Rugby Union: Knights plan to stay full-time

Doncaster Knights
Doncaster Knights
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DONCASTER Knights say they will remain a full-time professional outfit if they are relegated to National One.

Knights’ board and sponsors will stump up extra cash - to offset the loss of RFU funding - should the club lose their Championship status.

A statement from president Tony De Mulder confirming the club’s stance was issued in the build-up to yesterday’s 27-21 home defeat to Nottingham, Doncaster’s 15th league defeat of a sorry season which leaves them six points from safety with just three games remaining.

“If the worst happens and we are relegated, our main sponsors and many others have agreed to put in additional finances to offset the loss of RFU central funding thus enabling the Knights to compete as a full-time professional side within National One with the aim of securing a return to the Championship the following season,” said De Mulder.

“Obviously the number one priority of Clive Griffiths, his fellow coaches and all our players is to preserve our position in the Championship and this is what they will be focusing their attention on.

“We have believed for some time that the outcome of our season would come down to the last two games and this is what it is now looking like.

“Assuming that the Knights are successful in their aim, our plan for next season will be to put together a financial package that will enable us to consolidate our position in the Championship and not have to battle the threat of relegation as we have this season.”

De Mulder also admitted the experiment of playing home matches on a Friday night had proved to be “financially inconclusive”.

“All Knights home games next season, other than in exceptional circumstances, will be played on Saturday afternoons,” he confirmed.