York City Knights fold

The York City Knights have folded because of financial difficulties.

The League 1 club confirmed the move to close down late last night.

The Knights have faced a battle over playing venues and lost revenue for the past few years.

The club said in a statement: “It is with sincere regret that we are to announce that York City Knights will be closing as a business once all legal formalities and obligations have been carried out, which will allow all the players and staff to become free agents.

“This is done with deep sadness, but with the certainty that we did everything in our power to last through the challenging times since our eviction from the Huntington Stadium in 2014 and the difficult circumstances the club has experienced ever since.

“The Board of Directors now have no alternative and have been forced to make this very difficult decision.

“The reasons behind this decision are:

“It is the belief of the club that the training and playing venue contracts which are in place with City of York Council have neither been adhered to by third parties or enforced by CYC which has made even the simplest of tasks an arduous process.

“This has left the club in a worse position in terms of the training and playing facilities available to them than either what had been agreed in the interim period or when at Huntington Stadium.

“The contracts which were signed last year by the Clubs Directors were done so as a matter of necessity to save the club.

“At this time CYC were made aware of the Boards opinion that the scheme wasn’t sustainable at the new stadium for York City Knights but they were signed on the basis they would be revisited and reviewed to which CYC has shown no desire to fulfill.

“Although there is a verbal agreement with CYC for a playing venue for next year, there is no signed contract for the 2017 season and due to the lack of consistency in adhering to current contracts we have a lack of trust that this will be forthcoming.

“Despite assurances from CYC regarding the operating expenditures of playing at Bootham Cresecnt, the loss of other revenue streams and the compensation related to this the club has found the costs of playing at Bootham Crescent to be substantially more expensive than had been indicated and the revenues have fallen well below anticipated targets.

“The Financial situation within the club shows no promise of improving with a move to the new stadium as the club faced additional overheads and a very limited scope for generating meaningful new income streams.

“This has and will leave the club financially disadvantaged from its position when at Huntington Stadium in 2014.

“The Board of Directors would like to thank the Rugby Football League and Chris Hearld for their advice and support through these difficult times, without their assistance the club would have most likely folded in the 2015 Season.

“We know the vast majority of our supporters and the people of York and beyond will be saddened by this news, we would like to thank you all for your support during the nearly 14 years we were part of the sport in York.

“The Board would particularly like to thank James Ford, the Staff, the players and volunteers and wish then all the best for the future.

“We hope that Rugby League can stay alive in York and someone will come along and succeed in where we could not.”

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