1. ITV Report

Noon deadline for Bradford Bulls

Noon deadline for Bradford Bulls Photo: PA

Prospective buyers of Bradford Bulls have until noon to finalise their bids for the financially-stricken Super League club.

The joint administrator, who has three times held off from putting the beleaguered club into liquidation, and the Rugby Football League have set a deadline in order to bring the protracted saga to a close.

Brendan Guilfoyle, partner at the Leeds-based PA Partnership and administrator at the Bulls, says he has now received five separate offers but announced that the original one from the ABC consortium has been withdrawn.

"There could now be up to five interested purchasers for the Bradford Bulls," Guilfoyle said. "It's in everyone's interest that we get a deal over the line as quickly as possible.Therefore, we have set this deadline of noon for unconditional offers from anyone who can show that they have funds in place and a business plan.

"In addition to the offer from Super League (Europe) Ltd and an unconditional offer the RFL considered, I understand that the RFL may have other parties interested in buying Bradford Bulls.

"The ABC consortium has reluctantly withdrawn. I have another group from Bradford still considering whether to make an unconditional offer."

RFL director of standards and licensing Blake Solly said: "The Super League clubs' view that Bradford Bulls are an attractive proposition to would-be buyers has been re-affirmed and we remain cautiously optimistic that the club can find suitable new owners in the near future.

"We have also been contacted by other parties and, as you would expect, these groups will also be given the opportunity to set out their vision for rugby league in Bradford.The board continues to be receptive to unconditional offers and is keen to bring to an end the uncertainty surrounding the future of Bradford Bulls and the wider sport.

"With that in mind, the board has asked that all interested parties submit their expressions of interest by 5.00pm on Friday, August 10."

Guilfoyle stressed that any offers must be unconditional following the RFL's rejection of the ABC consortium's request for guarantees that the Bulls would remain in Super League.

He added: "Any purchaser is taking a chance on whether the club will be continuing in the Super League or playing in the Championship next season.

"If it's the latter, then the owner will still be paying Super League wages for up to 20 players for the next year.

"As well as paying rent to the RFL for Odsal, any new owner will probably have to make capital investment in the ground before the next round of Super League franchise bids in 2015."

More on this story