Crusaders CEO, Rod Findlay, announced at a fans forum last night that the club would have to choose one of four options after they decided to withdraw their Super League application.
Speaking about why the club had decided to withdraw, Findlay stated it was because of falling attendances as well as the failure to attract new commercial revenue. This, on top of the club’s historic debt, meant it was difficult for the club to be viable whilst competing in the Super League.
Rod stated “We couldn’t guarantee that the club would’ve seen itself through the license period and it wouldn’t have been right to plow on, so on Monday we made the decision (to withdraw). Every aspect of our application, except one, was very strong and we were the first club to submit in March. However, the one part which wasn’t so strong was the financial side.”
Findlay also added that the application was withdrawn by the club’s owners, Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts, only after it became apparent that the club’s business plan wasn’t robust enough for a Super League franchise from a financial perspective.
It was also mentioned that the owners had sought new investment, but none was forthcoming. When the question arose about existing debt, Findlay allayed concerns that the withdrawal would lead to a sudden foreclosure of the debt, whilst the debt to the RFL is secured against the Racecource Ground itself.