YORK City Knights are preparing to submit an application for the vacant 12th spot in Super League next season – and chairman Jon Flatman believes the club has plenty to offer.

The space in the top tier of English rugby league has opened up with Toronto Wolfpack resigning from the competition earlier this year, and Super League clubs voting against their readmission for 2021.

Clubs have, however, voted unanimously in favour of welcoming in a 12th team. York’s Championship compatriots Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse Olympique are also believed to be considering submissions.

Flatman is under no illusions about what the Knights are up against in this proposal, but with the location of the Minster city and a new stadium on the way, the Knights are not without their merits.

“The most important people in the decision, clearly, will be the stakeholders in the sport,” Flatman said.

“We believe, as a club, that we can provide excellent value to the broadcaster, a fantastic event experience at a new stadium, and that the geography of York and North Yorkshire lends itself to commercial growth into a new area for the Super League competition.”

He continued: “I think there’s a huge amount of competition. There are some great organisations who will put a case forward but I believe in our organisation and the case we can put forward. I’m sure all of our merits will be assessed, and the decision will be made.

“We’re excited for it - we’re excited for the process and we’re excited for the opportunity. Ultimately, this is a chance to put a further marker down in the sport.

“We believe that heartland expansion is the way forward for the sport. We believe that York’s demonstrated a track record of growth in recent years and that the growth will continue in the Championship.

“We’re also excited about being in the Championship, but it would go to a new level playing in the top tier of the sport.”

The Knights have enjoyed some tremendous successes over the past few years.

Under the stewardship of Flatman and head coach James Ford, York finished as unlikely champions of League One, two points clear of Yorkshire rivals Bradford Bulls.

York made the Championship play-offs last season, and during their coronavirus-enforced down-time this season have been steadily building an exciting squad, with former Super League stars Adam Cuthbertson and Ryan Atkins among the names to join up.

The chance to feature in next season’s Super League would present another opportunity for the club.

“There are huge benefits to the region of having any sports team in the top tier,” Flatman commented.

“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.

“This would give people even more to look forward to and everyone a combined purpose.

“We have already received the clear and unequivocal support of the public, the private and the third sector just in the last 24 hours, locally and regionally. We’re sure that will continue.

“We’re excited. We’re excited about the Championship next year but we’re also excited about this additional opportunity.”