Potter: "I feel let down and deceived"
coach Michael Potter says he felt as if he had been "stabbed in the front" after being laid off by the administrator running the financially-stricken Stobart Super League club.by NRL
coach Michael Potter says he felt as if he had been "stabbed in the front" after being laid off by the administrator running the financially-stricken Stobart Super League club.
Potter lost his job, along with his wife Megan - who worked in the ticket office - and 13 other employees as part of a round of redundancies announced by Brendan Guilfoyle, who is urgently seeking a buyer to prevent the club going into liquidation.
The Bulls went into administration a week ago after the club's directors failed to raise the &;1.2million they say was needed to see them through to the end of the season.
Bradford, who were the dominant team in the early days of Super League and won the title four times up to 2005, owed around &;300,000 to the HM Revenue & Customs, who were poised to issue a winding-up petition.
With no money left to meet the &;260,000 wage bill in July, Guilfoyle, from the Leeds-based P&A Partnership, said he was left with no alternative but to slash costs.
He says Sunday's home game against London Broncos will go ahead and has asked the players to report "back for work" at 10am tomorrow, but who will prepare the team remains to be seen after the entire coaching staff was sacked.
An angry Potter, who was given the opportunity to continue his job unpaid, said: "I feel let down and deceived about what has been going on.
"We were kept being told about potential investors and that we were close and all the time it was s***. I feel sad for the fans and the players and all the staff who have been made redundant."
Asked whether he felt if he had been stabbed in the back, Potter said: "I have been stabbed in the front. It's a disgrace."
Chief executive Ryan Duckett, who is a member of the board of directors and a shareholder, was also among those made redundant, as well as long-serving football media manager Stuart Duffy.
"This is about survival," Guilfoyle said. "We have no cash and no funds have been offered.
"It is with great regret that we have had to make these redundancies but there are no alternatives. I hope this is the low point and that we can move forward.
"We are in discussion with the Rugby Football League and believe there will be funds to pay the players.
"We gave the club's coach the option of working without payment but he declined.
"A number of people have approached us to help run and coach in the club without payment - we are now pursuing these offers as a matter of urgency."
Guilfoyle confirmed that five administration staff have been retained to enable Sunday's match to go ahead while employees in the lottery and the charitable foundation continue to be employed as they are funded independently.
Guilfoyle met the RFL's chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer this afternoon to seek assistance from the game's governing body but no there was official comment from either party after the meeting.
The RFL, who spoke to a representative of the Bradford players this morning, say they were not given advance notice of the shock announcement.
Newly-appointed England captain Jon Wilkin, who is chairman of the Super League players' association 1eague3, said his organisation would be actively supporting the Bulls players.
"It's a bad situation," he said. "You've really got to credit the players for how they performed in the Wigan Warriors match.
"It was an unbelievable achievement for them to win that game with all this happening over them.
"We at 1eague3 will be communicating with the administrator, the RFL and the management at Bradford to ensure there is the least discomfort for the players as possible."
Both Guilfoyle and Potter are expected to attend a fans' crisis meeting in Bradford tonight.
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