David Oxley has been elected President of the Rugby Football League – 21 years after he retired as its Chief Executive.
The 76 year old - who worked for the RFL between 1974 and 1992 - succeeds Jim Hartley, and will hold the honorary position for 12 months.
“I have achieved many things during my lifetime in sport but nothing could surpass the possibility that come November 30 I will be at Old Trafford as RFL President to see England captain Kevin Sinfield lift the Rugby League World Cup,” he said.
Bradford Bulls' Honorary Chairman Gerry Sutcliffe has welcomed today's announcement that the club's future in the Super League has been secured for the next year. He also said the club planned to announce a successor to Mick Potter, who has announced his departure, on Monday.
We're still trying to clarify a few details but we're very pleased. It's good news for the fans and for Bradford and now it's all systems go. We can start to implement our business plan and sell season tickets. We've had lots of offers of help and now we'll need the support not only of the fans but of the wider business community.
Rugby League's governing body has awarded a one-year probationary licence to Bradford Bulls, allowing them to remain in the Super League for 2013.
The Rugby Football League's decision ends the uncertainty about the structure of both Super League and the Championship competitions.
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said:
"This is a very positive development which provides stability for all the clubs in Super League and the Championship and allows the sport to approach next season with even greater confidence,
The Board deliberated long and hard and took into consideration the many views of the sport’s various constituents before reaching a decision which we believe is in the best interests of the whole game.
The new owners of Bradford Bulls are to be congratulated on their foresight in purchasing a club which we always knew was a very attractive proposition. Their investment in Bradford Bulls is a vote of confidence in Super League.
– RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood
A probationary licence allows us to closely monitor the performance of Bradford Bulls next season and develop a view on what direction we take in future years. That direction will be framed by the ongoing strategic policy review that we expect to present to clubs in the first half of 2013.
The probationary licence also precludes the need for a mini-licensing round, which the overwhelming majority of clubs accept was impractical given the timeframes involved.
The RFL Board and Executive will continue to work with all member clubs to build on the terrific progress we have experienced in 2012.