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Speculation is growing that a bid to buy Bradford Bulls has been rejected by the administrator currently running the crisis-hit club.
The bid – backed by the Rugby Football League – was originally expected to be concluded before Christmas, but now there are reports that the administrator has turned it down, leaving the club's future in the balance.
The Championship side entered administration for the third time in five years last month and are understood to have debts of well over £1million.
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Chairman Marc Green has revealed that the Bradford Bulls have been placed into administration for the third time in the last four years.
The Kingstone Press Championship club faced a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs last month due to a tax dispute.
"I have been talking to a number of serious investors and purely the pressure from HMRC has forced the club to be put into this position to save its future," Green said in a statement.
Tax officials said at a hearing in London last month that the club owes around £350,000. But the Bulls say the debt is nearer £133,000 - and £100,000 has already been paid.
Bradford finished fifth in the Championship last term, missing out on a place in the Qualifiers and a chance of promotion back to Super League.
"There is a dispute between ourselves and HMRC which we have been working hard to resolve since the winding-up petition was issued, and despite two adjournments from the courts to resolve this matter we have been unable to do so.
"We were concerned over the ability to secure a third adjournment and therefore this action became unavoidable to protect the club. "I will be working closely with the administrators over the coming weeks and it is my intention to regain this club from them within the shortest practicable time frame.
"Regardless of whether I remain at the helm of this great club, I will ensure all memberships already purchased for next season will remain valid, as will the offer under which they were purchased. I believe the future of Bradford Bulls is still strong."
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