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Rugby league: Protests ignored as RFL invites Crusaders to join third tier

CRUSADERS fans – including a youth player from Buckley who dressed as mascot Colyn and chained himself to the Racecourse Ground – have failed to convince the Rugby Football League to admit the former Super League club into the Co-operative Championship, one step below the top flight.

The Save the Cru campaign has succeeded in gaining an invitation to enter Co-operative Championship One – the third tier of senior rugby league – but it was not what fans had hoped for.

A meeting is scheduled for this evening (Thursday, 7.30pm) at the Racecourse to discuss the possibility of accepting the RFL’s invitation but not all fans are happy.

Toby Davies, son of Buckley powerlifting legend Tim, is an under 18s player at Crusaders and took turns with some of his teammates last week to tether themselves to the Racecourse Ground to protest at the RFL considering placing the club lower than the Championship.

But their protests fell on deaf ears as RFL chief executive Nigel Wood stated: “The board were very clear that they would be delighted to see professional rugby league continue in Wrexham in 2012.

“However it recognised that the previous club has entered into liquidation, as a consequence of which its membership of the RFL has lapsed.

“The business plan submitted was extremely encouraging given the limited time the consortium had to prepare it. The RFL is happy to work with the consortium over the next two weeks to help establish the club in Championship One.”

Jamie Thomas, head of the Save the Cru campaign said: “It is a bit of a disappointment, but understandable given the recent events.

“We’ve had meetings with the Crusaders Supporters Club and whilst the mood is positive, it is essential all fans get the opportunity to contribute and pass comment on our plans.”