Sawyer: Rams will survive

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DEWSBURY Rams chairman Mark Sawyer says the club will survive even if they are relegated from the Co-operative Championship but admits he is worried about the financial implications it would have.

The Rams played their final league game of the season last night knowing they needed at least a bonus point to pile the pressure on relegation rivals York City Knights and Hunslet Hawks.

A point would have seen Dewsbury move up two places from second-bottom, with York facing a tough game away to Sheffield on Sunday, when Hunslet entertain Halifax in their final game.

Defeat by more than 12 points would have condemned the Rams to relegation and Mr Sawyer admits that the club would be forced to make massive cutbacks if that is the case.

Speaking before last night’s game Mr Sawyer said: “We know there will be very little income if we are playing in the bottom division.

“The last time we were in there, we won every match and got promotion but the financial cost to us was horrendous.

“There is every chance we would bounce straight back and come up but at what cost would that be to the club?”

The Rugby Football League (RFL) have told Crusaders they have until 5pm today (Friday) to submit an application to join the Championship, as they are set to leave Super League at the end of the current season.

If Crusaders are admitted, the bottom two English clubs would be relegated, with Championship One winners Swinton, plus the play-off winners earning promotion.

Should Crusaders fail to meet the minimum standards set by the RFL to play in the Championship, just the bottom English club will be relegated.

Mr Sawyer added: “It is not a good position to be in but if we managed to take a bonus point from Leigh, we’d have a good chance of staying up.

“We know it was a tough ask and if I’m honest, we’ve underachieved this season. The club will survive, even if we are relegated, but we would have to budget accordingly.

“There would be no big spending to make sure we come back up, it would be very difficult and there would have to be cost saving measures put in place.”

Dewsbury looked to have given themselves a lifeline when they beat the Hawks 30-18 on August 14 but both Hunslet and York then sprang surprise victories over Barrow and Halifax respectively and that left the Rams second-bottom.

Mr Sawyer added: “Those two results were a real blow to us. You could have got a 50-1 double with the bookmakers on those two results happening.

“But in the end we have only won four matches this season (before last night), so I suppose people will say we are where we deserve to be.”

n See www.dewsbury reporter.co.uk and www.mirfieldreporter.co.uk for the result of last night’s crucial clash.