YORK Knights chairman Clint Goodchild insists that the club are committed to trying to push for a top 12 spot amid the provisional IMG rankings revealed this morning.

The Knights have received a provisional score of 10.05, placing them 17th out of the 35 Betfred Super League, Championship, and League One clubs included in the rankings.

Whilst York are just 0.12 points below Widnes Vikings and just over half a point from 14th-placed Featherstone Rovers, there is a sizeable jump of 2.4 points between them and Leigh Leopards, who currently occupy the 12th and final theoretical Super League place.

Under IMG's 'Reimagining Rugby League' criteria, clubs are assessed on five pillars - fandom, on-field performance, finances, stadium and community, with points awarded up to a maximum score of 20.

York Knights in middle of pack as IMG provisional gradings revealed

Leeds Rhinos top the first provisional rankings with a score of 17.49 as one of seven clubs to be awarded a Category A grading.

York are one of 17 clubs to receive a provisional Grade B ranking, whilst 11 clubs are currently ranked at Grade C - including 2024 Championship teams Swinton Lions, Dewsbury Rams and Whitehaven.

"I think that this year's gradings are just an example," Goodchild told The Press. "It's not going to have a direct effect on where teams will play next year.

"But what it will show is where we are in the greater scheme of things right now. I think that what's important is where we are right now is based on the previous three years. At the end of next season, it will be based on where we were in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

"There's some points that we have in our back pocket leading into next year, but just on the front of finance and performance, there's some areas that we can improve.

"But we also think that there's an opportunity to grow our score by investing in social media and the foundation. Attendance is also a big one.

"We've seen a positive trend in attendance and the hope is that the trend continues next season and we see another 10 per cent bump in our match day attendance, and another 33 per cent increase in season ticket holders as we did from last year to this past season.

"I hope that we see another increase in season ticket holders as we bring new fans to the game, to the club and our facilities. 

"From an IMG standpoint, in many ways, what will be will be, but we're committed to really pushing for that top 12. We believe that this year we will be a fringing club, but what I look forward to is the end of next year.

"We know there'll be some growth and we have to just continue to invest and commit to the criteria."

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Goodchild concedes that York are unlikely to see much change in their stadium score, but that an increase in their finance score is likely.

The current gradings combine 2020, 2021 and 2022, a timespan including the financial implications of the COVID pandemic.

"A lot of the facility points will be there, there's not a lot of room for growth there because we'll already have them in this year's score," he explained.

"Obviously, that score won't change a lot because there's not a lot we can improve on in the facility side of things.

"Where I think that we'll see a jump in points is on the finance side.

"At the moment, the three years that are measured are 2020, 2021 and 2022 for this year. 2020 was a brutal year for everyone, but particularly for York with it being a COVID year, and 2021, the same thing.

"So when you start to go on three-year averages, the increase that we've seen in 2022 and 2023 could see us capture more points as that becomes the three-year average.

"It's an exciting time for us to be in the game. I believe that York is a city that embraces the game and I hope that the game embraces York and that we can continue this journey together."