YORK City Knights are to be immediately included back in the Kingstone Press League One fixture list following the successful takeover of the club.

Sports management consultant Jon Flatman was officially confirmed as the new named owner at 10.30pm last night, having headed up the consortium taking over from outgoing majority shareholder John Guildford.

The Rugby Football League have now said James Ford's men will be reinstalled as the 16th team in the third tier, with the full fixture list to be re-issued in the coming hours.

It is yet to be confirmed that they will be able to play matches at Bootham Crescent as part of City of York Council's community stadium scheme.

Nevertheless an RFL statement said: "York City Knights will now be included in the Kingstone Press League One fixtures for the 2017 season which will be re-issued within the next 24 hours."

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: John Guildford has been the guardian of York City Knights for over a decade and he, and his family, have put their heart and soul into the club through both good and tough times. 

“The RFL would like to thank John for his commitment to the club over his period of tenure.

“The club has continued to develop and over recent weeks has generated interest in the market from several third parties.

“Negotiations have continued and we are delighted that Jon Flatman and his consortium recognise the potential of York City Knights and have now stepped forward to take on this exciting opportunity.

“Jon has a proven track record within the sport and the city of York has every reason for optimism for what lies ahead.”

The 2017 fixture lists came out in October with York omitted from the schedule amid the threat of the club closing.

However, the inclusion this year of Canadian newcomers Toronto Wolfpack meant there were 15 teams left in League One, the odd number meaning one side each week had a blank fixture. That in turn made it relatively straightforward for a 16th team to be added in, taking over those spaces in the schedule, and the RFL duly left the door open for the Minster city club.

Should the Knights now fill those blanks as expected, they are set to kick off their league campaign against Barrow Raiders on Saturday, March 4.

The season starts on February 18/19 with the iPro Sport Cup first round, followed by the Challenge Cup third round a week later.