Bradford Bulls call in legal advisers over Kopczak ‘terminating contract’ (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Disappointment as Craig Kopczak ‘terminates contract’ at Bradford Bulls
Craig Kopczak ’s future at the Bulls has been plunged into serious doubt after he allegedly terminated his employment at the club with immediate effect.
All Bradford employees received a letter from administrator Brendan Guilfoyle this week informing them of the transfer of assets and undertakings from the P&A Partnership to the new company, OK Bulls Limited.
But Kopczak’s agent Martin Shuttleworth rang Bulls coach Mick Potter on Thursday to say the player had informed Guilfoyle that he had terminated his contract and was effectively finished at Odsal .
The home-grown prop from Eccleshill is contracted to the Bulls until the end of 2013 but withdrew his services ahead of today’s match at Catalan Dragons and could have played his last game for the club.
It is believed that 25-year-old Kopczak has been offered a deal with Huddersfield Giants but interim Bradford chief executive Gary Tasker vowed to fight to keep the player’s registration.
“I’m bitterly disappointed that the player has taken advice which has resulted in him leaving the group at this late stage of the season,” said Tasker.
“The major disappointment in this episode is that a young player on a good contract doesn’t normally terminate it unless he is being offered better terms elsewhere.
“It is our understanding the players have been fully protected and fully paid throughout the whole process of administration this season.
“At a meeting of Super League clubs several weeks ago, the clubs agreed unanimously that they would not approach Bradford’s contracted players.
“It would appear that a club has broken ranks and made the player a better offer. It’s now in the hands of our legal advisors to resolve it.
“We fully expected the RFL to support the club in retaining the player’s registration on the Bradford register and play by the governing body’s rule book.”
Wales international Kopczak, who made his Bulls debut in 2006, has enjoyed another impressive campaign and cemented his status as one of the best props in Super League.
Shuttleworth and Kopczak were unavailable for comment yesterday.
Meanwhile, Potter could come into contention for a return to Catalan following Trent Robinson’s defection to Sydney Roosters after Brian Smith was sacked.
* Kopczak and clubmate Elliot Kear have been named by Wales head coach Iestyn Harris in a 32-man squad for next month’s international triangular series against England and France.
The Odsal duo, as well as Wigan pair Gil Dudson and Ben Flower, missed the 28-16 defeat to France in Wrexham in June through injury.
Among the youngsters in the squad is Leeds under-20s centre Jack Pring.