COUNCIL chiefs are backing York City Knights’ bid to get to Super League in 2021.

With the opportunity now open for clubs to bid for a place in next year’s competition the council is asking residents and businesses to show their support too.

Next year already promises to be a special year with world-class athletes coming to the city for the Rugby League World Cup and now the city has its sights on hosting the UK’s premier rugby league teams as part of Super League.

Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: “York City Knights have a proud history and make a huge difference in our communities through its foundation.

“We are delighted to support this bid and know that with our incredible city and the Knights’ growing fan base, York is perfect for Super League.

“We already have lots to start to look forward to in 2021 with the Rugby League World Cup and welcoming Super League clubs would be extra special.”

He urged residents and businesses to share their support on social media using the hashtag #HeartlandExpansion.

Jon Flatman, Chairman of York City Knights, said: “I’d like to thank City of York Council and all partners for their continued support. The backing of our partners and stakeholders across the city will be crucial in what we hope will be a successful application to join the Betfred Super League in 2021.

“There are huge benefits to the region of having any sports team in the top tier - there’s an economic impact and a health and well-being impact, not only for physical health but for mental health as well as we hopefully come through a very difficult period with Covid, and we feel that the Knights would really kick on to the next level with this support.”

Councillor Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: “York is recognised all over the world for its so many attributes, and adding Super League to the list of events for 2021 would make a huge difference to the city.

“York City Knights have an extremely supportive and dedicated fan base and are in a great place to apply for Super League 2021. We would love to see Super League come to York and we hope as many residents, organisations and businesses as possible support York City Knights in their bid through sharing #HeartlandExpansion on social media.”