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Press Release – Bradford Bulls

Joint Administrators of Bradford Bulls – no purchase concluded and business ceasing to trade


Gary Pettit of PBC Business Recovery, Northampton was appointed one of the Joint Administrators to Bradford Bulls (Northern) Limited (“BBNL”) – in Administration, on 14th November 2016.  BBNL operates the Bradford Bulls Rugby League Club (“Club”), playing in the Kingstone Press Championship.

The Joint Administrators are represented by Prodicus Legal Solicitors of Leeds and Sanderson Weatheralls.

The Joint Administrators regret that following negotiations and due diligence over the weekend, the last remaining bidder has indicated that it will be unable to conclude a purchase of the Bradford Bulls.

Gary Pettit said,

“Several parties engaged in a process to acquire the Bradford Bulls, but that has ultimately proven to be an unsuccessful exercise.   Due to non-disclosure agreements, what can be divulged is strictly limited.

As I have said throughout, the situation is much more complex and complicated than any of the parties, including the RFL and the Administrators, envisaged when this process commenced.   There was fundamental uncertainty over a series of topics, including the quality of the management information available.

Bradford Bulls entered Administration for the third time in five years. This highlights that there is something fundamentally wrong with the business. The problems facing the Bradford Bulls are not unique.   Rationally, the days where a sports club operates at a loss and is underwritten by a Patron should be gone.

The biggest challenge for any purchaser of the Bulls is generating additional revenue to meet the operating costs of the club. That is why Odsal Stadium is important, for any purchaser to justify investment in redeveloping and upgrading the facilities as a stadium. To be clear, the issue has not been the potential for any other development.

The plight of the Bradford Bulls has been widely publicised. The Administrators have done everything possible to conclude a sale.

Ultimately however, the Administrators can only represent the Bradford Bulls as it is. The situation is also exceedingly difficult for the RFL as the governing body.

I am very disappointed to say that the last potential purchaser confirmed last night that it will not be acquiring the Bradford Bulls. This is largely because time does not allow the complex issues to be resolved. The Administrators are under statutory constraints as to how they must proceed.

Given the inability to secure a sale of the business, the Administrators have been left with no alternative but to make all staff redundant and cease trading. The Administrators will make the appropriate application to the Court shortly.

The Administrators wish to acknowledge again (and are grateful for) the professionalism displayed by players and staff throughout.

The Administrators are sadly conscious that the losses here extend beyond the current staff and players who will lose their jobs. Those losses extend to the families of the staff, into the community in Bradford and West Yorkshire, plus the people and businesses facing little prospect of recovering debts owed. The losses also extend to sport in general and specifically to Rugby League”.