Crusaders make agreement with RFL to stave off administration and continue in Super League

Crusaders have been given the thumbs up to continue in Super League.

Uncertainty over the future of the Wrexham-based club was ended when the Rugby Football League gave chairman Ian Roberts and his fellow director Geoff Moss the go-ahead to resume their ownership.

They called in the administrators earlier this month in a bid to escape the debts, thought to be in excess of £1million, inherited when taking over the Bridgend-based Celtic Crusaders this time last year.

But the pair reached an agreement with the RFL, who are thought to be one of the main creditors, following lengthy talks yesterday evening and the club is now expected to emerge from administration, possibly with a new name and almost certainly a points deduction for the 2011 season.

'We had a long and very productive meeting yesterday and reached agreement on all matters of substance,' said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood.

In business: Crusaders - and Gareth Thomas - will continue to play in the Super League

In business: Crusaders - and Gareth Thomas - will continue to play in the Super League

'Both Ian and Geoff understand and actually agree with the need to deal properly with certain liabilities and, to their credit, have made provision to do so.

'The potential for rugby league in north Wales is self evident and the circumstances now exist for the club to flourish and succeed under Ian and Geoff’s ownership.'

The Wrexham consortium must now come to an agreement with the administrators to regain control of the club but joint administrator Simon Weir is not expecting any last-minute hitches.

'Now they have the thumbs up from the RFL, we need to get on with the sale document,' he said.

'We’ve had discussions in principle - figures have been discussed - so I’m not anticipating any problems.'

The governing body are keen to preserve the Wrexham club following their encouraging first season at the Racecourse Ground in which they reached the Super League play-offs and build on the success of the Welsh national side, who will feature in the 2011 Four Nations Series after retaining the European Cup this year.

Crusaders have begun pre-season training under new head coach Iestyn Harris and were included in the 2011 Super League fixture list.

Roberts said: 'We were always committed to the club and to the future of rugby league in north Wales but we did need some clarification on some of the obligations facing the club going forward as a condition on re-entry.

'The meeting was very productive and we are excited about the potential of Super League in north Wales and our business plan will enable us to go forward with renewed enthusiasm.'

Crusaders’ re-admission is subject to formal approval by the RFL’s board of directors, who will also decide on a likely points deduction after the club breached the game’s insolvency regulations.

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