Make It York Chair Greg Dyke backs York City Knights bid for Super League Status

Published: 23 November, 2020 - 5:48 pm

York City Knights application to take the vacant 12th spot in the 2021 Betfred Super League competition has been backed by Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York and Former Chairman of the Football Association. A letter of support has been sent to the Club along with a video message which was posted on the Make It York social channels today.

In the video, Greg emphasises how York City Knights is ‘true community club’ showcasing the values of Rugby League. Greg highlights what an opportunity it would be for the city, the club and the sport, if York City Knights were to get Super League status.

In a letter which was sent to the club last week, Greg further states:

“York City Knights is a club with huge potential for growth, with almost 120 years of Rugby League history behind it. The recent success of the club has meant its crowds have increased from a few hundred to an average of 2300 in 2019. The club and its fans will provide a new demographic for the Super League and I have no doubt that York City Knights would offer huge benefits as the 12th team.

York City Knights can offer the top-class facilities required of a Super League status club. Their brand new home at the LNER Community Stadium is built for a team of the future, and will give York City Knights every opportunity for growth and development. I am not exaggerating when I say York City Knights has the potential to be one of the leading Rugby League teams in the country.  This would also be a major opportunity to have a professional team in York playing at an elite level.

In particular I would like to commend the far-reaching benefits of the club’s community engagement programme covering health, education and community partnerships. This only stands to grow with Super League status. The economic, wellbeing and health benefits – not only physical but for mental health as well – should not be underestimated, as sporting fans and communities face the impact and very difficult challenges that Covid-19 has brought.

York itself, as the home of this successful club, is an internationally renowned visitor and event location. In 2021 the city will be one of the host cities for the Rugby League World Cup, as one of 16 locations that will host the qualified nations as training and team base camps.  This demonstrates the confidence and support within the city to provide a world-class host experience on the international playing field. York will also be hosting eight fixtures at the York City Knights home ground, all in the women’s tournament.

I believe the potential here is huge both for York City Knights and the future benefits for the Super League itself. The League would be taking on a club and a city with an already established international brand, and I believe York, its residents and its businesses, will benefit from the wider impact of this sporting ambition.

I wish York City Knights every success with what I believe to be a strong, compelling and unrivalled application.”

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