Newcastle-based sports club withdraws from league - fears they could go out of business

Kingston Park. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Kingston Park. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Kingston Park. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The Newcastle-based Rugby League club has been forced to pull out of the 2024 season.

Newcastle Thunder has withdrawn from the 2024 season with fears the Rugby League club could now go out of business.

Thunder, who played their home games at Kingston Park, were due to play in League One next season following their relegation from the Championship. However, a club statement released on Friday confirmed their decision not to participate as “it just isn’t feasible to continue.”

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“Following the official confirmation that Newcastle Thunder has been relegated from the Betfred Championship this season, Newcastle Thunder Ltd has made the difficult decision not to participate in next season’s competition,” it read.

“It is with great sadness that we make this announcement. Growing rugby league in the North East was an incredible journey, and we are all devastated that it did not work out. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19, combined with the low levels of regional growth and development in the game, means it just isn’t feasible to continue.

“We will be fulfilling all our player and staff contracts and will do our best to support them in finding new positions where possible. The time all our staff and players have put into the club reflects how much we have invested in Newcastle Thunder and is a testament to the hard work they’ve carried out.

“The Board at Newcastle Thunder would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated current and former staff, players, coaches, volunteers, and generous sponsors. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in sustaining our competitiveness throughout the years.

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“We would like to thank our devoted fans, whose loyalty has been an incredible source of motivation over time.

“This was not the decision we wanted to make, and we remain hopeful that we can find a new home for the team.

Kingston Park. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Kingston Park. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Kingston Park. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“No further statements will be given at this time.”

As reported by Chronicle Live, there are fears Thunder could cease to exist, unless a new investor comes forward.

The RFL has called a meeting with all League One clubs after London Skolars also recently withdrew.

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“A meeting has already been arranged for League One clubs to consider the impact of Newcastle’s withdrawal.

“The RFL recognises that this decision will also come as a blow to the community game in the north east, and the many positive elements of Newcastle’s foundation, including Women’s and Learning Disability teams.

“We will work with everybody impacted and do all we can to maintain this development.”

Newcastle as a city has invested in Rugby League in recent years. Newcastle United’s St James’ Park has hosted the annual Magic Weekend on several occasions and the Rugby League World Cup opener between England and Samoa last year,

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