Sutcliffe fronts bid for Bradford
Former Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe could hold the key in the battle to save Bradford Bulls.
The Bradford South MP is fronting an 11th-hour bid by local restaurant owner Omar Khan, who hopes to succeed where the ABC consortium appear to have failed.
The future of the beleaguered Bulls remains up in the air after the Rugby Football League described the ABC consortium’s offer to Bradford’s joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle as “unreasonable and unrealistic”.
The consortium wanted an assurance from the RFL that the Bulls would be allowed to remain in Stobart Super League in 2013 and also sought the right to buy back from the governing body the lease to Odsal Stadium.
A league spokesman said: “The RFL has informed the business consortium which has tabled an offer to the administrator of Bradford Bulls that the conditions attached to their proposal to acquire the club are unacceptable.”
While the ABC consortium consider their next move, the RFL revealed they are scrutinising a rival offer ahead of today’s deadline set by Guilfoyle to find a buyer.
The RFL spokesman added: “Details of a further offer for Bradford Bulls are currently being assessed by the RFL, which will continue to work with the administrator to help find new owners for the club.”
The latest offer is thought to contain similar conditions but Sutcliffe insisted the plan would be to develop Odsal with support from Bradford Council.
“The club is so important to the city,” he said.
“It’s more important than just a rugby league club – it’s part of our heritage in Bradford. We want to make sure it’s saved.
“The bid aims to achieve three things – to create a sustainable future for the club, development of the stadium and to develop the site in the way we have all thought about in the past.
“The third point is a long-term plan to work with the fans about how we can develop the site to attract as many people as possible.
“That would happen over a period of time and something that would involve working with partners.”
Guilfoyle has given himself until close of business today to avoid putting the club into liquidation, although he could once more extend the deadline if he feels a deal can be achieved.