SKY Sports expert Brian Carney has called for fans to keep backing York City Knights whether or not they are accepted into Super League.

York are set to find out on Monday if their push for the coveted 12th spot in the Betfred Super League has been a success.

The Knights, along with Bradford, Featherstone, Leigh, London Broncos and Toulouse, are fighting it out to replace Toronto Wolfpack in the top flight after the Canadian side’s withdrawal.

“Whether or not they’re successful with their bid, the people in York must realise how close their side is to the elite division,” said former Great Britain international Carney.

“I would encourage people to row in behind the club because, whether or not they’re successful with this bid, there’s also promotion available in 2021, and with the trajectory the club is on, I don’t think it will be very long before we see them in the top flight, if their bid is unsuccessful.

“If they are successful, then when a great is brought there, that the people of York come down to watch in their thousands to their beautiful new stadium, that they should be so proud of, and sell it out and make it a difficult place for opposition teams to come to.

“The financial support of the supporters is the lifeblood of any club and it allows them to strengthen on the field. Then it’s cyclical, really.”

York’s bid for Super League is another marker of how far the club has come since chairman Jon Flatman took the reins in 2016. Having been on the verge of closure before his arrival, the club now sit on the verge of a top-flight place.

“When you consider where they came from, about four years ago, their progress has been remarkable,” said Carney.

“The club was on the brink of going out of existence as we know it. They’ve made very steady and careful progress.

“I think everyone in the world of rugby league has looked at York and, putting aside the Super League bid they’ve submitted, they’ve been impressed with the continuous progression of the club.

“The stadium, of course, is the crowning jewel in that and the club now has a ground that is fit for the 21st century and, I would say, fit for Super League.

“They’ve done it without blowing budgets and they seem to have done it in a very calculated way. Toronto Wolfpack had a more meteoric rise and then a greater fall, having spent millions and millions doing it.

“I would suggest that York’s spending hasn’t been anywhere close to that, but it’s been almost to the same effect.

“I suppose I am surprised (at their rise) because of where the club was four years ago. It looked like we would lose York.

“To firstly save the club, turn it around and point it in the right direction and then head on that journey in such an impressive fashion has caught everybody’s attention.”