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Last-ditch plea by club administrators for League cash to stave off liquidation
The Rugby Football League was expected to announce later today if it can offer cash to help troubled Bradford Bulls after a last-ditch plea from its administrators.
Brendan Guilfoyle, joint administrator of the crisis-torn Super League club, has put the onus on the governing body to keep its survival hopes alive by paying its next £200,000 wage bill, due on August 14.
But the governing body yesterday insisted it is unable to give Bulls a handout and its only option would be to make a second advanced payment of some of its Sky television money.
Blake Solly, RFL director of licensing and standards, said it is considering the request for money, which Mr Guilfoyle says is the “only way” he can take the club into next month and stave off liquidation, and a decision should be made at some point today.
He also revealed the RFL’s board of directors was due to hold a conference call yesterday afternoon to discuss the latest modified offer put to Mr Guilfoyle from a group of Bradford businessmen, known as ABC, but is likely to reject it.
The formal decision, again, was not expected to be revealed until today.
The consortium has said its offer is subject to Bradford remaining in Super League and the RFL agreeing to sell back the lease to Odsal Stadium.
But Mr Solly said: “We’re waiting for the board’s decision, but I don’t think it will be accepted.
“We’ve told them a number of times any offer cannot be conditional but we’re still getting conditional offers. I don’t think they’re going to get a lot of change out of the board.”
A source close to the consortium yesterday told the Telegraph & Argus it hoped to have received a response from the RFL by the end of today.
Last week, the RFL described the group’s original offer as “unreasonable and unrealistic”.
The latest bid is an amended version of the group’s second offer, which was received by the RFL on Friday.
A rival bid from former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe and restaurant boss Omar Khan – which carries the same conditions as ABC’s – had not yet been seen by the governing body, it said yesterday.
The Bradford South MP said he and Mr Khan, who owns restaurants in Skipton and Bradford, had made a verbal offer last week and were waiting for more information from the administrator.
“We are still working to do what’s best for the club and its fans,” he said.