Featherstone chairman main backer of York takeover

Featherstone Rovers chairman Mark Campbell is York's main backer.
Featherstone Rovers chairman Mark Campbell is York's main backer.

Featherstone Rovers chairman Mark Campbell has emerged as the main backer of Jon Flatman’s recent takeover of League One club York City Knights who are coached by ex-Rovers player James Ford.

Ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Big Fellas Stadium for Rovers full-back Ian Hardman’s testimonial match, the Knights have also confirmed a dual-registration agreement with Championship club Featherstone this year.

Explaining why he had got involved at York, Campbell said: “York have got a lot of potential.

“I know the history of the club, I know a lot of ex-players who talk about the good times at York.

“It’s a great city, a big city. There’s a great catchment area. I love the old football ground (Bootham Crescent) and you can get crowds creating a good atmosphere.

“James Ford is a very good up-and-coming coach - I’ve watched his career quite closely and, having seen what he was doing at York, I tried to get him to Featherstone.

“Then when things were happening at York last year, I thought it was a good opportunity for me and Jon Flatman to work together. I’ve known Jon a few years and we’ve done some work together at Featherstone, and I asked him if he fancied coming over.”

Campbell made his first public appearance as York’s main backer when he joined Ford and Flatman on the panel at a York fans’ forum.

“We want a good side. I like building good teams,” said Campbell.

“It’s a bit like when I first started at Featherstone. We were in League One at that time and got promoted in the first year.

“It had been the club’s lowest-ever attendance the year before but we turned that around. We took turnover from £300,000 to nearly £2million. If we can do that at Featherstone, you can do it here with a big city.”

Knights benefactor Campbell has denied a conflict of interest by being involved at two clubs.

He said: “I love rugby league. If we were playing each other, then whoever plays best would deserve to win the game.

“It does not make any difference. I want York to have a good side. I want Featherstone to have a good side. Our goal is to have York in the Championship as quickly as possible. York has so much potential.”