THE Crusaders look to be within touching distance of coming out of administration.

A statement released yesterday afternoon said the Rugby Football League had reached an agreement in principle for former chairman Ian Roberts and business partner Geoff Moss to resume ownership of the club.

The development allows Mr Roberts and Mr Moss to proceed with an agreement to buy the Crusaders from the administrator.

“We had a long and very productive meeting on Monday and reached agreement on all matters of substance,” said RFL chief executive Nigel Wood.

“Both Ian and Geoff understand and agree with the need to deal properly with certain liabilities and to their credit have made provision to do so.

“The potential for Rugby League in North Wales is self-evident and the circumstances now exist for the club to flourish and succeed under Ian and Geoff’s ownership.

“The challenge for the Crusaders now is to build on a very encouraging season.”

Mr Roberts, who would become chairman again, said: “We were always committed to the club and to the future of rugby league in North Wales but we did need some clarification on some of the obligations facing the club going forward as a condition on re-entry.

“We are excited about the potential of super league in North Wales. Our business plan will enable us to go forward with renewed enthusiasm.”

The club’s re-admission into the Engage Super League is subject to formal RFL board approval. The board will also consider the issue of sporting sanctions at a later date.

Simon Weir, of the administrators O’Hara based in Yorkshire, said there had already been an agreement reached in principle with Mr Roberts and Mr Moss. He was hopeful that a full deal could be settled quickly.