Licensing not just about finances, says Wood

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood says that Super League licensing is not just about club finances, following criticism relating to Bradford’s money woes.

The Bulls’ future remains up in the air after they entered administration two weeks ago, and earlier this week, 16 non-playing staff were made redundant, with Mick Potter and his coaching staff since offering their services voluntarily to ensure this weekend’s game against London Broncos goes ahead.

It has led to criticisms of the licensing system, with Bradford less than one year in to the new three-year licensing period, for which licenses were awarded last July.

Wood said: “We did say that we’d run licensing for two cycles. We’ll review it towards the end of this three-year period.

“But let’s not misunderstand licensing, it’s not just about financial security, it’s about a myriad of issues.”

Bradford became the third Super League to enter administration in the past 18 months. While Wakefield have gone from strength to strength since their own financial troubles just over 12 months ago, the Crusaders club ultimately collapsed and dropped out of the top flight.

There has also been criticism of the RFL’s decision to purchase Odsal, a move that was announced earlier in the year, before news of Bradford’s financial plight became public.

Wood added: “We had interest in land at Wrexham (home of Crusaders), but it didn’t stop us making the right decision at the last round of licensing. I accept the point there might be a perception, but it is perception only, and not reality.”

Clubs met on Friday morning to discuss the situation at Bradford, but the final decision on their future lies with the RFL board.

The Bulls face liquidation if no buyer is found by Tuesday, although two consortia are believed to have approached the RFL about the club.

Either way, Wood believes administrator Brendan Guilfoyle can access enough funding to keep the club running until the end of the season.

Follow Neil Barraclough, the Daily Mail’s rugby league correspondent, on Twitter @neilbarraclough

 

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