The Bulls’ bid to claw back points has taken a significant step forward after the Rugby Football League granted them an unprecedented appeal against the penalty.
OK Bulls Ltd, the club’s former holding company, was placed into administration on January 31, leading the RFL to impose the standard six-point punishment on Francis Cummins’ side.
The penalty, handed out on February 25, dealt a massive blow to the Bulls’ survival hopes in a season in which the bottom two teams in Super League will be relegated.
Friday’s home defeat at the hands of Salford Red Devils left Cummins’ side on minus two points and six points from safety with almost a third of the season gone.
But the Bulls say they have been granted a right of appeal by the RFL and that an independent panel will now hear their case.
It is not clear when the hearing will be held but the club said in a statement: “Bradford Bulls can today announce their right of appeal against the points deduction has been granted by the sport’s governing body.
“The notice of intention to appeal was lodged with the Rugby Football League, by former administrator David Wilson, however the appeal could not proceed until the ownership of the club was resolved.
“Following consultation with legal representatives, the new board have confirmed their intention to proceed with the appeal process and are now awaiting a hearing date.
“Bradford Bulls will be making no further comment on the matter at this time.”
Blake Solly, the RFL’s director of licensing and standards, told the Telegraph & Argus last month that the Bulls had a right to appeal their points penalty as and when new owners were in position.
Marc Green completed his takeover of the club on March 26 and recently confirmed the Bulls were considering appealing their six-point deduction.
Whether or not they are successful in winning back any points could be determined by how much they are willing to pay off creditors.
Previously Wakefield and Crusaders were docked four points when they entered administration after the RFL took into account the new owners’ willingness to pay off some of the debts to creditors.
Solly said on March 10: “There is an appeal process whereby a sporting sanctions appeal panel is set up by the RFL and that includes one of our independent tribunal chairmen and an insolvency practitioner.
“They would hear the case put forward by the club and make a decision on any appeal.
“Amongst other things, they would assess whether the administration was avoidable.”
* Bulls legend Lesley Vainikolo will make a special guest appearance at the Provident Stadium for the visit of arch-rivals Leeds Rhinos on Thursday.