York owner hands the club over to former director

York City Knights have a new owner, with former director Gary Dickinson taking over, subject to contracts.

The club released a statement on their website last night, stating that current owner John Guilford would hand over the club ‘virtually debt free’, giving the club the opportunity to move forward after a difficult seven-day period.

The club’s board announced on Thursday that the club would fold due to ground share issues and other disputes with the City of York Council. As a result, players were told they would become free agents, however they decided to commit to the club in the hope that the issue could eventually be resolved.

It remains unclear how the news will affect the club short-term, with no announcement yet to be made about the club’s game with Toulouse at the weekend.

The statement said: “Since the club were evicted from Huntington Stadium to make way for the City of York Council’s Community Stadium project and the loss of the club’s income streams with only partial covering by the council, despite previous assurances that the club would not be financially disadvantaged by this project, It has become much more difficult to operate the club and survival over the last two seasons has relied largely on considerable financial input by myself. That financial input was willingly given to keep the club going and to provide the fans with a squad capable of challenging for promotion, an aim if achieved that would have given the club a major financial boost and lifeline going forward.

“After Gary Dickinson Cfast ltd expressed an interest in taking the club over I have decided therefore to hand the reins over to them. York City Knights will be passed over virtually debt free with the funding I have provided in the form of Directors loans on the balance sheet not required to be repaid. That is my gift to professional rugby league in York to give somebody else the chance to take the club forward with the best possible start, furthermore, I intend to continue supporting the York City Knights Foundation Charity for the time being to ensure that the good work in the community continues.”