Widnes Vikings chief executive James Rule has apologised to the club’s fans after their relegation from Super League was confirmed.
The Vikings’ seven-year stay in the division was ended on Saturday following their 20-12 defeat to Toronto Wolfpack in what was their penultimate match of the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Relegation rounds off what has been a disastrous season for Widnes, who sacked coach Denis Betts in May.
However, that could not arrest their slide, as they finished eight points adrift at the bottom of the regular season standings and they have gone on to lose five of their six matches during the Qualifiers.
Within minutes of their relegation being confirmed, Rule released a statement apologising to the club’s fans for what has been a torrid spell in their recent history.
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Rule said: “Further statements will be issued soon, however at this stage we simply wish to apologise for the experiences of the past two seasons, where results have fallen far below our expectations and provide assurances on the future ambitions for Widnes Vikings.”
The chief executive went on to confirm that the club intends to remain full-time next season, as they will be aiming to secure an instant return to Super League.
“The Vikings intend to remain a professional, full-time organisation,” Rule added. “We are determined to make every effort to retain the best of our talent and to also effectively rebuild this squad, with the intention of making an immediate return to the Super League.”
Widnes will round off their campaign next Sunday when they travel to KCOM Craven Park to take on Hull KR, who could still join the Vikings in the Championship next season.