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Bradford Bulls coach Mick Potter: New bid is step in right direction
Bradford Bulls’ head coach Mick Potter welcomed a shock Super League bid to save the struggling club from collapse but last night warned its future remained on a “knife edge”.
The protracted saga over the future of the crisis-torn side took a dramatic twist yesterday afternoon when bosses of Super League Europe, with the backing of all 13 top-flight sides, submitted an offer of their own to the club’s administrators.
They stepped in amid growing fears that the club was facing liquidation after the Rugby Football League twice rejected offers from a consortium led by a group of Bradford businessmen because of the conditions attached.
But Potter, who is currently working on a voluntary basis, said the club’s future was still not secure.
“It’s still on the knife edge,” he said.
“In going forward in the short term, it doesn’t bring any certainty to anyone but it’s a step in the right direction.
“I think it’s a fantastic gesture by all the clubs and to have the brand thought that highly of, that they want Bradford Bulls in the Super League.
“I don’t think it’s a long-term solution to the issue but it’s a positive step in the short term and I would encourage anyone who wants to throw their hat into the ring to talk to the people who will be looking after the business.”
Potter addressed a press conference at Odsal yesterday after attending an unexpected meeting with the players and RFL officials Blake Solly and Ralph Rimmer, who explained the ramifications of the deal if it is accepted.
The bid would see Super League bosses take over from administrator Brendan Guilfoyle in seeking a buyer, while ensuring that the club finishes the season.
Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, half-back Luke Gale said players were no clearer about the club’s future and had been warned it could be relegated to the Championship if an investor couldn’t be found to clear its debts.
“We’re still in the hands of the RFL,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re in a better position unless someone comes in, takes over and clears the debts.
“Bradford Bulls should be a Super League club and it would be a shame to see it drop to the Championship.”
Interim chief executive Gary Tasker will continue in his unpaid role in charge of the day-to-day running of the club while Potter and his assistants Francis Cummins and Lee St Hilaire will prepare the team for Sunday’s home game against Widnes.
Potter admitted he is coming close to making a decision about his future and was encouraged by yesterday’s unexpected turn of events.
He said: “Within that time frame hopefully we will have a buyer. That’s the optimistic view and they gave a pessimistic view as well.
“The players are a bit happier. It made everyone feel that bit warmer and fuzzier about the short term.
“I think, if we can pull through, the club will be stronger coming out the other end.”