Consortium submit bid for Bulls
The consortium seeking to rescue Bradford Bulls have today formally submitted their bid, administrator Brendan Guilfoyle has confirmed.
But Guilfoyle, partner at Leeds-based The P&A Partnership, says the offer is conditional on the prospective new owners buying back the lease of Odsal Stadium and the Bulls retaining their Stobart Super League status and warns the next few days will be “critical”.
The Rugby Football League, who bought the lease for £1.25million in January to safeguard its future as a rugby league venue, have said they are unable to guarantee Bradford’s long-term position in the top flight.
The club effectively relinquished the three-year Super League licence that was awarded last July by going into administration and the new buyers would need to satisfy the governing body of their intentions before the franchise could be transferred.
The other 13 Super League clubs will also have a say over any re-issuing of the licence and views are thought to be mixed.
The group of Bradford-based Asian businessmen, known as the ABC consortium, have been in talks for several days with the administrator and are the only buyer left in the race.
Guilfoyle said: “The consortium has made an offer that is a basis for negotiations with both the administrators and the Rugby Football League.
“Their offer is conditional on the RFL selling back Odsal and on the Bulls retaining their Super League status.
“The next few days are going to be critical for the club. I can’t speculate on what the outcome will be.
“The ABC consortium, the RFL, the administrators and professional advisers for all parties will be focused on trying to get a deal over the line.”
Guilfoyle is expected to meet the RFL tomorrow to update them on the offer.
The RFL’s board of directors also have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, when they are expected to announce Bradford’s points deduction for breaching the league’s insolvency regulations.
Guilfoyle last week extended the deadline to find a buyer until Friday 27 July which will enable tomorrow’s Super League fixture at Leeds Rhinos to go ahead.
A total of 16 full-time staff were made redundant in a major cost-cutting exercise, although most have returned to work on a voluntary basis to enable the club to continue in the short term.
Bradford were four-times Super League champions until going into decline from 2006 and Guilfoyle revealed the club had budgeted to lose £100,000 a month.