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Richard Lamb issues statement on failed bid to buy Bradford Bulls
Richard Lamb has issued the following statement after seeing his bid to buy the Bulls rejected last week by the RFL.
The London-based businessman fronted a consortium including former Bulls chief executive Abi Ekoku and wealthy property developers from the capital.
Their offer for the club was accepted in principle by administrator David Wilson last Thursday before the RFL requested proof of funds of £1million by the following day in order to seal the deal.
Lamb was unable to meet that deadline
Lamb's statement reads: "After a long few weeks I would like to clarify my role in the attempted purchase of Bradford Bulls.
"When the club went into administration at the end of January, I made approach to the administrators with regard to the purchase of the club. The process and timings were clear & a bid was made under the auspice of Lucid. This was rejected in favour of Bradford Bulls 2014 and confirmation was received that evening.
"After the failure of Bradford Bulls 2014, another approach was made to the administrator with regard to purchasing the club. Some limited information was made available to understand the financial position of the club at which point I approached a number of private investors to get involved to support the club.
"A bid was made and confirmed by the administrators w/c 17th March under an investment vehicle with share capital of £2 million. Proof of funds was asked for & shown to the RFL by the main investor on March 18th to a very significant level.
"On March 19th we were asked by the RFL to show proof of funds to the value of £1 million within 24 hours. Having spoken to a number of other owners, proof of funds has not been involved in the purchase of a club only the funds to buy the club. Any company that is bought out of administration the main focus is showing that funds are available to purchase, what happens next is down to the new owners.
"When I met with the main investor that evening & spoke to his lawyers we confirmed we would work to that deadline. Sadly due to the investor being abroad over Friday-Sunday period the lawyers on Friday am expressed concern re sharing that level of information without written approval of the main investor on the Friday. This confirmation was shared with the RFL.
"Over the Friday-Sunday period I tried to get clarity from the RFL & administrators about who needed to see the £1 million funds & why, as the Administrator didn’t and the RFL only wanted to show funds to keep the club afloat to the end of the season. At all times I confirmed that I could purchase the club with cash.
"On Monday we received confirmation that we were no longer the preferred bidder as the RFL had chosen someone else. It is disappointing for us that more time was not given to us as on Monday we could have shown those available funds.
"Getting involved in any new sport is often hard & people are nervous about your motives.
"Rugby League is a great sport, which needs new investment and support, and as Marwan has stated it needs to engage and encourage new people and companies to get involved. At the moment it is a very hard club to break into."
* Four pages of reaction to Marc Green being announced Bulls owner in tomorrow's T&A
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