Widnes apologise after Super League relegation
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 22/09/18 9:10pm
Widnes chief executive James Rule apologised to the Vikings fans after their loss to Toronto saw them relegated from Super League.
The Vikings' seven-year stay in Super League was ended by a 20-12 defeat by Toronto in the penultimate round of the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Rule described relegation "as a devastating moment" and apologised for "the experiences of the past two years" in a statement issued within minutes of the club's third defeat by Championship opponents.
Widnes managed to save themselves from relegation in 2017 after finishing bottom of Super League but their struggles continued this year and the sacking of coach Denis Betts in May failed to arrest their slump. They ended the regular
campaign eight points adrift with just three wins from their 23 matches.
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 Vikings intend to remain a professional, full-time organisation. 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.
"This is a great club that has made real progress since its return to the top flight and we must ensure that we rebound from this moment to get our club back on track.
"Above all, we would like to thank the members, supporters and partners who have resolutely backed the club throughout this difficult period - your dedication is genuinely appreciated by us all.
"Your ongoing commitment, and the support of our wider local community, will be vital to this club making a return to Super League, and has never been more needed."
Widnes will need to win the Championship Grand Final in 2019 to reclaim their place in Super League following a decision at last week's Rugby Football League EGM to scrap the Super 8s in favour of a one-up, one-down system of promotion and relegation.