Bradford pass cash milestone but lose Crookes

Jason Crookes
Jason Crookes
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Beleaguered Bradford Bulls have broken through the £300,000 barrier in their battle for survival and have received the backing of the club’s supporters group.

The Bulls need to raise £1m , half by 5pm tomorrow, to stave off the threat of a winding-up petition and almost certain administration and yesterday reached another major landmark in pledges.

Bradford chief executive Ryan Duckett said: “The £300k figure is a significant milestone for the club to reach.

“We are delighted to have got that far and pledges are continuing to come in.

“Pledges had slowed down earlier in the week but momentum has picked up again (yesterday) and we urge all supporters who haven’t pledged to make sure they get them in before 5pm on Friday ahead of the Leeds game.”

The Super League club also received support from BullBuilder, a supporters trust, following face-to-face talks with the Bradford board.

BullBuilder spokesman Mike Farren said: “As a result of the meeting, we are fully satisfied that the current situation has indeed arisen from the ‘perfect storm’ of adverse financial circumstances that the board has sought, we believe not always effectively, to explain.

“We are satisfied that, after the bank withdrew overdraft facilities, in the very short period available to it the board explored all other avenues before approaching the fans.

“Once they had concluded that only an approach to the fans could succeed in the tight time-frame, they went public as soon as they were commercially able to do so in a structured and organised manner.

“Should the club not receive the level of pledges and other support that is necessary, we are as sure as we can be that the board would have no alternative but to seek administration almost immediately.

“We remain of the view that this would be at best seriously detrimental, and at worst fatal, to top-flight rugby league in Bradford.

“As a result, BullBuilder is supporting the Quest for Survival with a pledge of £2,500.

“We likewise urge those supporters who have so far been hesitant or reluctant to back the ‘Quest for Survival’ to do so now.”

Bradford chairman Peter Hood said: “We were able to outline what we have been doing in the past week to alleviate the situation and also provide them with an honest overview as to why the club is in the position it now finds itself.”

Bradford have been dealt another injury blow ahead of tomorrow’s derby against Leeds with the loss of winger Jason Crookes, who is facing a 12 week lay-off after being told he needs to undergo shoulder surgery.