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Salford Trouble/Salford Takeover


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#261 The Parksider

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:08 AM


I am talking about the1950 s and 60s before the decline of he Manchester sides started.


It would be a fascinating study that looked at how the game was post war when the clubs thrived on big crowds, taking us through the various pressures on it like the advent of TV in the 1950's, the alarming decline in popularity in the 60's, the rise of BARLA in the seventies, and the creating of permanent two tier pro game through to the eighties, the rise of both player and fan mobility, and the path to professionalisation in the nineties, the pressures from pro RU & rich soccer, and the sustenance of the SKY contract in the noughties.

With my history hat on and no bias whatsoever my gut feeling is the Oldhams and Salfords and Rochdales and Swintons are only sustainable as one team semi pro clubs under the conditions we have today. there's no turning the clock back. Yes there is interest in Rugby league in the manchester area and the way it will be harvested is those top class players who are developed will find a top class club as they do like Leeds or Warrington, those fans who love their RL played at top level will find a top class club to watch as they do getting in their cars and on the train to such as Wigan.

If Salford are not rescued Manchester may not be lost to the game, the big clubs like Saints, Wigan and Warrington may well look to move in, having said that given the recent link ups it would seem they are already there. If anyone looks to develop places like Rochdale or Swinton it will be Saints or Warrington, for the benefit of Saints and Warrington and not for the recreation of the 1950's.

#262 keighley

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

It would be a fascinating study that looked at how the game was post war when the clubs thrived on big crowds, taking us through the various pressures on it like the advent of TV in the 1950's, the alarming decline in popularity in the 60's, the rise of BARLA in the seventies, and the creating of permanent two tier pro game through to the eighties, the rise of both player and fan mobility, and the path to professionalisation in the nineties, the pressures from pro RU & rich soccer, and the sustenance of the SKY contract in the noughties.

With my history hat on and no bias whatsoever my gut feeling is the Oldhams and Salfords and Rochdales and Swintons are only sustainable as one team semi pro clubs under the conditions we have today. there's no turning the clock back. Yes there is interest in Rugby league in the manchester area and the way it will be harvested is those top class players who are developed will find a top class club as they do like Leeds or Warrington, those fans who love their RL played at top level will find a top class club to watch as they do getting in their cars and on the train to such as Wigan.

If Salford are not rescued Manchester may not be lost to the game, the big clubs like Saints, Wigan and Warrington may well look to move in, having said that given the recent link ups it would seem they are already there. If anyone looks to develop places like Rochdale or Swinton it will be Saints or Warrington, for the benefit of Saints and Warrington and not for the recreation of the 1950's.


I think Tony Collins covered a lot of that on his books, but all those conditions existed at Wigan and Saints and elsewhere and they have survived and in some case even prospered. There has to be some reason either unique to each club or specific to Manchester.

I did not really include Rochdale in my thougts on the subject as I think they have never been a big club and never will be.

Swinton were big but their long absence from the town and the fact that Swinton itself is quite small and in the shadow of Salford precludes their return to SL levels but a decent CC level club in a new stadium in Swinton and the community and player recruitment associated with that in Swinton itself is a difficult but, I hope, achievable goal.

Oldham, I think, is a different situation to those two. Oldham is pretty much isolated and is in the eastern side of the Manchester megapolis and is a fairly large population centre. I think, and I know you disagree, but I think that there is potential and the need for a SL club in that area. Not now, not soon, but given the right management they could very well develop to the point where a SL club is feasible. It's not so much going back to the past as re inventing the club for the future due to the potential inherent in the area. Toulouse is proposed as a SL club under the same pretexts.

Salford, in fact, have achieved SL status from lesser potential than at Oldham. The difference is Wilkinson's sterling support and the fact that, until this season, they had their own ground. They are casting around for investors as I type so the jury is still out on their future but they are one of the numerous clubs for whom the fully professional status of SL at the present funding levels is not an achievable long term reality. This problem is going to have to be resolved or there will be no SL or only a very small rump competition going forward.

You have championed Wigan and Saints for the strength of their amateur game and the number of players it produces and this is true. Why then are you content to abandon a city the size of Manchester to be just a feeder area for Wigan, Wigan don't need Salford or manchester players. That's regressive and an admission of defeat. There is more potential than that lowly scenario in Manchester. If London and Widnes can come from non existence in the former case and lower to mid table mediocrity in the latter to be functioning SL clubs then so can Salford and even given the right circumstances Oldham or a couple of other Cc clubs.

#263 The Parksider

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

You have championed Wigan and Saints for the strength of their amateur game and the number of players it produces and this is true. Why then are you content to abandon a city the size of Manchester to be just a feeder area for Wigan, Wigan don't need Salford or manchester players. That's regressive and an admission of defeat. There is more potential than that lowly scenario in Manchester.

If London and Widnes can come from non existence in the former case and lower to mid table mediocrity in the latter to be functioning SL clubs then so can Salford and even given the right circumstances Oldham or a couple of other Cc clubs.


I don't see St. Helens and Wigan as having a strong amateur game only an amateur game stronger than smaller clubs. It wasn't that long ago London fielded a side with more British players in it than Wigan.

I don't see enough players and fans to support more than 3 maybe 4 clubs in Lancashire. Union only has one club.

I don't want to abandon anywhere, I want to see big clubs appealing beyond their town boundaries to find the 10,000+ crowds and fully home grown quality pro sides.

London would be long dead if they only drew fans and players from Twickenham, Widnes are disappointed that the fans haven't returned in large enough numbers and their junior system nearly ground to a halt in the Championships.

At the level the pro game is pitched at your right, there's only about seven areas strong enough to support a real superleague club in the north. That's why I have championed London, Wales, Gatehead, Catalans, Toulouse, but when some of these clubs can't compete due to the lack of players, fans and investment to make up for that, then you end up having to put the smaller M62 clubs back in SL who then end up fighting for the same resources their neighbours want, Hull/HKR, Widnes/wire.

An admission of defeat? Defeat in terms of what?? Trying to find resources where they don't exist, trying to get people to watch or play a game most have no interest in? Trying to do that with no money to do it with as sports England reduce funds??

Regressive?? In terms of what making the game smaller? I think we've already established Superleague is the vehicle that has made the game bigger. We have agreed that we'd like to see a 16 club Superleague in which the salary cap is pitched lower to make it affordable. No "regression" there we were expansive in our thoughts.

But if Oldham, Salford, Swinton, and Rochdale can't hack Superleague what's the point in sinking central resources into trying to boost these failing clubs. Nice idea but any resource we have for boosting the game needs spending where there is a return to be had. Many of the things you suggest clubs should do Salford DID do when they were an SL club. Many of the things my club may do they can't do as there's nobody to do it.

#264 keighley

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 05:42 PM

I don't see St. Helens and Wigan as having a strong amateur game only an amateur game stronger than smaller clubs. It wasn't that long ago London fielded a side with more British players in it than Wigan.

I don't see enough players and fans to support more than 3 maybe 4 clubs in Lancashire. Union only has one club.



I don't want to abandon anywhere, I want to see big clubs appealing beyond their town boundaries to find the 10,000+ crowds and fully home grown quality pro sides.

London would be long dead if they only drew fans and players from Twickenham, Widnes are disappointed that the fans haven't returned in large enough numbers and their junior system nearly ground to a halt in the Championships.

At the level the pro game is pitched at your right, there's only about seven areas strong enough to support a real superleague club in the north. That's why I have championed London, Wales, Gatehead, Catalans, Toulouse, but when some of these clubs can't compete due to the lack of players, fans and investment to make up for that, then you end up having to put the smaller M62 clubs back in SL who then end up fighting for the same resources their neighbours want, Hull/HKR, Widnes/wire.

An admission of defeat? Defeat in terms of what?? Trying to find resources where they don't exist, trying to get people to watch or play a game most have no interest in? Trying to do that with no money to do it with as sports England reduce funds??

Regressive?? In terms of what making the game smaller? I think we've already established Superleague is the vehicle that has made the game bigger. We have agreed that we'd like to see a 16 club Superleague in which the salary cap is pitched lower to make it affordable. No "regression" there we were expansive in our thoughts.

But if Oldham, Salford, Swinton, and Rochdale can't hack Superleague what's the point in sinking central resources into trying to boost these failing clubs. Nice idea but any resource we have for boosting the game needs spending where there is a return to be had. Many of the things you suggest clubs should do Salford DID do when they were an SL club. Many of the things my club may do they can't do as there's nobody to do it.


London would be long gone if it weren't for Hughes. Their supporter base is so small, it's irrelevant where they come from. If an investor with pockets the size of Hughes could be found for Salford and indeed several current struggling lower level SL teams and some top CC teams, any one of them could survive ,like London have done, and in all probability get much better gates.

SL already has 5 clubs from Lancashire and all except Widnes would appear to have decent enough players.including Salford judging by the way the other SL vultures are signing them. Making progress in the amateur realm in Widnes, Salford and the rest of Manchester would enable even more players to be found. You don't seriously think Wigan and Saints and Warrington are going to go to the aid of Folly Lane, Eccles, Oldham St Annes, Langworthy, Higginshaw etc do you. Why should those clubs be left to exist for the benfit of SL clubs miles away? Spectators are drawn to successful clubs. When clubs are not successful, heir crowds plummet. Check out Wigan's 2nd division average, so if Salford were succesfull the crowds would increase. Of course there are enough spectators and players for more SL clubs in Lancashire.

You don't know resorces don't exist. You keep playing that same sad song but in the last few years, this has not been the case. Glover, Lenahagn, O'Connor, Nahaboo, Khan, Hudgell, Pearson, Hughes. Peel Holdings,Sport England have all emerged from this realm of non existence to put resources into the game.

Ther are reputed to be investors in the wings for Toulouse, the local council are upgrading Derwent Park, Premier Sports are engaged, maybe they will pay at some point, Sky seem to be in for the long haul, the Al Jazheera group are interested in French RL and then there are the various sponsors, major and minor.

So , if we downsize our expenses, tap into any further resources lurking out there, added to those listed which exist already, then maybe Salford and some others can hack it in SL. I don't think the answer to the games problems is to forever shrink the base of the game and pour money into a smaller and smaller number of bigger and bigger clubs.

The resources you talk about pouring onto those Manchester clubs would have to be generated by their own efforts. I don't know what you are talking about here, unless you want all Sport England money to go to the Leeds, Wigan, Hull and Saints juniors, because all other areas are lost ccauses.

We are going to celebrate a World Cup next year with 14 nations taking part. If your theories had been followed there would only be three teams in it, Aus, NZ and England. All the rest would have been written off because we need to focus our resources where there is a return to be had and small countries on small turnovers can't find resouces and the need is for the big three to pull back to their lairs and take all the resources for themseleves. Some tournament that would have been and some tournament a hidebound, rump SL competiton will be, not too big to fail, but too small to suceed. Strength in numbers anyone. Diversity and variety, the spice of life.

Parksider, you are a deep thinker and vastly knowledgeable about RL, but you are so pessimistic. look on the bright side occasionally. Look at things and say "Why not" instaed of "No way".

And to get back to the thread I hope Salford find a saviour.They have come too far to fall now. The game needs more not less top teams.

#265 41hound

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:29 PM

Well the meeting is over - well done to the club for providing a full twitter feed. I followed at work. The full text is viewable by following the links below. The SCR one first & then Paul Mcnally for the second half as there was a tecnical fault and they changed accounts.


https://twitter.com/SalfordCityReds

https://twitter.com/iampaulmcnally

It seemed a fairly open meeting with over 700 attending apparently. In summary - we owe £350,000 and need £600,000 to start Super league in under 6 weeks or we are finished. There are no concrete investors or buyers yet. RFL are tryin to discourage fans collecting money for some reason :wacko: - what harm can boosting the Supporters Trust do? Going into Admin will be the last resort. I think we are going to be disappearing very soon ...

Read the rest yourselves for the gory details - I have had enough for now - :(

#266 Padge

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:08 PM

Yes,clever d##k, you need to go on. I am talkimg about the1950 s and 60s before the decline of he Manchester sides started. That was what I was responding to. In those decades Oldham were a top team. They won the championship, they got to a cup semi final losing 12 to 9 to Hull. They had Ike Southward, Alan Davies Frank Pitchford, Bernard Ganley etc in their team. Prio to that throughout the history of the game they were a top side. The decline started in the 80s and90 s as your brilliantly researced post showed. If you read what I wrote which was only an opinion piece anyway you would have picked up on that.

As I said gthey had occasioanal resurgences as when they put Wigan out of the cup but overall the graph was on a downwards curve.


Here's the list for Oldham's 'Golden Era' of 50s and 60s


1950/51 15th
1951/52 5th
1952/53 8th
1953/54 12th
1954/55 2nd
1955/56 9th
1956/57 1st
1957/58 1st
1958/59 4th
1959/60 9th
1960/61 8th
1961/62 10th
1962/63 d1 15th
1963/64 d2 1st
1964/65 9th
1965/66 9th
1966/67 10th
1967/68 22nd
1968/69 16th
1969/70 29th

In the last 3 seasons of a single division Oldham finished 16th, 13th and 9th.
Post WWII until 1950 their highest was 8th and lowest 23rd.

Edited by Padge, 17 December 2012 - 11:33 PM.


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#267 The Parksider

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:25 AM

1. You don't know resorces don't exist. You keep playing that same sad song but in the last few years, this has not been the case. Glover, Lenahagn, O'Connor, Nahaboo, Khan, Hudgell, Pearson, Hughes. Peel Holdings,Sport England have all emerged from this realm of non existence to put resources into the game.

2. Parksider, you are a deep thinker and vastly knowledgeable about RL, but you are so pessimistic. look on the bright side occasionally.


1. Messrs Khan and Glover are not putting heavy money in. They have said so. Messrs Lenegean and McManus are not putting money in their aim was self sustaining clubs. Mr. Hudgell has stopped putting money in permanenetly. Mr. Caddick isn't even putting money in his Union side of the Leeds club. Mr. O'Connor sent his CEO out last wek to say he's not bankrolling Widnes forever. Mr. Pearsons investment is self declared as short term. Mr. Hughes met the RFL last year to say the strain is too much. Sport England have cut funding and it doesn't go to kids RL anyway.

2. I listen and look. The resources are inadquate for the current set up. Cas, Wakey, Bradford, HKR and most likely Salford will be on shoestring budgets next year. People may well be getting their wish of a two tier SL1 & SL2.CC clubs with allegedly rich men ready to invest will be crowing but will the rich men really come forward.

The Salford debt relatively isn't that high, but even benefactor extraordinaire mr. Wilkinson isn't prepared to bankroll it.

The private money is running out the playerbase for 14 clubs is inadequate as Brian Noble said this wekend. I listen to Mr. Noble. Realism they call this.

Edited by The Parksider, 18 December 2012 - 07:49 AM.


#268 The Parksider

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:46 AM

It seemed a fairly open meeting with over 700 attending apparently. In summary - we owe £350,000 and need £600,000 to start Super league in under 6 weeks or we are finished. There are no concrete investors or buyers yet.

Read the rest yourselves for the gory details - I have had enough for now - :(


THANK YOU.

It was notable that without Barton there would be no licence. Bet the RFL/SLE didn't refer that decision to the licensing puppet panel.

No season tickets in case they don't start to protect fans money. Done the decent thing there.

Also notable the offer of the opportunity to invest in Salford has been on the table a long time, during which investors have presumably taken a watching brief to see how the Stadium performed.

I wonder if anyone can see any return in it now?

I wonder how potential investors now view the decimated playing squad?

I did not pick up any question of Mr. Wilkinson as regards why isn't he and fellow directors going to bankroll the club for the £600K through this time if there are returns to be had?

I assume they have had enough and see no return themselves??

THANK YOU AGAIN

Edited by The Parksider, 18 December 2012 - 07:53 AM.


#269 41hound

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:08 AM

THANK YOU.

It was notable that without Barton there would be no licence. Bet the RFL/SLE didn't refer that decision to the licensing puppet panel.

No season tickets in case they don't start to protect fans money. Done the decent thing there.

Also notable the offer of the opportunity to invest in Salford has been on the table a long time, during which investors have presumably taken a watching brief to see how the Stadium performed.

I wonder if anyone can see any return in it now?

I wonder how potential investors now view the decimated playing squad?

I did not pick up any question of Mr. Wilkinson as regards why isn't he and fellow directors going to bankroll the club for the £600K through this time if there are returns to be had?

I assume they have had enough and see no return themselves??

THANK YOU AGAIN


I agree - no one want to buy Salford. The £350,000 is the immediate debts (HMRC, ex-players = people on the winding up order). This does not included the £1million + owed to Salford Council, which is aloan repaid quarterly I think. The directors are owed lots too, but seem to have indicated they will drop this if someones wants to take over.

I think they have tried everything now - they don't want to spend anymore of their own cash (recession & want to retire?). I guess the money they
got from selling Holdsworth & Moon have allowed wages to be paid, but not much longer. The winding up court date in end of Jan, my guess is we will be extinct by then ...

#270 The Parksider

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:27 AM


I agree - no one wants to buy Salford. The £350,000 is the immediate debts (HMRC, ex-players = people on the winding up order). This does not included the £1million + owed to Salford Council. The directors are owed lots too, but seem to have indicated they will drop this if someones wants to take over. I think they have tried everything now - they don't want to spend anymore of their own cash The winding up court date in end of Jan, my guess is we will be extinct by then ...


No one wanted to buy Wakefield or Bradford either in terms of riding in on a white charger with saddlebags of cash. It seems the owners there were prepared to come in and try to run these clubs as a going concern, with newmarket being key, and Odsal being in the hands of the RFL also being key. Both these clubs have a significant access to junior players (albeit they have to raid local CC club areas) and fans, both capable of 10K crowds.

Salford however are reliant on buying players in if they can find them and an unresponsive public. What hit me most was the RFL/SLE wanting to kick them out if they had not got Barton. We will see what happens as time unfolds, maybe they will survive, if not the debate will be who else will be out, or who may come in. Time for messrs Abbot and Nahaboo to show their cards?

#271 sweaty craiq

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:39 AM

Darwen - Its not the strongest that survives but the ones most responsive to change

Change is afoot in RL land, cash cows are saying no more and clubs are cutting the clothe based on a short term survival policy eg current Academy disaster, twinning etc

Clubs with great facilities and subsequent revenue streams, not embroiled in debt and who have gone through the change are ready to step in

If Salford go bump I expect to see Leigh in at short notice.

#272 The Parksider

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:54 AM

If Salford go bump I expect to see Leigh in at short notice.


When would you then expect to see Leigh go bump?

Featherstone's turn.

#273 sweaty craiq

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:04 PM

When would you then expect to see Leigh go bump?

Featherstone's turn.


The process is tick a box and you win the right to apply.
In the good old days Sheffield would be in this year and Fev last year, but the CHANGE that clubs adjusted to was tick the box and apply.
The stadium is probably the best in RL, best pitch, 1500 parking spots, HD floodlights, Undersoil heating, 22 corporate boxes, catering for 500 diners in banqueting halls and no debt attached to it. The stadium gets great income all year from Education, Employment and Health services located in its superb office facilities, and hence the rent to LRLFC is now variable and affordable as submitted to the RFL during the Bradford fiasco. Add to this the envious training facilities used by many SL and Premiership soccer clubs to attract players !!!!
If playing out of a poophole last time with no parking and little cover with a no hope team got 5000 into it then 6500+ is easy to hit and 7500 with a competitive team in year 2, let alone the extra corporate opportunities. Also remember LRLFC made a profit in SL 2005 - how much would we make in 2013??
LSV is easy to get to for a huge population, and has the facilities to keep them if the product on display is of the correct quality.
Fev are a great club with none of the above to close the deal.

#274 Manx RL

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

Did rugby at the willows become an unforttunate and neglected side show to the variety club?
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#275 41hound

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

Did rugby at the willows become an unforttunate and neglected side show to the variety club?


I dont think so.

#276 41hound

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:53 PM

The process is tick a box and you win the right to apply.
In the good old days Sheffield would be in this year and Fev last year, but the CHANGE that clubs adjusted to was tick the box and apply.
The stadium is probably the best in RL, best pitch, 1500 parking spots, HD floodlights, Undersoil heating, 22 corporate boxes, catering for 500 diners in banqueting halls and no debt attached to it. The stadium gets great income all year from Education, Employment and Health services located in its superb office facilities, and hence the rent to LRLFC is now variable and affordable as submitted to the RFL during the Bradford fiasco. Add to this the envious training facilities used by many SL and Premiership soccer clubs to attract players !!!!
If playing out of a poophole last time with no parking and little cover with a no hope team got 5000 into it then 6500+ is easy to hit and 7500 with a competitive team in year 2, let alone the extra corporate opportunities. Also remember LRLFC made a profit in SL 2005 - how much would we make in 2013??
LSV is easy to get to for a huge population, and has the facilities to keep them if the product on display is of the correct quality.
Fev are a great club with none of the above to close the deal.


If this happens and we can't sort out our problems - I would be glad that Leigh would take our place.

I wonder if we don't get the money we need, which is the most likley outcome right now, what will happen to us? Chairman said playing at Barton is only viable for SL rugby - so no ground, no money - looks like no club. I know our fans trust (Forever Reds) is taking pledges so we have as fans some funds to restart something - but where? It is the worst time of year for this - people are skint, holidays make gathering momentum hard and the winding up hearing is January 7th ....

#277 keighley

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:02 PM

Here's the list for Oldham's 'Golden Era' of 50s and 60s


1950/51 15th
1951/52 5th
1952/53 8th
1953/54 12th
1954/55 2nd
1955/56 9th
1956/57 1st
1957/58 1st
1958/59 4th
1959/60 9th
1960/61 8th
1961/62 10th
1962/63 d1 15th
1963/64 d2 1st
1964/65 9th
1965/66 9th
1966/67 10th
1967/68 22nd
1968/69 16th
1969/70 29th

In the last 3 seasons of a single division Oldham finished 16th, 13th and 9th.
Post WWII until 1950 their highest was 8th and lowest 23rd.


So from 1950 to 1960 they were never out of the top 12 in a 30 team league including being league leaders twice, Champions at least once and in the top 4 playoffs another twice.

They then got relegated but bounced right back and were again in the top 10 of a 30 team league for three seasons from 64 to 66 and then the decline started to kick in. To me that would indicate that they were a top team. You have your own agenda and deny this to be so. I beg to differ. They were a top level team by my definition.

#278 RunItOffAfi

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:02 PM

Neither Leigh nor Featherstone applied for a SL licence last time. Halifax did and got a grade C, but not enough to get them a licence. So, logically, they should be the ones asked to take Salford's place, if it comes to that. But, then again, this is RL, when did logic apply?

#279 sweaty craiq

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

Neither Leigh nor Featherstone applied for a SL licence last time. Halifax did and got a grade C, but not enough to get them a licence. So, logically, they should be the ones asked to take Salford's place, if it comes to that. But, then again, this is RL, when did logic apply?


Leigh had not earned the right to apply under the rules last time, the previous time we had the infamous 'we can't judge the LSV as you haven't played in it' fiasco to get Crusaders in. Logically the teams who have earned the right do so and the best package goes up, should Salford fold, and logically Leigh have the best case of those able to apply, imo of course

#280 keighley

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

The decision of Salford council not to help out the Reds looks like cutting your nose off to spite your face. With the demise of the Reds caused partly by their lack of assistance, they will be left with a white elephant of a stadium with only Sale as a tenant and , if they get relegated, which looks likely, no top level team to play in it.

Maybe they could have a re visit of their decision.




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