Bulls directors stand down

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24th December 2013

Bradford Bulls' new-look board of directors have all stood down.

Chairman Mark Moore and directors Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt walked out today, citing former owner Omar Khan's refusal to transfer his shares to them as the key reason, claiming in the process that Khan was requesting the repayment of directors' loans be made by the club.

The trio - along with the already-departed Ryan Whitcut - stepped in at Odsal in September but just 19 days ago told the club's fans that the financial problems they were dealing with were worse than they had thought.

They said Bradford needed to make savings of up to £400,000 and a day later redundancies were made across the club.

Now, though, the three have gone, leaving the direction of the club back in the hands of Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe MP, who stepped in after Bradford initially went into administration in 2012.

Moore said in a statement released through the club: "It comes with great disappointment and regret that we hereby notify all Bulls supporters that Ian Watt, Andrew Calvert and I have decided to step down from the club due to the failure of the share transfer from previous owners Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe MP.

"Omar Khan is also now requesting payment for his director's loans from the club.

"That confidence (over the share issue) is integral to the club's success and without the shares issue being agreed by Mr Khan we feel a line cannot be drawn under the whole affair."

Khan and Sutcliffe brought Bradford back in 2012 after the club's dramatic financial implosion.

Several fundraisers were held and former players sold medals and shirts in order to keep the club going, but Bradford Bulls Holdings Ltd was eventually wound up, with the Khan and Sutcliffe-led OK Bulls taking the club into the 2013 season on a one-year license.

The transfer of day-to-day power, if not the shares, to a new quartet - Whitcut has already stepped down as joint chairman - occurred earlier this year but now they have all left.

"We have all personally invested a substantial amount of money into OK Bulls and have worked tirelessly to turn the club around, with a focus of making it self-sustainable," Moore added.

"We found over £400,000 outstanding to a host of creditors, with a further undisclosed loan of £180,000.

"Andrew Calvert has built up a working relationship with most of our creditors, who have been very supportive with the majority of them agreeing a payment plan so the club could build back the trust needed."

Moore added that such work - the staff cuts included - had been done in anticipation of Khan handing over the shares.

"Throughout this process we had been under the impression that the entirety of the OK Bulls shares would be transferred to our team.

"This all had been part of a bigger ongoing discussion between us, Omar Khan's solicitors and other important stakeholders, such as, Bradford Council and the Rugby Football League.

"However, it has since transpired that still Mr Khan will not release the shares to us, despite these discussions with all stakeholders."

The Rugby Football League, which has been involved in the process since it began - it bought Odsal during the initial meltdown - confirmed it was helping all parties to try and reach a solution.

An RFL spokesperson said: "Clearly our initial concern was that all Bradford Bulls players and staff will be paid, which we have now been reassured is the case.

"We will now work with all parties involved to try and resolve a very sensitive issue at the club."

There was no comment from Khan or Sutcliffe today.

Bulls directors stand down 2013.superleague.co.uk
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