Bradford co-owner Andrew Chalmers says the legal action being brought against the club by 47 current and former employees has contributed to their relegation.
They are claiming for loss of wages, holiday pay, unfair dismissal and redundancy payments against the liquidated Bradford Bulls Northern Limited, the RFL and the newly formed Bradford Bulls 2017 Limited.
A judge last month ordered a seven-day hearing to be held at Leeds Employment Tribunal in January next year.
Speaking at a fans forum meeting last night to outline the clubs future, Chalmers said: “Up to round nine, the club had won five games out of nine, but following the start of proceedings by the former and present staff and players against the club, the team lost 14 out of 15 games, which is a staggering result on the field.
“What is clear to us is that this legal claim had a negative and distracting impact and affected the players’ commitment on the field and their attitude off the field. Not all players were affected but it had a definite effect. It’s been extremely damaging.
“The club believes the claim brought against is without any merit. We don’t blame the players for being a part of that action.”
Despite another setback, Chalmers is still confident of making the club successful again in the long-terms and has set out a plan for a return to the top flight.
“It will be 2020 before the club can get back to Super League but we believe that from 2021 there will be a new Super League licensing format in place in any event,” he said.
“Quite simply, our key objectives are to buy the best players we can afford to obtain Super League status as quickly as possible.”