Ferres assures Bradford Bulls fans: Signings are on their way

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Steve Ferres is busy trying to put a squad in place for 2015 Steve Ferres is busy trying to put a squad in place for 2015

AS the Championship comes into increasingly sharp focus for the Bulls, efforts to assemble a squad for 2015 are gathering pace.

Managing director Steve Ferres is largely responsible for overseeing recruitment to Jimmy Lowes’ squad and is a busy man right now.

He is meeting agents and watching DVDs of potential new recruits as well as attempting to secure the services of existing players.

It is a mountainous task as the Bulls plan for next season when, if they do go down, they will look to bounce back at the first attempt.

“Some players will want to stay if we go down and some won’t, so it’s a tough ask,” said Ferres.

“Other teams in the Championship have got a head start on us because they have their players in place and Leigh have been preparing for this day for two years, so there is a dearth of players.

“However, we have quietly been looking at what is available and believe we’ll be in a position to put together what we think is a competitive side challenging to get back into Super League.

“We’re hopeful that we will soon start making announcements about players being retained and new players being added to the squad.

“We are starting to recruit and are actively looking at all options, both in the UK and overseas.”

Luke Gale will ply his trade at Castleford next season and several other players seem certain to depart, especially the higher earners.

Ferres said: “These boys have bought houses and have bills to pay and nobody wants to take a reduction in pay, so it becomes a very difficult and emotive time. But we have players who obviously we won’t be able to afford to keep.”

Nevertheless, the salary cap in the Championship next year is £1million and the Bulls will receive £780,000 in central distribution.

That is more than the £600,000 it has received this season and last after agreeing to forgo half of their £1.2million for two years when Omar Khan bought the club out of administration in September 2012.

Ferres added optimistically: “There are still people who will come to Bradford Bulls and hopefully the brand is still strong.

“That, coupled with the facilities at Tong and the work ethic that Jimmy will bring, is going to make us an attractive proposition.”

Attracting players to Odsal this season, however, has proved difficult.

Ferres said upon his appointment in March that he would seek to replace Jarrod Sammut, Garreth Carvell and Nick Scruton.

Jamal Fakir was the only permanent signing but Ferres said: “We still brought in Fakir, Jay Pitts and Joe Arundel for the rest of the season, plus we had Antonio Kaufusi for a few games and tried everything to get him to stay.

“That highlighted the problem of trying to get quality players to the club – they just weren’t available.

“It became evident that clubs were very reluctant to let players go and we tried to get Leon Pryce back.

“He probably would have come back had we retained Super League status.

“To get him out of his contract, as we tried to do, was always going to be a difficult task.

“We will now do our utmost to keep the players that Jimmy feels will do a job as well as signing players who buy into what we’re trying to achieve.”

Ferres said the Bulls hoped to attract 4,000 supporters to Odsal on a regular basis next season.

He added: “That would make the business model stack up but the loyal supporters also need to play their part.

“That is going to be the ethos going forward.”

Comments (15)

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7:45am Fri 11 Jul 14

Bowlingboy says...

Promising honesty at last....
Promising honesty at last.... Bowlingboy
  • Score: 12

7:51am Fri 11 Jul 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Bowlingboy wrote:
Promising honesty at last....
It makes a change. For once I can see the club moving forward. No stupid predictions of 10k season ticket holders and a budget to boot with no plan B.
Success in the Championship would actually see more fans next year imo. People like to see a competitive team.
[quote][p][bold]Bowlingboy[/bold] wrote: Promising honesty at last....[/p][/quote]It makes a change. For once I can see the club moving forward. No stupid predictions of 10k season ticket holders and a budget to boot with no plan B. Success in the Championship would actually see more fans next year imo. People like to see a competitive team. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 21

8:08am Fri 11 Jul 14

Solomon Grundy says...

It's very sad but this is where we are. Peter Hood hang your head in shame.
It's very sad but this is where we are. Peter Hood hang your head in shame. Solomon Grundy
  • Score: 9

8:29am Fri 11 Jul 14

flashdonut says...

Must agree with the above. 4000 is a realistic and very achievable target. Now I have got my head round relegation I am looking forward to the championship. Keefley Cougars away will be great. 500+ Bulls fans taking over.
Must agree with the above. 4000 is a realistic and very achievable target. Now I have got my head round relegation I am looking forward to the championship. Keefley Cougars away will be great. 500+ Bulls fans taking over. flashdonut
  • Score: 10

8:41am Fri 11 Jul 14

nosher says...

A good article. We are where we are and need to forget about the last few years. Moving forward is the best way to go. New challenges and teams to compete with. We should be able to maintain crowds of 4000. And could actually build on that if we have a winning side. COYB.
A good article. We are where we are and need to forget about the last few years. Moving forward is the best way to go. New challenges and teams to compete with. We should be able to maintain crowds of 4000. And could actually build on that if we have a winning side. COYB. nosher
  • Score: 14

10:10am Fri 11 Jul 14

bullybullman says...

I think its fair to say we are going down so we need to get started for next season. I think its also fair to say with Jimmy on board as Head coach we will have a much better chance of recriuting & bouncing back. All good stuff after a long hard slog under Franny & the previous regimes.
I think its fair to say we are going down so we need to get started for next season. I think its also fair to say with Jimmy on board as Head coach we will have a much better chance of recriuting & bouncing back. All good stuff after a long hard slog under Franny & the previous regimes. bullybullman
  • Score: 11

10:20am Fri 11 Jul 14

Paul from Idle says...

If james is up for it we have to get behind the Bulls!!
If james is up for it we have to get behind the Bulls!! Paul from Idle
  • Score: 10

10:28am Fri 11 Jul 14

Bowlingboy says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
Bowlingboy wrote:
Promising honesty at last....
It makes a change. For once I can see the club moving forward. No stupid predictions of 10k season ticket holders and a budget to boot with no plan B.
Success in the Championship would actually see more fans next year imo. People like to see a competitive team.
I can see 6k or 7k gates easy if they are doing well.
I personally would prefer them playing well in the championship than been an embarassment in Super league
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bowlingboy[/bold] wrote: Promising honesty at last....[/p][/quote]It makes a change. For once I can see the club moving forward. No stupid predictions of 10k season ticket holders and a budget to boot with no plan B. Success in the Championship would actually see more fans next year imo. People like to see a competitive team.[/p][/quote]I can see 6k or 7k gates easy if they are doing well. I personally would prefer them playing well in the championship than been an embarassment in Super league Bowlingboy
  • Score: 13

11:00am Fri 11 Jul 14

bradfordbronco says...

He seems to be saying we are building a side a side to compete with Leigh, Featherstone, Halifax etc. When we should be able to afford a team BETTER than the one we have at present.

The goal is to compete with Wakefield, Hull KR, Hull or whichever the four bottom teams in SL are come the end of 2015 season so we can bounce straight back.

The club needs the supporters to back them and i'm sure they will if they have a winning team with a realistic chance of competing for a SL place. Just competing with the other championship teams isn't good enough.
He seems to be saying we are building a side a side to compete with Leigh, Featherstone, Halifax etc. When we should be able to afford a team BETTER than the one we have at present. The goal is to compete with Wakefield, Hull KR, Hull or whichever the four bottom teams in SL are come the end of 2015 season so we can bounce straight back. The club needs the supporters to back them and i'm sure they will if they have a winning team with a realistic chance of competing for a SL place. Just competing with the other championship teams isn't good enough. bradfordbronco
  • Score: 16

12:21pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Bone_idle18 says...

When the new league structure was introduced, the RFL said that the two relegated teams would also get a parachute payment, as yet to be disclosed. I wonder what that is, and will it be on top of the central funding?

I read that the 2 clubs relegated FROM the championship will get £780,000 each, so if the SL clubs get similar (or more) we should be the most financially well off we've been for years.

If we can't built a team to bounce straight back up with that sort of money, then there really is no hope!

On a different note, and as mentioned by others, I'm quite looking forward to visiting some new/old grounds. Some will bring back quite a few memories and it will be good to get back up to Cumbria as well. SL really should have a Cumbrian team! there's a big pool of players up there who are lacking chances. Do we really need 2 teams in Hull at the expense of a Cumbrian team?
When the new league structure was introduced, the RFL said that the two relegated teams would also get a parachute payment, as yet to be disclosed. I wonder what that is, and will it be on top of the central funding? I read that the 2 clubs relegated FROM the championship will get £780,000 each, so if the SL clubs get similar (or more) we should be the most financially well off we've been for years. If we can't built a team to bounce straight back up with that sort of money, then there really is no hope! On a different note, and as mentioned by others, I'm quite looking forward to visiting some new/old grounds. Some will bring back quite a few memories and it will be good to get back up to Cumbria as well. SL really should have a Cumbrian team! there's a big pool of players up there who are lacking chances. Do we really need 2 teams in Hull at the expense of a Cumbrian team? Bone_idle18
  • Score: 8

12:42pm Fri 11 Jul 14

bully4us says...

Two mates of mine refused to buy a season ticket this year because of disillusionment. They have already said they will go up and buy one this year as they see a better management in place and as said above, they quite fancy watching a year or so playing our old rivals again. I can see the gloom lifting a little as people get used to the idea now and people are starting to look ahead again. I really do think 4k gates will be beaten but if that is all we need for next year then thankfully we have management with their feet on the ground. Most true fans will want to help them get back up so I can see us being the best supported team next year by a long way. I would expect at least 3k season tickets sold.
Two mates of mine refused to buy a season ticket this year because of disillusionment. They have already said they will go up and buy one this year as they see a better management in place and as said above, they quite fancy watching a year or so playing our old rivals again. I can see the gloom lifting a little as people get used to the idea now and people are starting to look ahead again. I really do think 4k gates will be beaten but if that is all we need for next year then thankfully we have management with their feet on the ground. Most true fans will want to help them get back up so I can see us being the best supported team next year by a long way. I would expect at least 3k season tickets sold. bully4us
  • Score: 2

2:39pm Fri 11 Jul 14

fash1966 says...

Boring, but agreed with virtually all the above! If we`ve got a team I`m looking forward to next season. 4,000 fans...and the rest, no problem. C u all at Saint Helens tonight
Boring, but agreed with virtually all the above! If we`ve got a team I`m looking forward to next season. 4,000 fans...and the rest, no problem. C u all at Saint Helens tonight fash1966
  • Score: 1

5:15pm Fri 11 Jul 14

axelf1963 says...

Can't see more than 3.5k average crowd next season, City get 30k going to Wembley but 20k deserters for league matches , Even a winning championship team wont attract big crowds. Spangles may add 1 to the numbers but he cannot come over every week it would cost Nosher a fortune :-)
Can't see more than 3.5k average crowd next season, City get 30k going to Wembley but 20k deserters for league matches , Even a winning championship team wont attract big crowds. Spangles may add 1 to the numbers but he cannot come over every week it would cost Nosher a fortune :-) axelf1963
  • Score: -3

1:23pm Mon 14 Jul 14

no1smytho says...

There will be a Tongan winger/center donning the RAB next season, oh and the lad can tackle, watch this space
There will be a Tongan winger/center donning the RAB next season, oh and the lad can tackle, watch this space no1smytho
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Thu 17 Jul 14

elland road says...

no1smytho wrote:
There will be a Tongan winger/center donning the RAB next season, oh and the lad can tackle, watch this space
Nah it's Brendon hill getting his boots back on that's about it
[quote][p][bold]no1smytho[/bold] wrote: There will be a Tongan winger/center donning the RAB next season, oh and the lad can tackle, watch this space[/p][/quote]Nah it's Brendon hill getting his boots back on that's about it elland road
  • Score: 0
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