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Bradford bids to host Rugby League World Cup 2021

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Members of the Bradford bid team and players from Bradford Bulls and Keighley Cougars Women's Teams

In partnership with Bradford Bulls RLFC and Keighley Cougars RLFC, Bradford Council has submitted its bid to be part of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

To celebrate submission of the bid to host the women’s element of the tournament, the bidding team, members of Bradford Bulls Women’s Team and representatives of the Council got together to see the Rugby League World Cup trophy, when it was the centre piece to a special exhibition of current and retired Rugby League silverware, at Bradford City Hall on Saturday 11 August.

If the Bradford bid is selected venues throughout the district could be used to host matches, team base camps and training camps.

 Odsal Stadium, the home of the Bulls, would be used to host matches between women’s teams from across eight countries, with their state of the art training facility at Tong High School being used as a training camp.

Base camps for the international teams could include the Cedar Court Hotel on Rooley Lane, The Bradford Hotel and the Midland Hotel in the city centre and Hollins Hall Marriott Hotel in Baildon.

Bradford has a long history and heritage of Rugby League, from Odsal stadium hosting the match with the largest attendance on record, to the Keighley Cougars being the venue for the first televised international game.

The women’s game in Bradford is also strong with the Bulls Women’s team the current Super League and Challenge Cup winners, as well as 10 players from the team also selected for and played in the England side which made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Bradford’s City Hall is also the prospective home of the new Rugby League Museum subject to Rugby League Cares and Bradford Council securing the necessary funding.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “Our district is no stranger to hosting major international sporting events, with Ilkley’s Cow and Calf Rocks a stage finish location for both the women’s and men’s Tour de Yorkshire this year.

"Having the women’s element of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021 would be great for Bradford. This tournament really does bring people together from different cultures across the world and being a host would bring great benefits to the district as well as provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the district on the world stage.

“Working with our partners the Bradford Bulls and the Keighley Cougars who both have strong women’s teams the aim, as well as giving a warm welcome for these top class athletes and their fans, is to provide a sustainable legacy, especially for girls and women competing in the game across the district.”

Ken Jones, Strategic and Commercial Consultant at Bradford Bulls, said: “If our bid is successful our focus will be on engaging local schools and community groups to encourage both boys and girls to take part in rugby league events, and we also want to get into the South Asian community, where we feel that there is untapped talent.

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The tournament will be hosted between October and November 2021. It will feature 16 nations in the men’s format and eight in both the women’s and wheelchair formats. The bid team of Phil Barker and Andy Ross from Bradford Council, Jones and Russ McFarlane from Bradford Bulls and Neil Cullen from Keighley Cougars expect to hear within a month to six weeks if their World Cup bid has been successful.

Bulls liquidators appointed by High Court

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SUCCESS: Legal action by former Bradford Bulls owner, Omar Khan, ensured independent liquidators were appointed to OK Bulls Limited

SUCCESS: Legal action by former Bradford Bulls owner, Omar Khan, ensured independent liquidators were appointed to OK Bulls Limited

On 24th July 2015, OK Bulls Limited, which until its 2014 administration traded as Bradford Bulls in the Rugby League Premier Division, was wound up in the High Court bringing the administration to a close. 

At the same hearing, Gerald Krasner and Nick Reed of Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP have been appointed joint liquidators of the company.

The appointment of the joint liquidators is the result of successful legal action by the major creditor, Omar Khan, to appoint independent liquidators.

In March this year Mr Khan won a well-publicised legal battle against the former administrator David Wilson, to recognise the scale of his £978,920 investment into the Bradford Bulls.

The joint liquidators have been requested by Mr Khan, who was also a former director of the company, to investigate a number of matters leading up to and during the administration.

In August 2012, Bradford Bulls were within 30 minutes of ceasing to exist when Mr Khan purchased the club via OK Bulls Ltd.

 

Landmark case could rewrite history of rugby club

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RELIEVED: Khan was forced to walk away from Bradford Bulls after his regime’s company was liquidated

RELIEVED: Khan was forced to walk away from Bradford Bulls after his regime’s company was liquidated

Former Bulls owner claims victory against administrator

After being branded a ‘thief’ by some, Omar Khan says it was a ‘huge relief’ when a High Court ruled in his favour last week as he continues the fight to clear his name following his ownership of Bradford Bulls.

The Rugby League outfit were within 30 minutes of ceasing to exist when Mr Khan purchased the club via OK Bulls Ltd in August 2012.

Unfortunately in 2014, the company entered administration owing £1million. Mr Khan said that the company was solvent when he handed it over and it was difficult to see how the administrator had come to this decision as he had not counted Mr Khan’s investment fully.

The local restaurateur has always claimed that most of the money owed was in fact his investment and that the club should not have been affected.

INNOCENT: Omar Khan says he now hopes to have an independent liquidator launch an official investigation into the administration

INNOCENT: Omar Khan says he now hopes to have an independent liquidator launch an official investigation into the administration

The original report by Leeds-based administrator David Wilson stated Mr Khan had invested just £375,000 whilst in actual fact the figure, as the High Court confirmed, was much closer to the million mark.

During the administration process, any creditor is able to call for a creditor’s meeting - with the amount invested by each creditor equating to that person’s voting power. Mr Khan arranged this meeting at his own expense.

As the majority shareholder his votes would have determined the outcome of the meeting.

However, the Rugby Football League were also given a vote after claiming, the day before, that they were owed £900,000, something the High Court ruled was wrong, adding that the RFL should not have had any say at all.

Mr Khan says that a well known creditor, who will be named shortly, voted on the side of the administrator, so that the administration ended and an investigation, which is what Mr Khan wanted to propose by appointing an independent liquidator, could not take place

Mr Khan is now attempting to rearrange a creditors meeting where he is optimistic of his proposals being passed, without the influence of the RFL’s vote, and the possibility of a full investigation being launched into the administration by having a liquidator appointed.

Speaking about his victory at court, he said: “It was a relief to hear the correct verdict. This club should never have gone down. It wasn’t in debt, and the million pounds was mine not the clubs.

“I have been called a thief and accused of so much over the past year but this ruling is just the start of the truth coming out. I have even been made to look like a liar by the administration when all the evidence was there to prove otherwise.

“We are currently seeking to reschedule that key creditors meeting and are in talks with the administration’s solicitors.

“I am hopeful of putting my proposals forward and having the chance to see a full investigation into the administration launched.”

If a meeting can be arranged, the administration will write to all the creditors, including Mr Khan, to ask them to return and put forward their proposals.

Mr Khan will have much more power in the meeting without the RFL, and he says his main objective is to have an independent liquidator appointed to investigate ‘everything’ that happened.

“I want to completely clear my name and show that the old regime did nothing wrong,” Mr Khan added.