Super League: Bradford Bulls allay fears over fresh administration talk
Bradford Bulls have played down fresh administration fears although they will need to make staff redundancies.
Last Updated: 05/12/13 2:52pm
Chairman Mark Moore and fellow directors Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt took full control of the business approximately six weeks ago and have made some worrying financial discoveries.
They say a lengthy list of financial issues and outstanding debts have been uncovered, which if not dealt with could drive the fallen West Yorkshire giants towards administration once more.
The board of directors claim loans taken out against the club have recently been discovered in addition to a variation of commercial agreements which were signed off, devaluing the Bulls' corporate offerings.
"The last administrative team struggled to understand the full impact of running this club and stepped away from the business with large outstanding debts, which the Bulls are now recovering from," said a club spokesman.
"Concerts staged last year ran at a financial loss, estimated to be in region of £100,000, and the costs keep on coming.
"The loans, both in terms of their size and nature, which have been made against the Bulls, have only come to light in the past four weeks.
"Poor leadership and a lack of commercial know-how, from earlier this year, has sadly turned away many traditional sponsors - and income. Again, we now have to recover.
"We have lost a lot of our suppliers due to non-payments and a lack of communication and engagement with them."
The club's new owners say first-team head coach Francis Cummins has been handed an unrealistic playing and backroom budget, meaning the club now needs to make hard decisions and implement tough cost-cutting measures to help the Bulls to survive.
"This is likely to mean staff redundancies, across a range of departments, as well as budget reductions," the spokesperson continued.
"Areas of the business have been allowed to dangerously overspend and this is now going to have an obvious impact on the club.
"Season-ticket sales are vastly down on forecasted projections and, like last season, the club will again receive half of its allocated central funding due to the agreement made between the Super League and the former board at the time of initial purchase.
"As a club we are left with no choice but to make difficult decisions in a bid to streamline the business. We believe we are working with manageable debts, but the fact that we no longer have 10,000-15,000 people turning out on our terraces means we will have retract as a business.
"Our incomings simply do not match our current outgoings, so over the next few days we have to make tough decisions on every business unit in the club.
"The goal for next year is now to survive, compete and win back the trust of supporters and previous sponsors, while looking forward to receiving our full allocation of central funding ahead of 2015.
"We are currently searching for - and are in conversations with - new income generators, which will help the core of the business move forward."