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League Express Upfront: Do the Bulls deserve reduced funding?


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#21 brooza

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 07:55 AM

That is correct, as far as i know.

The penalty was agreed so that the Bulls could stay in a Licensed competition. To then move the goalposts and re-introduce relegation IMO makes the whole thing look shambolic. It leaves the Bulls well behind the eight ball for what could be a make or break 2014 season for a number of clubs in the league.

Mr Khan probably had no other option than to accept those terms, but I feel that the money should have gone to the creditors of the old company, not be spread between the other Super League clubs. That left the Bulls, in effect, even worse off.

If I remember correctly, Mr Khan suggested these terms.

 

The trouble is, while I kind of agree with the points about the goalposts being moved and it being unfair, they should have had no funding this year and received the full amount next year. This was spread out over 2 years to make things easier. OK is still having to put the same amount of money in, but over 2 years rather than all this year


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#22 hindle xiii

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:02 AM

I don't think it ever came to light who actually instigated the reduced funds deal and what else went on behind closed doors.


If you use "should of", "would of" or "could of", you are a moron.

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#23 Bulliac

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:00 AM

I don't think it ever came to light who actually instigated the reduced funds deal and what else went on behind closed doors.

No, it was never really explained.

 

I do find it hard to believe that OK came up with the suggestion though; why on earth would he if the idea hadn't been 'planted' by others at the meeting? It would have given the impression that Omar was - in effect - bribing the other clubs to let them play in SL, especially so when they pocketted the money themselves. Surely OK wouldn't have suggested it, nor would the other clubs have taken it for that reason alone - nor, surely, would the RFL legal people have okayed the deal given the way it would look.

 

To be honest, the only way which looks reasonable, would be if the RFL presented it as a 'fine' and the 'price' for going into admin and OK and Gerry Sutcliffe had no real choice but to accept it if they wanted to stay in SL.


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#24 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:05 AM

I don't think it ever came to light who actually instigated the reduced funds deal and what else went on behind closed doors.

It's worth bearing in mind that the other clubs, or at least a significant number of them, would have been perfectly happy to see Bradford Bulls close down completely last year.

 

They wanted a reduced number of teams in the competition, so that they would get a greater share of the BSkyB broadcasting funds.

 

So for Omar Khan to come along wanting to rescue the Bulls was a little inconvenient for some of the other clubs.

 

So they played hard ball, and asked Khan to prove his credentials by offering to run the club without a full year's funding.

 

I'm not sure whether Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe were aware that the other clubs would simply pocket that cash when they agreed to the deal, although they appear to suggest that they didn't know.

 

It reminds me of the situation when Gateshead Thunder were created in 1999, and received reduced funding compared to the other clubs at that time. It was almost designed to end in tears, and a lot of very good work in the northeast was thrown down the drain, with many new supporters being totally alienated by how it ended.

 

In my view all the Super League clubs should be on a level playing field in terms of the income they receive from the central distribution. Anything else is short-sighted, and is asking for trouble.

 

Whether a club should be in Super League after going into administration is a different but related issue.

 

But then the whole story of how and why the Bulls went into administration is yet to be told.



#25 ckn

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:29 AM

I agree with Martyn in some ways, no point having a closed door license system with different funding per club.

 

The main way I disagree is that Bradford had the lead balloon of Odsal's long-term maintenance and upkeep removed and turned into tenants, they received an "undisclosed sum" for Odsal and I believe their rent is confidential.  Until that's all nice and open then I'm not going to waste too much time giving sympathy to Bradford for having reduced funding.  They received a substantial financial boost and long-term stability assistance from the RFL who themselves have very limited budgets.  If Bradford are net current and ongoing beneficiaries from the RFL purchasing Odsal then them losing half of funding for a couple of seasons could turn out to be quite a bargain in the long term.


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#26 hindle xiii

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:44 AM

It's worth bearing in mind that the other clubs, or at least a significant number of them, would have been perfectly happy to see Bradford Bulls close down completely last year.

 

They wanted a reduced number of teams in the competition, so that they would get a greater share of the BSkyB broadcasting funds.

 

So for Omar Khan to come along wanting to rescue the Bulls was a little inconvenient for some of the other clubs.

 

So they played hard ball, and asked Khan to prove his credentials by offering to run the club without a full year's funding.

 

...

Just to add or question though, how serious was this idea for SLE to prop up Bradford to see them through 2012 then? That seems a little contradictory if some clubs were happy to see us sink right there and then.

 

Also, Gargoyle stated he'd put the club in liquidation when September came so he didn't have to find money to pay wages, that's why the OK Bulls takeover was rushed through before the Hull FC game.

 

 

As I've said before, we had new levels of help which ckn alluded to (and player ringfencing), and then new levels of punishment the following season. So I just keep my head down, ride out the rough patch and then hopefully be strong enough to start clean, fresh and sparkling in the all new 2015 set-up back to full funding. If we aren't two of the weakest teams next season, then I think there could be a real renaissance at Odsal once we get full money and new league formats.


If you use "should of", "would of" or "could of", you are a moron.

On Odsal Top baht 'at.

 


#27 Bulliac

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 11:58 AM

I agree with Martyn in some ways, no point having a closed door license system with different funding per club.

 

The main way I disagree is that Bradford had the lead balloon of Odsal's long-term maintenance and upkeep removed and turned into tenants, they received an "undisclosed sum" for Odsal and I believe their rent is confidential.  Until that's all nice and open then I'm not going to waste too much time giving sympathy to Bradford for having reduced funding.  They received a substantial financial boost and long-term stability assistance from the RFL who themselves have very limited budgets.  If Bradford are net current and ongoing beneficiaries from the RFL purchasing Odsal then them losing half of funding for a couple of seasons could turn out to be quite a bargain in the long term.

Not sure what you're on about to be honest mate.

 

Bradford haven't had any 'lead balloon' of maintenance removed, so i don't know where you've got that from. Up to the 'Odsal settlement' in 2000, responsibility for upkeep lay with the freeholder, which is Bfd Met, and from that point on [the year 2000] all maintenance has been the sole responsibility of the club. When the club sold the primary lease [not the ground] to the RFL this did not change. What changed was that the club now pays rent at "commercial rates" to the RFL. The RFL presumably now pay the cheap rent to the council. I can't remember what the Bulls' rent is, though I'm sure I've seen the figure and it's not cheap. Certainly steep enough for Omar Khan to offer to buy back the primary lease last year.

 

I think it should be remembered that the money the club got from the RFL late last season was just their own Sky money, all be it paid a little early.


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#28 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:38 PM

It's worth bearing in mind that the other clubs, or at least a significant number of them, would have been perfectly happy to see Bradford Bulls close down completely last year.

 

They wanted a reduced number of teams in the competition, so that they would get a greater share of the BSkyB broadcasting funds.

 

So for Omar Khan to come along wanting to rescue the Bulls was a little inconvenient for some of the other clubs.

 

So they played hard ball, and asked Khan to prove his credentials by offering to run the club without a full year's funding.

 

I'm not sure whether Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe were aware that the other clubs would simply pocket that cash when they agreed to the deal, although they appear to suggest that they didn't know.

 

It reminds me of the situation when Gateshead Thunder were created in 1999, and received reduced funding compared to the other clubs at that time. It was almost designed to end in tears, and a lot of very good work in the northeast was thrown down the drain, with many new supporters being totally alienated by how it ended.

 

In my view all the Super League clubs should be on a level playing field in terms of the income they receive from the central distribution. Anything else is short-sighted, and is asking for trouble.

 

Whether a club should be in Super League after going into administration is a different but related issue.

 

But then the whole story of how and why the Bulls went into administration is yet to be told.

 

Which are the clubs that were keen to see Bradford fold Martyn?



#29 ckn

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:55 PM

Not sure what you're on about to be honest mate.

 

Bradford haven't had any 'lead balloon' of maintenance removed, so i don't know where you've got that from. Up to the 'Odsal settlement' in 2000, responsibility for upkeep lay with the freeholder, which is Bfd Met, and from that point on [the year 2000] all maintenance has been the sole responsibility of the club. When the club sold the primary lease [not the ground] to the RFL this did not change. What changed was that the club now pays rent at "commercial rates" to the RFL. The RFL presumably now pay the cheap rent to the council. I can't remember what the Bulls' rent is, though I'm sure I've seen the figure and it's not cheap. Certainly steep enough for Omar Khan to offer to buy back the primary lease last year.

 

I think it should be remembered that the money the club got from the RFL late last season was just their own Sky money, all be it paid a little early.

I'll take your word for it but I understood it to be that the RFL took full ownership by buying out the freehold from the council (meaning no rent to the council at all) in order to stop the council selling it on to another third party and also paying Bradford an "undisclosed fee" to break their peppercorn rent lease in the ground.  I also understood that the RFL as the primary owners were responsible for the structural maintenance and upkeep as you'd get in any other landlord/tenant commercial agreement with "market rent".

 

If I'm wrong then I'm happy to be shown as wrong.


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#30 Martyn Sadler

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:08 PM

Which are the clubs that were keen to see Bradford fold Martyn?

All the clubs that believed they needed the dosh. Which is most of them.

 

As we've seen in the more recent discussions about the league re-structure, the offer of more money tends to make clubs vote in predictable ways.

 

The Bulls did have Leeds and Wigan in their corner, however, and of course they had the RFL, which didn't want to lose the value of the asset it had acquired in Odsal.



#31 brooza

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:10 PM

I'll take your word for it but I understood it to be that the RFL took full ownership by buying out the freehold from the council (meaning no rent to the council at all) in order to stop the council selling it on to another third party and also paying Bradford an "undisclosed fee" to break their peppercorn rent lease in the ground.  I also understood that the RFL as the primary owners were responsible for the structural maintenance and upkeep as you'd get in any other landlord/tenant commercial agreement with "market rent".

 

If I'm wrong then I'm happy to be shown as wrong.

http://www1.skysport.../12268/8649226/

 

"The freehold is leased by Bradford MBC but when the Rugby League club hit problems this was taken on by the Rugby Football League Council. We would need their approval but we cannot discuss the matter further with them until we have planning confirmed.

Not entirely sure what that means, but another article says they bought the freehold

http://www.loverugby...dway-plans.html


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#32 ckn

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:23 PM

http://www1.skysport.../12268/8649226/

Not entirely sure what that means, but another article says they bought the freehold

http://www.loverugby...dway-plans.html

I understood at the time that the RFL was buying the freehold as it would permanently stop any predatory approaches for the stadium and land.  What would be the point in the RFL simply taking over the lease if it didn't solve the issue of the council being able to sell up at any time to a developer.

 

edit: you can submit a planning application on any land in the UK, you don't have to own it but if it's granted then the owner can take advantage of that permission without having to discuss it with you.


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#33 Bulliac

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:45 PM

I'll take your word for it but I understood it to be that the RFL took full ownership by buying out the freehold from the council (meaning no rent to the council at all) in order to stop the council selling it on to another third party and also paying Bradford an "undisclosed fee" to break their peppercorn rent lease in the ground.  I also understood that the RFL as the primary owners were responsible for the structural maintenance and upkeep as you'd get in any other landlord/tenant commercial agreement with "market rent".

 

If I'm wrong then I'm happy to be shown as wrong.

As things stand, Bfd Met are the owners, the RFL are the primary leaseholders and the Bulls have a secondary lease from the RFL.

 

I think you may be being confused with what happened in 2000,  with the "Odsal settlement",  which came up after the 'superdome' project fell through and the Bulls returned fom Valley Parade. Up to that time the Bulls had a lease under which the council were responsible for maintenance and also took bar profits and anything made from ground advertising and any other uses like speedway for example were all extra money for the council.

 

The new lease [the current primary lease now held by the RFL] after the 'settlement' was for 150 years. Under that lease the club took over maintenance [for which they were given a large sum, and I'm talking a few £millions, in compensation for the remainder of the old lease, under which it was the council's responsibility ] and also got the bars, advertising and the rental for other uses [sublets] and had to pay a small rent to the council. Though the money intended for upkeep is long gone [spent buying success in the noughties] all the other conditions of the lease remain under the secondary lease from the RFL.

 

As primary lease holders I assume the RFL pay the small rent to Bfd Met.

 

I don't think there ever was any question of the council selling the freehold, I think the problem with the ground was with what might happen if someone were to come in and buy out the club in order to grab the 150 year lease on the ground [or 'construction site' as it may well have very quickly become]. The club has been in some kind of financial difficulty ever since the 'settlement' money ran out in the mid noughties - hence the selling and downscaling that went on at the time, so it's a long way from being a far fetched notion, and much as I know absolutely nothing in particular, it would seem that those in charge at the time were worried enough to convince the RFL to buy the lease, so it sounds a little like there were strong rumours floating around.


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#34 terrywebbisgod

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

Yes.


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#35 Bulliac

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:53 PM

http://www1.skysport.../12268/8649226/

Not entirely sure what that means, but another article says they bought the freehold

http://www.loverugby...dway-plans.html

The article is incorrect, though I guess it's an easy mistake to make. The RFL have never claimed to have the freehold and the journo concerned really should check his facts.


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#36 ckn

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for that. The strange thing is the language around it. Even the Bulls' lawyers called it a purchase of the stadium and a buy and leaseback.

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#37 Johnoco

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:16 PM

It's worth bearing in mind that the other clubs, or at least a significant number of them, would have been perfectly happy to see Bradford Bulls close down completely last year.
 
They wanted a reduced number of teams in the competition, so that they would get a greater share of the BSkyB broadcasting funds.
 
So for Omar Khan to come along wanting to rescue the Bulls was a little inconvenient for some of the other clubs.
 
So they played hard ball, and asked Khan to prove his credentials by offering to run the club without a full year's funding.
 
I'm not sure whether Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe were aware that the other clubs would simply pocket that cash when they agreed to the deal, although they appear to suggest that they didn't know.
 
It reminds me of the situation when Gateshead Thunder were created in 1999, and received reduced funding compared to the other clubs at that time. It was almost designed to end in tears, and a lot of very good work in the northeast was thrown down the drain, with many new supporters being totally alienated by how it ended.
 
In my view all the Super League clubs should be on a level playing field in terms of the income they receive from the central distribution. Anything else is short-sighted, and is asking for trouble.
 
Whether a club should be in Super League after going into administration is a different but related issue.
 
But then the whole story of how and why the Bulls went into administration is yet to be told.

I agree with this.

I said at the time,(and it's on here so can be verified) that I would rather be relegated and genuinely start again, rather than limp along with half funding. If they wanted to boot them out, then do it but lets not have a ridiculous situation we have of the club effectively being fined £1.2 Million -an astronomical amount for a RL club - and trying to fight the fight with one hand tied behind it's back. This is not just because I happen to be a Bulls fan, I would say the same regardless of what team it was.
I seriously doubt there is anyone else out there going to put much money into Bradford, so chances are it's just a stay of execution and things will go pear shaped sooner or later. What use will the extra money be to the clubs then?

#38 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:42 PM

As things stand, Bfd Met are the owners, the RFL are the primary leaseholders and the Bulls have a secondary lease from the RFL.

 

I think you may be being confused with what happened in 2000,  with the "Odsal settlement",  which came up after the 'superdome' project fell through and the Bulls returned fom Valley Parade. Up to that time the Bulls had a lease under which the council were responsible for maintenance and also took bar profits and anything made from ground advertising and any other uses like speedway for example were all extra money for the council.

 

The new lease [the current primary lease now held by the RFL] after the 'settlement' was for 150 years. Under that lease the club took over maintenance [for which they were given a large sum, and I'm talking a few £millions, in compensation for the remainder of the old lease, under which it was the council's responsibility ] and also got the bars, advertising and the rental for other uses [sublets] and had to pay a small rent to the council. Though the money intended for upkeep is long gone [spent buying success in the noughties] all the other conditions of the lease remain under the secondary lease from the RFL.

 

As primary lease holders I assume the RFL pay the small rent to Bfd Met.

 

I don't think there ever was any question of the council selling the freehold, I think the problem with the ground was with what might happen if someone were to come in and buy out the club in order to grab the 150 year lease on the ground [or 'construction site' as it may well have very quickly become]. The club has been in some kind of financial difficulty ever since the 'settlement' money ran out in the mid noughties - hence the selling and downscaling that went on at the time, so it's a long way from being a far fetched notion, and much as I know absolutely nothing in particular, it would seem that those in charge at the time were worried enough to convince the RFL to buy the lease, so it sounds a little like there were strong rumours floating around.

 

That's how I read it at the time too. The RFL secured the stadium in case the Bulls went belly up.

 

If they had gone belly up, a new club would have been formed and they would have played out of Odsal. Bradford is a city that can support a RL club at the top level and someone would have created a new company and a new club to fill the void left by the Bulls, but that would have been a lot harder without Odsal as somewhere to play. Top class RL in Bradford is a lot more secure with the RFL holding control of Odsal for the next 100 years or so.



#39 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 02:47 PM

All the clubs that believed they needed the dosh. Which is most of them.

 

As we've seen in the more recent discussions about the league re-structure, the offer of more money tends to make clubs vote in predictable ways.

 

The Bulls did have Leeds and Wigan in their corner, however, and of course they had the RFL, which didn't want to lose the value of the asset it had acquired in Odsal.

 

Agree that the owners of most clubs think very short-term when it comes to money, but I'm surprised that every club except Wigan & Leeds wanted Bradford to fold, so that they could get a share of their central funding for two years.

 

What was it that eventually persuaded the other 11 clubs that it was in their interests if Bradford didn't fold? Was it the RFL, Wigan or Leeds who persuaded them?



#40 MrPosh

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 03:05 PM

I understood at the time that the RFL was buying the freehold as it would permanently stop any predatory approaches for the stadium and land.  What would be the point in the RFL simply taking over the lease if it didn't solve the issue of the council being able to sell up at any time to a developer.


I believe the issue and the vultures comment, was related to a organisation buying the Bulls and asset stripping (moving them to Valley Parade) in order to get the land.
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