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Last Updated: Friday, 4 March, 2005, 17:07 GMT
London get Super League lifeline

London Broncos have been given the green light to carry on playing after an emergency meeting of Super League clubs in Huddersfield.

The club has gone into liquidation with debts of around 3m.

But at the four-and-a-half hour meeting, Super League clubs agreed to let London restructure their finances to allow them to continue trading.

The Broncos will now be run by a new company which was awarded membership of Super League Europe.

However, the plan to allow the Broncos to retain their Super League place was not supported by all the clubs.

"It got a bit edgy," said Broncos chief executive Nic Cartwright.

"I'm not trying to say that what we did was good but we stated our case in terms of how we are taking the club forward.

"And there were enough clubs out there who realised it was worth giving us another opportunity to try to make it work.

"It was a productive meeting and all the cards were laid on the table.

"We have been open and honest with the RFL from the outset and I would like to thank them and the clubs for their support."

All the conditions are in place to make sure we don't get into this position again
Broncos chief executive Nic Cartwright

London's players will be transferred to the new company while the management will be required to place a 'substantial financial bond' with the Rugby Football League.

David Hughes will stay as the club's chairman but Eric Watson, the millionaire former owner of the New Zealand Warriors who has been linked with the club, will not be joining the Broncos.

"The decision was in the best interests of the engage Super League and the difficulties experienced by the London Broncos does not reflect the overall health and success of the Super League in general," said RFL executive chairman Richard Lewis.

"London Broncos now have an opportunity to enter a new era and become an increasingly successful part of the Super League."

The RFL also stated that a major factor in the decision was the importance of having a Super League club in the capital.

"The majority of the clubs were sympathetic of London Broncos' position but recognised it was a very serious principle at stake for both the club and the entire game," said an RFL statement.

"Broncos have been at the forefront of the game's development in London for many years, and it was important to consider the supporters and sponsors of the sport in that area.

"Part of the plan that allows the Broncos to continue in Super League includes their agreement to a number of conditions."

London, currently second in the table after a record 72-8 win over Wakefield, are due to play Bradford at Odsal on Sunday.

And Cartwright is confident the Broncos can look to the future with optimism.

"All the conditions are in place to make sure we don't get into this position again," he told BBC London 94.9.

"We are now operating as a debt free organisation and a stable club. We have a business plan approved by the RFL and that will take us forward."

Broncos back from the brink
04 Mar 05 |  London

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