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SBD Global/February 26, 2014/Franchises

RFL Imposes Six-Point Deduction, Bradford Bulls Takeover Bid Collapses

Super League side Bradford Bulls lost six league points and "a takeover bid collapsed on another dramatic and damaging day in a crisis that has now been running for almost two years," according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. It is the second time in three seasons that the Bulls have been docked the maximum of six points for breaching Super League's operational rules, and this time "the implications threaten to be a good deal more serious than they were in 2012, given the reintroduction of relegation for the bottom two in the final table." Despite last Thursday's "gutsy" win at Wakefield, Bradford are now four points adrift at the bottom, with "ongoing uncertainty over their future financial viability" (GUARDIAN, 2/25). In London, Christopher Irvine wrote the future of Bradford "was left hanging by a thread in the space of nine minutes." That "was the time it took" for the club's directors to quit. Before walking out, Bradford Chair Mark Moore "accused the RFL of ignoring the business plan of Bradford Bulls 2014, which emerged last week as the preferred bidder of David Wilson, the administrator, and described the points deduction as a 'slap in the face' for the club and supporters." Moore, one of three new directors working alongside Bradford CEO Robbie Hunter-Paul, who will represent Bradford at a meeting of clubs Wednesday, blamed “poor leadership” by the RFL for the debacle. RFL COO Ralph Rimmer said, “It is disappointing and disingenuous for Bradford to suggest that the RFL has acted in any manner other than fairly and properly throughout a crisis, which is entirely of the club’s own making” (LONDON TIMES, 2/26).
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