Future of stricken Bradford Bulls is hit by further delays

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Bradford Bulls’ future will remain in the balance until Monday at least after the club’s joint administrators pushed back the deadline for due diligence to be completed.

A decision over the stricken club’s future – amid speculation of a possible liquidation – was expected yesterday but a statement said that undisclosed “complex issues” with their preferred bidders had led to a delay.

Co-administrator Gary Pettit admitted that the delay was regrettable but expressed a desire for patience.

Pettit, of Northampton-based PBC Business Recovery, who was appointed one of the joint administrators, said: “I wanted to clarify that whilst we had hoped to make a major, positive announcement today, everyone is going have to remain patient.

“My legal team and my colleagues will continue to work hard over the weekend to give every prospect of success for the survival and renaissance of the Bradford Bulls.”

Pettit added that he was working to secure the right deal for the Bulls, not the quickest, and said: “I am confident that there is a potential framework in place to protect the legacy and proud traditions of the club.

“I know that the Rugby Football League has been in direct discussions with the solicitors who are acting for our preferred bidders.”

The RFL’s chief operating officer, Ralph Rimmer, said: “We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for supporters, players, staff and their families and we thank them for their patience whilst we undertake this important work over the coming days.

“We will try to keep them all updated with progress as and when we are able to.”

Bradford, who were world club champions in 2006, were placed into administration – for the third time in four years – by chairman Marc Green a month ago to combat a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill.

The club had their membership of the RFL withdrawn as a result of going into administration and could be docked as many as 12 competition points from the start of the 2017 season if and when they are re-admitted under new ownership.