Salford director sets out key factors for survival

Salford director Paul King has admitted the game faces collapse if three key factors don’t go in the way of the sport.

King highlighted the RFL’s application for compensation to the government, a continuation of funding from Sky Sports during the coronavirus lockdown and the length of suspension as the three key components that will dictate the outlook for Rugby League once the pandemic finishes.

Salford have already received freezes on HMRC and PAYE payments until May, while King has already opened discussions with the landlords of the AJ Bell Stadium about a suspension on payments to help keep the club stable during these uncertain times.

“We won’t go under in March or April, but May is a stretch,” King said.

“We’ve been into HMRC and PAYE, and it’s an awful conversation to have.

“But unless the government comes in, the game has a real issue, which will come to haunt us in two or three months.

“It’s also really important Robert (Elstone) maintains his relationship with Sky. They provide the sport with really important money and if that goes then, wow, the game is in trouble.

“We’ve structured our club intentionally so that the Sky money we receive covers the wages, which is about £142,000 a month. Then a different pot, which could pay for a variety of things, comes from alternative income. So you can see the issue there for us if Sky don’t provide their income because we aren’t showing games.”

Meanwhile, King revealed the Red Devils would be in a position to start spending up to salary cap if they could attract 5,000 attendances.

It’s been well documented that Salford are the lowest spenders in Super League, but King admitted that would change if they boosted their attendances.

They have attracted an average attendance of 4,259 so far this season.