Two bidders in for Bradford
The battle for Bradford Bulls has come down to a two-horse race.
Bradford businessman Omar Khan and non-league football club Bradford Park Avenue have emerged as the front-runners to take over the ailing Stobart Super League outfit.
Blake Solly, the Rugby Football League's director of licensing and standards who updated the rest of the Super League clubs at a meeting yesterday, has confirmed that Bradford City have withdrawn their interest while a bid from Super League Europe remains on the table but is seen as a last resort.
The RFL had imposed a deadline of Tuesday for prospective purchasers to submit their business plans for the beleaguered Bulls and Solly insists yesterday's meeting had been productive, even though the saga is set to continue into another week.
"The Super League clubs were encouraged by the detail presented to them and have mandated the RFL executive to continue working towards bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion," Solly said.
"The RFL will now continue discussions and meet with the bidders as soon as possible.
"I think everyone would agree that it has gone on too long but we want to make sure that the people who are awarded the club are the right people, not for the next five to 10 months but for the next five to 10 years.
"We want the owners to have the best interests of Bradford Bulls at heart and to be able to take the club forward in a positive direction."
Bradford have been in administration since June 26 but joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle has continued to push back his deadline to find a buyer and avoid putting the club into liquidation while ever interested parties were coming forward.
The RFL have advanced money from central funding to ensure the players have continued to receive their wages during administration while the coaching staff have carried on working unpaid after being made redundant.
Despite the adversity, the Bulls are continuing to push for a place in the Super League play-offs, having climbed back into the top eight despite being docked six points for going into administration.