Marc Green backed to spearhead Bradford Bulls revival

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield has lifted trophies galore since Gary Hetherington, right, and Paul Caddick, left, took over at the Rhinos Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield has lifted trophies galore since Gary Hetherington, right, and Paul Caddick, left, took over at the Rhinos

Of all the pain that Bulls supporters have suffered in recent times, the serial success of arch-rivals Leeds Rhinos has been particularly hard to stomach.

Since winning their first championship in 32 years in 2004, the men from Headingley have largely dominated Super League, winning six of the last ten Grand Finals.

Yet Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington can well remember the time when the club faced the bleak prospect of financial ruin.

At the end of the first season of summer rugby in 1996, Leeds were a failing club – at every level.

Debts had spiralled to over £5million.

They finished two places above relegated Workington Town.

Then salvation arrived in the shape of Hetherington, fresh from his success with Sheffield Eagles, and wealthy businessman Paul Caddick.

Hetherington recalled: “Leeds had lost over £500,000, accrued debts of £5.5million, the team narrowly avoided getting relegated and we suffered two crushing defeats against Bradford.

“Leeds Rhinos were extremely close to going out of business and there was nobody in the city who stepped forward to save them.

“It needed two Castleford lads in Paul Caddick and I to come in and get energised by the challenge.

“In 1998, Leeds reached the Grand Final and in 1999 we went to Wembley and won the Challenge Cup, so we turned things round pretty quickly.

“After that, we started developing and introducing younger players into the squad.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Leeds have since emerged as the leading club on and off the field and Hetherington believes new Bulls owner Marc Green can draw inspiration from the renaissance at Headingley.

Hetherington is an acquaintance of the Safeguard Security Group boss and said: “In 1996, Paul Caddick’s professional advisors were telling him not to get involved at Leeds.

“I’ve no doubt that Marc Green has had the same sort of advice but Paul and I look back now and it’s been a magical journey.

“In Marc, you’ve got someone with a real passion for the game and a business outlook for the club.

“When I’ve been in Marc’s company, I’ve been impressed by his quiet determination, passion and enthusiasm to accept what is a huge challenge.

“I think he’s done not only the city of Bradford a favour but also the whole of rugby league by taking on the Bulls and putting his heart and soul into it. There’s no doubt that Marc will be in it for the long haul.”

Hetherington feels the Bulls are now well placed to rebuild from the trauma of the past two years but feels they may have to do so in the Championship next season.

He said: “Bradford are certainly capable of being restored. What Marc Green has inherited are pretty similar circumstances to what Paul Caddick and I took over at Leeds.

“At the time Bradford were one of the top clubs, getting big crowds with a very successful team, whereas Leeds were in decline and narrowly avoided getting relegated in 1996.

“It’s a complete role reversal but I think what happened at Leeds can act as an inspiration to Bradford.

“Similar to Leeds, Bradford are a big club with a big latent support and a terrific history and heritage.

“There are some clubs in Super League who can never be as big as Bradford have been.

“That’s a real positive; the fact it’s one of the big brands and is very capable of being turned around.”

But Hetherington, who is a long-standing friend of new managing director Steve Ferres, believes the Bulls will struggle to avoid relegation largely because the players they need to strengthen their squad simply aren’t available.

He explained: “With seven games gone, Bradford are in a very precarious position, so this year is going to be a huge challenge to elevate themselves above teams other than London.

“They are restricted by the fact that there is a total scarcity of available quality players.

“It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got – you can’t just go out and make half a dozen top-quality signings.

“They will have to manage with pretty much what they’ve got and maybe make some additions to the squad – but that’s the reality of their situation.

“They need to give it their best shot for this year but they really need a short, medium and long-term view.

“The short-term is, of course, to try and turn the business around and at the same time develop a winning culture on the field – but it’s very difficult to do that in Super League.

“There is a very realistic chance that relegation will happen and, mid-term, it may well require them going into the Championship.

“But longer-term, their vision will certainly be to restore Bradford Bulls to one of the game’s top clubs both on and off the field.

“The new structure coming into play from 2015 is a very exciting one and, if the Bulls were to find themselves in the Championship, it does offer a route back into Super League.

“The strategy has got to be very much looking to the longer term. I think what Marc, Steve Ferres and Robbie Hunter-Paul represent is a common-sense approach to building a sustainable future.”

Comments (24)

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6:28am Thu 3 Apr 14

Paul from Idle says...

Looks like Marc has asked Gary to break the news?
Nothing like giving up the fight I for one will call it a day
Looks like Marc has asked Gary to break the news? Nothing like giving up the fight I for one will call it a day Paul from Idle
  • Score: -6

6:40am Thu 3 Apr 14

1964gc says...

The die hards will remain,....
The die hards will remain,.... 1964gc
  • Score: 8

6:47am Thu 3 Apr 14

bullybullman says...

Of all the things we have suffered the worst by far is the constant lies & Bulls*it that has come from our consecutive board of directors. Since Marc Green took over the silence has been deafening.

Is it a case of they concede where going down so why waste money or is it a case of where looking but nothing to report. It would seem that even Franny has been silenced.

The fans have been through enough we need news & information about the plans & what’s going on. If we continue like this crowds will dwindle further.

As Paul says it looks like the dirty work is being done by someone else. We can not throw the towel in after round 7 Catalans are vulnerable as are Wakefield with a few more half decent players we have a chance to scrape in and survive.
Of all the things we have suffered the worst by far is the constant lies & Bulls*it that has come from our consecutive board of directors. Since Marc Green took over the silence has been deafening. Is it a case of they concede where going down so why waste money or is it a case of where looking but nothing to report. It would seem that even Franny has been silenced. The fans have been through enough we need news & information about the plans & what’s going on. If we continue like this crowds will dwindle further. As Paul says it looks like the dirty work is being done by someone else. We can not throw the towel in after round 7 Catalans are vulnerable as are Wakefield with a few more half decent players we have a chance to scrape in and survive. bullybullman
  • Score: 7

6:48am Thu 3 Apr 14

Paul from Idle says...

But the die hards will not fund a climb out of the championship. If the club gets Fakir and Bailey they have a good chance of staying up .
Leeds didn't get relegated if they had who knows?
Ferries was employed to over see the transition from SL1 to championship end of
But the die hards will not fund a climb out of the championship. If the club gets Fakir and Bailey they have a good chance of staying up . Leeds didn't get relegated if they had who knows? Ferries was employed to over see the transition from SL1 to championship end of Paul from Idle
  • Score: -2

6:53am Thu 3 Apr 14

bullybullman says...

Paul from Idle wrote:
But the die hards will not fund a climb out of the championship. If the club gets Fakir and Bailey they have a good chance of staying up .
Leeds didn't get relegated if they had who knows?
Ferries was employed to over see the transition from SL1 to championship end of
Totally agree a couple of signings could make all the difference.
[quote][p][bold]Paul from Idle[/bold] wrote: But the die hards will not fund a climb out of the championship. If the club gets Fakir and Bailey they have a good chance of staying up . Leeds didn't get relegated if they had who knows? Ferries was employed to over see the transition from SL1 to championship end of[/p][/quote]Totally agree a couple of signings could make all the difference. bullybullman
  • Score: 5

7:07am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

Green is a Leeds fan
Green is a Leeds fan axelf1963
  • Score: -1

7:10am Thu 3 Apr 14

BrisBull says...

I suggest that the silence is due to the review of the business units. When they know what they're dealing with I'd expect more communication.
I suggest that the silence is due to the review of the business units. When they know what they're dealing with I'd expect more communication. BrisBull
  • Score: 4

7:10am Thu 3 Apr 14

1964gc says...

As I say the diehards will remain and the club will survive in whatever format,everyone has there turn in the spotlight winning this winning that,we were lucky enough to have a successful period not too long ago,Halifax ,Widnes in recent years all were a major force but have had to endure times in the wilderness

Better times will return
As I say the diehards will remain and the club will survive in whatever format,everyone has there turn in the spotlight winning this winning that,we were lucky enough to have a successful period not too long ago,Halifax ,Widnes in recent years all were a major force but have had to endure times in the wilderness Better times will return 1964gc
  • Score: 0

7:36am Thu 3 Apr 14

Paul from Idle says...

Halifax are still there...
Halifax are still there... Paul from Idle
  • Score: -5

7:43am Thu 3 Apr 14

1964gc says...

Paul from Idle wrote:
Halifax are still there...
Yes but they still have a club and better times will return for them no doubt,
[quote][p][bold]Paul from Idle[/bold] wrote: Halifax are still there...[/p][/quote]Yes but they still have a club and better times will return for them no doubt, 1964gc
  • Score: 5

7:47am Thu 3 Apr 14

Van Bellen's Baby says...

At least we learn from this article that Green is a passionate RL fan! Generally a good article I'd say.
At least we learn from this article that Green is a passionate RL fan! Generally a good article I'd say. Van Bellen's Baby
  • Score: 8

8:04am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelff1963 obsessed by viking says...

axelf1963 wrote:
Green is a Leeds fan
And you love Viking, it takes all sorts.
[quote][p][bold]axelf1963[/bold] wrote: Green is a Leeds fan[/p][/quote]And you love Viking, it takes all sorts. axelff1963 obsessed by viking
  • Score: 3

8:23am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

I do love Viking especially now he/she has had the operation, Who knows I may ask her out for a date.
I do love Viking especially now he/she has had the operation, Who knows I may ask her out for a date. axelf1963
  • Score: -5

8:57am Thu 3 Apr 14

BrisBull says...

Green first press conference today
Green first press conference today BrisBull
  • Score: 2

9:17am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelff1963 obsessed by viking says...

Let's hope he will announce funding for some new signings. With some new faces plus injured players returning we still can avoid relegation.
Let's hope he will announce funding for some new signings. With some new faces plus injured players returning we still can avoid relegation. axelff1963 obsessed by viking
  • Score: 2

9:35am Thu 3 Apr 14

BierleyBoy says...

Green has said nothing throughout the whole process, from acquiring the debenture to this point. Unusual to say the least....
Green has said nothing throughout the whole process, from acquiring the debenture to this point. Unusual to say the least.... BierleyBoy
  • Score: 2

9:36am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

Viking give into your feelings and stop creating user names its embarrassing.
Viking give into your feelings and stop creating user names its embarrassing. axelf1963
  • Score: -3

9:46am Thu 3 Apr 14

spanglishbull.uk says...

I have deliberately kept off the site after new ownership hoping the lunatics would have got fed up and The R.L. fans could have some sensible discussions about Rugby.What do I find? More lunatics have joined,unless of course Axel has made some other names up.Time for me to close my account.
I have deliberately kept off the site after new ownership hoping the lunatics would have got fed up and The R.L. fans could have some sensible discussions about Rugby.What do I find? More lunatics have joined,unless of course Axel has made some other names up.Time for me to close my account. spanglishbull.uk
  • Score: 3

9:58am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

Go sit on your sunny patio rather than telling everyone on here what they should be doing.
You don't give the bulls any support financially or vocally on the terrace so no one will miss you.
BYE
Go sit on your sunny patio rather than telling everyone on here what they should be doing. You don't give the bulls any support financially or vocally on the terrace so no one will miss you. BYE axelf1963
  • Score: -3

11:10am Thu 3 Apr 14

bully4us says...

Don't talk to idiots. Would you go sit next to one on the train or bus - no you wouldn't, so why do people talk to them on here? ignore them and they get fed up.
Don't talk to idiots. Would you go sit next to one on the train or bus - no you wouldn't, so why do people talk to them on here? ignore them and they get fed up. bully4us
  • Score: 0

11:11am Thu 3 Apr 14

axelf1963 says...

And you are ?
And you are ? axelf1963
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Thu 3 Apr 14

hunsworthbull says...

Paul from Idle wrote:
Looks like Marc has asked Gary to break the news?
Nothing like giving up the fight I for one will call it a day
You will return when they start winning all clubs have glory hunting supporters like yourself
[quote][p][bold]Paul from Idle[/bold] wrote: Looks like Marc has asked Gary to break the news? Nothing like giving up the fight I for one will call it a day[/p][/quote]You will return when they start winning all clubs have glory hunting supporters like yourself hunsworthbull
  • Score: 3

10:59pm Thu 3 Apr 14

bradfordbronco says...

axelf1963 wrote:
Viking give into your feelings and stop creating user names its embarrassing.
Aw, He doesn't like it Viking. He can give it, but he cant take it. What a baby
[quote][p][bold]axelf1963[/bold] wrote: Viking give into your feelings and stop creating user names its embarrassing.[/p][/quote]Aw, He doesn't like it Viking. He can give it, but he cant take it. What a baby bradfordbronco
  • Score: 0

11:32am Sat 5 Apr 14

salford red says...

the rfl took the bid off mr green,and I hope it works out..but rfl there statement ?..other bids did not have financial security..mrs koukah the family are multi millionaires..is it the rfl are running scared their little boy's club, might have some who will speak up against them. break their monopoly.bring in new ideas for the good of rugby league
the rfl took the bid off mr green,and I hope it works out..but rfl there statement ?..other bids did not have financial security..mrs koukah the family are multi millionaires..is it the rfl are running scared their little boy's club, might have some who will speak up against them. break their monopoly.bring in new ideas for the good of rugby league salford red
  • Score: 1

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