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Bradford Bulls’ demise should worry second-tier clubs in other sports

The news of Bradford Bulls’ liquidation did not come as a surprise but it should serve as a warning to other league, union, cricket and football clubs

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The demise of such a famous name as Bradford Bulls may have come as a surprise to some sports fans who do not follow rugby league closely, but those in the know have seen them this slide towards oblivion catch pace for years.

While it’s less than 11 years since Bradford won the World Club Challenge for the third time, it is eight since they finished as high as fifth in Super League. The speed of the decline is nowhere near as shocking as some other clubs in our game. Halifax melted at the end of 2003, just five years after being the third best team in the land; Crusaders reached the play-offs in 2010 and were gone a year later; 18 months after lifting the Challenge Cup Sheffield Eagles were swallowed up by Huddersfield and relaunched as a new club in the Steel City; Gateshead Thunder reached the play-offs in their first season. There wasn’t a second one.

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