energy to Bradford that has been brought here, then happy days.
“Something needs to happen and I hope that whoever takes them on has the same vision and dreams that we have.”