Super League clubs want Broncos to remain in London

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The Independent Online

Super League clubs have declared their opposition to any move to relocate London Broncos outside the capital. The Broncos' future is threatened by the Virgin Group's decision to scale down financial support and by uncertainty over whether their landlords at Charlton Athletic will take over the running of the club.

The Northern-based clubs, Leigh and York, have both said that they want to buy Virgin's 80 per cent shareholding, but the Broncos' peers voted unanimously yesterday against that course of action.

"The clubs have rejected the idea of transferring London's membership to Leigh or any other Northern club," said Super League spokesman, Andrew Whitelam. "Any such application would be viewed unfavourably. The clubs also agreed to support the Broncos' efforts to remain in London."

The Broncos' commercial director, Nic Cartwright, who was at the meeting, was waiting for the results of Charlton's deliberations last night. "Staying at Charlton would be by far our preferred location, because so much good work has been done in the area," he said. "But we are also actively pursuing a couple of other options, where people have shown an interest in helping us with stadiums or finance."

The Broncos would need to play a number of games away from The Valley in any event, in order for the pitch to be re-laid, and have spoken to other London football clubs, including Millwall, Leyton Orient and Fulham.

Broncos' fans, together with the Rugby League Supporters' Association, have called for a demonstration in support of the club's determination to stay in London at the final home game of the season against Halifax on Saturday.

Huddersfield, now three points adrift at the foot of Super League, will protest over the confusion that cost them a player for 10 minutes of their 36-30 defeat by Hull on Saturday. Their winger, Chris Langley, believed he had been sin-binned by the referee, Russell Smith, who was only indicating that the player should have been 10 metres back before making a tackle. During his absence, the Giants conceded eight points.

"We will be making our feelings known," said the club's chief executive, Ralph Rimmer. "We've had a few things go against us this season and this is typical of what happens when you're down." However, the RFL spokesman, John Huxley, said: "It was Huddersfield's responsibility to make sure they had the right number of players on the field."

The Warrington coach, Steve Anderson, has turned down the chance to help his namesake, Chris Anderson, with the Australian squad during this autumn's Ashes series and has made himself available to Great Britain instead.

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