Fev chairman agrees Bulls should be in Championship

Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell
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THE CONTROVERSIAL decision to reserve a place in the Kingstone Press Championship for a reformed Bradford club has been backed by Mark Campbell, chairman of competition rivals Featherstone Rovers.

Bradford Bulls ceased trading on Tuesday, more than a month after entering administration for the third time in five years.

They had already been included on the 2017 Championship fixture list and the RFL has said any new Bradford club will be granted entry into that competition, starting on minus 12 points.

It had been expected a new club would have to begin from the bottom in League One, but Campbell said: “At this stage in the season I feel the Rugby Football League have made the only decision they could by placing Bradford back in the Championship, with a 12-point deduction. They have done right by League One clubs, in my opinion.

“If I was looking to get promoted out of that division this year, given Toronto are pretty much certain to go up, I would be very unhappy with the Bulls coming in.

“Bradford in League One would more than likely crush any other club’s hopes of getting promoted and owners who have spent money bidding to make the Championship for 2018 would rightly feel disgruntled.

“Keeping the Bulls in the Championship is the right thing to do and it should not affect them massively.

“Although they are going to have to operate on low funding they should, by rights, still have good income.

“They have the biggest fanbase in the competition and a massive following of passionate fans who love their club.”

Campbell said it would be “difficult to consider” how the Summer Bash – when an entire round of games is played at the same venue over one weekend – would work without Bulls. And he added: “It would have been unfair to place either Toronto or Whitehaven in the Championship, four weeks from the start of the season, given what is at stake for those clubs this year.”

The RFL have set a deadline of next Monday for bids to reform Bradford and Campbell said it is vital the RFL do due diligence on prospective owners.

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