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Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 18:11 UK

League to back troubled Crusaders

Celtic Crusaders

Super League chiefs have given Celtic Crusaders their backing by insisting they are "in it for the long haul".

Owner Leighton Samuel had to reassure Crusaders fans that he "would not walk away" amid fears the club are suffering financial difficulties.

Now Rugby Football League development director Gary Tasker says the RFL will help the new boys meet "challenges".

He said: "They are in it for the long haul. We are determined to do what we can to help find additional investors."

Chairman Samuel, who founded the Crusaders in 2005, has rejected claims his company and major investor Dekor plc are having trading troubles.

Wales' Super League club, who won a three-year licence in 2008, admit they are finding their first season in the competition "difficult".

And in a statement, the RFL have confirmed that it is "working closely" with the Crusaders to help Super League's bottom club meet the challenge of running a full-time operation after "experiencing difficulties due to the adverse economic climate".

"It was always going to be tough for Celtic Crusaders in their first year as an engage Super League club and the RFL is lending its expertise to provide the support they need," said Tasker.

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"When their Super League licence was first approved the world was a very different place to what it is now and no-one at Celtic Crusaders could have anticipated many of the difficulties they have faced.

"However, they are in it for the long haul and we are determined to do what we can to help them find additional investors.

"We are trying to establish a Super League club outside the traditional rugby league heartland, which would have been a tough ask at any time, never mind in the depths of a worldwide recession.

"We are taking a holistic approach to helping the Crusaders and they are proving very receptive to the work we are doing. This is an ongoing process which is not exclusive to Celtic Crusaders."

The RFL's clubs' support programme is also working alongside a number of other clubs.

Clubs benefit from the wealth of experience within a department that features former Wakefield Trinity Wildcats chief executive Steve Ferres, ex-Hull FC chief executive David Plummer and Tasker, a driving forces behind the rebranding of Bradford Bulls in 1995.

"The people working with Celtic Crusaders also worked with Catalans Dragons when they first entered Super League and look where they are now," added Tasker.



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see also
Crusaders consider Newport move
06 Jul 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Crusaders given future assurance
05 Jul 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Celtic Crusaders 6-22 Warrington
04 Jul 09 |  Rugby League
Crusaders face Rhinos in Newport
26 May 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Stadium revamp plans get go-ahead
11 Mar 09 |  Wales
Dixon's plea to Crusaders support
08 Mar 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Crusaders here to stay - Samuel
18 Feb 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Crusaders to develop Welsh talent
09 Feb 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Crusaders lodge new stadium plan
11 Dec 08 |  Celtic Crusaders
Welsh rugby league's Crusade
22 Jul 08 |  Rugby League
Crusaders celebrate Super League status
22 Jul 08 |  Rugby League


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