RFL terminate Bradford's membership after Bulls enter administration

The Rugby Football League has terminated Bradford's membership following the club's decision to go into administration.

Bradford Bulls v Halifax last season.

Marc Green, chairman of the Kingstone Press Championship club, announced on Monday he had placed the Bulls into administration to protect themselves from a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs for unpaid taxes.

On Wednesday the RFL announced its decision to withdraw the club’s membership and warned they could face automatic relegation to League 1.

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In a statement, the governing body said: “As is normal when a club enters administration, the RFL board has today terminated Bradford Bulls Northern Limited’s membership of the RFL.

“The RFL is in discussion with the appointed administrators about their plans for the future of the club. The RFL board will consider any proposals put forward by the administrators to secure the future of the club and membership (and the conditions of any membership) of the RFL is then entirely at the discretion of the board.

“As part of exercising its discretion, the RFL board would assess any individual proposed be involved in the ownership or management of the club to ensure that they are a fit and proper person.

“In addition, as part of the conditions of any membership, the RFL board would then determine the appropriate sporting sanction, which could include a points deduction or possible relegation.

“This is clearly a distressing time for supporters, players and employees of Bradford Bulls. We will aim to keep them updated of any progress as and when we can.”

Bradford were also put into administration in 2012 and 2014 and tax officials said at a hearing in a Bankruptcy and Companies Court in London last month that the club owes around £350,000.

However, Bradford bosses estimated the debt at nearer £133,000 - and barrister Rowena Page told a judge that more than £100,000 had already been paid.

Gary Pettit and Gavin Bates, directors of PBC Business Recovery and Insolvency, have been appointed as joint administrators of the Bulls and say early indications suggest there is interest in saving the club.

Former Bradford City co-chairman Mark Lawn and London-based businessman Richard Lamb, who were both keen to take over the crisis-torn club during their most recent spell in administration, have again expressed an interest.

Lamb, a Bulls shareholder who took over as chief executive of rugby union club Rotherham in the summer, had a bid accepted by administrator David Wilson in 2014 but no deal materialised because he was unable to provide £1million proof of funds to the RFL within a strict timescale.

Bradford dominated the early years of Super League and were crowned world club champions in 2006 but were relegated two years ago and in 2016 failed to reach the top four of the Championship.