Bulls would miss crowds more than others says Sawyer

Dewsbury Rams Chairman and current Bradford Bulls chief executive Mark Sawyer has revealed how the differing circumstances of the two clubs highlight the problems facing a Championship restart.

Sawyer says the Bulls’ budgets are more reliant on playing in front of crowds than most if not all of their peers, while the Rams are supported by several other income streams, some of which are now restarting at the Tetley’s Stadium.

It demonstrates the differing challenges facing the clubs in the Championship, with some desperate to restart playing, however that might be achieved, and others warning against the financial problems that the lack of crowds will impose on clubs.

Sawyer explained: “The problem for the Bulls is that they make a lot of money out of playing matches.

“Their budget is based a lot around gate receipts and bar takings at matches. It’s a very dominant part of their revenue streams.

“If you play matches behind closed doors then you would have all of your financial liabilities with nothing coming in the other way.

“It’s different with Dewsbury – the club is helped by many different income streams, including car-boot sales and the 5-a-side pitches.

“That helps balance the books, whereas Bradford rely very much on matchday income.”

Dewsbury are set to be boosted in the coming weeks by the relaunching of the weekly car-boot sale at the Tetley’s Stadium in line with government guidelines.

Sawyer said: “The Covid-19 policy is that any time after June 1 it can start with certain things in place, and that’s definitely a positive.

“We can also start meeting in groups outside this week, so we can start talking about what can happen moving forwards. There are chinks of light appearing.

“Generally I don’t think the appetite is there to play behind closed doors, although we all understand the importance of playing matches this year and trying to get somebody promoted.

“I think things would look fairly positive if we were able to play in front of crowds, as long as there were suitable policies in place that keep people safe.

“There’s an appetite from Championship clubs to do that if possible.

“Super League will be setting the standard really. If they are successful with what they’re trying to do then there will be an opportunity to follow in their footsteps.”