BRADFORD (Park Avenue) owner Gareth Roberts has pledged to set up a new professional rugby league in the city following news Bulls are set to move to Dewsbury.

Roberts, who had been in talks to share Avenue's Horsfall Stadium with the Championship club, dubbed the switch from Odsal to the Tetley's Stadium ten miles away 'a crying shame for Bulls supporters' and a 'a sad day for Bradford'.

And while he vowed to keep the Horsfall option open to Bulls for a limited period of time, if they do not have a change of heart, the Avenue chairman said he would ultimately look to establish a new professional club in Bradford.

In a statement on Park Avenue's website, Roberts said: “I think the move is a crying shame for both Bulls supporters and the sport loving community of Bradford.

"I respect the Bulls’ decision because running a professional sports club is expensive, but we believed we offered a viable alternative.

"This is a sad day for Bradford but we will keep the option for them to ground share with us open as long as we can. After that we’ll look to set up a new professional club to keep rugby league alive and well in a BD postcode. If that happens we’ll continue with our commitment to making Bradford a ‘Sporting City’.

“In my lifetime I have seen Bradford go from a truly great city of sport with two professional football teams, a first class county cricket ground and a rugby League team that were once World Club champions, to a place that is clinging onto its sporting heritage.

“We applaud Bradford City for what they have achieved in recent years but the Bulls leaving means Bradfordians have slim pickings if they want to watch professional sport.”

Roberts confirmed that conversations have already taken place about setting up a new rugby league club.

For a while, both Park Avenue and the Bulls had forged close links and even experimented with numerous cost-saving operational exercises over the last year.

Avenue state that they are close to obtaining a 35-year lease on Horsfall playing fields from the council and already are well underway with planned improvements in the stadium.