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Carry on Vikings - but it's minus eight in Widnes

Widnes have been given the go-ahead to resume their Betfred Championship campaign with a 12-point deduction.The board of the Rugby Football League on Friday granted membership to the local consortium who on Thursday agreed a deal with the administrators to take over the Vikings.A points deduction is effective immediately which means Widnes will go into ...

Widnes have been given the go-ahead to resume their Betfred Championship campaign with a 12-point deduction.

The board of the Rugby Football League on Friday granted membership to the local consortium who on Thursday agreed a deal with the administrators to take over the Vikings.

A points deduction is effective immediately which means Widnes will go into Sunday' home game against Featherstone on minus eight, having won two of their opening three fixtures.

— Widnes Vikings (@WidnesRL) March 1, 2019

A statement from the governing body read: "The board of the Rugby Football League have granted RFL membership to the consortium who agreed a deal with the administrators to take over Widnes Vikings earlier this week.

"The RFL therefore expects Sunday's Betfred Championship fixture against Featherstone Rovers to go ahead.

"A 12-point penalty has been applied, effective immediately."

Leeds Rhinos v Leigh Centurions – Ladbrokes Challenge Cup – Quarter Final – LD Nutrition Stadium
Kireon Purtill still appears to have a strong squad (Nigel French/PA)

Widnes have confirmed the departure of three senior players, along with academy duo Sam Walters and Jarrod O'Connor, who were sold for undisclosed fees to Leeds by the administrators before handing over control to the consortium.

Forward Adam Tangata, who joined the Vikings from Halifax at the end of last season, centre Krisnan Inu and prop Wellington Albert are the senior players to have left the club.

That still leaves head coach Kieron Purtill with a strong-looking squad to re-start their league programme.

In a statement, the club said: "Widnes Vikings would like to go on record and thank each player, both first team and Academy, for their service to the club.

"The club can also confirm that first team staff Adam Rowland and Andy Woolfenden and administrative staff Emmy Holmes and Samantha Croston, have also left the club."

The seven-strong consortium now in charge of Widnes comprises Chris Price, Jason Shaw, Roger Harrison MBE, Stuart Murphy, David Dean, Tracey Glendinning and Rod Steele.

Shaw will represent Vikings Quids In (VIQI), who have raised more than £100,000 and collected more than 112,000 new members inside a week.

Widnes, one of the founder members of the Rugby Football League, were relegated from Super League at the end of last season.

They were placed in administration last Friday, for the second time in 12 years, following the collapse of a proposed takeover deal and last Sunday's game against Sheffield Eagles was postponed because of insurance issues.

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