NEW Bradford Bulls owner Marc Green has vehemently denied his only intention is to asset strip the club and has vowed he will remain even if the Super League club do endure relegation.
More than a week after taking control of the famous West Yorkshire club and bringing them out of administration, the 48-year-old held his first press conference at Odsal yesterday to deliver his blueprint for the future.
Bradford, three-times World Club champions but on the brink of financial ruin for much of the last two years, face a fight for survival given they are rooted to the foot of the table after being docked six points for their insolvency breaches.
Yet Green, a Leeds-based businessman originally from London, is confident in his ability to restore them to their former glories and underlined his dedication by unveiling France star Jamal Fakir to the waiting media, the ex- Catalan Dragons prop who has signed initially until the end of the year.
“It’s absolutely brilliant we’ve signed Jamal, someone with 10 years’ Super League experience and an international too,” he said.
“I’m hoping it will give the fans comfort as well as one of the things I’ve seen said about me over the last week is that I’m only here to strip my money out of the club and then walk away.
“That is simply not the case. I’m hoping this further demonstrates my commitment to turning this club around.
“Remaining in Super League is the only objective.”
Asked if he would stay if Bradford did drop out of the elite, Green responded: “I won’t be walking away if that happens.
“But we intend to make sure it does not. That’s Plan Z and we have plans from A all the way through to Z. I’ve already formulated a one, five and 10-year plan so draw from that what you wish.”
Green, who first began watching the sport when he moved to the Broad Acres 20 years ago, admits he never envisaged owning the erstwhile Super League champions.
Via his Leeds-based firm Safeguard Security he aided previous owner Omar Khan with a six-figure loan as Bradford’s financial woe deepened last September.
Ironically, it was Green, as a debenture holder, who then appointed administrators in January to ward off the risk of the Bulls being wound up by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
Later, he stepped in at short notice when potential deals with other interested parties apparently floundered.
“Up until Friday the 21st (March) at 4pm, I was under the impression that a different consortium had taken it, but when that fell through for whatever reason and I was told that my bid was there or thereabouts, I was happy to take up the challenge,” he said.
“I’m actually happy to be in the box seat. It’s an inspiring challenge, an awesome opportunity and one I can’t wait to deliver.
“I’m confident in my ability to do that. We won’t talk about what others have done in the past; a lot of false promises and dawns have been spouted from the rooftops and that’s one thing I won’t do.”
Green would not divulge how much he spent to buy the club, or how much he intended to invest.
However, he did say a commercial and financial director have been appointed – though not yet named – in a five-strong board alongside himself, managing director Steve Ferres and chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul.
When asked if he was looking for additional investors to aid his plans, Green replied: “The investment I’m looking for is the return of the supporters to this stadium.
“I will do everything I can, with my colleagues, to give them the confidence to come back.
“If they meet us on a triangular approach, which is Franny Cummins’s team delivering on the field and my team delivering off it, that will turn the club around.
“I’m not a person that walks on pitches with arms raised in front of the supporters. I’m not a ‘gunna’ man – but we’re about what we have done.
“I’ve noticed on Twitter people constantly badgering about what I’m going to do but I’ve only had the club now for a week.
“The first job was to bring someone in I could work alongside (Ferres) and the second was to bring in new players which I’m pleased we’ve now started doing.”
Green also stated his desire to take ownership of Odsal once more after its lease was sold to the RFL just over two years ago.
Bulls coach Cummins hails newcomer Fakir: Page 21.