Gate members set to decide Pythons’ future at Claro Road

Pythons' future at Claro Road is uncertain
Pythons' future at Claro Road is uncertain

Harrogate Pythons look set for a split from Claro Road after Harrogate Rugby Club (HRUFC) reaffirmed its single club ambition.

The Pythons have played in the Yorkshire League since they separated from the National Two North club in 2005.

The club continued to share facilities at Claro Road and players remain fully paid up members of Harrogate RUFC.

However, players can only register to play for either club.

Gate have requested Pythons leave Yorkshire Three and align themselves back with their set-up or leave Claro Road.

The HRUFC committee want the Pythons to play in the rugby union Merit Leagues, which stifles promotion and relegation .

The Pythons declined the demand.

Harrogate RUFC club members will now vote to decide the Pythons’ future at a Special General Meeting on February 18.

Pythons chairman Paul Day said the club wanted to retain its competitive amateur status.

Day said: “We have been given this ultimatum by the HRUFC committee which seems quite bizarre.

“The presence of the Pythons under the umbrella of HRUFC gives a true community feel to the whole set up.”

Gate chairman James Smithies dismissed suggestion the Pythons had been handed an ultimatum but said Gate “sought to revise the previous working arrangement”.

He said: “We have a very specific development plan.

“We want a one club ethos, not two clubs as we have now, and we want a clear player pathway from juniors up to senior level.”