Around 40 players and staff made redundant as a result of the collapse of Bradford Bulls have been given the go-ahead to take their case for financial redress to a full employment tribunal.
A judge at a preliminary hearing in Leeds on Wednesday dismissed a plea by the Rugby Football League, one of four respondents, to have most of the cases thrown out and instead ordered a seven-day hearing to be held at Leeds Employment Tribunal in January 2018.
The case follows Bradford Bulls Northern Limited entering administration last November before being put into liquidation two months later and a new club being formed by Bradford Bulls 2017 Limited to compete in the Kingstone Press Championship, with a 12-point deduction.
The claimants, who include current players Dane Chisholm, Liam Kirk and Jon Magrin and ex-players Chev Walker, Phil Joseph, Lachlan Burr and Adam Sidlow, are claiming for loss of wages, holiday pay and statutory redundancy payments in addition in some cases to wrongful and unfair dismissal.
The other respondents are the re-formed club, the former Bulls, represented by the administrators, and the Secretary of State’s insolvency service who were all represented at the hearing.
Leeds-based solicitor Richard Cramer, who is representing the players and staff, said: “It was a very good result for the claimants who presented genuine claims to the employment tribunal.
“Having failed to recover their monetary claims against the insolvency service, this is the only way to get their money back and, after fighting of a very strongly-fought application, they will now have their chance to present their case at a full employment tribunal.
“It’s a victory but there is another battle to fight.”