Bradford Council disappointed at Bulls’ Odsal exit & want them to stay in the city

The leader of Bradford Council has expressed huge disappointment over the news that Bradford Bulls have announced plans to leave the city and move to Dewsbury in 2020 – and insists the Council still want to try and resolve the issue to prevent them moving out of Bradford.

Andrew Chalmers confirmed on Thursday that the Bulls, amidst mounting, unsustainable costs to continue playing out of Odsal, will instead turn their back on their home for almost 85 years, and take up an initial two-year term at Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Stadium. They hope to return to a new purpose-built site within two to four years, according to Chalmers.

But Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, the leader of Bradford Council, said in a statement issued to League Express: “I am hugely disappointed by the news that the Bradford Bulls intend to move to Dewsbury for two seasons.  The club has a proud history and we want it to continue making history in Bradford.”

Hinchcliffe sympathised with Chalmers’ viewpoint that the Bulls cannot afford to stay at Odsal any longer – and insists they are still determined as a Council to ensure the Championship side remain in the city while stressing they will do everything in their power to keep them in Bradford.

She continued: “The owner of the Bulls is clear that Odsal is no longer financially viable for the Bulls. We fully accept that if costs are too high then a business cannot sustain itself. The Bulls is no different.  We have been working with the Bulls and the Rugby Football League to find a solution to secure the future of Bradford Bulls in Bradford, which is both realistic and financially sustainable. We still really want the Bulls to stay in Bradford and to this end, all parties have been working towards this.

“We will continue to speak with Bradford Bulls, the RFL and other local organisations to determine a viable Bradford home for the Bulls for the future and hope that this move remains as temporary as it sounds.”

In Monday’s League Express, we will have much more on the Odsal saga, including interviews with all the key parties.