Rovers Celebrate

Category: Heritage

Rovers Celebrate

On this day ….. 21 May

Twenty years ago today, on 21 May 2000, Rovers celebrated the end of three long years in administration.

Before the start of a home league game against Keighley, new chairman Don Robinson personally welcomed supporters through the turnstiles to welcome in a new era at Craven Park.

A rescue deal had been drawn up in December 1999 involving Hull City Council and Gaingroup, now known as Kingston Community Development, whereby the council purchased Craven Park and leased it to Gaingroup. The latter, whose directors included former Hull City chairman Don Robinson, purchased an interest in the club, and rented the ground to Rovers. The sale of the ground and the money from Gaingroup financed a Creditors Voluntary Agreement that fully paid off Rovers’ secured creditors and paid 80% to preferential creditors. Even after reaching agreement in principle, there was a long period of financial wrangling, during which time the future of the club remained in doubt, until everything was finally signed and sealed.

Robinson took over as chairman in mid-May and the future of the club was secure in the immediate term at least. The new board consisted of Robinson, accountant Mark Jackson, the Interim Chief Executive, Wayne Smith, Ron Curzon, and Rovers coach David Harrison, with Robinson later inviting Colin McNicol to join the board. Rovers finally said goodbye and a huge thank you to the administrators Edward Klempka and David Thornhill in July 2000. It was solely due to their diligence that the club had not been sold to a consortium who wanted no more than to merge it with Hull FC in order to secure a Super League franchise.

On 21 May 2000 though, there was no happy ending. The Cougars chalked up a 30-8 win, with Rovers’ points coming from Phil Kennedy’s sole try for Rovers in the last of his four appearances for the club, and goals from Chris Charles and Mark Hewitt.

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