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League Express Upfront: Do the Bulls deserve reduced funding?

44 posts in this topic

As a bulls fan, yes we dp. Should it go to the other clubs? Maybe not. We have not paid the 1.8 mill we owed out which still sickens me. But having 1.2mill less over the next two years, doesn't balance things out but gives us the sting we deserve.

Edited by Mumby Magic

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I would say "yes" but only until the new re-structures are approved by the clubs, as that will be a different system to that for which they were being penalised.

Edited by Keith T

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Yes they do deserve to have their funding cut. That was the deal.  Most people running most pro RL clubs are a shambles and can't be trusted. Bradford went bust, and let a lot of people down. Reduced funding was part of the punishment, which their owner was happy to accept. Then as soon as he gets his feet under the table he wants to renege on that deal. Typical rugby league behaviour.

 

If you could trust RL club owners to do the right thing, then you could argue that Omar Khan should have the full funding as the fact the Bulls ran up all the debts wasn't his fault, but as he seems to be acting in typical RL fashion, then I don't see why the other clubs should make an exception, only to let this new guy come in and run up a new load of debt.

 

Time for him to man up and just get on with it.

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Yes they do deserve to have their funding cut. That was the deal.  Most people running most pro RL clubs are a shambles and can't be trusted. Bradford went bust, and let a lot of people down. Reduced funding was part of the punishment, which their owner was happy to accept. Then as soon as he gets his feet under the table he wants to renege on that deal. Typical rugby league behaviour.

 

If you could trust RL club owners to do the right thing, then you could argue that Omar Khan should have the full funding as the fact the Bulls ran up all the debts wasn't his fault, but as he seems to be acting in typical RL fashion, then I don't see why the other clubs should make an exception, only to let this new guy come in and run up a new load of debt.

 

Time for him to man up and just get on with it.

 

I don't get the impression he's complaining.

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I don't get the impression he's complaining.

 

The article says he went back to the SL clubs to try and get it re-negotiated.

 

I'm also not sure why the article says that we should consider ourselves lucky that someone like Omar Khan got involved in RL. When he turns that club around, improves their ground, gets the big crowds back, and turns the Bulls into a top team of home grown players, then I'll agree that we're lucky to have him on board. But so far, all he's done is kept the ship more or less afloat (putting aside the fact the players weren't paid on time last month). If he hadn't got involved, there would have been someone else who would have stepped in and kept them bobbing along instead.

 

He's hardly Marwan Koukash is he?

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It could be argued that the Bulls are in fact still £600k better off than they would have been had they not been able to go through the NewCo process. They have lost £1.2m of income but saved £1.8m of outgoing payments, a net gain overall.

Starting from scratch they should have been aware of what their likely income was going to be and structured their cost base accordingly like any other business. If the Bulls have financial issues then it is not down to the cut in funding, it is down to either bad planning and budgeting or other revenue streams (e.g. lower crowds than expected) being less than anticipated - neither of which are caused by a cut in their SL money.

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I rather like the fact we arent pandering to somebody just because they are rich and want to invest in RL.

He made this decision - he needs to stand by it.

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Am I right in thinking that this is only until the end of the current license period?

 

If so, and that's what Mr Khan signed up for, then fair enough.

 

I don't think it would be fair to continue it forward into New RL though

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Did Huddersfield when they were elevated to Superleague?

Did Wakefield when they first won promotion?

Funding in Superleague is given at a whim of the incumbent clubs

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Did Huddersfield when they were elevated to Superleague?

Did Wakefield when they first won promotion?

Funding in Superleague is given at a whim of the incumbent clubs

Please don't lump is together with Huddersfield. Trinity fought and earned their place, Huddersfield Town ad a new ground and that made the then Fartown the chosen ones. Edited by Larry the Leit

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I think we probably deserved some penalty for last years events, and we were all aware of the funding cut when Mr Khan took over. What I don't agree with is the other clubs splitting it. It should have gone to community projects or some other fund that is for the game as a whole.

I do think there is some merit in the argument that based on the structure changing and P&R in some form next year that it could be reviewed, but at the end of the day we probably just need to accept it.

Would love to know where my £100 went ......

Edited by Odsal Outlaw

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Instead of other clubs getting that money, they should invest it in a way that lets Bradford fans in to a couple of games for free. Partly as a thankyou to the fans who donated to help keep the club alive last year and partly to attract new fans by giving them a free sample.

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The article says he went back to the SL clubs to try and get it re-negotiated.

 

I'm also not sure why the article says that we should consider ourselves lucky that someone like Omar Khan got involved in RL. When he turns that club around, improves their ground, gets the big crowds back, and turns the Bulls into a top team of home grown players, then I'll agree that we're lucky to have him on board. But so far, all he's done is kept the ship more or less afloat (putting aside the fact the players weren't paid on time last month). If he hadn't got involved, there would have been someone else who would have stepped in and kept them bobbing along instead.

 

He's hardly Marwan Koukash is he?

I don't disagree with you, I just scan read it.

My view is that for some reason because our game "seems" to bend the rules a lot, people always try it on. If there was a clear penalty like they have in RU where you basically start again, last year and this year wouldn't be news and the Bulls wouldn't be in the need of £900K.

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Money should have paid off the creditors they're the ones who lost out after this debacle.

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The article says he went back to the SL clubs to try and get it re-negotiated.

 

I'm also not sure why the article says that we should consider ourselves lucky that someone like Omar Khan got involved in RL. When he turns that club around, improves their ground, gets the big crowds back, and turns the Bulls into a top team of home grown players, then I'll agree that we're lucky to have him on board. But so far, all he's done is kept the ship more or less afloat (putting aside the fact the players weren't paid on time last month). If he hadn't got involved, there would have been someone else who would have stepped in and kept them bobbing along instead.

 

He's hardly Marwan Koukash is he?

Don't know how you thought there was anyone esle to keep the ship 'bobbing along' - the only other [apparently serious] bid had been ruled out as unsuitable by the RFL, so couldn't be considered by administrator. Omar Khan was the only offer in town and if he'd turned down the RFL's offer of reduced funding it would have meant winding up.

 

You're right to say he's no Dr Koukash - he's a local restauranter, and owns, with his family, a couple of eateries in the district. I guess by my standards he's wealthy, but then most people are wealthy by my standards and he certainly does not have endless funds to put in. Neither, before he agreed to the deal, was he told about the plans to relegate the lower clubs from SL after the next season, a season during which he would be deliberately hamstrung by reduced funding. Nice!

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But wasn't the original plan to have no funding for a year, but that got changed to 50% for 2 years

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But wasn't the original plan to have no funding for a year, but that got changed to 50% for 2 years

That is correct, as far as i know.

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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.

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Don't forget there are one or two clubs bordering on administration, and there are very few monied people willing to take over a destitute Rugby League club. I think the present circumstances surrounding Bradford will be more than enough to put off prospective buyers. I quote a fellow club member depriving them of transfer monies, and the other clubs financing themselves from the fine put on Bradford.

Quite logically the fine money could have been put into youth development, particularly after government cuts in this area. I suppose it would have been a first to repay some compensation to creditors, but perhaps too much of a dangerous precedent. I would hope common sense would prevail, and the monies being taken away from the Bulls is stopped, and we make it more equal for SL clubs.

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

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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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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.

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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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