“WE want as many York fans to be there as possible.”

So said York City Knights chairman Jon Flatman as the club prepares for its first trip to Wembley Stadium in 90 years.

York defeated Swinton Lions 36-22 at the LNER Community Stadium to secure their place in the 1895 Cup final against Featherstone Rovers next month.

Amid the current coronavirus restrictions, the sale of tickets was put on hold this week, with the clubs involved and the RFL agreeing to wait until the government announced the fourth stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, believed to be made next week, before moving ahead.

“We would love to have tickets on sale now,” said Flatman. “But the reality of the situation is that until we know the timeline on stage four, then we simply don’t know the capacity of Wembley.

“That then makes it very difficult to know how many tickets we have to sell because they are segmented off into certain areas and we want to sell them in the right priority order.

“The clubs collectively alongside the RFL, in my opinion, made the very wise decision to wait, which is likely to be until next week.

“Once we have that clarity from Wembley then we’ll be in a position to go on sale. We want as many York fans to be there as possible.”

A trip to Wembley is yet another chapter in the incredible story of the Knights’ turnaround since Flatman arrived as owner in late 2016, with the club in League One and on the brink of closure.

Reflecting on the win over Swinton and journey made by the club in a relatively short space of time, Flatman added: “It was a big victory for rugby league in the city and the region.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to go to Wembley, which is something that comes round once in a generation.

“I think it definitely was emotional. It was emotional for the players, it was emotional for the fans and it was emotional for everyone involved in the sport in the area.

“There’s a lot of emotion in sport and that’s what makes it so brilliant.

“It’s a very, very exciting time ahead and we look forward to making it a very special day out for the fans, sponsors and players.”

The game saw an increased crowd of 1,451 at the LNER Community Stadium.

Flatman said: “I don’t think that a behind-closed-doors cup semi-final would have been the same.

“The players delivered on the day, as did the fans, and together we got the all-important victory.

“The numbers were tremendous and the atmosphere was very positive and uplifting and undoubtedly the fans played their part in what they were asked to do.”

Away from the men’s team, York City Knights Ladies put in a brave showing in their maiden Challenge Cup final defeat to St Helens on Saturday.

“Those Ladies have done a magnificent job to promote themselves and the sport over the course of many years, but more recently especially,” said the York chief.

“To play in a Challenge Cup final is special and the way that they conducted themselves, in a very professional manner, and the way they dealt with the pressure, it’s a tribute to them.

“On the field, they will continue to get better and, off the field, they are becoming a very professional outfit. It’s a pleasure to be able to call them part of the club.”