Bradford outline survival plan

Bradford in survival plan


The Super League club say they need to raise £1 million, half of it by the end of next week, to secure their immediate future. Faced with a big tax bill and under growing pressure from the bank, Bradford threw themselves at the mercy of their fans and sponsors with an emotional plea for money but Duckett remains confident in the club's long-term future.

"It's a serious situation," he said. "We've got to meet some short-term liabilities and they've been escalated by our lending arrangement with our bank. Moving forward, we've paid all our other long-term liabilities. And, if we get this money, we have a business plan that is sustainable moving forward."

He continued: "We won't need another million in three or four months' time. If we get this million, we're over the hurdle. I need to stress that. We're confident we can be a competitive club. We just need to get over this hurdle and it's a big hurdle. We're trying to address issues before they come to a head."

Bradford were the big success story when rugby league made the switch to summer in 2006, drawing bumper crowds to witness 'Bullmania' - but they went into a steep decline since reaching the last of five consecutive Grand Finals under Brian Noble in 2005.

And, although they have consistently spent up to the salary cap, a failure to reach the play-offs in each of the last three seasons has resulted in lower than expected income streams.

"We have spent the money to achieve and we have under-performed," admitted Duckett, who said the recent sale of the ground lease at Odsal to the Rugby Football League had only temporarily eased the club's financial difficulties.

The club say they need £500,000 by Good Friday to pay the tax man and, without a wealthy benefactor, had no-one else to turn to but the fans.

"We don't have the luxury of a sugar daddy like a lot of clubs so we have to run a tight ship," added Duckett. "But we've done that for years. We won lots of trophies without having the owner model.

"I think all clubs are finding it difficult to get money at the moment but, if you have a model like Huddersfield, it's easy for them to get money because they have an individual who can contribute money or secure money. I suppose two-thirds of the Super League have that kind of model."

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