Bulls board quits over shares row to surprise of ex-owner Sutcliffe

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Bradford Bulls find themselves in the middle of another off-the-field crisis after the club’s new-look board of directors all stood down.

Chairman Mark Moore and directors Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt walked out on Christmas Eve, citing former owner Omar Khan’s refusal to transfer his shares to them as the key reason, claiming in the process that Khan was requesting the repayment of director’s loans be made by the club.

The trio – along with the already-departed Ryan Whitcut – stepped in at Odsal in September, but just under three weeks ago told the club’s fans that the financial problems they were dealing with were worse than they had thought.

They said Bradford needed to make savings of up to £400,000 and a day later redundancies were made across the club.

Now, though, the three have gone, leaving the direction of the club back in the hands of Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe MP, who stepped in after Bradford initially went into administration in 2012.

Moore said in a statement released through Bradford: “It comes with great disappointment and regret that we hereby notify all Bulls supporters that Ian Watt, Andrew Calvert and I have decided to step down from the club due to the failure of the share transfer from previous owners Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe MP.

“Omar Khan is also now requesting payment for his director’s loans from the club.

“That confidence (over the share issue) is integral to the club’s success and without the shares issue being agreed by Mr Khan we feel a line cannot be drawn under the whole affair.”

Khan and Sutcliffe brought Bradford back in 2012 after the club’s dramatic financial implosion.

Sutcliffe said he was surprised with both the timing and the context of the announcement.

He added: “When I stepped down as honorary chairman in September it was on the understanding that the new team had agreed the sale of the club from Omar Khan due to his ill health. That agreement has not been honoured according to Mr Khan.”

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