Doncaster Knights to appeal RFU decision to reject application for promotion to Premiership | Rugby Union News

“Doncaster are disappointed, dismayed, disheartened by the decision of the RFU to disallow the club’s application to play in the Premiership. The Club will be appealing; Excitement has now been dashed via yesterday’s untimely RFU statement, producing a resurgence of angry feelings”

Last Updated: 02/03/22 02:17 pm

Doncaster Knights say they are 'dismayed, disheartened' by RFU decision, and will appeal their Premiership rejection

Doncaster Knights say they are ‘dismayed, disheartened’ by RFU decision, and will appeal their Premiership rejection

Doncaster Knights have confirmed they plan to appeal the RFU’s decision to reject their application to play in the Premiership, saying they are “disappointed, dismayed and disheartened.”

On Tuesday, the RFU announced that Championship pair Doncaster and Ealing Trailfinders did not meet the minimum standards criteria for promotion to the Premiership.

The RFU statement read: “Doncaster Knights failed to meet the criteria that a stadium must hold a minimum of 10,001 fans – the Knights currently have a capacity of 5,183 with 1,926 seats.

“Both clubs proposed to seek planning permission to expand the facilities. However, the permission is not yet in place for this to happen.”

The RFU released a statement on Tuesday saying Doncaster and Ealing Trailfinders had not met the minimum standards criteria for promotion to the Premiership

The RFU released a statement on Tuesday saying Doncaster and Ealing Trailfinders had not met the minimum standards criteria for promotion to the Premiership

Doncaster, currently top of the Championship, announced they would “make a statement on this decision in due course”, and on Wednesday their statement arrived.

Doncaster highlighted that the only area in which their application fell short was stadium capacity – and said they had “every confidence that the required capacity could be delivered for season 2022/23”.

“Doncaster RFC are disappointed, dismayed and disheartened by the decision of the Rugby Football Union Board to disallow the club’s application to play in the Premiership league should the Doncaster Knights win the current season’s Championship league contest. The Club will be appealing the decision,” the statement read.

“Within the audit process, the only failure by the Club is to, currently, not be able to demonstrate a capacity crowd of 10,001 at the Club’s ground, Castle Park.

Doncaster, despite sitting top of the Championship table, had their application to join the Premiership rejected

Doncaster, despite sitting top of the Championship table, had their application to join the Premiership rejected

“All other aspects of the audit, it seems are in order and Castle Park has, on a number of occasions, demonstrated its proficiency in hosting significant events via both Women’s and Under 20’s international matches.

“At this stage, it can only be stated that the DRFC Board have every confidence that the required capacity could be delivered for season 2022/23 with a stand-by ground now being available should unexpected delays occur.

“There has been significant debate about the Premiership being open to promotion and relegation, which can only be good for the aspirational nature of clubs, players and fans alike.

“The current Championship contest is approaching its climax with at least three teams statistically able to take the winner’s title. By the beginning of April the victor will be known.

Saracens won last season's Championship to clinch promotion to the Premiership

Saracens won last season’s Championship to clinch promotion to the Premiership

“Excitement in the camps and amongst rugby supporters in general is high but that has now been dashed at a stroke via yesterday’s untimely RFU statement, producing a resurgence of subsequent outpourings of angry feelings towards the governing body at a time when harmony should prevail.

“Sensibility and fairness dictate that a delay to a decision being made could have been better for all concerned. Now, the teams play the final matches of the season in an atmosphere of despondence, albeit an administrative box has been ticked.”

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