RFL refuses to back down in Bulls dispute

The RFL is refusing to back down in the face of legal action from the former Bradford Bulls directors Mark Moore, Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt.

The dispute arose last week, when the RFL’s Chief Operations Officer Ralph Rimmer issued a press release in response to one issued by the three former directors.

The three had revealed that they were pulling out of their bid to buy the Bulls, primarily because the RFL had decided to deduct six points from them in the Super League table, while placing the club in ‘special measures’, which meant that the directors would have to gain approval for any expenditure directly from the RFL.

The former Bulls directors. L-R Andrew Calvert, Mark Moore, Robert Hunter-Paul, Ian Watt. ©BradfordBulls
The former Bulls directors. L-R Andrew Calvert, Mark Moore, Robert Hunter-Paul, Ian Watt. ©BradfordBulls

Their press release made some pungent criticisms of the RFL’s role in relation to the Bulls’ predicament, effectively accusing the governing body of some significant shortcomings.

Rimmer responded quickly with his own press release issued on behalf of the RFL. In it, he accused the former directors of being disingenuous, and that former Chairman Mark Moore had tried to buy the club with its own money, but had refused to honour an agreement to buy the Bulls from its current owner Omar Khan.

“At a meeting with the club’s directors on February 7 they informed the RFL that they needed a further £500,000 of investment or advances of broadcast monies in order to continue to trade,” wrote Rimmer.

“We have seen nothing further from the directors to suggest that situation has improved. Indeed their business plan revealed yet another attempt to buy the club with its own money.”

The former directors claim that the RFL’s press release has defamed them, calling into question their standing as local businessman.

They gave the RFL a deadline of 4.00pm today to withdraw the press release from the RFL’s website. But the RFL will refuse to comply with the deadline and will continue to host the offending press release on its webite.

“The press release won’t be taken down and the matter is with our solicitors,” said an said an RFL spokesman.

Further details of the ongoing dispute between the former directors of Bradford Bulls and the RFL will feature in next Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.

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