Bradford Bulls administrator denies any plot to buy club on the cheap (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford Bulls administrator denies any plot to buy club on the cheap
The joint administrator of stricken Bradford Bulls firmly denied there was a “cunning plan” for any past directors or shareholders to buy the club debt free during a heated crisis meeting tonight.
Brendan Guilfoyle told hundreds of supporters, who had packed into The Guide Post Hotel in a last-ditch attempt to save their club, that rumours of a possible takeover by former club figures circulating on the internet and Twitter were “wrong” and that no one was “kicking his door down” to buy the Super League side.
He revealed he had been contacted by people interested in acting as interim chief executive and a coach “for no money” after he made chief executive Ryan Duckett and coach Mick Potter redundant earlier in the day – but would not reveal their names or any more information.
Mr Guilfoyle said: “If you believe there’s a cunning plan by which previous directors or shareholders are going to acquire this club debt free, you are wrong.”
Around 500 fans stood in a bar area of the Common Road hotel to hear the administrator explain why he made members of the club’s coaching staff redundant to cut its wage bill and how he had been approached by “a number of people” to step in and help free of charge.
Members of the crowd mentioned names, including former coach Brian Noble and previous chairman Chris Caisley, but Mr Guilfoyle said: “Tphe speculation on the Twittershere and blogs is not helping me at all.
“I have received approaches from a number of people – more than one to act as interim coach and more than one to act as interim chief executive for no money – just expenses – until I can sort this club’s problems.”
Mr Guilfoyle said he hoped to have an extra fortnight to prevent the Bulls from being liquidated.
He must find around £200,000 to pay the players’ wages and said he was confident, after meeting the Rugby Football League yesterday, they would advance him the club’s next scheduled central payment to cover the cost. That could give him up to July 19 at the latest to find new investment. Mr Guilfoyle urged fans to turn out in force for the club’s game against London Broncos on Sunday, which normally draws a small attendance, because they could make a loss by staging the fixture.
Season ticket holders agreed to pay again at the turnstiles after the administrator said an attendance of 5,000 would generate cash towards paying the club’s wage bill for July. Supporters also offered to help staff turnstiles and provide security at the game.
Fans also discussed the possibility of a supporters’ trust taking over the club if it went into liquidation, but Mr Guilfoyle said he did not believe there was time to form a bid which would satisfy the Rugby Football League to keep its Super League status.
He added: “They have indicated the board would look favourably to the transfer of the franchise to a new club depending on the quality of the offer.”
Mr Guilfoyle said it was his “dream” that a consortium of Bradford businesses would join forces to save the club and urged anyone interested to contact him.
He said he had been approached by people who wanted more information about buying the club but had not received an offer.
Carl Kitson, chairman of the event, took a vote from the audience, who gave their support to the idea of a supporters’ trust taking over the club to give fans a bigger say.