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But Bantams boss says the club could still step up if other bids for the side fail
Bradford City Football Club has left the race to save its sporting rivals Bradford Bulls from collapse, it was revealed last night.
Julian Rhodes, Bantams’ co-chairman, told the Telegraph & Argus the club was no longer in the running to take over the stricken Super League side, but could still step up if other bids on the table fail.
The Rugby Football League had set a deadline of yesterday for four parties vying to buy the club to submit their formal business plans – including football club Bradford Park Avenue, Bradford businessman Omar Khan and Super League (Europe).
But Mr Rhodes last night confirmed Bradford City had decided not to draw up a business plan and had told the governing body to “come back to us” if it could not strike a deal with another party.
He said: “If all else fails they can talk to us, but we hope one of these bids comes off.
“We only entered the race when there was no one else, but other buyers have come out of the woodwork now.
“We haven’t submitted a business plan and have told the RFL that if they do not get anywhere to come back to us. We’ve left it at that.”
Former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, who is supporting Mr Khan’s bid, revealed a business plan from the restaurant owner was handed into the RFL on Monday night.
He said he believed all submissions would be discussed during a meeting tomorrow.
Bob Blackburn, the chief executive of Bradford Park Avenue, declined to comment when asked by the T&A last night if he had submitted a business plan.
An RFL spokesman confirmed a deadline had been set and a meeting would be held later this week.
SUPPORT FOR HARDSHIP FUND
A hardship fund set up to help staff made redundant when the club entered administration has won the support of the son of Bulls legend Trevor Foster MBE, who helped the club when it was last in
crisis in 1964.
Simon Foster said his father, who died at the age of 90 in April 2005, had raised up to £90,000 during his 67-year association with the club, for projects including the floodlights appeal, ground improvements, gym equipment and youth football.
Mr Foster said: “My father would have been the first to get involved with such a worthy initiative particularly since it is the Bulls supporters who are at the heart of the fundraising efforts and he spent many happy hours at Odsal coaching and developing young players which is a key aim of BullBuilder.
“The immediate funds raised will help in no small way to ensure that Bulls staff and volunteers are better looked after during this most challenging period.”
For more information about BullBuilder, visit bullbuilder.co.uk. To donate to the hardship fund, which has now raised more than £15,000, go to bullbuilder.co.uk/hardship.