Rescue package

'Super League clubs are working together to save Bradford'

Last Updated: 09/08/12 9:55am

Hetherington: backing the Bulls

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington told Boots 'n' All that Super League's bid to purchase ailing Bradford has been made in the best interests of the sport.

"The Super League clubs have come together to protect one of its own members and do what is best, not only for Super League but the whole of rugby league."

Gary Hetherington

Quotes of the week

Super League (Europe) submitted an offer to acquire the Bulls on behalf of the 13 other top-flight clubs last week, one of four offers that the Yorkshire club's administrator has received.

Read the latest Bradford news here

"There was always a threat the club could go into liquidation and leave the game with a big problem," said Hetherington.

"There have been no unconditional bids for the club so this unusual situation. which is the opposite of Scottish football (where SPL clubs voted against allowing the Rangers Newco into the top division) has arisen.

"The Super League clubs have come together to protect one of its own members and do what is best, not only for Super League but the whole of rugby league."

However, should the bid from Super League (Europe) be accepted, there is no certainty that the Bulls will maintain their place in the elite division next term, as Blake Solly, the Rugby Football League's director of licensing and standards, explained.

"This does not guarantee Super League membership for the next two years; it is a defensive position to try and make sure that whatever division Bradford is in they can move forward, " he said.

"Discussions over that will take place over the next three or four weeks as if there are any more bids people will want to know what division they are in."

Come back

Ex-Wigan and Salford star Terry O'Connor reckons that if Bradford do survive they will begin the 2013 campaign in the second tier, but thinks the Odsal side could eventually get back amongst the elite.

"I don't think any decisions have been made yet but I think they will be in the Championship," he said. "However, the history is there as it is with a number of clubs at that level. They will need to come back strong as other clubs have done."

O'Connor's fellow Boots pundit Barrie McDermott, meanwhile, hopes that a conclusion to the long-running Bradford saga is reached soon so that the club's staff and young players know where they stand.

"There is uncertainty at Bradford and little dialogue," said the former Leeds man. "Talking to people I know at the club, the staff are the last to know what is going on and are having to read the news in papers or on the internet.

"The senior players, meanwhile, have a big reputation, but these young 16-20-year-olds - who the club's head of youth development, Paul Medley, is having to sit down with - don't. This might be their one and only opportunity (to make it professionally)."

"But there is also a lot at stake for the West Yorkshire teams - Leeds, Castleford, Huddersfield, Wakefield - as the revenues for their games against Bradford could be anywhere between £60,000 all the way up to a quarter of a million pounds."