Swinton Lions have submitted plans with the RFL to rebrand as Manchester Lions for the 2020 season.
In a statement issued by the club, officials claim the club will keep its Swinton identity, but will change it’s playing trading name subject to approval.
The Lions have been considering the move for sometime, with Andy Mazey outlining the club’s viewpoint earlier this week.
The latest statement read: “As well as a moral responsibility to the long-standing heritage of the Club and its supporters. It is clear that with the highly probable central funding decreases post-2021, a stagnant home fan attendance, and a consistent failure to meet the RFL key funding objectives, that it is imperative that the Board act now to give the Lions not only the best chance of survival, but also to grow and be a force in the game.
“The Board firmly believe that there is a significant opportunity to broaden the appeal of Swinton by becoming THE rugby league club of Manchester. However, in doing so we have set out to respect the Swinton name, our colours and our heritage, whilst creating a future facing, financially viable and hungry rugby league club – a Manchester club that appeals to a broader fan base and one that we can all be proud of.”
It continued: “Indeed the Swinton Lions will very much live on via the following:-
• The Club’s legal entity will remain SWINTON LIONS RLFC LIMITED
• The RFL official registration remains unchanged under the title Swinton Lions
• Our financial instruments remain unchanged
• We will retain our colours and sensitively align our badge with our heritage
• We will still be THE LIONS
• We will retain our history
• We will retain the same players, staff and Directors
“The club therefore remains the same in all aspects, other than the adaptation of a new playing brand name, very much along the lines of the Eastern Suburbs RLFC example in Australia, who retain their original legal and historic identity, but play under the branded name Sydney Roosters”