Bulls announce redundancies
Bradford Bulls have announced staff redundancies as part of their bid to slash £400,000 from their budget but chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul insists that no decision has been made to enforce wage cuts on the players.
Hunter-Paul, a former captain who returned to the Bulls earlier this year to take on a management role, admits the club may have to sell high-earning players in their efforts to head off another financial disaster.
"This has been the longest week of my life, but ultimately important for the club's future," said Hunter-Paul, who confirmed that cost-cutting measures included staff redundancies, wage reductions - based on hours worked - and overall budget cuts.
"It is a really sensitive time for all as we have had to deal with some uncomfortable realities.
"Last week we explained to supporters, face to face at a fans forum, that as a business we needed to make some tough decisions which would result in job losses in order to secure the club's long-term future.
"It has been well documented that the current board found themselves working with inherited budgets, set on unrealistic financial projections that were simply not reflective of where the club currently stands.
"Surprisingly there was a fair amount of misinterpretation from members of the media this week, suggesting the board had told players they would need to take a wage cut.
"That was completely untrue. The truth was that it was suggested, by members of staff, that before the necessary cuts were made the board would ask all business units managers and staff - that were higher earners - to take a 10 per cent wage cut. That included me as CEO.
"It was not embraced across the business and so the other measures were implemented.
"The streamlining process, which is designed to cut costs and reduce the unrealistic budgets set by the previous administrators, is now under way."
Bradford head coach Francis Cummins' squad remains intact as they prepare for the start of the 2014 season but Hunter-Paul says player sales cannot be ruled out.
"We simply are not in a position to discount potential discussions with other clubs but as of yet we have had no approaches," he said.
"Commercially, we are now heading the right direction and, come the New Year, we will be in a position to formally unveil a brand-new portfolio of major partnerships."