Three suitors left after Bradford City cool on Bulls rescue before deadline


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The Independent Online

There are now three bidders to buy the beleaguered Bradford Bulls after the deadline for bids closed yesterday.

Bradford City football club, who had earlier expressed an interest in taking over their neighbours, have pulled out. They decided against submitting a business plan but they have told the Rugby League that they could still be interested if no suitable deal can be finalised elsewhere.

The remaining suitors comprised two consortiums of local businessmen, plus the Super League itself – although if that last bid were successful the organisation has stressed that it would be only a short-term arrangement until a long-term backer is found.

A statement from the Rugby Football League confirmed that the field is down to three.

A spokesman said that a meeting of Super League clubs had been "encouraged by the amount of detail presented to them and have mandated the RFL executive to continue working towards bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion."

Bradford have two games left in their regular season and, despite their six-point deduction for going into administration, they still have a chance of making the play-offs.

Meanwhile, Rob Burrow is winning his race to be fit in time for Saturday's Challenge Cup final against Warrington. The Leeds Rhinos' scrum-half or hooker has been having treatment to a calf injury.

The Leeds coach, Brian McDermott, said: "He still has a couple of boxes to tick, but we are pretty confident about him."

Burrow is especially important in the absence of the knee injury victim, Danny McGuire. "To be without both of them would make our job a lot more difficult," said McDermott, who denied that there was any chance of McGuire making a miracle recovery.

"The only way he will play is if there is a witch doctor somewhere in North Yorkshire," he said.