Bradford Bulls chief executive Ryan Duckett last night said the crisis-torn club can look to a brighter future as Chris Caisley prepares to return to Odsal.
Duckett will today meet with the former chairman to initiate a “strategic review” of Bradford’s finances after the West Yorkshire club confirmed Peter Hood had stood down from the role.
He and fellow director Andrew Bennett were expected to be removed at an extraordinary general meeting – convened by Caisley – on May 23 but have accepted their fate and resigned.
The four-times Super League champions have been in limbo since Hood declared on March 27 they need £1m to avoid going bust. They raised £500,000 inside a fortnight due mainly to the goodwill of fans and friends in the sport but have, so far, failed to attract the necessary investors to complete the rescue package.
Major stakeholder Caisley – in charge during Bradford’s golden era before handing over to Hood in 2006 – maintained he could turn fortunes around and joined fellow shareholders and ex-directors Stephen Coulby and Rowland Agar to perform the coup de grace.
Concerned Bulls fans will now be keen to see Caisley fulfil his promise but Duckett told the Yorkshire Post: “Chris has not said he has X, Y or Z. I’ve spoken to him and Stephen (yesterday) and we’ll get together in the next day or so to start up a strategic review.
“We’ll go through what the state of the club is and commercial and investment opportunities there are to take it forward.
“They want to find out more as regards where we are as a club so we’ll be sharing information and, likewise, I’ll find out more about their plans but administration is the last thing they want.
“It’s been a difficult and frustrating time for supporters. Things have gone on for over a month now but hopefully we can move forward with confidence; the process has started.”
Duckett met coaching staff and senior players at their Tong training ground yesterday and reassured staff their latest wages will be paid on Monday.
Hood said: “Andrew Bennett and I concluded the interests of Bradford Bulls and its players, coaches and staff are best served by us making way for Mr Caisley and his cohorts now, rather than awaiting an EGM at which we’re bound to be outvoted.
“Chris has indicated to me and chief executive Ryan Duckett he has investors waiting in the wings who are ready, willing and able to get on board but apparently they are not prepared to do so under the present regime.”