The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Following media comments and speculation arising from Bradford Bulls' decision to return to Odsal Stadium next season, Bulls Chairman, Chris Caisley, says that there is still a lot of work to be done if the Club is to finalise a long term deal with Bradford Council to relieve the Council of its future responsibility for the stadium and enable the Club to improve the facilities there. Caisley said,
"Discussions with the Council have been constructive and the bare bones of a deal to capitalise the Club's property interest in the stadium have been agreed. However, there is a lot of detail to be worked through and, as usual in this type of case, "the devil" as they say is "in the detail." Any agreement would have to protect the Council's position as landowner but would have to enable the Club to have a reasonable prospect of improving the facilities and generating revenue sufficient to allow the Club to progress."
"Having been in close discussions with the Council over several weeks I am sure that both the Council and the Club want to do their best to achieve a long term solution but if for some reason we are unable to agree final terms the good news for Bulls fans is that we will be returning to Odsal anyway. The only question is whether we go under a new agreement whereby the Club will take over responsibility for Odsal and proceed to develop the stadium or whether we return under the 1986 agreement with the Council continuing to fulfil its obligations to repair and maintain it." Caisley added,
"I have done my level best to accommodate the Council's requirements under a long term agreement and I am hopeful that we can bring discussions to a satisfactory conclusion. However, even if for some reason we cannot do so and therefore have to revert to the 1986 agreement the Club's supporters will, I am sure, be happy in the knowledge that Odsal Stadium is still and will remain "The Home of The Bulls."
"On occasions I have been saddened by speculation and comments that for some ulterior motive I have not listened to our supporters and been driving the Club away from Odsal. Nothing could be further from the truth, although my fellow directors and I have had to explore every avenue in an attempt to improve facilities for our spectators and corporate partners. I understand that my inability to provide regular updates on progress made has not helped the situation and has probably fuelled speculation, but that was totally unavoidable. When there is anything else of note to report our supporters will be the first to know."
"I hope that between now and the end of the season our fans will get along to support the team in their attempt to get to another Grand Final, starting with tonight's vital Valley Parade clash with our arch rivals, Saint Helens."
For further information contact: Stuart Duffy Tel: 01274 733899