Super League 2014: Bradford Bulls launch appeal into six-point deduction for administration

The Bulls have been given the go-ahead from the RFL to contest the deduction after going into administration seven weeks ago

Bradford have launched an appeal against the Rugby League Football's imposition of a six-point deduction for going into administration.

The Bulls say they have already received the go-ahead from the RFL to fight the penalty, which has condemned Francis Cummins' team to bottom spot in the First Utility Super League, and are waiting for a hearing to be arranged.

It is almost seven weeks since the RFL announced the sanction but less than three weeks since Bradford were taken over by Leeds-based businessman Marc Green.

A statement issued by the club said: "Bradford Bulls can today announce their right of appeal against the club's points deduction has been granted by the sport's governing body.

"The notice of intention to appeal was lodged with the Rugby Football League by former administrator David Wilson, however the appeal could not proceed until the ownership of the club was resolved.

"Following consultation with legal representatives, the new board have confirmed their intention to proceed with the appeal process and are now awaiting a hearing date.

"Bradford Bulls will be making no further comment on the matter at this time."

The Bulls are entering into unchartered territory in seeking to overturn their points deduction.

Wakefield and Crusaders both accepted their punishment after being docked four points in 2011 for breaching the RFL's insolvency regulations and Bradford similarly accepted their fate after losing six points two years ago.

This time, however, the return of relegation from Super League means there is much more at stake and the Bulls clearly feel they have nothing to lose after being handed the maximum penalty.

The RFL board of directors has some discretion where clubs agree to pay off some of their debt and in this case Green is one of the major creditors, having made a loan of around £150,000 to the club last September.

The RFL also revealed that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs was owed almost £170,000 when the old company went into administration on January 31.

The RFL's decision to dock the club six points and place the club in special measures on February 25 prompted a walk-out by the consortium given the go-ahead by the administrator to take over the running of the Bulls, with then chairman Mark Moore claiming the move made "relegation almost a certainty".

That did not deter a host of budding new owners - including Mandy Koukash, the wife of Salford chairman Marwan - and Green emerged from a fresh round of bidding as the new buyer on March 26.

Bradford won two of their first three Super League matches to claw back four of the points but have lost their last five to remain on minus two, with the bottom two clubs dropping down to the Championship at the end of the season to make way for a 12-team competition.

PA

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