Outgoing York City Knights chairman Jon Flatman has confirmed that a sale of the club has taken place to incoming Australian businessman Clint Goodchild.
Talks over the sale of the club have been going on since pre-Covid between Flatman and Goodchild. However, the pandemic brought some delays to the deal.
Flatman has made waves with the City Knights since his arrival in 2016. The club won the promotion to the Championship in 2018 and reached the 1895 Cup final at Wembley last year. Off the field, York moved into the LNER Community Stadium last year.
Flatman said: “This club has enormous potential to be one of most successful rugby league clubs in the country.
“Club of the Year awards, League Winners and the highest finish in the Championship for many years alongside a return to Wembley; and the growth of the ladies’ team were personal highlights from recent times; alongside the transition into the magnificent LNER Community Stadium and work alongside York St John University.
“As chairman, I have done everything possible to drive change and improve the organisation. However, I am proud to now pass on the guardianship and ownership of the organisation to Clint Goodchild.
“Clint has undertaken extensive due diligence and has a growth plan for the club; a passion for the sport and full commitment to the inclusive ethos which has grown the club considerably over the past five years.
“Clint brings a wealth of sporting and rugby league knowledge to the club; alongside a drive to succeed and take the organisation to the next level. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the game and his sports entertainment background will aid the club; and the sport in future years.”
Clint Goodchild excited to become chairman of York City Knights
Goodchild hails from Queensland and is a lifelong rugby league supporter. He has a strong background in business and has worked in sports management and hospitality.
He said: “Over the course of eighteen months, there were various conversations and meetings with Jon Flatman, leading us to this point where I am now the custodian of the club.
“Conversations began pre-Covid around a potential opportunity to become involved with York City Knights. It was obvious to me that the club was being run right, that the business principles and ethics were of the highest order and only a fool wouldn’t show interest in a business with those qualities.
“On the back of that, the fact that it’s rugby league aligns both my head and my heart.
“Moving halfway across the world to York, I’m doing it because there are similarities between Yorkshire and Queensland. There is a great deal of pride in being from Yorkshire and the area has a real passion for rugby league. I’m excited to find myself in the heartland of the game and I look forward to continuing the growing connection between the club and its community.”
York say the change of ownership was subject to the Rugby Football League’s fit and proper persons test and fulfilled all obligations relating to changes to person of significant control. The ownership changed received the RFL board of approval as required.