Sheffield concentrating on 2015 Super League bid

Sheffield will focus their efforts on achieving a Super League licence for 2015, rather than getting involved in the current situation relating to Bradford.

Following the Bulls’ administration and subsequent takeover, a period of mini-licensing has been rumoured, which could give the likes of Featherstone, Halifax and Leigh the chance to compete with Bradford for a place in Super League for next season.

The Eagles, who are the fourth club to have satisfied the on-field criteria for applying for a licence, have decided not to get involved.

A club statement read: “The board of Sheffield Eagles have been monitoring the situation over the last few months at Bradford Bulls with interest. As one of only four Championship clubs who have ticked the playing criteria by reaching last season’s Grand Final we have a vested interest in the outcome of the Bulls administration.

“We have been made aware of an article stating that there may be a mini-round of licensing involving Bradford and three other named Championship clubs which did not include Sheffield Eagles. We appreciate that this is only speculation and our exclusion from the article is probably due to the fact that the club does not generally shout about its achievements and has accepted the RFL licensing procedure as being in the best long term interests of promoted clubs.

“In order to produce a creditable Super League application would take a number of months and to have it assessed against other applications would take further time. The board of Sheffield Eagles is of the view that this is simply impractical given the timescales involved before the start of the next season particularly with regard to assembling a creditable squad that can compete with the other thirteen established Super League clubs.

“We therefore wish to state that we will not take part in any such mini-round of licensing and will instead be concentrating on the next full round of licensing that will allow the successful club a sensible timescale to assemble a creditable Super league club that will enhance the competition.”

Sheffield were a founder member of Super League in 1996, before their ill-fated merger with Huddersfield at the end of 1999 put paid to their involvement.

They reached the Championship Grand Final last season to tick the on-field box for Super League applications.

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