Salford ‘may have to sell players’ unless fundraising campaign gets back on track

James Gordon
Brodie Croft

Salford have emphasised the harsh reality of their current bid to raise revenue through their ‘Reds Rise Together’ campaign.

The Red Devils have received nearly 650 pledges to the scheme launched recently, as they seek to become the first Super League club to be wholly community owned. More than £150,000 has been raised to date.

But the club has revealed it has turned down an offer from an unnamed key player this week.

In previous years, they have been forced to sell the likes of Jackson Hastings and Ben Murdoch-Masila to keep afloat.

They made a real signal of intent in the off-season by tying down Man of Steel Brodie Croft to a new seven-year deal, designed to ward off interest from at home and overseas.

Managing Director Paul King explained: “A reflection of the progress we have made as a club in recent years is our hugely talented squad who are attracting offers from other clubs across the world, and who would potentially command significant transfer fees.

“But one of the reasons we are doing this now is to ensure we can keep our playing squad together and compete at the higher end of the competition – it just feels counter-productive to move on members of the group right now so we will avoid doing so for as long as we can.

“That being said, it may be something we must consider sooner rather than later if we do not get back on track in the campaign.

“To those who have already pledged and are now making history with us, firstly thank you, and secondly, help us now go further by speaking to your friends and family about it.

“Get them involved right away, or get them along to the event on the 23rd to learn more – this is such a special moment, not only for the club and the game, but for our local community too.”

Salford target Category A status in IMG era

It is thought that £250,000 was an initial target for the campaign, with fans able to pledge at a variety of levels.

Anyone who pledges will receive one share, which will entitle them to vote when the club elects a board.

The motivation behind the scheme was to ensure Salford could maintain its playing squad and be as competitive as possible, as well as achieving a Category A status under IMG’s new grading criteria.

King added: “It is a remarkable milestone to reach [£150,000 raised], and once again demonstrates just how much this club means to some people.

“For someone with a similar story – it has been so touching to read the reasoning of those becoming shareholders on the Crowdfunder page.

“We’re less than £100k from the initial target, and whilst that can change quite quickly, momentum has really slowed as of late which is worrying.

“We’re approaching an important moment in the campaign – the final stretch – and ideally, we’re through the £250k mark well before then and well on our way towards our upper targets.”

Salford continue to punch above their weight on the field, despite a 26-12 defeat to reigning champions St Helens at the weekend.

They have won seven of their 12 games so far to put them in the top six, and on course to repeat their achievement of reaching the play-offs last season.

In recent years, the Red Devils have reached a Super League Grand Final and a Challenge Cup final against all odds.