Some 200,000 people are reported to have seen, across Facebook and Twitter, Hunslet’s statement – made in the immediate aftermath of Newcastle’s shock announcement late last week that Thunder will not be competing in Betfred League 1 next season – on the future of Betfred League 1.

The northeast outfit’s decision, following in the wake of London Skolars’ departure from the professional arena and Thunder’s relegation from the Betfred Championship, leaves the bottom tier reduced to eight teams. And Hunslet’s CEO Neil Hampshire was quick to fire a clarion call for the Championship and League 1 to combine, stating: “If there really is a `Rugby League Family’ then now is the time for it to stand up and be counted. If not, can we really rule out further withdrawals?”

Hunslet’s website crashed on Friday morning as Hampshire’s statement, which can be seen in full by clicking here attracted massive attention; the number of visits is expected to be known shortly.

The statement has had an overwhelmingly positive response and has led to similar announcements for change from fellow League 1 clubs Keighley Cougars, Rochdale Hornets and Workington Town.

League 1 Clubs are scheduled to meet the Rugby Football League this week to discuss the situation.