Les Tonks Sidestep

Bradford Bulls / HMRC / Administration

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Thanks for the considered response. Odsal to remain sounds the only option if the club is to recover in the forseable future. Is there anyone in Bradford with enough money, enough ability, rnough strength etc to take the club forward?

Considering the area is deemed as a hotbed for new talent, in a RL area, with reasonable infrastructure you would have thought so.

But businessman would have asked themselves, "what's in it for me" or/and "will I get some money back"?

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There will be developers, known to the Council, who would be interested in Odsal. Obviously, due to the circumstances the price will not be at a premium, but what other assets or answers are there?

 

Absolutely, but any selling off Odsal wouldn't help the club at all. It'll happen, and it's a confusing ownership situation, but I think the bottom line is the club own none of it.

 

I suppose the point is that every club has stadium associated costs, whether that is maintenance or rent - I don't know how their costs compare to going rate.

 

Point taken Dave, I have no idea of other club's associated costs and would be similarly interested to find out. Think it's generally accepted that Odsal costs more than most because of it's age and it's massive.

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Absolutely, but any selling off Odsal wouldn't help the club at all. It'll happen, and it's a confusing ownership situation, but I think the bottom line is the club own none of it.

 

 

Point taken Dave, I have no idea of other club's associated costs and would be similarly interested to find out. Think it's generally accepted that Odsal costs more than most because of it's age and it's massive.

Indeed, and it makes sense, out of curiosity I am interested in the scale of that cost - as a club do they basically have a £100k more costs per year than other similar clubs? I haven't seen any accounts, maybe Adey has some info on this?

 

It does appear strange that Bradford haven't been able to secure adequate funding for the club despite what they have achieved. That obviously suggests there is a big black Odsal shaped hole, but I have always heard it quoted and not seen evidence...

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Absolutely, but any selling off Odsal wouldn't help the club at all. It'll happen, and it's a confusing ownership situation, but I think the bottom line is the club own none of it.

 

 

Point taken Dave, I have no idea of other club's associated costs and would be similarly interested to find out. Think it's generally accepted that Odsal costs more than most because of it's age and it's massive.

I think it would! The maintenance of security, electrical systems, water, plumbing and heating, wage bills etc etc will be massive, compared to what's coming in. Maybe someone on here has these figures?

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I think it would! The maintenance of security, electrical systems, water, plumbing and heating, wage bills etc etc will be massive, compared to what's coming in. Maybe someone on here has these figures?

 

All that can be solved simply by moving away from Odsal - if it is sold or not after we leave is irrelevant so I'm coming at it from that POV. I can't see either anyone else taking on the maintenance costs, or anyone else buying Odsal and allowing the club to play there.

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Because at the end of the day, what did Marc Green have to lose? The worst case scenario is he runs the club into administration and walks away scot free. The RFL have nothing in place to deter owners from running clubs into the ground - Relegation, points deductions don't punish anybody responsible for the farce, they only serve to punish those who come in afterwards and try to rescue the situation - How dare you rescue the bulls, here's a 12 point deduction!

 

 

Didn't the club cost MG any money at all, or has he truly had nothing to lose?

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Add to that the fact that Richard Dunns is earmarked for closure in the next few years - which would be a huge loss in terms of car parking space should that land be used for development. I fear the landscape where our iconic stadium presently stands will look very different 10 years or so from now. This would be another reason to start looking for a new home now. Perhaps with a view to having a purpose built stadium down the line, should we ever return anywhere near to our former glory days.

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The fact that many would LIKE it to happen quickly is not the same as NEEDS to happen quickly. Act in haste, repent at leisure.

 

No, it does NEED to happen quickly to be fair to other clubs. For example, if the intention is to relegate them then whoever is taking their place needs to be decided ASAP so that they know what budget they're working to in their player recruitment. Barrow and Haven, if it were one of them, will currently be recruiting and planning based on C1 funding - what's the point in waiting months and then sending them up a division with a C1 standard squad and thus condemning them to a season of being uncompetitive and relegation certainties.

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Add to that the fact that Richard Dunns is earmarked for closure in the next few years - which would be a huge loss in terms of car parking space should that land be used for development. I fear the landscape where our iconic stadium presently stands will look very different 10 years or so from now. This would be another reason to start looking for a new home now. Perhaps with a view to having a purpose built stadium down the line, should we ever return anywhere near to our former glory days.

 

Isn't this what mark Lawn, ex Bantams chairman, has been advocating, a brand new stadium for both the Bulls & Bantams? It might look like pie in the sky under current circumstances but it certainly makes a lot of sense.

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Isn't this what mark Lawn, ex Bantams chairman, has been advocating, a brand new stadium for both the Bulls & Bantams? It might look like pie in the sky under current circumstances but it certainly makes a lot of sense.

There's been all sorts of proposals in the past to be fair Johnny - Anybody remember the "Sporting Village" idea a few years back that was supposed to jointly cater for bulls, bradford city and park avenue?

 

Instead we got a fancy puddle and a new shopping center lol

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Isn't this what mark Lawn, ex Bantams chairman, has been advocating, a brand new stadium for both the Bulls & Bantams? It might look like pie in the sky under current circumstances but it certainly makes a lot of sense.

 

Can't see City wanting to move away from Valley Parade

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My main concern has to be that no more plastic fans like myself (who got on board during the Caisley era) get involved with the club. Keep these people out of RL, they aren't wanted or needed. Bloody weirdos enjoying themselves.

Don't you go anymore John?  If so why not?  In my opinion there can't be any better feeling than sticking with your club through thick & thin.  Then when your day comes along you know you've been there through it all and it feels so good.  Better than rocking up to jump on a bandwagon and then even worse jumping off when you have a few lean years.  The trouble with plastic fans is that they are fickle and will jump ship in numbers when the club most need you, this leaving the true fans to pick up the pieces.  Never had you down as one but if that's what you are then whatever makes you happy.  Hope you still go to watch the Bulls mate and if not get yourself back on the bandwagon, you're club needs you more than ever.

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Reading the posts on here, there seems to be a lot of confusion between the size of a club and the power of it's brand.

 

Every realistic supporter knows and accepts that the Bulls are not a big club anymore, and haven't been for a few years now. But the difference between the Bulls and other smaller clubs, and what makes their position almost unique, is that their brand is still huge and still has the power to draw people in. Whether people like to admit it or not, the super league would not be what it is today without the achievements and efforts of the Bulls in it's early years.

 

The Bulls were one of very few clubs who really tried to make super league a glitz and glammer league. They tried to make every home game an event that drew in families from far and wide. Our pre-match entertainment was second to none. They tried to put English RL on the map and sadly are now suffering for those endeavours.

 

So when somebody asks "Why is Bradfords plight different than Hunslet or Swinton? "  the answer is simple: The Bulls are being remembered for far more than their past on field achievements. Their brand is recognised both nationally and internationally much more than the likes of hunslet or swinton - and that's no disrespect to those clubs, its just how it is.

 

Plenty of today's players would still be very happy to be associated with a financially stable and on-the-up Bradford Bulls because they were the leading lights during those players childhoods and that is something we need to take advantage of and what makes us a good business proposition to somebody who's willing and has the cash available to throw at us.

 

What I'm trying to say is that nobody is saying the Bulls are still a big club and 'belong in super league', but that because of the power of the Bradford Bulls brand, they have more potential than most to be a big club again if and when they get their house in order.

Are you saying that because your brand is still good that this gives you a reason to be treated different to Hunslet and Swinton?  I seem to recall Keighley being the first club to adopt the 'every game being an event' way with Kougarmania but couldn't expand this because they were wrongly denied promotion at the very start of SL. I'd probably go as far as saying that many of these Cougar fans jumped on the Bulls bandwagon, how lucky Caisley was that Keighley wasn't promoted (or was it luck?).  Bradford's success in the early years was not sustainable financially and the reason you are in the mess is because of this.

 

I wish loyal Bradford fans all the best for their club but I can't give any praise to a legacy or brand that was created by a Chairman and board that have played a major part in ruining your club and it's reputation.

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Bull4life,

           Remember the Wardley plan for the ground in the late forties,early fifties which was proposed and accepted to go ahead.I used to have a copy of the plans,unfortunately lost them now along with many old programmes,so you are quite correct lots of schemes have been proposed and recommended.Indeed the proposed sporting village under Peter Hood was supposedly round the corner from being started and we all know what happened with Peter Hood.Also ,this is Bradford you are talking about where basically the City Centre was demolished and we had a whole in the ground for more than a decade before plan after plan came to fruition just last year.As for the fancy puddle,it is a paddling pool and a pool to wash your horses in.

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Are you saying that because your brand is still good that this gives you a reason to be treated different to Hunslet and Swinton?  

 

Not sure any of what you quoted suggests that.

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Can't see City wanting to move away from Valley Parade

Not that I know him really well or anything but from what I hear Lawn has a deep attachment to VP, especially with the fire disaster. I think most City fans would go spare if they even suggested moving away from VP. And to be fair, why would they? It's a decent stadium now.

I can't even think of a stadium in Bradford they could use. Park Avenue is just a little too basic (but nice for what it is) and anything else is places like Thackley Football Club or other low non league clubs.

Without a shed load of money, I can't see a way out tbh.

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Are you saying that because your brand is still good that this gives you a reason to be treated different to Hunslet and Swinton?  I seem to recall Keighley being the first club to adopt the 'every game being an event' way with Kougarmania but couldn't expand this because they were wrongly denied promotion at the very start of SL. I'd probably go as far as saying that many of these Cougar fans jumped on the Bulls bandwagon, how lucky Caisley was that Keighley wasn't promoted (or was it luck?).  Bradford's success in the early years was not sustainable financially and the reason you are in the mess is because of this.

 

I wish loyal Bradford fans all the best for their club but I can't give any praise to a legacy or brand that was created by a Chairman and board that have played a major part in ruining your club and it's reputation.

Absolutely not we should be treated no different to anyone else.

 

My post is in response to what I believe to be a general attitude on this forum that 'bulls fans still think they're a big club' when the reality is nothing of the sort. None of us still think we're a big club, but we recognise we still have an attraction amongst others because of our brand and what we once were. The sport is in desperate need of extra bums on seats and many recognise that having a fully solvent and secure Bradford Bulls wouldn't be a bad thing for the game.

 

All I was trying to point out is that this means Bradford have more 'potential' then perhaps others would in the same situation to come out the other side and return back to the big time.

 

As for CougarMania - I grew up in Keighley though at the time I wasn't into Rugby League, but I remember the scenario well and I thought it was extremely unfair on the Cougars. At that time I lived with step-parents who's only sporting interests were football and that's all I was exposed to. Only when I re-established communication with my biological father, who was a bulls fan, was I introduced to the sport. The first time he took me to a Bulls game I enjoyed the game day experience and have been a loyal fan ever since.

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Without reading through all of this thread, exactly what does it mean to Bradford to lose their membership of the RFL?

 

Everything and nothing.  Clubs that go into Admin have their membership automatically terminated under the rules.  They then have to reapply for membership to compete in the league.  At that point the RFL obviously hold all the cards and can negotiate the terms of that re-entry.  They of course ensure that any new people are fit and proper persons and rubber stamp their suitability and business plans.  Hood, OK, Gang of 3 and Green have all jumped this hoop and the RFL have rubber stamped them all.

 

Interesting use of the word 'membership' in your question.  The situation seems to be that fan memberships don't attract VAT but season tickets do.  Green was selling the former but didn't include voting rights so the HMRC viewed them as VATable hence the discrepancy.  I don't know enough about the technicalities but even some worthless voting right inclusion might have prevented this last straw.  One wonders who is advising him on stuff like this.

 

Someone earlier mentioned the Bulls hard core support being around 3-4k.  Mick the Gled tweeted something yesterday that included a reference to c750 season tickets (let's call them what they are) sold up to the Admin.  So I'd say that that makes the hard core support less than a thousand.  I bought two of those season tickets in the full knowledge that the club was in trouble and needed cash flow.  If the club honours them for 2017 then all well and good, if it doesn't then I'll need to make a decision.  And at the moment I'm not sure what that is.  A lot will depend on who the owner is and if Rohan is staying.

 

In terms of alternative gounds in and around the city well there are not many.  VP is the obvious choice but a highly unlikely outcome.  Horsfall Stadium and Guiseley FC (Nethermore) are other ones.  Then of course there's Cougar Park.  Now wouldn't that be something!

 

Fans of other clubs shouldn't be in any doubt.  This really could be it.

Edited by Konkrete

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Without reading through all of this thread, exactly what does it mean to Bradford to lose their membership of the RFL?

 

They have effectively been cut adrift and are no longer recognised as an RL club and therefore will not receive funding, in effect Bradford Bulls RLFC no longer exists, the Bradford Bulls trading arm will still exist as a business entity though.

 

It puts any new owner of the club in the position of any new start up club where they negotiate their membership to the RFL.

 

It also gives the RFL the get out of not having to deduct points from the Phoenix Club that rises from the ashes, as they will be a wholly new joined member.

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Without reading through all of this thread, exactly what does it mean to Bradford to lose their membership of the RFL?

They are effectively no longer in the Championship, or any league come to that.  The way I see it is once the new owners come in the RFL, being involved through 'fit and proper persons' test, will decide what division the new club will play in and any punishments that may be involved.  If they are placed back in the Championship then it will likely be with a points deduction (12pts or 6pts if debts are paid off) or they could in effect be 'relegated' to Championship 1.  This would of course mean a club would have to come up to the Championship to replace them.  How the RFL decide who that is, is anyones guess.  Whitehaven retake their place? Barrow come up as the losers to Toulouse in their promotion play off.  Or go completely bonkers and put Toronto Ratpack in.

 

One thing that could decide all this is the speed that they come out of Administration. The RFL are going to have to be sure they have clubs to fulfill fixtures, The current Bulls line up may become decimated as players look to their futures and leave the longer it drags on, which in turn leaves the Bulls looking for players to raise a team and round we go again!!  So many questions, so many mysteries along with the current owner expressing an interest to buy the club back.  How can that last one even be entertained??

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Don't you go anymore John?  If so why not?  In my opinion there can't be any better feeling than sticking with your club through thick & thin.  Then when your day comes along you know you've been there through it all and it feels so good.  Better than rocking up to jump on a bandwagon and then even worse jumping off when you have a few lean years.  The trouble with plastic fans is that they are fickle and will jump ship in numbers when the club most need you, this leaving the true fans to pick up the pieces.  Never had you down as one but if that's what you are then whatever makes you happy.  Hope you still go to watch the Bulls mate and if not get yourself back on the bandwagon, you're club needs you more than ever.

I do (or did anyway) still go but miss a lot of games due to crappy working hour.

I personally don't care if someone goes to 1 game or 100, it's entirely up to the person concerned and up to the club to attract more people. There's a lot of stuff going on in most peoples lives mate, and for most it's just a game not more important than family or friends or something. I aren't sure there will be a club to follow soon but if there is and I can manage it, I'll go when possible. If not, I'll be gutted but just forget about the club game and focus on internationals. A la mode, as Del might say.

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They are effectively no longer in the Championship, or any league come to that.  The way I see it is once the new owners come in the RFL, being involved through 'fit and proper persons' test, will decide what division the new club will play in and any punishments that may be involved.  If they are placed back in the Championship then it will likely be with a points deduction (12pts or 6pts if debts are paid off) or they could in effect be 'relegated' to Championship 1.  This would of course mean a club would have to come up to the Championship to replace them.  How the RFL decide who that is, is anyones guess.  Whitehaven retake their place? Barrow come up as the losers to Toulouse in their promotion play off.  Or go completely bonkers and put Toronto Ratpack in.

 

One thing that could decide all this is the speed that they come out of Administration. The RFL are going to have to be sure they have clubs to fulfill fixtures, The current Bulls line up may become decimated as players look to their futures and leave the longer it drags on, which in turn leaves the Bulls looking for players to raise a team and round we go again!!  So many questions, so many mysteries along with the current owner expressing an interest to buy the club back.  How can that last one even be entertained??

 

How can you take points of a club that until you gave them membership didn't exist and therefore have done no wrong.

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Bull4life,

           Remember the Wardley plan for the ground in the late forties,early fifties which was proposed and accepted to go ahead.I used to have a copy of the plans,unfortunately lost them now along with many old programmes,so you are quite correct lots of schemes have been proposed and recommended.Indeed the proposed sporting village under Peter Hood was supposedly round the corner from being started and we all know what happened with Peter Hood.Also ,this is Bradford you are talking about where basically the City Centre was demolished and we had a whole in the ground for more than a decade before plan after plan came to fruition just last year.As for the fancy puddle,it is a paddling pool and a pool to wash your horses in.

 

At a mere 32 years old, I'm afraid I wasn't around in the forties or fifties! Sadly I don't know a great deal about the Bulls history pre the super league era. I didn't witness the hardships of the Bradford Northern days so these last few years have been a real eye opener for me.

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How can you take points of a club that until you gave them membership didn't exist and therefore have done no wrong.

Excellent question Padge.

 

As I said punitive measures for SC and going into administration offences have been effective in stopping it happening so something new could be a way forward. I feel a bit dishonest here because I've no idea what that might look like but punishing clubs can only push fans from the game.

Edited by Oxford

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