The ongoing saga of financial difficulties at Salford City Reds has taken a turn into nowhere, with the release of a statement by the rugby club's directors that gives supporters no news on its future.
Currently the Reds are in the midst of a winding up petition which is due to be heard on January 7th (see here for details), while rumours abound that there is no big new investor about to come forward. Media reports suggest that Salford City Council and Peel Holdings, plus some existing sponsors, are likely to put a rescue package together, providing the directors clear existing loans.
The full statement from the Board of Directors reads…
"The Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to re-assure supporters, sponsors and staff that every effort is being made to bring the complex investment talks to a quick and favourable conclusion for all parties going forward and to enable the club to launch the new season effectively.
"The playing squad has returned for pre-season training and we expect to be in a position soon to release season ticket information and new commercial opportunities for Super League XVIII.
"The Board of Directors appreciates the understanding and patience of our supporters and partners during this time of uncertainty and would like to assure everyone concerned that we are doing everything we can to expedite the process and move forward to secure a progressive future for the Salford City Reds organisation."
* UPDATE: 2pm Wed 21st November
CITY MAYOR DOESN'T RULE OUT MORE SALFORD COUNCIL FUNDING FOR SALFORD REDS…
At this morning's full Salford Council Meeting, Mayor Ian Stewart didn't rule out further funding for Salford City Reds. In a statement to councillors he said that discussions were currently "of a commercial nature and at a sensitive point", and that he didn't want to jeopardize negotiations by revealing anything. But added that the protection of the city's investment in the club was linked in with its stability.
While Stewart explained that he personally favoured a Supporters Trust, and that he had halted any more Council money being put into the club since July, "I would re-consider my position if they came to me with a viable plan for the future of the club…If I think there is a viable plan to stabilise the club then I will make that decision – that time is not now."
This probably leaves Reds supporters even more confused than before, but the very fact that Stewart isn't ruling out more Council money suggests that something is in the air.
* Ian Stewart revealed he was a Salford City Reds season ticket holder during the Salford Star Mayoral Challenge (see here under Salford City FC question)
Is there a conflict of interest here?
See previous articles...
Salford Reds In Hock Until 2017 - click here
Salford Reds Received Loans and Costs from own Charity – click here
Photo shows The Willows last week