Bradford Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers says takeover deal will allow club to target Super League return

Bradford Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers.
Bradford Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers.
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New Zealand businessman Andrew Chalmers is stepping down as chairman of Bradford Bulls to pave the way for a takeover.

A statement from the four-times Super League champions said the club’s shareholders have entered into a conditional agreement to sell the Bulls to a UK investor group.

Chalmers, who formed a new company to take over the Bulls brand after the old club was liquidated in 2016, says he will vacate his position on completion of the sale. The deal is subject to ratification from the Rugby Football League, which is expected to be a formality.

A former Wakefield director, Chris Brereton, who helped save Trinity from bankruptcy in 2013, is thought to be the man heading up the consortium.

Chalmers said: “The head of the investor group is well known in rugby league circles, having last served as a director and owner in the Super League. I am confident that the new ownership group will bring the resources, drive and expertise needed to build on the work completed over three years and continue the path to transition this great club back to Super League for the benefit of all stakeholders, especially the loyal Bulls fans.

“Having completed their due diligence, we now await the RFL’s approval and sanction.

“It’s also anticipated that the club will be shortly removed from all player signing restrictions.”

Bradford were placed in special measures in August by the RFL, who expressed concern over the club’s long-term future following confirmation of their move to Dewsbury in 2020.

Chalmers took the decision to move out of Odsal, which is owned by Bradford Council and leased from the RFL, because of the high running costs.

Sunday’s announcement comes 24 hours after the club apologised for mistakes made with pension payments which prompted one player to take action to terminate his contract.

In a statement, the club admitted not “properly implementing” the workplace pension scheme because of an administrative error but insisted it would not result in any losses for the players.