THE takeover of York City Knights has been completed.

A joint statement was made late on Thursday night by outgoing owner John Guildford and Jon Flatman, the sports management consultant who is heading up the consortium taking over the League One outfit.

It said: "York City Knights Ltd and York City Knights Holdings Ltd would like to confirm that the ownership of both companies has now been transferred from John Guildford to Jon Flatman.

"The club, under new ownership, will announce further information in due course relating to but not limited to players, sponsors, partners, merchandise and season tickets."

Flatman said: "I would like to thank John Guildford for the manner in which he has delivered a debt free club and for his commitment to the sport in York for many years.

"We, as a club, will now look forward to season 2017 and beyond with a commitment to deliver a club to be proud of.

"James Ford is an excellent coach and I would like to thank him for his loyalty to the club throughout the handover process."

Guildford said: "I am delighted that the handover of the club to Jon Flatman has been completed and look forward to Jon, James Ford and the players having a successful 2017 season and I and my family would like to thank all York City Knights supporters for their patience in what I know has been a difficult and worrying few months.

"I now hope that Jon and the club is allowed to prosper without the interference of the outside forces that I have had to contend with in recent years and I look forward to seeing the club in a permanent home again, wherever that might be.

"York and Proud!"

There had been fears the takeover had stalled on what had been the target date for completion.

Companies House, the Government's registrar of companies, said their records suggested no share transfer had gone through by their close of business that day.

The Rugby Football League also did not comment, having said three weeks ago that the parties were "working towards a date of December 1".

However, the club's statement was then issued just after 10.30pm.

The new owners are now set to seek confirmation from City of York Council that the team can play at York City's Bootham Crescent ground as part of its community stadium scheme, after which the club should then be reinstated into League One.

The Knights were omitted from the initial 2017 fixture list but the RFL left open a 16th spot in League One should the takeover go through in time.