The Bulls’ appeal against their points appeal ended in failure today after an independent sporting sanctions panel upheld the club’s six-point penalty.

Bulls owner Marc Green launched the appeal on the basis that the administration was "unforeseeable" and "unavoidable" and the panel heard the club’s and the RFL's case.

The panel included Bill Broughton and Chris Booth, who are partners at Leeds-based legal firm Pinsent Mason, and James Sleight, an insolvency practitioner.

A spokesperson for the Bulls' board of directors said: “We are naturally disappointed with the panel's decision in finding that we did not meet the necessary threshold to allow our appeal to be fully considered.

“Prior to the appeal hearing, we had already taken initial legal advice on our options should the appeal fail. We will now pursue those options with a view to making a decision on how to take matters further forward in the belief that the decision made was wrong.

“Inevitably, there will be upset amongst our players, supporters and sponsors who have throughout been supportive – both on and off the field.

“As a club, we are doing all we can to repay the faith shown by our supporters. We are hopeful that ultimately our efforts will bring success.”

RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer said: “The RFL accepts the decision of the Sporting Sanctions Appeals Panel and would like to place on record its thanks to the panel members for their professional and thorough approach.

“The unique nature of this panel, and the forensic nature of the investigations that have taken place, have made for a very complicated process which is now at a conclusion.

“The time has now come to move on and put this chapter in the history of Bradford Bulls behind the sport.

“Bradford Bulls chairman Marc Green and his fellow directors have acted in a proper and dignified manner throughout this process and their continuing commitment will ensure the club’s future success."

The independent Sporting Sanctions Appeals Panel will hand down a full written judgement within the next 14 days.