Bramley’s application for membership to the Rugby Football League and Northern Ford Premiership in season 2000 – 2001 joined that of Gateshead Thunder’s at RFL headquarters at Red Hall, Leeds today.

The consortium leading the bid to re-establish the south west Leeds professional club formally handed over their business plan and application to Dave Callaghan, the RFL’s Deputy Chief Executive, at 10.45am today thus beating the final deadline for applications by just over six hours.

The former Bramley club relinquished their full membership of the Rugby Football League at the end of the 1999 season after 102 years in the professional game although they remain as associate members.

A group of enthusiasts tried to save the club before it ceased playing but then switched to establishing a new club once the original ‘Villagers’ could not be revived in time to kick-off the 1999 -2000 Northern Ford Premiership season.

Gateshead Thunder ceased operations as a Super League club at the end of the 1999 season when they merged with Hull Sharks to become Hull FC based at The Boulevard. A group of fans from Tyneside formed a support group called ‘Thunderstorm’ and a consortium have put together a business plan to form a brand-new club to start life at Premiership level.

Dave Callaghan said today: ‘Both consortia are to be congratulated on their efforts on coming so far and we acknowledge the receipt of their applications for membership of the RFL.

‘The procedure moves to the next stage when the Independent Franchise Panel sit on Thursday, June 15 to consider both the Bramley and Gateshead applications against the criteria laid down in the blueprint for life in professional Rugby League, ‘Framing the Future’.

‘Once that process is completed we will relay the verdict, subject to ratification by the sport’s supreme rule making body the Rugby League Council, to both sets of applicants.

‘The Rugby Football League is unable to make any comment on either application as this could prejudice the position of the Independent Franchise Panel.’

JOHN HUXLEY
Media and PR Manager.

Issued by the Media and Marketing Department of the Rugby Football League,
Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. Telephone: 0113 237 5014 (direct
line), 0113 232 3838 (fax) johnh@rfl.uk.com (e-mail).