Bradford Bulls CEO says the club are aiming for Super League under IMG plans but must ‘earn the right’ to be there

Bradford Bulls CEO Jason Hirst has spoken about the club’s prospects of making it to Super League.

Hirst, who was appointed as CEO on a voluntary full-time basis in May, is a life-long supporter of the Bulls and is tasked with taking the club back to Super League.

IMG’s proposed new structures of rugby league present a good opportunity for Bradford to make it back to the top-flight, with off-field parametres taken into consideration alongside performance on the pitch.

The Bulls have arguably the biggest fan base outside Super League, and along with plans for a new stadium, they are being tipped to be one of the first teams outside Super League to be re-entered via the new proposed grading system.

However, Hirst recognises the club must improve on the pitch it get there after losing 16 of their 27 Championship fixtures this season – resulting in an underwhelming ninth-place finish.

“We have got no devine right to be in Super League,” Hirst told ITV. “Yes we are one of only four clubs that have won Super League in the modern era but that means nothing right here, right now.

“We have got to earn the right to get back into Super League both on and off the pitch.

“It’s about us being smart. Batley are a great example. Batley have had a really successful season and it just shows what can be achieved through hard work, togetherness and everybody pulling in the right direction.”

As mentioned, one of the other big stories surrounding the Bulls at the moment are the plans for a new stadium, with Bradford council recently submitting plans for a 25,000 capacity stadium.

If approved and completed, the stadium, which is set to be built on Bradford’s famous Odsal site, would become the biggest permanently covered arena in the country – however Hirst is remaining realistic on the plans for the moment.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” he added. “It’s a stadium that’s going to hold 25,000 people and potentially have a roof over it. We know it is going to take years, it’s not weeks and months.”

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