Newcastle Thunder provide positive update on funding as they ask ‘wider rugby league family to step forward’

Ben Olawumi
Newcastle Thunder

Newcastle Thunder in action at Kingston Park in 2023 - Alamy

Newcastle Thunder have delivered the news that they are over halfway to meeting their funding target for 2024, and being able to re-enter into League 1, asking ‘the wider rugby league family to step forward’ and get them over the line.

It has been a complicated few months for the North East outfit since their relegation from the Championship was confirmed, with countless players departing amid an uncertain future.

At the end of October, the latest update from the Thunder camp saw them do a u-turn after a healthy grading from IMG, wanting to get themselves back in a position to compete on the pitch in the third tier next year.

To do so, the club said that they needed to generate a six-figure sum to be able to do so, with chairman Keith Christie insisting that there was a clear plan in place to achieve that.

Newcastle Thunder provide positive update on funding ahead of 2024 as North East outfit ask ‘wider rugby league family to step forward’

Three weeks on from that statement, Kingston Park natives Thunder and chief Christie delivered a positive update, though re-affirmed that they’re not out of the woods just yet.

The Rugby Football League have already announced plans to have them in a nine-team League 1 next season, though do have contingency plans if that wasn’t a possibility.

Christie – via the club website – appealed to the wider public to help pool together the rest of the required sum, saying: “The local business community has been fantastic in its response to the current Thunder position and have committed to significant backing for the 2024 season.

“We will continue to engage with potential new sponsors over the next few weeks. Now, we need the supporters and wider rugby league family to step forward and show how much the club means to the sport, the city and the region.

“We saw a lot of messages of support and disappointment when the news broke recently about the club’s position. Now is the time to channel that emotion into keeping the club going, and the main way that can happen is by people becoming a Thunder Member. We can’t do this if that support isn’t now realised.

“We can’t do it with our brilliant supporters. We proved last time the club was in League 1 that there is a good support base in the North East. We averaged around 1,100 fans to home games. That is more than most clubs at that level (third tier) in rugby league, rugby union and other team sports outside of football.

“Supporters now need them to show how much this club means to them by getting involved once again.”

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