The relationship between the RFL and Bradford Bulls revealed

When the RFL bought the Odsal stadium from the Bradford Bulls in 2012, it was a hard day for rugby league.

Having been in Bradford’s possession since 1934, the financial problems of the club had been laid bare with three administrations in six years confirming fans’ worst fears.

Due to rising maintenance and upkeep costs, Bradford vacated the stadium in September 2019 to groundshare with the Dewsbury Rams at their Tetley’s Stadium.

A return in May of this year saw the Bulls sign an 18-month tenancy agreement, with chairman Nigel Wood clarifying the relationship between the club and governing body.

“We could only agree a short-term position with the RFL because there was and still remains significant uncertainty about the structure and financial health of the sport,” Wood told West Yorkshire Radio Rugby League.

“We didn’t want to commit over the medium term to things that we wouldn’t be able to sustain, but people have pulled together.”

Wood was also keen to stress that a permanent solution needs to be found rather than continued tenancy agreements.

“Like every other joint venture there will be points of tension, we wish they will do something differently and they wish the same for us.

“The RFL are not involved on a day-to-day basis anymore – they are leaving it to us.

“We hold the lease so it comes to us for the next 12 months, but the RFL understands there needs to be a permanent solution so they aren’t fully out of the loop.”

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