Crusaders chief Rod Findlay's Super League player plea

Michael Witt in action
Michael Witt had extended his Crusaders contract until 2014 before the Super League announcement

Crusaders chief Rod Findlay has pleaded with their rivals to take the club's players and support staff following their withdrawal from Super League.

Players at the Welsh franchise face an uncertain future as club owners pulled out of the top-flight licence process because of financial concerns.

Half-back Jarrod Sammut is to join Bradford at the end of the season and Widnes have signed forward Hep Cahill.

"Rugby league rightly prides itself in being a family sport," said Findlay.

"And I hope that other clubs are able to offer a lifeline to the players, coaching staff and off-field staff.

"I appreciate that every other club has its budgets to work within but I would hope they would consider the Crusaders players and staff first when looking to recruit.

"Crusaders have a really strong team - on and off the pitch - and it would be a shame to lose them from the sport.

"In a recession, jobs in other industries are limited.

"As a family sport, we have a moral obligation to minimise the human impact of the licensing decision.

"We should only look at bringing in new players once those expecting to play for Crusaders in 2012 have found a new home."

Sammut and Cahill have secured their futures while captain Clinton Schifcofske is to retire when the Crusaders' three-year Super League stay comes to an end in September.

Forward Shannan McPherson and centre Keith Senior, who had agreed to join the Wrexham-based club from South Sydney and Leeds respectively, also have an uncertain future as well as the Crusaders' current squad.

The Rugby Football League acted quickly to assist the club ensure the staff were all paid on time but chief executive Findlay, a former in-house lawyer for the Rugby Football League, wants to find new jobs for the rest of his staff.

"If a club is looking to recruit a prop, assistant coach, physiotherapist or marketing staff, for example, I hope they think of the Crusaders staff first," he said.

"I would vouch for all of them and I've already tried to help some players and staff."

Crusaders' players roused themselves at the end of a difficult week to secure a comprehensive 40-6 victory at Wakefield on Sunday and Findlay says ticket sales for the club's final home game against Hull, which has been moved to August 21, will go towards paying wages.

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