Crusaders refused entry
Welsh club told they must start again from the bottom
Last Updated: 23/09/11 8:54pm
Crusaders fans: Could watch team in Championship One
Crusaders have been offered a place in Co-operative Championship One for 2012 having been refused entry into the Championship.
The Wrexham-based club opted to withdraw their application for a new Super League licence in July and have been told they must start again from the bottom following liquidation of the old club.
The Rugby Football League's board of directors decided that, because the new owners do not intend to pay off creditors of the old club, they forfeit the right of automatic entry at Championship level.
The League also expressed reservations about the new club's ability to be competitive in the second tier of the professional game.
The snub is likely to mean an escape from relegation for York City Knights.
The League have given Crusaders 14 days to respond to their offer to join a 10-team Championship One competition, at which point the offer they say it will be withdrawn.
"The board were very clear that they would be delighted to see professional rugby league continue in Wrexham in 2012," RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said.
"However, it recognised that the previous club has entered into liquidation, as a consequence of which its membership of the RFL has lapsed.
"It is therefore entirely appropriate that any new club enter the sport's playing structure at Championship One level.
"The RFL is happy to work with the consortium over the next two weeks to help establish the club in Championship One."
A second application from a Wrexham-based club, Glyndwr Chargers, to play in Championship One was withdrawn earlier on Friday by the consortium involved because of the animosity towards their application from supporters of the Crusaders' application.
A spokesman for the new Crusaders club said the offer would be put to supporters before a final decision is taken.
"We're obviously disappointed that we're not able to compete in the Championship for 2012," said Jamie Thomas, from the Save The Cru.
"We are, however, reviewing the application following today's announcement, discussing it with the fans at the earliest opportunity and coming back to the RFL at the beginning of next week."