With the RFL set to move their base from Red Hall in Leeds to the Etihad Campus in Manchester in the coming years, a very local team to Manchester City’s footballing base is hoping that the arrival of the game’s governers in the area will benefit the growth of their club.
That is because one of the stadiums that comprises the football club’s sprawling training base plays host to the club competing currently in the North West Mens League who are aiming to join the professional ranks. Last year, when York City Knights’ participation in League 1 was far from certain due to off pitch difficulties, Rangers applied to take the vacant place but were eventually informed that there wasn’t space for them in the competition following the Knights’ last gasp inclusion. However, that hasn’t deterred the club’s supremo from establishing the city’s first professional rugby league club since 1955. Phil Fitton, Rangers’ founder, explained that “for us to be able to say we’re based at the national centre for the sport is phenomenal,” further adding that “I already pester them about getting a professional side and I won’t have to go too far to do so now!”
While Fitton understands there is a clear focus at the moment of off shore expansion from self funded clubs, he is hopeful that the RFL can find space for a new British club to become involved in the game’s system. “We don’t know where we fit, in truth, but if we position ourselves the best we can, hopefully someone within the organisation will take notice,” he explained.