Wigan Warriors ‘Capital Challenge’ opponents set up fundraising page to save club
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Having lost every game of their 2023 League 1 campaign, London Skolars announced their withdrawal from the competition at the season’s completion, with an application to compete in the Southern Conference League in 2024.
Formed in 1995, club founder Ian McNeil is now hoping to raise £10,000 to save the club and its future, with 30% of the target donated so far.
The Warriors faced London Skolars as part of their pre-season on seven occasions, with the last in 2020 resulting in a 70-4 victory to Wigan in front of a healthy crowd on a brisk Friday afternoon in January.
A statement on the JustGiving page reads: “Largely due to the reduction in central funding dropping from circa £100k to £15k, the club has found the business model of travelling from Cornwall to Cumbria impossible to maintain and the directors could no longer sustain the losses the club has been making.
"Other clubs like Newcastle's demise also shows Skolars aren't alone. The money coming into the game from sources such as Sky seems to be getting lower every cycle and what’s left being concentrated at the top of the game in the North.
“The directors and major stakeholders decided to take the tough decision to step back from League 1 and regroup in the Southern Conference League.
"The application for the SCL went in last month. The business model needs to change but the club will need some help financially in order to transition successfully into SCL.
"Costs will be greatly reduced as will revenues but the club wants to maintain its pathways, facilities and as professional environment as possible for current and future players. To help, myself and a few long term supporters felt we would do our bit by trying to raise circa £10k to help the cause.
"The club wants to make the Skolars the place to be if you want to play rugby league in London.”
Newcastle Thunder had also announced plans to withdraw from League 1 following their relegation from the Championship, although have since announced their intentions to play on following a positive IMG grading.