Bradford Bulls chairman Marc Green has insisted that the club’s intention is that they will stay full-time in 2017.
Defeat to Featherstone on Sunday ensured the Bulls would miss out on a spot in the Qualifiers, leaving them to face the Championship Shield for the rest of 2016.
But in a lengthy statement on the club’s website, Green has promised fans it is their intention to remain as a full-time outfit.
The statement read:
Firstly, I am rather disappointed to have been pressured into making a public statement through the unacceptable and veracious scaremongering, which has occurred since the defeat on Sunday and especially in the last 24 hours. I fully understand supporters and stakeholders want to know the impact the loss will have on the club moving forward but the manner in which this has gained momentum is quite unbelievable.
Before I deal with the statement, I was horrified to hear someone threw a drink in the face of a player, as he left the pitch on Sunday and someone else hurled abuse at a director of the club and his wife as they left after the game. In my opinion this is totally unacceptable behaviour and there is no place in our game for such conduct. I have launched an investigation into identifying the culprit and they will be dealt with appropriately.
I have also seen the photo of me on Sky doing the rounds with some narrative alongside it. I can confirm this is a fake, this conversation never happened and I never made these comments. Whilst the photo is genuine it was captured from my only ever appearance on Sky’s Boots ’n’ All just after I first took over.
Returning to the important issues.
Sunday’s defeat was not only disappointing it was beyond hurtful, however, some of the comments on social media and in the media are even more so. Whilst I understand the emotion of defeat often spills over, what has occurred since Sunday is unjustifiable. I am not talking about the moronic comments from Salford fans, where I have been personally attacked, this is water of (sic) a ducks back, but from the very supporters of our club and from within. I have endured over a lengthy period of time the questioning of my intent towards the club, from the very beginning where it was assumed I was only there to take the so called parachute payment and then I was gone, to the most recent abuse which has been aimed at me for allegedly not investing in the club or wasting money on people such as my colleague and now friend Steve Ferres.
I have been blamed for allowing Steve and Steve has been blamed for buying players which apparently aren’t fit to wear the famous shirt. I have sat by and allowed this abuse to continue unabated but enough is enough. I noticed no one was blaming Steve for the signings when we missed out narrowly on promotion last season, or when we won the first four games convincingly and came back in the remarkable draw at home to Leigh. If I am guilty of anything it is sitting back and not saying anything earlier. As a statement of fact, not one player has been brought to the club not requested by or wanted by the Head Coach at the time. Numerous players were offered to previous Head Coaches and not wanted including a number of halfbacks, of which at least one currently plays Super League today. Moreover, if this is not believed, there are Board Minutes to substantiate this.
As for the impact Sunday’s defeat will have on the club, this is dependent on a number of things, one of which must be how badly you want the club to survive. What I am about to say might not make me Mr Popular, but I never came into this sport to be Mr Popular, I came in to do a job to the best of my ability.
From the club’s perspective – it is our intention to continue as a full time team for next season. I will be amazed if this is believed, because clearly it hasn’t on the many other times this has been said by the club since the day I walked into it. We are pretty much sorted with our squad for next season although we will hope to add to it if the right person becomes available.
Furthermore, it is also our intention to continue developing our youth policy, which over the year has seen the Under 19s put themselves in the mix for a play-off position as they currently sit fourth in the league, seen us recognised as a Category 1 Academy placed in the top eight of the sport and has seen both an Under 19 and an Under 16 called up for England. Bearing in mind when I took over the club it had no youth system at all, I think this is something to be proud of.
All this to one side I cannot and will not do this alone. Unless everyone buys into the future of the club, your club as I am continually told, there is no future. I have been repeatedly asked as to why we or, more accurately, I have not invested in the club and the simple truth of the matter is I have spent the last 28 months bridging the gap between what our loyal supporters contribute towards the income of the club and what is actually needed.
Throughout the season and possibly before, I have faced the accusations of – charging too much for season tickets – too expensive for what you are watching, been directed to reduce prices, been told we are too expensive – are we though, let’s look.
Your new Head Coach went to Keighley from the Championship 1 and was charged £15.00 to get in. It costs £175 for a season ticket at part-time Dewsbury and £200 at Sheffield and I could go on. Therefore, if you all don’t believe your club is worth £30 a year more than those mentioned, then we might as well give up now. So the simple position is, withdrawing your support next season will only contribute towards tighter purse strings and cause greater hardship to the club you all love so dearly.
Over the two years I have asked, almost begged, instead of drinking in the pubs around the ground on a match day and giving your hard earned cash to other businesses, drink in the club and let the money go to your club. However, this has fallen on deaf ears. Now I appreciate we all have the right to spend our money wherever we want, but we can’t then moan afterwards.
I don’t doubt some of you, maybe even all, will read this and think badly of me. Will think “who does he think he is” and “I hope he is not having a go at the fans”. I am not, I am basically stating right here right now, if you all want what I want, which is the club to rebuild, to become stronger, better and above all else succeed, then this has to be a joint effort. United we stand, divided we fall. If, as stated earlier this makes me Mr Unpopular, then broad shoulders, but I never took on the mammoth task, and yes, even bigger than I envisaged, to be Mr Popular. I did it to succeed and I intend on continuing my focus on doing so.
Can I guarantee what tomorrow will bring, who can. Nothing is certain at any point or on any day, but in making this statement, I do so believing the entire content to be true.