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York City Knights chairman willing to step aside

York City Knights chairman John Guildford says he is willing to step down and hand over control of the League One club in order to secure its future.

The City of York Council announced a week ago that they would not resume talks with the club over plans for a new stadium because of a row with Guildford.

The Knights left their home at Huntington Stadium at the end of the 2014 season and were due to share Bootham Crescent with the city's football team until the new stadium, being built by the council to house both professional clubs, is completed in two years' time, but talks about a short-term lease broke down before Christmas.

Now Guildford, the club's majority shareholder, says he is prepared to break the impasse by appointing a new chairman.

A club statement said: "Mr Guildford will be meeting shareholders to agree a new way forward for the club and has said that, in light of the Council and Football Club stating that a deal will only be put forward again if he stands down, he has been left with no choice but to look for a new chair that can help secure a future for the Knights.

"Mr Guildford would like to assure fans that he will only leave the club in the safest hands and has nothing but the good intentions of the club at heart with such actions."

The long-running dispute left the Knights homeless and they were forced to switch last Sunday's friendly against Hull from Bootham Crescent to Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium.


Halifax sign Salford star

Kingstone Press Championship club Halifax have signed Salford Red Devils’ former St Helens forward Andrew Dixon on a one-month loan.

Andrew Dixon Credit: Press Association

The 24-year-old second-rower, who has made 102 Super League appearances, has been allocated a squad number by the Red Devils but is well down the pecking order for back-row spots at the AJ Bell Stadium.

"Andrew's a quality Super League player," said Halifax coach Richard Marshall.

"He's played a lot of games in some good set-ups at St Helens and Salford but he's found himself on the fringes of selection at Salford and is looking for some game time.

"There were a couple of Super League clubs and a couple of Championship clubs chasing him so we're happy he's chosen to come here."

Campese to captain Robins

Former Australian international Terry Campese has been named as Hull Kingston Rovers’ new captain for the 2015 season.

Terry Campese Credit: Press Association

Campese takes over as skipper following the departure of last season’s co-captains Josh Hodgson and Travis Burns and the ex-New South Wales representative said he’s excited about the role.

“It’s a huge honour for me. This club’s got a lot of history behind it, it’s a very proud club and I can’t wait to run out there with the boys,” he said.

“Being captain does come with a bit of added pressure, people expect you to perform and lead the team each and every week and that’s something I’m keen to do here. I want to knuckle down and play my best football for this club.

“I think when playing in the halves you have to grow up quite quickly and boss the senior players around. When I first joined Canberra, I played with some greats of the game and I had to learn to do that.

“Taking on that responsibility is something that came quite naturally and quickly to me and it’s something I love doing. I love leading the boys out and I can’t wait to lead out this Rovers team, get out there and play in front of this home crowd.

“I think we’re in for an exciting year and hopefully 2015 can be the season fans see Hull Kingston Rovers creep up that table again.”

Tigers star Kirk Dixon retires

Castleford Tigers winger Kirk Dixon has announced his immediate retirement after surgery to replace a disk in his neck.

Tigers star Kirk Dixon retires Credit: Press Association

The 30-year-old, who has played for the Tigers since 2007 said that the surgery has brought forward the decision he was likely to make at the end of the 2015 season.

Last season Dixon scored 12 tries in 19 games as the Tigers finished fourth in the Super League and reached the Challenge Cup final.

I’ve had surgery to remove a disk and I’ve had an artificial disk put in there and it was going to be at least a six months no contact rehab period, That would have taken up most of this season and prior to the surgery I already had an idea that I might retire at the end of the 2015 season. But it has come to an end now and you simply can’t put a price on your health. It’s certainly not the way I wanted to go out. All I can say is a massive thank you to the Castleford fans. They’ve welcomed me from day one even though I am a codhead, they’ve not held that against me. The people here are fantastic. We’ve had some seasons where there really hasn’t been much to shout about but they’ve still been here supporting us. It’s really humbling as players to know that we’ve got these great people supporting us. My family love coming here, there’s two great clubs in Hull they could support but it’s all about Cas for us, so from me and my family it’s a massive thank you and I will look forward to getting behind the boys from the terraces with you all.

– Kirk Dixon

Kirk Dixon has been a consummate professional for Castleford Tigers over many years. His work rate and attention to detail in his practice has been absolutely superb during my time at the club. I know everyone connected with the playing and coaching staff will be hugely disappointed with Kirk leaving the club however everyone's time as a player has to end and Kirk is leaving with everyone's best wishes and moving on to the next chapter in his life. I wish him the very best in his new challenge and thank him for everything he done for the Tigers, it has been a real pleasure to work with him.

– Daryl Powell, Castleford Tigers coach

'Allgood' for Hull KR's new prop

Hull KR's new prop Mitch Allgood has received the necessary visa clearance to start his three-year contract and will arrive in the country next week.

Mitch Allgood (centre) has been cleared to play for Hull KR Credit: Press Association

The former Parramatta Eels front row has been itching to join his teammates at the KC Lightstream Stadium since signing for the club last month and will further show his commitment to the cause by flying into the UK on Christmas Eve.

One of 13 new signings for next season, Allgood has racked up 70 first team appearances for the Eels and was also selected in the 2012 City Origin side.

Standing at 6ft 4in and weighing in at 110kg, the 25-year-old will add another physical presence to the Robins pack next season and is a former Rookie of the Year at Parramatta.

Mitch will add a lot to the team with his size and aggression and we’re excited about seeing him on the training field with the rest of the squad. Having spoken to him, he’s desperate to get over here and get cracking. He’ll have a few days off over Christmas to settle in but he’ll be in on the 28th when the rest of the squad report back.

With Terry Campese arriving in the country that day as well, we’ve got a big few weeks ahead of us and we’re really looking forward to having both of those guys on board.

– Head coach Chris Chester


Maitua 'massive signing' for Featherstone

Featherstone have signed Samoa forward Reni Maitua on a two-year deal from the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Reni Maitua Credit: Press Association

The 32-year-old has 174 NRL appearances to his name and his signature is a real statement of intent from Rovers ahead of a season which sees promotion to the Super League back on the agenda.

This is a massive signing for Featherstone Rovers, his playing record speaks for itself and he brings a wealth of experience to our dressing room.

– Andy Hay, Head Coach

Three-cap international Maitua started out with Canterbury and then had spells with Cronulla and Parramatta before going back to the Bulldogs.

He made 13 appearances for them in 2014.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire given Bulls role

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire has been appointed to the Bradford Bulls board as an non-executive director.

The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire with Robbie Hunter-Paul Credit: Bradford Bulls

Jasbir Singh Athwal has supported the Bulls for over 30 years – both on a personal level and through business.

“I am really pleased to be a part of the club I have supported for more than 30 years,” said Athwal.

“The chairman, Marc Green, has put a fantastic team in place and I am very impressed with what he had to say about the direction he plans to take the club in.

“I feel honoured to have been asked to come on board and, given the fantastic work being done by directors and staff at the Bulls, I had little hesitation in agreeing to come on board.

“I believe I can bring plenty of experience to the table, having played the game from a young age, and, from a business perspective, I am able to bring a host of new contacts to the club through my network.

“Whatever is asked of me, I will do everything in my power to deliver and help this, the club I adore, reach great heights all over again.”

Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul is a close friend of Mr Athwal and has spoken of his delight, having secured his “invaluable” services.

Hunter-Paul said: “I would firstly like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jas after being awarded the honour and duty of Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire.

“I have known Jas for almost 20 years, when he first became friends with both myself and Henry (Paul).

“It brings me great pleasure to formally introduce him to the club and I am certain his experience in the local business world will hugely benefit the club commercially.

“Jas is a great person and if you spend a moment in his company you will understand exactly what I mean.

“Bradford Bulls, and Bradford Northern, have played an important part in his family’s lives over the years and his knowledge of the game itself is second to none.”

Walker appointed Bradford Bulls Captain

Former Great Britain international Chev Walker has been appointed Bradford Bulls' new captain ahead of their 2015 Kingstone Press Championship campaign.

Chev Walker Credit: Bradford Bulls

The 32-year-old former Leeds and Hull KR centre, who will be embarking on his fifth season at Odsal, takes over from Matt Diskin, who retired at the end of the 2014 season.

"Selecting Chev as captain was a fairly straightforward decision for me to make," said Bulls coach James Lowes.

"His leadership skills are second to none and he is the ultimate professional."

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