Wakefield Trinity, founder members of the Rugby League in 1895, yesterday admitted defeat in efforts to clear debts of more than £300,000 in unpaid tax and avoid a winding-up order.
They will officially go into administration next week, just before their opening fixture against Castleford in Cardiff on 12 February, and are virtually certain to start the season with a six-point deduction.
The club's board said "despite our efforts and those of a number of our fans we have not been able to secure the finance necessary to pay the amount due to HMRC.
"We have no choice but to seek the appointment of an administrator to give the club protection from its creditors."
But there was a boost for Crusaders yesterday, as half-back, Jarrod Sammut, affirmed he has no desire to leave. "I'm still here and I'm looking forward to a season with Crusaders," he said.
James Graham and Paul Wellens have been appointed joint captains of St Helens.
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