1. ITV Report

Mick Potter says the Bulls players remain "frustrated" despite being given renewed hope for the Super League club.

Odsal stadium in Bradford Photo: Calendar

Bradford coach Mick Potter says the Bulls players remain "frustrated" despite being given renewed hope for the financially-stricken Super League club.

The protracted saga took an unexpected turn yesterday when Super League Europe (SLE), the umbrella company for rugby league's elite clubs, made an offer to the administrator to buy the club and stave off the threat of liquidation.

If the offer is accepted - joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle is expected to deliver his answer by the middle of next week - then the Bulls would be owned in the short term by their Super League rivals, while SLE take over the search for a permanent owner.

That would guarantee the Bulls see out the rest of the season but leave a question mark hanging over the club's long-term future.

"I'm happy that it's progressing," Potter said. "In the short term at least it looks like we're heading out of the mud.

"But there's no finality yet. The players' reaction was one of frustration. They wanted to know what's going to happen medium term and long term for them.

"There's 25 to 30 guys who don't know what their future is going to be after the end of the season.

"They're still a little bit frustrated at the whole situation but they feel a little more comfortable with having the governing body and the other Super League clubs supporting them."

SLE stepped in amid growing fears that the club was about to be liquidated after the RFL twice rejected an offer from the ABC consortium because of the strings attached.

The consortium wanted a guarantee that the Bulls would remain in Super League next season and the right to buy back from the RFL the lease to Odsal Stadium. Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Bradford's arch rivals Leeds, welcomed the shock move, saying: "It is fully supported by all the clubs.

"The belief is that this would take the club out of administration, put the game in control of the Bulls and their destiny, and give the executives time to try and find alternative owners, which the administrator hasn't been able to do.

"It's seen as a positive move to safeguard the future of the Bradford Bulls and hopefully the first step towards a bright future.

"There was a fear that the Bradford Bulls could be liquidated and disappear from the sport so this a move to prevent that and to take control of the situation.

"But ultimately the club does need new ownership and it needs people to come forward who are interested in taking on the Bradford Bulls into what could be a very bright future."

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