Ambitious York City Knights club sold to Australian businessman
Outgoing York City Knights chairman Jon Flatman has confirmed the club has been sold to Australian businessman Clint Goodchild.
Talks about selling the club have been ongoing since pre-Covid between Flatman and Goodchild. However, the pandemic caused some delays in the deal.
Flatman has been making waves with the City Knights since joining in 2016. The club won promotion to the Championship in 2018 and reached the 1895 Cup final at Wembley last year. Off the pitch, York moved to the LNER Community Stadium last year.
Flatman said: “This club has huge potential to be one of the most successful rugby league clubs in the country.
“Club of the Year awards, league winners and the best result in the Championship for many years, alongside a return to Wembley; and the growth of the women’s team have been personal highlights of late; alongside the transition to the beautiful LNER Community Stadium and working alongside York St John’s University.
“As president, I have done everything to drive change and improve the organization. However, I am proud to now pass the guardianship and ownership of the organization to Clint Goodchild.
“Clint has undertaken extensive due diligence and has a growth plan for the club; a passion for the sport and a total commitment to inclusive ethics that has grown the club significantly over the past five years.
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“Clint brings a wealth of sporting and rugby league knowledge to the club; alongside a drive to succeed and take the organization to the next level. His encyclopedic knowledge of the game and his experience in sports animation will help the club; and sport in the years to come.
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Goodchild hails from Queensland and has been a lifelong rugby league supporter. He has a strong business background and has worked in sports management and hospitality.
He said: “Over the course of eighteen months there have been various conversations and meetings with Jon Flatman, leading us to this point where I am now the caretaker of the club.
“Conversations started pre-Covid around a potential opportunity to get involved with the York City Knights. It was obvious to me that the club was well run, that the business principles and ethics were top notch and that only a fool would show no interest in a company with these qualities.
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“On the back of that, the fact that this is rugby league aligns both my head and my heart.
“I move halfway around the world to York, I do it because there are similarities between Yorkshire and Queensland. There is a lot of pride in being from Yorkshire and the region has a real passion for rugby league. I’m delighted to be at the heart of the game and look forward to continuing the growing connection between the club and its community.
York said the change in ownership was subject to the Rugby Football League’s fit and proper person test and fulfilled all obligations relating to changes in person with significant control. The change in ownership has received the approval of the RFL Board of Directors, as required.
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