24th August 2011, 09:48
A joint statement from Crusaders and Save the Cru
Crusaders Rugby League Club, representatives of the Save the Cru campaign and the Crusaders Supporters Club have come together to issue a joint statement about the future
Crusaders Rugby League Club, representatives of the Save the Cru campaign and the Crusaders Supporters Club have come together to issue a joint statement about the future of Wales' highest placed professional Rugby League team.
With the support of the Save the Cru campaign and the Crusaders Supporters Club, it is the intention of Crusaders to write to the Rugby Football League to state its intention to bid for a place in the Co-operative Championship from the 2012 Season.
Crusaders has secured the support of Wrexham Council and has an outline agreement with Glyndwr University to continue to play at the Racecourse Ground.
The 'Save the Cru' campaign united with the Crusaders Supporters Club following the announcement that the club had withdrawn its application for a Super League licence on 26th July. Over the last three weeks, since the campaign started, there has been strong support from the fans with over 4,000 pledging to get behind a Championship club.
The Businesses Community in North Wales has also backed the campaign with 200 companies offering support and a number of local firms already agreeing sponsorship packages should a club rise from the ashes.
Head of Save the Cru Campaign, Jamie Thomas said: "Further to the overwhelming support we have received from the local community, it was evident very quickly that a Championship club could thrive in Wrexham. Therefore we have contacted the current management team of the Crusaders with a view to get their help to establish a club for next year."
Chairman of the Crusaders Supporters Club Chris Jones said: "This is just the news we were hoping for. The fans were devastated when the club announced the withdrawal from the Super League and you could see how much the game meant to them by the scenes at the final whistle last weekend at the last home game.
"The fact that we have a chance to rise from the Ashes and see the Crusaders take to the pitch once again in North Wales is a fantastic opportunity and I hope we're allowed to grasp it with both hands.
"Naturally the Crusaders Supporters Club wants the Crusaders to go forward. Not just for the first team in the Championship, but also to protect all of the community work done across North Wales and the North Wales Crusaders under 18s, who were formed earlier this year.
"There has been a lot of hard work put into developing the Crusaders in 2011 and the goodwill of the supporters was there for everyone to see on Sunday."
Rod Findlay, Crusaders Chief Executive Officer, explained: "Without ever having played Championship Rugby League in Wrexham it was always difficult to gauge whether or not there was enough support for the Crusaders at that level. I met with Jamie Thomas and explained what I thought was necessary and off his own bat he began the Save the Cru campaign. The level of support has been overwhelming.
"I have explained that the RFL Operational Rules provide for a club coming out of Super League to go into the Co-operative Championship. However, the RFL will need to approve a business plan and work starts on the detailed plan now. We have already spoken to the current owners about securing the assets of the club.
"Wrexham Council could not have been more supportive and we have had really productive discussions with Glyndwr University about playing at the Racecourse Ground and developing the existing partnership further."
Hanna Clarke, the club's Commercial Manager, confirmed that there was strong support for Crusaders in the business community.
She said: "Even after the Super League Licensing decision, many current and new partners were expressing their support for the Crusaders in whatever guise it took. Obviously the decision to apply for a place in the Championship is a major boost.
"On the back of the decision to apply for the Championship spot, we have already had commitments from new and current sponsors and one has committed to a hospitality box six months before a ball is kicked in anger."
Notes to Editors: For imagery or further interviews please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jamie Thomas on 07875 514520 or Rod Findlay on 01978 340777.