“The Salford Reds are rising..” is often heard whenever and wherever you see the Red Devils play these days. On the field at least, it’s been generally hard to argue.
Ian Watson’s side side on the fringes of the top four in the opening months of the new season – and it is completely on merit. But a quick look through the stats also suggest that the Red Devils are starting to do some things right off the field, too.
Salford’s crowds are still nowhere near as high as the club would like them to be: that much is a given. The club have high ambitions without a shadow of a doubt – but this year, there have been small suggestions the club are improving off the field in relation to those much-maligned crowd figures.
They’ve had three home games this season – albeit against three of the best supported sides in Wigan, Warrington and Castleford. But a look at the year-on-year trajectories reveal that the Red Devils have posted big crowd increases for all three games based on last year’s figures. Don’t believe us? Here’s the figures.
Salford home game crowds in 2017 (2016 in brackets)
versus Wigan: 6,293 (4,096)
versus Warrington: 5,492 (4,381)
versus Castleford: 5,221 (2,275)
It’s worth pointing out that for some of those games – especially the Castleford one, where around 2,000 Tigers fans travelled along the M62 – there have been big, big away followings.
But even if you take away the 2,000 Cas fans from the crowd, it still leaves over 3,000 inside the ground: and that’s still more than both Salford and Castleford had in there combined 12 months ago!
So irrespective, it shows there are some new Salford fans in and amongst the numbers. A fourth successive increase tonight against St Helens – as well as a win which would put them in the top four – would only be further proof that the club are on the rise.
The magic number to beat tonight is 4,386, by the way. That was their first home game of last season, when they hammered the Saints 44-10. Do that again tonight, and people may really start to talk about the Red Devils in a serious manner.