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Friday deadline for Bulls buyers
Prospective buyers of Bradford Bulls have until Friday to finalise their bids for the financially-stricken Super League 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says he has now received five separate offers but announced that the original one from the ABC consortium has been withdrawn.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 The ABC consortium has reluctantly withdrawn.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."
One of the latest bids is thought to be from npower League Two club Bradford City, which was discussed by the RFL 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 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 the club 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 said. "We don't want to see the club die."
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.