Exclusive: Salford Red Devils offer Paul Rowley new deal with possible future role change

Aaron Bower
Paul Rowley Salford Devils Alamy

Salford head coach Paul Rowley

Salford Red Devils have offered head coach Paul Rowley a new long-term deal to remain with the Super League club – with the prospect of him taking up a new director-style role in the coming years included, Love Rugby League can reveal.

The Red Devils lost director of rugby Ian Blease to Leeds Rhinos on Monday, after Blease agreed a switch to become the new sporting director at Headingley.

Love Rugby League understands that executive chairman Paul King and director Paul Trainor will, in the interim at least, take up some of the responsibilities vacated by Blease following his departure from the club.

Blease’s switch across the Pennines has led to speculation that head coach Rowley would potentially follow him in the near future – but Salford are keen to tie down their head coach on a long-term basis and have, Love Rugby League has learned, tabled a significant and groundbreaking new deal.

That deal would be across several years, an extension on Rowley’s current contract, which expires at the end of next season. But it would also enable the club and Rowley to hold conversations at any point about him taking up a role as a potential performance director or director of rugby.

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The club are keen to retain Rowley for a significant period of time, and are flexible about when the 49-year-old could make the transition out of a head coaching role and into an off-field, administrative position if and when he decides.

Similarly, they are delighted with the progress made with Rowley as head coach, and the new deal tabled to the former Leigh and Toronto boss is reflective of that, Love Rugby League has learned.

Rowley turned down the opportunity to become the next Hull FC head coach earlier this season, opting instead to remain with the Red Devils – though speculation has long lingered that if the job at Leeds materialised, Rowley would be a contender. That speculation has only further been fuelled with news of Blease’s move to the Rhinos.

But Salford are keen to quell any approaches or interest in Rowley from elsewhere once and for all by not only tying him down long-term, but offering him the opportunity to shape his future and make the move into a new role if he desires at any stage, effectively giving him more autonomy over his own career, and the overall control of the rugby direction at Salford.

Blease was asked about links to Rowley earlier today.

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