There are now three bidders to buy "beleaguered" Super League rugby club Bradford Bulls after the deadline for bids closed Wednesday, according to Dave Hadfield of the London INDEPENDENT. Bradford City football club, which had earlier expressed an interest in taking over its neighbors, "have pulled out." They decided against submitting a business plan, but they have told the Rugby League that "they could still be interested if no suitable deal can be finalised elsewhere." The remaining suitors comprised two consortiums of local businessmen, plus the Super League itself -- although if that last bid was successful the organization has stressed that it would be only a short-term arrangement until a long-term backer is found (INDEPENDENT, 8/23). The PA wrote that the battle for the Bulls "has now come down to a two-horse race, with the Bradford businessman Omar Khan and the non-league football club Bradford Park Avenue emerging as the frontrunners to take over the ailing concern." The Super League bid remains on the table but "is seen as a last resort." The RFL had imposed a deadline of Tuesday for prospective purchasers to submit their business plans for the beleaguered Bulls. RFL Dir of Licensing and Standards Blake Solly insists Wednesdays' meeting "had been productive, even though the saga is set to continue into another week." Solly said, "The Super League clubs were encouraged by the detail presented to them and have mandated the RFL executive to continue working towards bringing the matter to satisfactory conclusion" (GUARDIAN, 8/23).