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Fans building to help beleaguered Bradford Bulls
Bradford fans have raised almost £5,000 for the club's hardship fund and anonymously distributed £3,600 of it to staff recently made redundant.
BullBuilder, a supporters' trust, set up the fund following the decision of joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle to lay off 16 full-time staff, including the entire coaching team, in a massive cost-cutting exercise.
The fans expect the total to go past the £10,000 mark with donations from Warrington, who agreed to hand back all proceeds from away-ticket sales for last Sunday's game against the Bulls at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The fund is administered on BullBuilder's behalf by Bradford club pastor Warren Evans.
"At the time of writing, the fund has raised almost £5,000 in donations," a spokesman said.
"When money is realised from tickets sold to Bradford fans for last weekend's match at Warrington, we expect to go past the £10,000 mark.
"However, Warren Evans has already anonymously distributed £3,600 to staff in need and, as financial reality becomes more pressing for these individuals, we expect an even greater take-up."
The battle to save beleaguered Bradford has reached apparent stalemate.
The ABC consortium yesterday had their revised bid for the financially-stricken Super League club rejected by the Rugby Football League because of the strings attached.
Meanwhile, BullBuilder continues to be active in the Bulls’ quest for survival.
In the last few weeks, some of their activities have been:
• Held an initial meeting with Gerry Sutcliffe and Omar Khan to discuss their bid for the club. This was a positive and constructive, and BullBuilder remains open to discussion with anyone bidding to save the Bulls.
• Represented the fans’ interests in discussions with many of the parties involved in the day-to-day running of the club, and with the RFL.
• Attended a meeting at City Hall organised by a group of supporters. Here they outlined the work that BullBuilder had carried out – and continues to carry out – on behalf of the club, and explained their vision of a strong Supporters’ Trust as a vehicle for supporter representation at the Bulls when a new ownership structure is put in place.
• Continued to collect donations for the hardship fund, which has helped many of the staff who were made redundant, and who have since been giving their time voluntarily to the Bulls.
BullBuilder hope to carry out more fund-raising activities but, in the meantime, donations can still be made.
To donate, go to http://www.bullbuilder.co.uk/Hardship.aspx, and donate via PayPal, or send a cheque payable to “Bradford Rugby League Supporters Society Ltd”, to BullBuilder, Suite 2 Buttershaw Works, Buttershaw Lane, Bradford, BD6 2DD.
If sending a cheque, please include your contact details and a note that you wish the money to go toward the hardship fund.
With initial donations, BullBuilder said that they would return any money that was not spent directly on relieving staff hardship.
However, as they are running the fund for longer than originally anticipated, this makes it increasingly difficult to identify individual donations.
Therefore, with regard to any future donations, BullBuilder propose to pass any money not spent on staff hardship to the Bulls’ Foundation, a registered charity which is wholly independent from the Bradford Bulls.
They trust that this will be acceptable to anyone considering donating to the hardship fund.