YORK City Knights chairman Jon Flatman says that there is "huge excitement for the future" despite the club losing out on a spot in Betfred Super League next year.

Flatman said that there was "initial disappointment" to Monday's news that Leigh Centurions rather than York would receive the coveted 12th spot in the top-flight for 2021, following Toronto Wolfpack's withdrawal from the competition.

Leigh beat off competition from Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique and the Knights to win the approval of an independent panel.

“I think that there was clearly initial disappointment but caveated with it is huge excitement for the future," said Flatman of his immediate reaction to the news.

“The exercise and process has been a very positive one and I’ve learned even more about the club and even more about the city and its region and we’ve come out of this with a very positive outlook on the future and a positive outlook for rugby league in York and North Yorkshire.”

The Knights chief has overseen the club's rapid rise from League 1 to the brink of Super League since his arrival ahead of the 2017 season.

And he says he's learned plenty from this process as the club now set about trying to achieve promotion on the field next year.

Flatman added: “I’ve learned that there are a lot of people in this region who have a lot of passion and commitment for rugby league in York and North Yorkshire.

"That’s my real learning point.

“The reach of this club is amazing.

"It’s amazing the number of people who understand the journey that this club has been on and those people who vehemently want the club to succeed.

“My second learning point was how fantastic our staff and volunteers are.

"We truly have great people.

“The third thing is that this business model is scalable, very scalable.

"That isn’t always the case when businesses grow.

"So they are the three very positive points that we’ll take away from this and put into action."