Newcastle accept relegation decision
Rugby:Newcastle have confirmed that they will not fight the decision to allow London Welsh into the Aviva Premiership. The Exiles won their appeal against the initial decision to block their promotion to the top-flight - with the Falcons being relegated as a result.Newcastle were believed to be considering a legal challenge against the ruling, however they have now opted to focus on winning promotion back to the top-flight instead.
A statement from the club read: "Newcastle Falcons confirm there will be no appeal of the decision made by the independent panel to uphold London Welsh's appeal and relegate the Falcons to the Championship.
"We are now looking forward to an exciting new era under the guidance of incoming director of rugby Dean Richards."
Newcastle will now start their challenge against Bristol on September 1st, with their first home game coming against Doncaster 13 days later.
London Welsh were originally denied the right to go up after being told they had failed to meet the minimum standards required of a Premiership club.
The club were told they had failed the minimum standards audit on a number of factors but primarily because they did not meet the requirement for primacy of tenure. In effect, that meant London Welsh were not allowed to share the Kassam Stadium with Oxford United even though three existing Premiership teams co-habit with football clubs.
London Welsh argued the primacy of tenure rule breached UK and European competition law and was therefore void and unenforceable.
The independent panel ruling on the matter agreed.
Richards will take up his role as Falcons boss in August when his three-year 'Bloodgate' suspension expires.
He told Sky Sports News: "I've got to see out my time, which is another five weeks, and once I've done that then I'll be in. But it's a long season. I'm not going to jump in too soon and it's all about where we finish at the end of the year.
"People believe that going down to the Championship, it's an easier division, but it's not actually, it's a very different division. It's far more challenging in certain ways, the quality of the referees are different and the style of play is different so I think it's going to be a hard year."
Asked if the 'Bloodgate' scandal was behind him now, he said: "Yes, I think so. It's three years now.
"It's something obviously you regret but at the same time I'm not going to dwell on it. I'll see my time out and once it's done then I'll look back and reflect on it occasionally, obviously with regret, but at the same time I will be looking forward most of the time."
Richards was found guilty of instigating a plot to fake a blood injury during his time in charge of Harlequins in 2009.