Bradford owners frustrated by legal distractions but planning for future

Bradford co-owner Andrew Chalmers said legal distractions had hampered the club but outlined his plans for the future at a fans forum on Wednesday night.

The Bulls won five of their first seven games but ultimately couldn’t do enough to avoid relegation in the Championship, and will start 2018 in League 1.

Addressing fans on several topics, Chalmers revealed they will run with a hybrid team of mixed full-time and part-time players, as well as running a reserve side.

He started by providing context around the creation of the new club and their rushed inclusion in the Championship, which at the time caused controversy.

In a series of tweets, Bradford paraphrased Chalmers, who said: “There’s been a dark cloud over club since 2012. The club has been a period characterised by administrations, relegations and liquidation, Characterised by on-field failure and off-field disaster, which occurred over a five year period.

“We made considerable effort to acquire the business in Administration in December 2016.

“First our original offer made in December was rejected by the Administrator.

“RFL sought bids from interested parties to be granted a new licence to be based in Bradford following the cessation of trading of the old club.

“Coinciding with an announcement that the old club would be liquidated and all staff and players were redundant effective 3rd January 2017.

“Whoever the new successful licensee was, they did not get to choose which division they started in.

“There was no negotiation permitted regarding the 12 point deduction the club was tarnished with, we had to accept it.”

A later legal claim made against the old club, the new club and the RFL, which is still ongoing, Chalmers says is “without any merit” (against the new club), and includes 14 current players and staff.

He added that it affected the on-field performance of the team, with results notably declining once the legal action had commenced.

Chalmers confirmed that they are waiting for Geoff Toovey to make a decision on his future but they will start to look at recruiting players for next season, including at the World Cup.

He is also expressed a desire to make improvements at the club’s Odsal home.

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