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‘The whole thing stinks’ – Axed Bradford Bulls boss Mick Potter reacts angrily to talk of Brian Noble return
Mick Potter last night revealed that Brian Noble has been sounded out over a return to the Bulls and that Francis Cummins had snubbed an offer to join him in a newly-formed coaching team.
Potter and his entire backroom team lost their jobs yesterday as administrator Brendan Guilfoyle made 15 members of staff redundant following the club’s slide into administration.
Noble has been approached about taking on the vacant coaching role, possibly on an unpaid voluntary basis, and contacted Cummins about assisting him.
But an angry Potter said at last night’s fans' meeting at the Guide Post Hotel that Cummins had rejected the approach.
“This afternoon Franny Cummins received a phone call from Brian Noble, asking him to work at the Bulls because he needed some help and would Francis do that,” said Potter.
“He sent it as a message so Francis didn’t return the call.
“I thought it’s very early for Brian Noble to come on board given that we have just sacked all the staff.
“That’s pretty ordinary really as far as how it’s gone on and how it’s been created and how it’s developed. The whole thing stinks.”
Cummins is understood to have returned Noble’s call and left him a subsequent message to say he would not be interested in assisting him.
Potter added: “Francis, to his credit, is an honourable guy.
“He just wants people to be honest and this situation is probably not what it seems.
“Credit to Francis Cummins; he held on to his honour and his honesty. You have to take your hat off to him.”
Guilfoyle also attended last night’s meeting but remained tight-lipped about who will now take the coaching reins, yet Noble is understood to be mulling over an offer to take the post.
Sunday’s game is expected to go ahead despite the club being left with no coaching team or groundsmen as things stand.
Winger Karl Pryce told the T&A: “We’ve got no coach, no conditioner... nothing in place for us to carry on with really. What the next decision will be is beyond me.
“Mick and the coaching staff are our leaders. They put things in place in terms of game-plans to maximise the talent we’ve got in the squad. Without that it will be extremely difficult.”
Guilfoyle is set to meet with the Bulls squad and players' union leader Ernie Benbow this morning, and Pryce admitted: “Are the players worried about their jobs? Absolutely.
“No-one is safe in these circumstances.
“Our jobs and livelihoods are at stake. It’s just difficult to take at this moment in time.
“As players we’re in shock. To sack the entire backroom staff – or make them redundant – we cannot believe it.
“They’ve all done a fantastic job, each and every one of them, and for the staff not to be allowed to finish the job they started has left us extremely disappointed.”
Several players used Twitter to vent their anger at the decision to dispense with Potter, Cummins, Lee St Hilaire, Stu Barrow and Paul Medley, plus long-serving administration staff such as chief executive Ryan Duckett, football and media manager Stuart Duffy and relationship manager Debbie Charlton.
Jarrod Sammut said: “How do they expect us to play and train without coaching staff? This is unprofessional. Never seen anything like it in my life.”
John Bateman added: “People behind the scenes need to have a long hard look in the mirror at themselves and think what they are doing.”
Nick Scruton was similarly blunt, saying: “Awful day today. Peoples lives are being ruined with no consequences. Hope things get sorted soon for everyones sake.”
Asked about Noble’s potential return, Pryce added diplomatically: “That’s the rumour that is circulating and if that’s who it is then so be it.
“Whoever comes in, we will back him but it’s just obviously disappointing to lose Mick and his staff in these circumstances.
“I can’t speak for all the players but I will back whoever comes in.”
Potter, meanwhile, said he had not completely given up hope of returning to the Bulls if a buyer could be found but admitted he will now start looking for jobs in his native Australia.