Nigel Wood appointed Bradford chairman

Bradford have appointed former RFL and International Rugby League chief executive Nigel Wood as club chairman.

The move will enable acting CEO, Mark Sawyer who is also chairman of Dewsbury Rams, to stand back a little from day-to-day duties.

Wood said: “Our first objective is to get the Bulls back to Bradford, in a sustainable way and we are making solid progress. We hope the past months have begun to demonstrate that the Bulls are in safe hands.”

Wood retired from his role with the international federation last year, and left the top job at the RFL in 2017.

He received more than £300,000 as part of his severance package from the RFL, having earned an annual salary around the same amount.

At the back end of 2019, Wood and his family became a major shareholder in the new consortium that took over Bradford Bulls from previous owner Andrew Chalmers.

That sparked some controversy at the time, given Wood’s status at the RFL when they purchased the lease on Bradford’s traditional home at Odsal for £1.2m  in 2012.

Bradford played at Dewsbury in 2020, with the maintenance of Odsal costing the RFL around £200,000 per year.

Sawyer added: “It was always going to be a touch unusual for the Chairman of another club to be CEO of a Bulls but it was the right solution at the time.

“I like to think we managed any potential conflicts as equitably as possible but the start of the season seems an appropriate time to put a little more clear blue water between the two clubs.

“Nigel has been helping out behind the scenes for a little while and now has more time than previously.”

Another figure previously involved with the current regime at Bradford, the Toronto Wolfpack and Ottawa Aces co-founder Eric Perez, is no longer involved.

Shareholder Adam Fogerty will support Wood, concentrating on commercial and stadium issues.

The Bulls remain hopeful of securing a return to Odsal in 2021. They had previously been paying around £72,000 in annual rent to play at the stadium, which could be re-opened to stock car racing and other sports.

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