Bradford Bulls' Odsal exit 'reluctantly' approved for 2020 season
The Rugby Football League has “conditionally” and “reluctantly” approved Bradford Bulls’ application to groundshare with Dewsbury in 2020.
Championship club Bradford announced on 15 August that it was planning to leave Odsal at the end of this season and had agreed a two-year lease with Dewsbury.
However, the RFL have only ratified the deal for the 2020 season.
Chairman Andrew Chalmers has said the Bulls are identifying potential sites for a new-build stadium in the city.
However, Friday’s RFL statement said: “This permission has been granted reluctantly and on the basis that the club’s intention is to return to Bradford in the near future.
“On the evidence so far submitted, the club’s plans for this return lack credibility.”
It continued: “The RFL board feel that the information provided so far in relation to the move to Dewsbury is incomplete and therefore it is a condition that the club provide further financial information on the impact of the move. Until this is provided to the satisfaction of the RFL, the club will remain in special measures and is not permitted to sign players.
“Based on the information received, the RFL feel that this decision made by the Bradford Bulls directors is a poor one; however ultimately the board of that club is responsible for determining what is in the best interests of Bradford Bulls.
“The actions taken by the club leave little alternative but to grant this request in order to avoid disruption to trading, but only on a time-limited basis which will allow space for a more comprehensive review.”
Announcing the groundshare agreement earlier this month, Chalmers blamed the cost of rates, rent and maintenance for the decision to leave Odsal – Bradford’s home for 85 years.
The RFL has owned the stadium’s lease since 2012 and says it will “in due course consider all options for the site”.