The future of sport in Wrexham has been thrown into turmoil after the Crusaders withdrew their application to compete in the Super League for the next three years.
An announcement was made by the RFL this morning at Old Trafford along with the news that Widnes Vikings would be replacing them.
Crusaders Chief Executive Rod Findlay has released the following statement:
“This has not been an easy decision but after a lengthy and exhaustive examination of the club’s finances, our view is that Crusaders is not sustainable as a Super League club at this stage. Every other aspect of the application was strong and we now need to work to ensure that we retain those elements, particularly the community and player pathway programmes in North Wales, an area where no rugby league was played two years ago.”
The news has left many Crusaders fans angry and upset as the team had largely been expected to receive a license to allow them to play in the Super League till 2014 due to their position as the only Rugby League club in Wales in the top division.
However, there had been doubts over their ability to operate on a successful financial level after the club went into administration in November last year, before owners Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts brought them out.
One of our Twitter followers @MR51CUK said “Just left a pub full of very confused and upset @CrusadersRugbyL fans” and it would appear the news came as a shock to the players too. Crusaders player Keith Senior launched an expletive filled rant on Twitter in anger at the situation, he said: “Crusaders have just f***** me over what a b****** joke, excuse my language I’m absolutely furious.”
Fears have now been raised for the future of Wrexham FC too as the owners warned last week that protracted sale negotiations had left the club in a dire financial situation, as they are unwilling to provide further funding.
On a thread about the Crusaders decision to withdraw their application on Wrexham FC fan site Red Passion daveo_the_red said “Another nail getting hammered in the coffin” echoing many fans fears for the future of the football club.
Wrexham.com was due to attend a press conference at 1pm at the Racecourse Ground regarding the licensing decision, however we understand that it has since been cancelled. The Crusaders website also appears to have been taken down. We aim to keep fans of both clubs updated as soon as we have more information.