Crusaders chief executive concedes club “was not viable” for Super League

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CRUSADERS chief executive Rod Findlay has revealed the Welsh club “was not viable” to continue in Super League following the announcement of their decision to withdraw their application for a new Super League licence.

THE RFL revealed the 14 clubs to compete in Super League between 2012-14 at Old Trafford this morning and Crusaders, as well as Halifax, missed out, with RFL chairman Richard Lewis revealing they’d withdrawn their application.

It meant Wakefield Wildcats, tipped by many as the club to miss out on a new franchise, got the nod to continue in the top flight for another three years.

And Findlay said in a club statement: “This has not been an easy decision but after a lengthy and exhaustive examination of the club’s finances, our view is that Crusaders is not sustainable as a Super League club at this stage. Every other aspect of the application was strong and we now need to work to ensure that we retain those elements, particularly the community and player pathway programmes in North Wales, an area where no rugby league was played 2 years ago.

“A lot of people have done a lot of work to get us to where we are now but it has become clear that we cannot continue in our current guise and so a decision was taken to withdraw our licence application.

“It would not have been fair to the players, the supporters, the other clubs or the engage Super League competition for us to proceed with our application. I would like to congratulate those clubs who were successful in their applications.

“In many ways the licensing process helped us realise that the club was not viable in Super League at this stage and I would like to place on record the club’s thanks to the Rugby Football League for the practical support they have given us in the last few years. I would also like to thank the club owners for their support over the last 2 seasons.

“We will now sit down with the Rugby Football League to consider our options for 2012 and beyond. In the meantime we remain committed to finishing the current season on a high and I am sure Iestyn Harris, his coaching staff and the players will do all they can to move us up the tables. I would like to thank Iestyn and his team, the players, the fans and the off field staff for their massive contribution to the Crusaders and I hope we can end the season in style.”

See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the reaction from today’s Super League franchise announcement.