Super League: Bradford Bulls' board of directors to leave club
Bradford Bulls' Mark Moore, Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert are to stand down after failing to secure the club's shares.
Last Updated: 24/12/13 3:18pm
The board of directors have taken the drastic action after a final meeting with previous owners Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe MP failed to bear fruit.
The trio had been working tirelessly to turn around the club's poor state of affairs off the pitch, but they can no longer continue without having the 'legal responsibility which is the foundation of all business'.
Khan announced in September that he would be leaving the club due to ill health, however, the statement concludes that the Bradford-based businessman will need to regain control of the business.
"It comes with great disappointment and regret that we hereby notify all Bulls supporters that Ian Watt, Andrew Calvert and I have decided to step down from the club due to the failure of the share transfer from previous owners Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe MP," read a statement on the club's official website.
"The issue concerning the club's shares has started to destroy that confidence due to the negative media coverage it has attracted from local press.
"That confidence is integral to the clubs success and without the shares issue being agreed by Mr Khan we feel a line cannot be drawn under the whole affair.
"We have all personally invested a substantial amount of money into OK Bulls and have worked tirelessly to turn the club around, with a focus of making it self-sustainable.
"When we took full control of the business - and most importantly the accounts from Mr Khan and Mr Sutcliffe's regime - we found that there were massive holes and that cash-flow projections were based on extremely poor forecasts. We found over £400,000 outstanding to a host of creditors, with a further undisclosed loan of £180,000.
"We also took the tough and uncomfortable decision to retract the business and make cuts across every business unit and streamline budgets based on current income forecast as we felt this was the only way the business could function self sustainably.
"Throughout this process we had been under the impression that the entirety of the OK Bulls shares would be transferred to our team.
"This all had been part of a bigger ongoing discussion between us, Omar Khan's solicitors and other important stakeholders, such as, Bradford Council and the Rugby Football League. However, it has since transpired that still Mr Khan will not release the shares to us, despite these discussions with all stakeholders.
"We all felt that it was in the best interest of the club that we exhausted all avenues before making this decision and there was a final meeting between Mr Khan, Mr Sutcliffe and the governing body this morning - but to no avail as Mr Khan is still insistent on not passing over the shares, which he legally holds.
"As a group we in effect have no power to run the business successfully without having the legal responsibility which is the foundation of all business.
"Mr Khan has stated that he will not transfer the shares and as such he will now need to come back into the business and take control.
"We are unhappy that the situation has lead us to this point but as all supporters will agree without owning the shares to the business the club will be at the mercy of whom ever has that control."