City revealed as Bulls bidders
Bradford City have emerged as a potential saviour for their financially-stricken neighbours Bradford Bulls.
The League Two club are behind the latest bid for the Bulls, according to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.
The offer, which came with no conditions attached, was discussed by the Rugby Football League during a "positive" conference call on Wednesday night with chief executive Nigel Wood, who is in Australia.
After the meeting the RFL said the bid, which according to joint administrator Brendan Guilfoyle topped a potential buy-out by Super League Europe, was the first unconditional offer they had received and talks would continue.
Bradford City joint chairman Julian Rhodes, who has previously spoken about the clubs sharing a ground, admitted they have been speaking to the RFL and the administrator about how they could help their struggling neighbours.
"We just wanted to see how we could help to keep the club alive, whether that's in the Super League or in the Championship," he told the T&A.
"We don't want to see the club die."
Prospective buyers of the Bulls have until Friday to finalise their bids for the club.
The joint administrator, who has three times held off from putting the beleaguered club into liquidation, and the Rugby Football League have set a deadline in order to bring the protracted saga to a close.
Brendan Guilfoyle, partner at the Leeds-based PA Partnership and administrator at the Bulls, says he has now received five separate offers but announced that the original one from the ABC consortium has been withdrawn.
"There could now be up to five interested purchasers for the Bradford Bulls," Guilfoyle said.
"It's in everyone's interest that we get a deal over the line as quickly as possible.
"Therefore, we have set this deadline of noon tomorrow for unconditional offers from anyone who can show that they have funds in place and a business plan.
"In addition to the offer from Super League (Europe) Ltd and an unconditional offer the RFL considered yesterday, I understand that the RFL may have other parties interested in buying Bradford Bulls.
"The ABC consortium has reluctantly withdrawn. I have another group from Bradford still considering whether to make an unconditional offer."
The RFL say they remain in talks with the administrator and a prospective purchaser.
The new offer came less than 48 hours after the other Super League clubs submitted their own offer to buy Bradford, a move they claim precipitated fresh interest.
RFL director of standards and licensing Blake Solly said: "It is clear that the decisive and bold actions of Super League (Europe) Ltd have prompted this latest interest.
"The Super League clubs' view that Bradford Bulls are an attractive proposition to would-be buyers has been re-affirmed and we remain cautiously optimistic that the club can find suitable new owners in the near future.
"We have also been contacted by other parties and, as you would expect, these groups will also be given the opportunity to set out their vision for rugby league in Bradford.
"The board continues to be receptive to unconditional offers and is keen to bring to an end the uncertainty surrounding the future of Bradford Bulls and the wider sport.
"With that in mind, the board has asked that all interested parties submit their expressions of interest by 5.00pm on Friday, August 10."
Guilfoyle stressed that any offers must be unconditional following the RFL's rejection of the ABC consortium's request for guarantees that the Bulls would remain in Super League.
He added: "Any purchaser is taking a chance on whether the club will be continuing in the Super League or playing in the Championship next season.
"If it's the latter, then the owner will still be paying Super League wages for up to 20 players for the next year.
"As well as paying rent to the RFL for Odsal, any new owner will probably have to make capital investment in the ground before the next round of Super League franchise bids in 2015."