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Gary Tasker and Mick Potter swallow bitter pill as administration costs Bradford Bulls six points
Gary Tasker declared himself “sickened” at the Bulls’ six-point penalty yesterday and insisted Mick Potter’s players had been punished for previous incompetence at boardroom level.
The Bulls were hit with the standard penalty for entering administration by the Rugby Football League and now lie two points outside of the play-off places.
Interim chief executive Tasker, who worked as general manager at Odsal between 1982 and 2000 before returning recently on a voluntary basis, accepted the penalty but felt the wrong people had been made to pay.
“I’ve been involved with the club for almost 20 years and never before have we had this kind of sporting sanction imposed upon us,” he said.
“But the really sickening thing for me is that the people who make the sport – the players and the coaching staff – are the ones being penalised.
“The players have literally given blood and sweat to win those six points and now they have been taken away.
“That is all because of incompetence and mismanagement in the boardroom at this club.
“That’s sport, that’s the way it’s structured, and we know how the rules work. We just have to accept them and kick on now.”
Despite being bundled out of the play-off spots, the Bulls are now just one position behind eighth-placed Hull KR, who are scheduled to visit Odsal next month for a game that has been switched to Friday, August 10 for live coverage on Sky.
Wakefield and Crusaders both copped four-point penalties for entering administration but escaped with a lighter sanction due to RFL directors taking into account the new owners’ willingness to pay off some of the debts to creditors.
Tasker said: “We are not yet in a position to be able to offer any recompense to our creditors and as such a six-point deduction was what we expected.
“We are still in the competition and a place in the top eight – and with it the ability to make the play-offs – is still within our grasp and we will be travelling to Warrington on Sunday in a confident and determined mood.”
Potter, meanwhile, echoed Tasker’s sentiments on the points penalty as he said: “It’s just a bitter pill to swallow because these circumstances have been brought on by factors beyond our control.
“The players and the fans have copped the brunt of the penalty. We’ve worked really hard this year and the players have applied themselves to get back up the table – and then they got chopped at the knees.
“It’s not unexpected but it’s still a kick in the stomach. I hope there will be no shift in mentality from our players but you never really know.”
On the prospect finding a buyer for the club before tomorrow’s deadline, Potter added: “I don’t know whether the deadline will get extended or whether they are close to agreeing a deal.
“Maybe we’ll get some clarity and maybe it will be news that we don’t want to hear.
“It’s a worrying time for all concerned and we’re talking about the livelihoods of probably 60-odd people – staff, players and part-time staff.
“I’m looking at how much flights cost and at trying to get a job in Australia. I’m also trying to keep in contact with people at the club to secure my future here. I don’t know which way it’s going to fall, so I’ve got to plan ahead.”
* Bulls duo John Bateman and Liam McAvoy starred as England Academy opened their touring account with a 28-18 victory over New South Wales Juniors at Narrabeen.