Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has written to the Chairman of RBS urging him to extend Bradford Bulls‘ overdraft facility and help save the club.
The Bulls have been overwhelmed by messages and donations of support from the rugby league community since revealing last month that they faced closure unless they were able to raise £1m – and half of it before this weekend.
Bradford’s overdraft was previously secured on Odsal, but the club sold its lease on the famous old ground to the RFL in January to raise funds, and the RBS said that the stadium deal had brought things to a head because the club’s directors had failed to provide alternative security to secure the credit since selling the lease.
Now Mulholland, who is Chairman of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, is urging the nationalised bank to appreciate the support the club has received from the rugby league community and offer the four-time Super League champions support.
The letter said that it was “with great dismay that Members of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group read of the RBS decision to reduce the Bradford Bulls overdraft facility.” He went on to say that the reduction in overdraft “places the club in a dire position” which will “have huge ramifications for the city of Bradford and rugby league generally.”
Mulholland later went on to say “the response from Bulls fans and fans from around the country has been amazing and the whole rugby league family is doing what it can to save the club. The response so far shows that the money can be raised, so RBS should allow more time so this can happen to allow Bradford Bulls to carry on in Super League which is in everyone’s interests.”
“We in the Group represent all parties and a wide range of constituencies. We are fans of the sport like anyone else. The letter to Sir Philip today makes clear that the decision by RBS impacts more than just a commercial body, it has huge consequences. The club is doing all it can to respond and I am sure will achieve what it needs to. We have simply asked RBS to extend the overdraft until the club is back on its feet.”
The Parliamentary Rugby League Group consists of more than 60 members from both Houses of Parliament and all parties, works to support rugby league and ensure the sport is represented throughout Westminster and Whitehall.