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Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Blackpool Panthers omitted from 2011 Championship One

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Blackpool Panthers will not take part in Championship One next season after having their membership of the Rugby Football League cancelled.

The club, who went into administration in October, missed Thursday's deadline to present plans for their involvement.

Panthers enjoyed their best-ever season in 2010, as they reached the end-of-season play-offs.

But their off-field problems worsened after head coach Martin Crompton decided to step down.

The club held crisis talks with potential investors at the beginning of November in an attempt to stave off the threat of liquidation.

Speaking before that meeting, vice-chairman John Chadwick told BBC Radio Lancashire that he was fearing the worst.

With plans for the 2011 season at an advanced stage we have had no choice but to regretfully decide to cancel their membership

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer

"The club ceased trading a number of weeks ago and accountants and insolvency experts have been spoken to," he said.

"I just hope something positive comes out with the possible new investors, the green light is given and a business plan is produced."

In an official statement, RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: "The RFL has done everything possible to ensure the continuing involvement of Blackpool Panthers in Co-operative Championship One and we had every hope that a credible plan would be presented.

"Despite a flexible approach to deadlines and ongoing support from the RFL, as well as a commitment from the club's representatives right up to the last minute that a plan would be forthcoming, we have received notification that no proposal will be presented.

"With plans for the 2011 season at an advanced stage we have had no choice but to regretfully decide to cancel their membership."



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