“You were worried about getting paid” – Karl Pryce opens up on tough period in his career that helped galvanise him and his teammates

In 2012, just six years after they were crowned World Champions and seven years after they defeated Leeds Rhinos to be crowned Champions in their fifth consecutive Grand Final appearance, it was unclear whether Bradford would still exist after their Easter meeting with the Rhinos.

The club were rocked by financial issues but limped along through the season.

They even forced their way into the play-off battle and would have finished seventh if not for a points deduction.

Over a decade on, a member of that courageous squad who had to deal with uncertainty over their livelihoods to propel themselves into the play-off mix, Karl Pryce has opened up on the difficulties of that period but also how it brought the group together.

“It was a strange one. You were worried about bills and getting paid and we weren’t getting paid on time,” he said to Serious About Rugby League.

“But that year we became really tight as a playing group and still now some of my best mates are from that team like Luke Gale and James Donaldson and Elliot Whitehead.

“You don’t want that kind of stuff to be happening, but it galvanised us in a way that nothing else could.”

That said, two years later those financial issues came to ahead and saw the Bulls suffer relegation.

Now, nine years on, some believe their exciting business could finally propel them to promotion in 2023.

Pryce though is not so sure: “I wouldn’t say Super League needs Bradford. I am a Bradford lad and I want to see them back up there, but I wouldn’t say needs no.

“Some Bradford fans have expected that because they used to be a part of the big four they should be back but that was a long time ago now.

“They are away from Super League now, they have to work hard off the field to get there. The fans deserve it but so do other teams and other fans from other clubs.

“You can’t just live off success from 20 years ago, you have to get there on merit.

“Hopefully they will get there because they have made some good signings. But they need to be realistic.

“Is Super League a goal in the next couple of years? No, I don’t think so but hopefully in the next five of six then maybe.

“They need to keep investing in the squad. It’s no quick fix.”

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