Bulls take legal action on Carvell
Bradford Bulls are taking legal action after Garreth Carvell walked out on them to join Hull FC.
Carvell has made just one friendly appearance for the Bulls since joining from Warrington Wolves at the end of last season, but was yesterday confirmed as a Hull player on an initial 12-month deal.
Bradford have recently changed their company name after going into administration, and it is understood that the 32-year-old prop believes his contract has not been transferred to Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd from OK Bulls, which in theory would make him a free agent.
But the club claim that Carvell, who initially left Hull in 2008, has no grounds on which to refuse his contract being transferred is in breach of his terms with them.
A Bradford spokesperson said: "This information has come as a great surprise to all of us at the club. We believed that due to Garreth taking wages since last year and the fact that he still now has a club sponsored car we would be able to come to an understanding that would work out for all. We have now been left with no alternative and will now be taking legal action.
"A letter was sent to Carvell last week from the clubs HR specialist, 'Elcons' explaining that they did not accept his refusal to transfer to Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd, explaining that his playing contract will only allow him to resign if the club is guilty of serious and persistent breach of the terms and conditions of this agreement.
"We are of the opinion that no such breach has taken place and therefore we assert that he was not entitled to resign from his position as the transfer of his employment in itself does not constitute a serious or persistent breach of the terms and conditions of his agreement.
"The letter went on to explain the agreement which was entered into last year is with "the club" being referred to as "Bradford Bulls". The change in ownership does not affect this agreement given that Bradford Bulls remains as the club. The letter finished off by requesting that Carvell return to work/training immediately.
"The club's board will now turn back to the governing body to request guidance in this matter as well as moving forward with their own legal action. The board in no way wants to restrict a player from plying their trade but this and recent situations like this could set an extremely dangerous precedent in regards to player contracts, and if all parties are not made accountable they be viewed as 'not worth the paper they're written on'."
An RFL spokesman said: "We have accepted Hull FC's registration of Garreth Carvell. Any alleged breach of contract between the Bradford Bulls and Garreth Carvell is for the player and clubs to resolve."
Hull have confirmed Carvell's signing yesterday afternoon and named him in their squad for their opening First Utility Super League match of the season against Catalan Dragons at the KC Stadium tomorrow.
It is understood Hull believe Bradford's entry into administration made Carvell a free agent.
Carvell, who made 164 appearances for the Airlie Birds from 2001-08 including two Challenge Cup finals and the 2006 Grand Final, returns to East Yorkshire on an initial one-year contract with an option for a further 12 months.
Lee Radford has also included his other new signings, Mickey Paea, Feka Paleaaesina, Jordan Rankin, Fetuli Talanoa and Jordan Thompson, in his 19-man squad for his first game as head coach but former Wigan Warriors forward Chris Tuson is sidelined through injury.
The long-serving Richard Horne is vying with Jacob Miller as the half-back partner for Rankin.
Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous has left out veteran Kiwi Brent Webb, with Morgan Escare preferred at full-back, and Damien Cardace is set to make his first Super League appearance for two years on the wing.
Another former New Zealand international, second rower Louis Anderson, remains on compassionate leave down under but the Dragons are set to give debuts to former Wigan prop Jeff Lima and Australian centre Ben Pomeroy.