Castleford Tigers have issued a club statement denying that they were about to sign players from the troubled Bradford Bulls club.
The Administrator of Bradford Bulls (Northern) Limited has confirmed today that the club has ceased trading, leaving the future of the club’s players in doubt.
Castleford have been linked with signing players from the Bulls, but in a statement chief executive Steve Gill said: “Our position must be made clear on this issue.
“We are in full support of the Bradford Bulls club and sincerely hope that they continue to be part of the RFL, and although we have been offered players who are still contracted to Bradford Bulls, we have declined them, as it doesn’t fit in with the integrity we have as a club.”
In a statement about the Bradford club the Rugby Football League said: “The RFL is aware of significant interest shown in the club by a number of potential bidders and one bid for the company emerged shortly before Christmas. This was rejected by the Administrator and subsequently the further late interest shown to the Administrator by another party was withdrawn yesterday evening.
“Accordingly the RFL, through Rugby League Cares, intends to offer support to all staff and players who have had their employment terminated by the company ceasing to trade. The RFL is contacting all staff to advise them of the support it will provide.
“To clarify the next steps for all concerned, the independent RFL Board has met to determine how the future of professional Rugby League in Bradford can move forward in 2017.
“While a number of alternatives were considered the Board were most mindful of the planning already undertaken by all other clubs in the competition structure, the season tickets already purchased and the players and staff who will now be seeking employment in and around the sport in 2017.
“Accordingly the Board has agreed that the wider interests of the sport is best satisfied if it offers a place in the Kingstone Press Championship to any new club in Bradford and that such a club start the 2017 season on minus 12 points.
“Any interested parties should contact the RFL directly.
“The RFL believes that Rugby League needs Bradford and that Bradford deserves a strong and stable professional club and will work with all interested parties to deliver that outcome.”