Owners confirmed for Bradford's new rugby league club

Andrew Chalmers and Graham Lowe have finally confirmed that they are the new owners of the professional rugby league club created in Bradford.

Bradford fans will have a team to support in 2017.

Chalmers, the former New Zealand Rugby League chief, and Lowe, the ex-Wigan, Manly, Queensland State of Origin and Kiwi coach, issued a statement this afternoon.

The RFL announced on Friday that they had made their choice after receiving offers for a new club following cash-strapped Bradford Bulls going into liquidation earlier this month.

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However, Chalmers and Lowe did not fly into the UK from New Zealand until yesterday and met a 25-strong playing group, interim management and coaching staff last night.

Chalmers said: “I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to create what we hope will be a strong and stable club in Bradford.

“The history and tradition of Rugby League in this great city is something we are both very aware of.

“We are under no illusion of the enormity of the task that is ahead of us and that it is our job to win the trust of supporters and deliver a club that they are proud of.

“One of our first commitments to the RFL was that all season tickets for the 2017 season that have already been purchased by Bradford Bulls supporters would be honoured by the new club.

“We understand that there has been some criticism of the process and others are of course entitled to their views, but I want to make clear that at every stage the RFL have provided us with the detail and scrutiny that we expected for such an important decision.”

Having addressed the players and coaching staff, Lowe said: “We do not see this as a quick fix and we will work through the immediate issue of offering full-time playing contracts to the team.

“This is expected to be accomplished in the next 48 hours and following that we will look at bolstering the playing squad as necessary to replace those players who have secured contracts elsewhere.”

Chalmers added: “We are both really excited about the strength of the high performance academy and the long term pathway opportunities that flow from this.

“We understand that this is a frustrating time for fans who want to know what is happening but I can assure you that we are working long hours with all interested parties to cover a lot of ground.

“We are aware of the hunger for information and we will update our position on a daily basis as and when we are able.

“A lot of work is required in a short space of time and we anticipate a lot of exciting announcements to follow in the coming days and weeks.”