Khan to be unveiled as new Bradford owner
Restaurant owner Omar Khan will be officially unveiled as the new owner of Bradford Bulls today, but the takeover will not be ratified by the Rugby Football League until next week.
Khan last night struck a deal with joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle to transfer the business and assets of Bradford Bulls Holdings Limited to OK Bulls Limited.
It is thought Guilfoyle, who had been running the club since June 26, was desperate to conclude a sale before September 1 when he would have become liable for the players’ next wage bill.
Khan, who broke the news last night on Twitter, still needs the official backing of the RFL but Blake Solly, the licensing director for the governing body, admitted that completion of the deal is expected to be a formality.
“We should be able to sign it off early next week,” Solly told Press Association Sport.
“A few of the third parties we needed to speak to as part of our due diligence have been on leave.
“Hopefully, the documents can be put together on Monday and we can transfer the RFL membership and then start focusing on the Super League licence.”
In going into administration, Bradford effectively forfeited their Stobart Super League status and, although they have the support of several leading rivals, there is no guarantee they will be spared from relegation to the Co-operative Championship.
Solly confirmed that Bradford would enter a mini round of licensing, most likely featuring leading Championship clubs Featherstone, Leigh and Halifax, to determine whether they would be allowed to see out the remaining two years on their current license.
Solly said it was hoped a decision would be made in “two weeks tops, earlier if possible”.
It is thought the Bulls could agree to forego some of their funds due from central distribution over the next two years in an effort to help secure their place.
Meanwhile, Khan has spoken of his desire to turn the Bulls into a “truly great club” and transform Odsal into the “Wembley of the North”.
He is the sole director of the new company but will be helped in the initial stages by local MP Gerry Sutcliffe, a former Sports Minister who was heavily involved in negotiations with Guilfoyle and the RFL.
Khan is thought to have paid around £150,000 for the club after beating off competition from football clubs Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue, but it will cost him a good deal more to take the club forward.
“I believe we can make the Bulls a truly great club at the heart of our community, he told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.
“But I can’t do that alone and need the support of the people of Bradford - fans, businesses, residents. Together, there is nothing we can’t achieve.
“I want the fans and community to be at the heart of this club. That’s my vision. I’m very passionate about Bradford.
“I want to create a sports arena. We have been talking about this for a long time but nothing has ever been done.
“This is our chance to achieve this and I will do this if this is the last thing I do.”