By Matty Ramage
Fans of League One Rugby league outfit York City Knights have been given some Christmas goodwill following news that the club has clawed its way out of debt.
Local businessman Jon Flatman had completed a takeover, vowing to get the club back on its feet. The Knights have also been given permission by York City Council to play their 2017 fixtures at Bootham Crescent, the home of York City FC, due to the Knights not having a home ground.
While things are looking good for York, two Championship clubs, Bradford Bulls and Sheffield Eagles seem to have their future hanging in the balance.
The Bulls, former Super League heavyweights and three time World Club Challenge winners, have been struggling with their finances and are currently looking for a new owner following their recent administration.
Former Bulls favourite Jamie Peacock said in a recent press conference at Leeds Trinity University: “Bradford need to get an owner who can help and is committed.”
The Bulls are one of the few professional clubs in the Championship and this may be hurting the competitiveness of rugby league in England. Sheffield Eagles reverted back to semi-professional status due to financial constraints.
Former Eagles academy winger Macauley Watkinson thinks that more money could be the answer to closing the gap between Super League and Championship rugby. He said: “It’s a tough one, but if you look at the gap between Super league and Championship, it is bigger than ever before.”
He added: “Leigh were only able to go up because of financial backing, Sheffield tried to do the same thing and almost went bust.”
However the argument of a large gap between the two leagues could be disputed by the fact that Leigh were promoted at the expense of Hull KR. And only time will tell if Rovers will suffer as they try to make their way back into the top flight.