YOU could feel some prescience from Bradford Bulls second-row Tom Olbison when asked about the club’s threat of liquidation yesterday.
Bradford’s players halted training in the morning after being told by its administrators that it faced being wound up unless a buyer was found by Friday.
For many it would be deeply alarming, especially given last week they had been informed four bidders were in the running. Yet Olbison, Bradford’s longest-serving player having debuted in 2009, has been here before, this being the third time he has experienced administration at Odsal.
He knows it is never simple and rarely believable. “With all this talk you’re never really sure of what’s going on and whether this is between the administrator and the owner or the RFL or whoever,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“You’re not sure if they’re just saying it to get a deal done or not. We haven’t a clue. We always seem to find out last. We all hope someone comes in and takes over – that’s what’s happened the last few times and there’s nothing to say someone else will not do that now, we get a new owner and sort it all out.
“We’re just getting on with it but then all this stuff coming out does leave you thinking what IS going on? It does put a downer on it all – it’s like the big elephant in the room – but hopefully it doesn’t get to that point.”
And, indeed, just a couple of hours later last night, it appeared Bradford were venturing towards safety after all. Via a club statement, the joint-administrator Gary Pettit unexpectedly announced they plan to make a “significant” statement by Friday evening with regard the Bulls’ “sale” with offers from two preferred parties subject to an ongoing due diligence process.
He said: “I’m conscious the sale process has not been as straight-forward as originally envisaged.
“I know the parties with whom we are dealing have very substantial resources and experience to take the club forward. We believe we’ll be able to make a more definitive announcement within the next 48 hours regarding the sale of the club. At least one (if not both) of our preferred bidders wishes to have future supporter representation upon the board of directors.”
Sheffield Eagles are to play their home games at Wakefield Trinity in 2017.