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!