Yesterday the news everyone in Rugby League didn’t want to hear was confirmed, when it was announced that one-time Super League giants Bradford Bulls had officially gone into Liquidation. After being placed in administration on the 15 November last year, for what was the third time since 2012, the three-time World Club Champions ceased trading after the administrators rejected yet another bid to buy the club.
In an RFL statement they noted that “While this is terribly disappointing and sad, it is not an entirely surprising development given the scale of debt incurred by the previous management of the club and the debilitating level of financial commitment already entered into for 2017.” They also confirmed that, in the event that a buyer is found or new club formed out of the ashes of Bradford Bulls before the start of the season, that club will not start in league one but will keep their place in the Championship, although starting with a minus twelve-point deduction and the lowest funding from the RFL being around £150,000.
Bradford’s fall from grace has been quick since a £1 million shortfall in 2012 led them into administration for the first time in the summer era. They survived, only to be placed into administration again in 2014, which lead to the RFL handing out a 6-point deduction, which lead to their relegation that year. The following year they looked to come straight back up, but after being beat in the 2015-million-pound game, that allows the winners a place in the top flight, they failed to even make the playoffs in 2016 finishing a poor 5th in the championship.