'An important step' says Sutcliffe as RFL ratify Bradford Bulls takeover (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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'An important step' says Sutcliffe as RFL ratify Bradford Bulls takeover
The takeover of Bradford Bulls by local businessman Omar Khan was today ratified by the Rugby Football League.
The RFL's board of directors took a decision via a conference call to transfer membership to OK Bulls Ltd, the new company established to take the Super League club out of administration.
Bradford's membership was suspended when they went into administration on June 26, but the club were re-admitted after Khan and MP Gerry Sutcliffe provided the information required by the governing body to complete their due diligence into their financial status.
RFL director of standards and licensing Blake Solly said: "The board's decision finally closes the door on much of the uncertainty that has surrounded Bradford Bulls in recent months.
"The club's new owners have co-operated fully with the RFL throughout this necessarily extensive process and we look forward to working with Mr Khan and Mr Sutcliffe in the months and years ahead."
Khan, a local restaurant owner, is the sole director of the new club, with former sports minister Sutcliffe becoming honorary chairman, but they plan to bring in people to help run the club.
The pair announced they had acquired the four-times Super League champions from the administrators 11 days ago but were unable to make any progress in putting together a new administration until the RFL gave their official seal of approval.
That came today, but the new owners will have to wait a little longer to discover whether or not the team will be allowed to remain in Super League or start again in the Championship.
Solly added: "The decision to grant membership is an important step that will help the board to determine which competition Bradford Bulls will compete in from 2013."
The RFL say details of how the board will reach that decision will be confirmed before the end of this week.
That is likely to mean more frustration for the Bulls' coaching staff as well as up to 17 players whose contracts are due to expire in the coming weeks.
Head coach Mick Potter, who is also out of contract, and his assistants Francis Cummins and Lee St Hilaire have all been working on a voluntary basis since being made redundant by the administrator in early July.
Bradford's season ended at the weekend when they lost to Catalan Dragons in Perpignan, failing to reach the play-offs for the fourth consecutive season.
Sutcliffe welcomed today’s announcement but called on the RFL to make a quick decision on the club’s Super League status.
“We’re very pleased, it’s a step in the right direction but it’s still frustrating not knowing about our Super League status,” he said.
“We’re making progress and talking to sponsors and people who have the club at heart but we’re not able to sell season tickets or put our business plan forward until we know that.
“We believe we have proved we’re a Super League club but until we get that tick we can’t move forward.”