Endangered Bulls' debts revealed to be around 1.5m
11:55 GMT, 3 August 2012
Bradford are around 1.5million in debt, it has been revealed.
The beleaguered Bulls are the subject of a takeover offer from Super League (Europe), the umbrella organisation for the 14 top-flight clubs, which, if accepted, would stave off the threat of liquidation and ensure they see the season out.
Joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle, who has been running the club since it went into administration on June 26, is expected to give his answer early next week.
Debt: Bradford Bulls owe about 1.5million
In the meantime, Blake Solly, the Rugby Football League's director of licensing and standards, shed more light on the financially-stricken club in a meeting with BullBuilder, the Bradford supporters trust.
In the meeting Solly said he could not guarantee the Bulls would remain in Super League for 2013 and revealed that, if the bid is accepted, the Bradford players would be free to speak to other clubs to secure their futures for next season.
A statement released by BullBuilder said: 'In a constructive meeting, we established that SLE look on this as a short-term measure and are confident of attracting a long-term, unconditional bid in the near future.
'Solly could give no guarantees about the division in which the club will play next season: he commented that the debt of the club remains a concern and is estimated to be approximately 1.5m.
'However, he assured BullBuilder that the club would continue to play at Odsal for the foreseeable future.
'If the SLE bid is accepted, we understand that players will then be free to speak to other clubs to secure their future for next season.'
Bradford head coach Mick Potter, who met with Solly and RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer and his squad yesterday, said the players – 17 of whom are out of contract at the end of the season – remain frustrated by the continuing uncertainty.
While the players have received their wages on time throughout the crisis, Potter and his coaching assistants, along with several members of the office staff who were also made redundant by the administrator, continue to work on a voluntary basis.
The statement continued: 'Where recently redundant backroom and coaching staff are concerned, there is a likelihood that some may be re-employed.
'However, in the interim, those staff are still not being paid and are unlikely to be reimbursed for their unpaid work in the meantime, so the hardship fund instigated by BullBuilder is still required.
'Therefore, BullBuilder intend to carry out a bucket collection in support of the hardship fund at Sunday's home game against Widnes.'
The fund, administered by the club's pastor, Warren Evans, has raised 4,200 so far to help relieve financial distress.
The Super League players' association, 1eagu3, gave a cautious welcome to SLE's offer to buy Bradford on behalf of the other 13 clubs.
'I am pleased that the uncertainty that has shrouded the Bulls in the short term has been lifted,” said 1eagu3 chief executive Ernie Benbow.
'However, there remains a significant question mark over the Bulls as a Super League club following this season.'