The Rugby Football League have confirmed they expect the sole bidder interested in buying the cash-strapped club to make a decision on whether to proceed by Friday afternoon.
The 2006 World Club champions went into administration for the third time last month and are facing a deduction of up to 12 points when the Championship begins in February. If the sale of the club does not go ahead Bulls will face liquidation and it is understood staff were warned earlier this week to prepare for possible redundancy.
But the RFL say “positive and detailed discussions” have taken place with the potential buyer and there are hopes the four-time Super League winners can be saved at the 11th hour.
A statement released by the governing body on Thursday night revealed: “Members of the RFL Executive and Welfare team have today spoken to the players and staff of Bradford Bulls to update them on the current situation at the club. The administrator was also represented within the discussion by Howard Roberts.
“The RFL was able to disclose that following positive and detailed discussions an interested consortium is considering bidding for the Bradford Bulls, and that the consortium now has all the information needed to make a decision on whether it will make a formal offer for the club.
“Despite the fact that the consortium could potentially offer an exciting future, the RFL recognises that no deal has yet has been struck. It does, however, expect that a decision will be made by (Friday) afternoon.”
The statement added: “The RFL understands that it is a difficult time for all involved and recognises the patience and cooperation being demonstrated by, in particular, the players and staff of Bradford Bulls at what must be an incredibly stressful time.”
One stumbling block to the sale is understood to be the fact the RFL owns the lease to the club’s Odsal Stadium home.
The identity of the potential buyer has not been confirmed, but former New Zealand Rugby League chairman Andrew Chalmers has been linked.