The Administrator of Bradford Bulls (Northern) Limited has confirmed that the club has ceased trading. While this is terribly disappointing and sad, it is not an entirely surprising development given the scale of debt incurred by the previous management of the club and the debilitating level of financial commitment already entered into for 2017.
The RFL is aware of significant interest shown in the club by a number of potential bidders and one bid for the company emerged shortly before Christmas. This was rejected by the Administrator and subsequently the further late interest shown to the Administrator by another party was withdrawn yesterday evening.
Accordingly the RFL, through Rugby League Cares, intends to offer support to all staff and players who have had their employment terminated by the company ceasing to trade. The RFL is contacting all staff to advise them of the support it will provide.
To clarify the next steps for all concerned, the independent RFL Board has met to determine how the future of professional Rugby League in Bradford can move forward in 2017. While a number of alternatives were considered the Board were most mindful of the planning already undertaken by all other clubs in the competition structure, the season tickets already purchased and the players and staff who will now be seeking employment in and around the sport in 2017.
Accordingly the Board has agreed that the wider interests of the sport is best satisfied if it offers a place in the Kingstone Press Championship to any new club in Bradford and that such a club start the 2017 season on minus twelve points.
Any interested parties should contact the RFL directly.
The RFL believes that Rugby League needs Bradford and that Bradford deserves a strong and stable professional club and will work with all interested parties to deliver that outcome.