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RFL want assurances from Bradford suitors

Press Association logoPress Association 5/01/2017 Ian Laybourn

Any new owners of a revived Bradford would have to provide personal guarantees that the team will fulfil all their fixtures over the next three years.

The Rugby Football League, which has set a deadline of noon on Monday (GMT) to receive offers to set up a new club, took the unusual step of making public its demands and the process potential new owners will have to go through to meet them.

After witnessing Bradford go into administration three times in five years, the most recent one with dire consequences, the governing body appears keen to ensure that any new owners have sufficient funds to guarantee the club's future, at least in the medium term.

The document, which the RFL has sent to around 10 interested parties, calls for bidders to submit a three-year budget forecast along with proof of supporting funds by their deadline.

The RFL also wants to know if prospective buyers are willing to show goodwill by recognising the 1,000 season tickets purchased by Bulls fans before the club went bust and pay off around STG50,000 ($AU120,000) in debts to local creditors.

The RFL has said it would be willing to restore Bradford's membership if a suitable owners are found and allow a new team to continue in the Championship in 2017 with a 12-point deduction and a reduced funding of STG150,000, compared to the STG275,000 the club were due.

It is thought the league will use remaining STG125,000 to help relieve any hardship suffered by the players, who were still owed their December wages when the administrators put the club into liquidation.

Former New Zealand RL chairman Andrew Chalmers and London businessman Richard Lamb, who both fronted bids for the old club which were rejected by the administrators, are among those interested in forming a new club.

Australian coach Rohan Smith has indicated his willingness to stay on but the break-up of the team continued on Thursday with back-row forward Alex Mellor joining Huddersfield and former Hull KR centre Kris Welham signing for Salford.

They take the number of confirmed departures from Bradford to four in the 48 hours since the club went into liquidation, rendering all the players free agents.

Jason Walton has moved to Featherstone and Tom Olbison has signed for Super League club Widnes while James Clare and Adam Sidlow are also thought to have lined up moves away from Odsal.

Clubs have been given special dispensation on their salary cap to sign players from Bradford, who may well have to look to the loan market to build a team for their opening Championship match at Hull KR on February 5 if the club is re-formed.

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