York City Knights taken over by Australian businessman

AUSTRALIAN businessman Clint Goodchild has taken over York City Knights in a surprise move and expressed a desire to take the ambitious Championship club to the next level.

Incoming York City Knights owner and chairman Clint Goodchild (York City Knights)
Incoming York City Knights owner and chairman Clint Goodchild (York City Knights)

The 40-year-old, who hails from Western Queensland, has built an international reputation of being a business management and operations expert, across multiple industries, including hospitality, events, marketing and sports management.

He has bought the City Knights from chairman Jon Flatman, who has helped transform York into one of the most impressive clubs outside of Super League since coming in in 2016.

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“Over the course of 18 months, there were various conversations and meetings with Jon, leading us to this point where I am now the custodian of the club,” said Goodchild, an ardent rugby league fan who has spent recent years working in America.

“Conversations began pre-Covid around a potential opportunity to become involved with York City Knights.

“It was obvious to me that the Club was being run right, that the business principles and ethics were of the highest order and only a fool wouldn’t show interest in a business with those qualities.

“On the back of that, the fact that it’s rugby league aligns both my head and my heart.”

Goodman, who will be introduced to fans at today’s home friendly with Castleford Tigers, will act as chairman and be hands-on with his involvement at the club who have aspirations to reach Super League.

Outgoing York City Knights chairman Jon Flatman (with scarf) at the opening of the club's new ground last year (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

Flatman, who has revitalised York’s fortunes on and off the field, said: “This club has enormous potential to be one of most successful rugby league clubs in the country.

“Club of the Year awards, League 1 winners and the highest finish in the Championship for many years alongside a return to Wembley and the growth of the ladies’ team were personal highlights from recent times alongside, the transition into the magnificent LNER Community Stadium and work alongside York St John University.

“As Chairman, I have done everything possible to drive change and improve the organisation.

“However, I am proud to now pass on the guardianship and ownership of the organisation to Clint Goodchild.

“Clint has undertaken extensive due diligence and has a growth plan for the club, a passion for the Sport and full commitment to the inclusive ethos which has grown the club considerably over the past five years.

“Clint brings a wealth of sporting and rugby league knowledge to the club, alongside a drive to succeed and take the organisation to the next level.

“His encyclopedic knowledge of the game and his sports entertainment background will aid the club and the sport in future years.”