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Peter Hood quits as Bradford Bulls chairman
Peter Hood yesterday quit as Bulls chairman and laid down the gauntlet to Chris Caisley to find the investment required to save the club.
Hood, who succeeded Caisley as chairman in 2006, has stepped down along with fellow director Andrew Bennett in the wake of the financial meltdown which has left the Bulls battling for survival.
Shortly after it was announced on March 27 that the club needed £1million to stay in business, Hood and Bennett faced calls for their resignation from a group of majority shareholders including Caisley, Stephen Coulby, Gary Tasker and Rowland Agar.
Together they own over 51 per cent of the club’s shareholding and forced an extraordinary general meeting, scheduled for May 23 at Odsal, where Hood and Bennett had looked certain to be voted off the board.
Instead both men went before they were forced out and cleared their offices at Odsal yesterday, raising doubts over whether the egm will now take place.
The group of majority shareholders will explore opportunities to revive interest from potential investors who had spoken to Hood and push forward talks with parties they have previously held themselves.
Chris (Caisley) has indicated to me and also to club CEO Ryan Duckett that he has investors waiting in the wings who are ready, willing and able to get on board, but apparently they are not prepared to do so under the present regimePeter Hood
They remain determined not to take the club into administration after fans raised over £500,000 to avert that fate last month.
Hood said: “Chris has indicated to me and also to club CEO Ryan Duckett that he has investors waiting in the wings who are ready, willing and able to get on board, but apparently they are not prepared to do so under the present regime.
“Andrew Bennett and I have concluded that the interests of Bradford Bulls and its players, coaches and staff are best served by us making way for Mr Caisley and his cohorts now, rather than awaiting an egm at which we are bound to be out-voted.”
The strategic review of the club that Caisley spoke of last month will begin in earnest, with the first task being to ascertain the depth of the club’s financial woes.
It is expected that Caisley, former general manager Tasker and ex-director Coulby will play key roles in the review and that external financial expertise could also be utilised.
Hood, meanwhile, said his farewells to administration staff individually before Ryan Duckett addressed them as a group.
Duckett later e-mailed all players with news of Hood and Bennett’s resignation from the club’s board of directors, legal notification of which is expected to be lodged at Companies House. Duckett is expected to speak to Mick Potter’s squad in person today.
Caisley, Coulby and Agar could be co-opted onto the board of directors and are expected to meet Duckett tomorrow.
It is understood the club have funds in place to pay the wages of players and staff next week.
Hood had been a member of the club’s board since 1999, which began his second stint as a director following a previous spell on the board in the late eighties and early nineties.
He was deputy chairman since 2001 before taking the reins from Caisley six years ago.
Bradford-born Bennett was appointed to the board in late 2009 after spending the previous year in a voluntary hands-on role revamping marketing strategy.
Bennett is expected to still attend games on a regular basis at Odsal, although it is not clear whether Hood will do likewise.
Meanwhile, Keith Lulia should be fit to face Salford next Friday, despite sustaining a grade one medial strain in last weekend’s win at London Broncos.