Blease’s big plans for Salford

Greater fan engagement, improved home attendances and stability are the goals of new Salford CEO Ian Blease.

A former Salford player and captain, Blease was appointed to the position last week.

He knows he has a big job on his hands and the 51-year old is positive he can turn the Red Devils around.

“We just need to put some structure in that club with everything,” he told Love Rugby League.

“I’m keen on building bridges with the RFL. We just need to communicate with the fans better.

“We need to get more bums on seats. We’ve got to market ourselves better.”

Blease knows Salford need to re-engage with their traditional fanbase, many who have not made the move to support the club from the Willows to the AJ Bell Stadium, to grow crowds.

He has enlisted the help of Red Devils fan Louise Woodward-Styles and will be focusing on community acitivities to build the bond between the club and the local community.

“She loves the club and has that link with the fans,” Blease said.

“That’s whats been lacking. We’re getting back to the community, back to the schools. We’ll be getting players to do promo calls to families.”

One of Blease’s main aims to get Salford stable again, as owner Marwan Koukash takes a backward step, and to give coach Ian Watson and the players the best chance to perform on the field.

He has already employed a salary cap manager to provide advice on managing the club’s cap.

“I want Marwan to sit back and enjoy it,” Blease said.

“He just wants a well-run club thats going to be stand on its own feet. I’m excited for next year. We’re trying to get more professional.

“We want an honest and open culture. We’ll look at every option to make this club better.”

Blease said Salford are not active in the player market now but have salary cap space to strike if needed.

“We’re content with what we’ve done,” he said.

“But we’ve got room to move. We’re not rushing, we’re OK for the moment.”

Blease said the Red Devils are still discussing the future of their academy, with one potential option a shared set-up with another club in the future.

“We’re still looking at options,” he said.

“Whatever we do will be for the benefit of the club.”

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