Green in it for the long haul
New Bradford Bulls owner Marc Green will be in First Utility Super League for the long haul, according to chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul.
The long-running saga over the ownership of the beleaguered Super League club was brought to an end yesterday when the 48-year-old Leeds businessman finalised his purchase from the administrator.
Green, who was a debenture holder, was given the go-ahead by the Rugby Football League to complete the takeover after his rivals failed to prove they had sufficient funds to take the club forward.
Hunter-Paul, the Bulls former captain who returned to Odsal as chief executive last year, will keep his job and, in the absence of Green, is acting as his spokesman.
"There were five very good businesses vying for the club, all of them with their own strengths, and Marc has come out on top," the former New Zealand international said.
"He has always been there or thereabouts because he was working with the last company and so he has a clear understanding of what was going on.
"He knows there's no quick fix but he wants this business to be successful and that means he's going to be around for a number of years."
Green, who is the sole owner and shareholder of the new company, Bradford Bulls Northern Ltd, is not expected to be hands on and will instead leave the day-to-day running of the club in the hands of Hunter-Paul and newly-appointed managing director Steve Ferres.
Head coach Francis Cummins has also been assured of his job and is hoping to draw up a shopping list as he strives to strengthen his depleted playing squad and stave off the very real threat of relegation.
The Bulls are currently bottom of the table on minus two points after having six deducted for going into administration.
Hunter-Paul added: "Marc's main objective is to stay in Super League and we all know what that means, resources are going to be needed to strengthen the squad."
Bradford have an overseas vacancy but UK Border Agency regulations, allied to visa restrictions, means Cummins' team strengthening is likely to be restricted to the domestic market and Paul warns it will not easy to find players at this time of year.
"It's not like there's a plethora of players on the market," he said. "We're only six weeks into the competition and it isn't probably until the 10th or 11th week where players not getting game time start getting restless. That's when the movement starts to happen."
Hunter-Paul, meanwhile, is happy to work under Ferres, another former Bradford player who has worked as chief executive at Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and headed up a club support unit at the RFL.
"Steve has that industry experience which was crucially missing from this club for the last two years," he said. "I'm really looking forward to working underneath him as part of my personal development.
"He's done it all, played the game, been CEO at a number of different Super League clubs and worked alongside the governing body. He knows where all the bones are buried."