Rugby chairman Paul Carter isn’t downcast at all after Otley’s relegation from National League One.

In fact, as his team prepare for life in National League Two North, he said: “I am optimistic about the future of the club.

“The legacy debt we inherited has just about been cleared and, while we always want to play at the highest competitive level that we can, we will look forward to bigger gates and more bar revenue next season because we will be playing more derbies.”

Whereas this season they only had Wharfedale as a fellow Yorkshire club, in 2011-12 the Cross Greeners can look forward to meetings with Huddersfield, Harrogate, Hull and, hopefully, Hull Ionians and Morley if neither of the latter are relegated.

Carter added: “Gary Walker (director of rugby) is already sorting out his squad for next season in line with our budget, which is what we have done for the past two seasons, and we are confident that the majority of the players will be staying with us.

“Also the finances of the club are absolutely fine and we have had a good winter with functions in our clubhouse – both at weekends and during the week. There is a lot of community use.”