Super League ready to buy the Bulls

Super League is trying to rescue the Bradford Bulls by buying the club on behalf of the 13 other clubs in the competition.

One of the summer rugby era's most successful clubs have been under threat of closure since entering administration five weeks ago and are in imminent threat of liquidation.

But now the game's administrators have come up with an innovative plan to save the club. The Rugby League's chief executive, Nigel Wood, said: "Positive, direct action is required to safeguard the future of the Bradford Bulls. It is to the credit of the Super League clubs that they have given their unanimous support to this move and are not prepared to sit idly by and allow the Bulls to disappear."

Brendan Guilfoyle, the joint administrator who has been running the club since 26 June, welcomed the initiative. Guilfoyle described it as "totally unexpected, completely unprecedented, but a brilliant development".

If that suggests an apparent willingness to accept the bid, then the details still remain to be ironed out.

The takeover would produce the strange situation of clubs facing Bradford owning their opponents.

Ideally, Super League would like to be only temporary stewards of the Bulls' future, before handing it on to a new regime capable of running it.

Backroom and coaching staff have not been paid since they were made redundant by the administrator last month, but fans have contributed more than £5,000 to a hardship fund to help them out.

The Bulls play Widnes on Sunday at Odsal, a stadium already owned by the RFL, which bought it in January. But running the whole show is something different again.