Newcastle Thunder issue statement following League 1 withdrawal – ‘Exploring ways to keep club alive’

Ben Olawumi
Newcastle Thunder, Kingston Park

Newcastle Thunder in action at Kingston Park against York. Photo: Chris Lishman | MI News.

Newcastle Thunder have this afternoon provided an update following their withdrawal from League 1, expressing a desire to start re-building.

The North East outfit last week confirmed their decision not to partake in the third tier come 2024 following relegation from the Championship this term.

Becoming the second club to withdraw from the division, after London Skolars, just eight teams – as things stand – now remain in League 1 for 2024 including Keighley Cougars who were relegated by the finest of margins alongside Newcastle.

Those remaining eight clubs are holding a meeting with the Rugby Football League today to discuss the future of the division, with Hunslet already publicly pushing for a merger between the Championship and League 1 in a statement released via social media.

And while confirmation of any decision from that meeting is likely to be a few weeks away, Thunder have today released a statement of their own.

Newcastle Thunder ‘exploring ways to keep club alive’ following League 1 withdrawal

Founded in 1999 as Gateshead Thunder – following the ‘old’ club known by the same name becoming what we now know as Super League outfit Hull FC – rumours have been circling that the Kingston Park natives would fold altogether given that they aren’t set to be competing in a league next year.

The statement released on Newcastle’s website today doesn’t hold the same sentiment though, and very much expresses that they’d like to use 2024 as the start of a re-building process.

It reads: “Firstly, we would like to thank everyone for the messages we’ve received over the last week. Your support means a lot to all of us as we work through what has naturally been a very challenging time.

“We’re now exploring ways to keep our club alive for the 2024 season and establish a solid foundation from which we can rebuild.

“We remain committed to trying to make the start line for the 2024 season.

“It’s going to take a big effort from everyone, but with the support of our great fans and sponsors, we believe we can help turn Newcastle Thunder into a sustainable club and retain a pathway for the talented players within the region to flourish.”

Thunder will hold what they’ve dubbed a ‘commitment meeting’ at Kingston Park next Tuesday night (October 24), inviting their supporters to go and find out how they can play their part in helping the club to survive.

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