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Phil Fitton

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Phil Fitton last won the day on August 17 2017

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  1. The atmosphere at our games and the finals we’ve hosted have been outstanding. You should come up and try as it’s the only way to know for sure!
  2. I shall try to respond to as many of the comments as possible: - Let me try and clarify the Manchester thing - The RFL DO see the benefit in having a 'Manchester' club, however, there's no room for Manchester Rangers as it stands or indeed any time soon. They've made it very clear to all, that they see the benefit to the wider game of having the Manchester brand as well as other big city brands as part of the make up of the game, but we don't know how or when this will happen or indeed who this will be. As we see it, unless an existing club re-brands and moves to the city, which in truth looks really unlikely, then their only genuine option would be and should be Rangers. Its currently a stalemate between what they want and what they are willing to do to make it happen and it looks like the sport will lose another huge opportunity. Lets put the Swinton and Salford argument to bed. I've spoken to various members of the Swinton board over the years and they are committed to taking Swinton back to Swinton and the plan is still to build a stadium at Agecroft. The board and the fans are 100% behind Swinton Lions. If anything, they seem to embrace the idea of a Manchester team to play against. As for Salford and Marwan, he's made it clear that he wants Manchester to get behind his club. However, I'm not sure if he's that bothered about a little club like ours parked in the blue side of the city! Anybody with an ounce of sense, will see that the reds of Salford (my childhood team btw) versus the blues of Manchester, could be huge for the game and in time create a rivalry similar to that of the 2 football teams (maybe not to the same scale though!). Lets turn our attention to what we've tried in terms of getting a spot in League 1 or Championship and I can tell you categorically, that we've suggested everything to the RFL, including the option of taking zero central funding during the early days, but we were told that this wasn't an option. Our plan has always been to get a spot purely on our own merit, but as it became clear that this more than likely wouldn't happen, we started to look at other options, one of which I don't mind stating on here as its fairly common knowledge, was the option to merge with swinton and become something like Manchester Lions or a name that would suit the fans and safeguard the heritage of the club, but as already stated, they are firmly and always have been committed to moving back to Swinton and we applaud that. So what do we do that other local teams don't and how do we differ to previous attempts to bring professional RL back to Manchester? Firstly we made a series of pledges to the City of Manchester that we've 100% followed through with and unlike many other clubs, we haven't asked them at any point in time for money to support our club or our ambitions. Everything we do in Manchester is paid for by our directors and sponsors. We've built relationship with our partners on trust and delivering on our promises. We don't treat this as a hobby either, we have a board of professional people with a wealth of experience and huge skill set, these include business people, educational professionals, chartered accountants, sports development professionals and marketing specialists that are involved in the Rangers because we believe that we can add value to the wider game and bring new opportunities to the table to help the sport grow. Even as a lowly amateur club, our partners include Manchester City Council, Manchester Metropolitan university, the University of Manchester, the Manchester College, Eastlands Sports trust and many more. We also have the opportunity to further grow our relationship with Manchester City FC, but this is being held back due to the RFL not having a firm plan on who or what the Manchester team should look like. We have a secure base in the 6,500 capacity Manchester Regional Arena and our landlord wants us there. We also have options in the future to play at other local venues if the club was to ever outgrow the Regional arena. We've started to develop sustainable junior rugby in the city and to say that there are some gems coming through would be an understatement! I could go on for hours..... We also have the one thing that pretty much every sports fan wants, we are actually positioned in a major city and this means that visiting fans can make a day of it or even a weekend away when they come to visit us and also not have to worry about how they get to the ground, as we have a dedicated metrolink station 100 yards away, we are easily accessible by public transport, there's plenty of parking and for those who like a walk, we are only a 10-15 minutes to the heart of Manchester City centre. As for money, that really isn't an issue. We spend as much as or possibly more on our club and community programme than some League 1 clubs and still make a small profit each year. Contrary to popular belief, we receive zero funding from the RFL to run the club, so just imagine what we would do if we were given a pro license!
  3. I love reading these forums and its great to see that there's still so much enthusiasm for Manchester Rangers and the idea of bringing professional rugby league back to this great city. I wouldn't normally reply or comment, but its clear that we have nothing to lose anymore. I've had numerous meetings and correspondence with senior officials at the RFL over recent months and currently there isn't a space in the professional ranks for us. We have fantastic facilities, a brilliant board, outstanding partners, invest £000's in junior and adult development and did have a bright future, but we're continually told that there isn't a place for us, no matter what we do. We wont give up on bringing pro rugby to Manchester, but my enthusiasm for our great sport is being sucked out of me and other board members at a rate on knots. Manchester is an untapped gold mine of players, coaches, finances, spectators etc, but it seems that this is not enough of a hook for the sport or at least those running it. Any ideas on how we change their mind would be greatly appreciated!
  4. Manchester Rangers community update and request for junior development coaching support! Over the past couple of years we've been developing RL throughout Manchester, with the view to creating a thriving RL community in the UK's sporting capital! Manchester Rangers are currently operating 2 adult teams in Divisions 2 & 4 of the North West Men's league and in the spring of this year we launched Belle Vue Bees, our first (of hopefully many) new satellite community clubs in the City, that will in time feed Manchester Rangers open age sides and more importantly go on to feed/play in the professional game. The new club are based out of Belle Vue Sports Village and on the back of a huge amount of work carried out in local high schools by our team of full time development staff, we have set up a new under 12's team. They have great numbers training and have started to work with/play against other local sides such as South Trafford Raiders, with a view to playing organised fixtures before the end of the summer. Then on Thursday 30th June 6-7pm, we are launching 2 new junior sides at Belle Vue at under 8's and under 10's, again on the back of work done in local primary schools in partnership with Salford Red Devils and the SkyTry project. With new teams, comes the need for coaching staff! We are currently working with our own players, parents and volunteers to undertake coaching qualifications, but it would be great if we could find a few knowledgeable coaches living in the Manchester Area to help us develop these new teams and mentor existing volunteers. These are exciting times for RL in Manchester and if you live in or close to Manchester and want to help us grow the game then please get in touch on here or by email - community@manchesterrangers.co.uk or call Matt Valentine 07801 522 320. On a side note, our 1st team are at home on Friday against Oldham St Anne's and if you're local and fancy taking in a game of RL then it'd be great to see you at the Manchester Regional Arena, Etihad Sports Complex, Manchester, M11 3FF. Website: www.manchesterrangers.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rangersrl/ Rangers Twitter: https://twitter.com/MCRRangerRL BV Bees Twitter: https://twitter.com/BVBeesARLFC
  5. We're piloting Rugby League 9s this Friday in Manchester, at the Manchester Regional Arena (Etihad Campus/Man City). Hopefully not only will it attract spectators from a Rugby Lague background, but also an entirely new set of spectators to the sport. As I say, it is a pilot with 6 teams from across the City of Manchester, but we hope to grow it in size over the next few years. So if you live close by, are visiting for the Grand Final or just fancy taking in a spot of nines RL, then head over on Friday for a 6.30pm start. It's £2 for adults, £1 for kids/concessions or £5 for a family. See attached leaflet for further info.
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