York are hoping some divine intervention and letter of support from former director general of the BBC Greg Dyke will help get them over the line in their bid to join the Betfred Super League in 2021.

The City Knights are one of six Championship clubs currently finalising their submissions ahead of next Monday’s deadline for applications to succeed Toronto as Super League’s 12th club.

Dyke, who graduated in politics at the University of York and was its chancellor from 2004-15, has thrown his weight behind the Knights’ cause in his role as chair of Make it York, a body largely responsible for raising investment in the city.

“He’s a highly respectable individual within sport and broadcast circles and to have that professional seal is a huge confidence booster for everybody,” said York chairman Jon Flatman. Currently in isolation due to Covid-19, Dyke is due to record a video outlining his support while the club have also been buoyed by the backing via social media of York Minster.

The Knights are hoping the city’s appeal as a major tourism destination – eight million visit every year – will count in their favour and they also point to the new 8,000-capacity LNER Community Stadium, which ironically was due to host some of Toronto’s matches in Super League had they been re-admitted to the competition.

York, promoted as League 1 champions two years ago, are facing competition from rivals Toulouse, London Broncos, Bradford, Featherstone and Leigh, with a decision due to be made by December 16. But Flatman believes the momentum is behind his club, which has been transformed since he rescued it from possible extinction in December 2016.

Coach James Ford has bolstered his squad with the addition of Super League players, Danny Kirmond, Ryan Atkins, Adam Cuthbertson and Kieran Dixon.