A former owner of Bradford Bulls last night vowed to pay back a £200,000 loan received from Bradford Council.
The authority granted the Super League club the cash shortly after restaurant boss Omar Khan took the helm at Odsal in September 2012.
The repayment of the money was raised at a meeting of Bradford Council earlier this week. Now, Mr Khan – whose company OK Bulls was the recipient of the loan – has promised the money will be repaid.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Khan said: “We are honouring the agreement we have with the Council, which is we are paying the amount that is due.”
Council leader David Green had vowed to get the money back after being quizzed about it by Liberal Democrats group leader Councillor Jeanette Sunderland on Tuesday.
He said: “With any outstanding debts to the Council, our preference is for a negotiated settlement. If a negotiated settlement is not achievable, we will pursue the matter in line with the best legal and financial advice, which includes court action.
“We never write debts off, which is one of the reasons why it has been pointed out that some of the Council tax collection rates do not compare favourably with other local authorities, which have written debts off.
“I can assure this Council that if there is a commercial debt, it will not be written off and we are pursuing all commercial debts owed at this moment.”
In January, Coun David Robinson (Lab, Wyke) asked the Council how the loan repayment would be affected after Mr Khan transferred his shares to local businessmen Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert.
The authority clarified the loan had been made to the company that ran the club, OK Bulls, and not the previous owner directly.
But it stressed Mr Khan had signed a separate guarantee as security for the loan. In its written answer at the time, the Council said: “There are currently negotiations taking place about the transfer of ownership of the shares of Bradford Bulls, which by their very nature are commercially confidential.
“The Council has security in place in respect of the loan, by means of a separate guarantee signed by the owner who is now seeking to transfer ownership.”