JON FLATMAN hailed the "phenomenal" support shown by York City Knights fans after 93 per cent of their members signed up to the club's 2020 Knights Patron scheme.

Last week, the Knights announced that they were offering their members three options regarding their memberships following the cancellation of the 2020 Betfred Championship season and the Knights' decision not to take part in the RFL's Autumn competition.

One of the options was to become a 2020 Knights Patron, allowing those who took up the option to attend the 2020 Knights Patron Evening, with head coach James Ford and the club's players, with other benefits also included.

This was in return for members donating their membership money to the club without a refund.

Earlier this week, York announced that 93 per cent of their members decided to become 2020 Knights Patrons.

And Knights chairman Flatman lauded the "phenomenal" response.

Explaining how the scheme was arranged, he said: "I think it came from discussions with our staff both on and off the field.

"It's an important part of our income streams, season ticket holders and it's very important part of what the club stands for.

"Therefore we wanted to get the right package and the right options out there in terms of everything from a refund through to a scheme where people were able to give that money back to the club and for that to be of true benefit to everybody.

"I think that's what we've achieved through those three options. And the take up has been phenomenal. We didn't really know what the expectations were.

"But to receive that overwhelming level of patronage was a huge step forward for the club and a huge step forward on the field.

"It allows us to enter the recruitment and retention market with more confidence."

The Knights chief was also keen to acknowledge that he understood the decision of those supporters seeking refunds amid the current difficult financial period caused by the pandemic.

"But, as importantly, we understand that for everybody that wasn't an option," Flatman continued.

"This time is awkward for everybody and therefore those who were unable to donate and required a refund, our heads and our hearts go out to them.

"It was pleasant to receive that number but also our thoughts go out to those people who aren't able to do that because of how Covid has struck.

"We absolutely 100 per cent understand that the impact personally and financially on people through this period.

"And no judgments will be made on which option was selected.

"But clearly the option that has been by far the most accepted one is the one that allows the club, on and off the field, to continue to grow and progress."

Flatman says that the move by the Knights fanbase allows for more stability as the club plots its recruitment and retention drive ahead of 2021.

"We are in very uncertain times. At some point in the near future we'll be back on the field and back in training. So we needed to start the recruitment and retention with a budget in mind that was sustainable and gave the club the ability to be able to grow.

"That's really what the scheme was all about. People understand the scheme and I think it was communicated well by staff to people.

"This gives us more structure, I wouldn't say complete structure, but it gives more structure to our budgets for next year and therefore it allows us to plan ahead and planning ahead gives us more of an opportunity to make the right decisions at the right times."