WAKEFIELD Wildcats have kept their place in Super League after Crusaders withdrew their licence application it was announced this morning.
The Rugby Football League announced this morning which 13 clubs would join Widnes in the elite competition for the next licensing period.
Halifax missed out on a place in the 14-team league as the Giants secured their spot for the next three years.
Crusaders’ decision to withdraw their application means Wakefield, who had been widely expected to miss out on a licence, have been awarded one.
The Vikings were informed four months ago they would be elevated from the Championship, leaving the current 14 Super League teams and Halifax to contest the remaining spots.
RFL chairman Richard Lewis made the announcement this morning and also confirmed Crusaders could continue as a Championship outfit.
After revealing the list of licensees, Lewis said: “This means that Halifax has been unsuccessful in their Super League licence application and will continue to play in the Co-operative Championship in 2012 and I wish them every success.
“I can also announce that as a direct result of the scrutiny applied by the licensing process, Crusaders decided to withdraw their licence application.
“The RFL will now enter into discussions with Crusaders regarding their possible participation in the Co-operative Championship.”
Lewis refused to explain the decision when pressed about Wakefield's failure to meet the terms of their existing licence.
“The rules for licensing are very much that they can be revoked in the future,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I’m not going to go into discussing any particular licence application. They are by their nature - and there is a binding guarantee - private and confidential.
“What we will do is sit down with Halifax and explain what the weaknesses were in their application, where it was found wanting and where other clubs put in a stronger case.”
Halifax chairman Michael Steele questioned the RFL's decision to keep faith with Wakefield at his club's expense
“Wakefield’s strong point, as they have been pushing it lately, is their history,” he told Sky Sports News. “Well, we at least equal that.
“We have a ground, they don’t have a ground. We haven’t been bankrupt, they have been bankrupt. It seems a no-brainer as far as I am concerned that if it is between Halifax and Wakefield, then Halifax are in and Wakefield should not be in.
“They have broken the terms of their existing licence so why give them another one? I would ask Richard Lewis ’what is the point of having rules if you don’t apply them?’.”
Steele, who would not be drawn on any possible appeal, added: “There may be some method in their madness but at the moment we struggle to see what it might be.”