Watson issues warning on Salford’s spending as Red Devils work with small playing budget

Salford head coach Ian Watson has warned that the club cannot continue to cut its playing budget if it expects to stay in Super League.

Watson has been given a restricted budget for the current season, with the Red Devils thought to be working on a budget around £200,000 short of the £1.9 million cap.

The reduced funding is a result of the recent takeover, with the club no longer able to rely on the financial resources of former owner Marwan Koukash.

In order to spend up to salary cap, the Red Devils will have to increase their revenue streams, and Watson has urged everyone associated with the club to do their part in boosting the profile of the club.

“You can’t just keep cutting everything, if you do that you end up falling down the chain in terms of your quality in your squad and you’re heading towards the Championship.”

Watson stressed that he is confident in his squad’s abilities to improve on last year’s eight-placed finish.

However, he insisted further cuts to the budget would have a derogatory effect on the business elsewhere.

“Your product has to be on the rugby field,” he said.

“If you get it right on there, the off-field stuff takes care of itself and grows off the back of that. The one thing you can’t do is just keep cutting money off your salary cap. If you do that, you’re on a one-way street and that’s going down.”

The new consortium, headed by long-standing Salford fan Andrew Rosler, is already beginning in its efforts to increase income coming into the club.

Watson himself has had to take a hands-on approach to off-field matters ever since joining the club and believes the club can strengthen its commercial appeal, but will be asking his squad to play their part in that process too.

“At a club like this you’ve got to roll your sleeves up and get a little bit dirty.

“We need to bring more sponsors into the club and generate income in all different ways and ensure our performances on the field sell the product as well.

“If we can do that we can start to make some money for the club.

“We’ll be asking more of the players but it’s careful to get that balance right. They already do a lot of promos. Somedays we’ve had a game and been out and about the day before when we’d rather be resting them up.

“There’s a fine balance but when the season starts to focus has to be on the field.”

Meanwhile, Watson has been left optimistic about the future following early conversations with Rosler, who has taken on an increased role since the takeover.

“When you’ve got somebody at the top of the club they have to have a vision of where they want to take the club, the game and the players.

“Marwan had that too and sometimes he got faced with a brick wall. Andy has come in and has similar aspirations, he’s got big ideas. You have to follow through on those ideas and we’ll do that by being on the same page.”