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Extra time plea in fight to save Bradford Bulls
The administrator of Bradford Bulls last night issued a plea for further cash from the Rugby Football League in a bid to buy more time to save the struggling rugby league club from liquidation.
Brendan Guilfoyle, of The P&A Partnership, said the only way he could keep hopes of a takeover alive would be to get money from the governing body to pay its £200,000 August wage bill after he failed to find a buyer before yesterday’s deadline.
If no cash can be found to keep the club going, the famous rugby league side could be forced to fold.
Mr Guilfoyle said yesterday: “The only way I can take the Bulls into next month is if the RFL help by paying the wages’ bill.
“Today is the administrators’ deadline to save the Bulls and I don't have an offer for the club which is acceptable to the RFL.
“If the RFL can help me to buy a little more time then I can try to bring an acceptable deal to the table.”
The RFL, which on the eve of the deadline rejected an offer from a consortium of Bradford businessmen known as ABC, last night confirmed it was considering a revised bid from the group and remained “hopeful” a buyer could be found.
RFL director of standards and licensing Blake Solly said: “We have received details of an updated offer to the administrator of Bradford Bulls and will respond to the administrator in due course. Throughout this process the RFL has to recognise its responsibility to safeguard the best interests of the wider game, the competitions and all member clubs.
“We understand the protracted nature of the dialogue and the perceived lack of transparency are a source of frustration for many people but these matters are extremely complex and it is imperative that confidentiality and integrity are maintained throughout this process.”
The governing body, which provided Bulls with an advance on funds to pay its staff in July, did not comment on whether it would be able to pay the club’s wages for August.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed a separate offer for the troubled rugby league side was submitted by Bradford curry house boss Omar Khan on Thursday night.
Former Sports Minister and Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe yesterday said Mr Khan, owner of Omar Khan’s restaurants in Bradford and Skipton , had tabled a formal bid for an undisclosed sum.
He said: “That offer is now with the administrator but we probably won’t know any more until Monday.”
It was also revealed yesterday that Shabir Hussain, managing director of Akbar’s, who had been part of ABC, had left the consortium.
An Akbar’s representative yesterday said its managing director Shabir Hussain had left the consortium but was willing to “unconditionally” pay Bulls up to £50,000 cash per year for the next three years. He confirmed the money would be paid directly to Bradford Bulls, regardless of who took over the club.
Dill Butt, corporate director, said Mr Hussain would donate between £25,000 and £50,000 a year – with the final amount to be decided.
“We have no ulterior motives with the ground or a commercial interest in Bradford Bulls,” he said.
“The donation would be to help them get their cash flow sorted.
“We’re not asking for shares or a place on the board of directors or anything like that. It’s just a donation.
“Bradford Bulls means a lot to a lot of people in Bradford.”