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SALFORD COUNCIL SHOCK REJECTION OF SALFORD CITY REDS RESCUE
 

Star date: 11th December 2012

SALFORD COUNCIL RUGBY RESCUE SHOCK!

Today, despite a rescue bid put together by Salford Council officers for Salford City Reds rugby club, Mayor Ian Stewart's Mayoral Team rejected the plan on the basis of its financial viability.

Full details here…


All day, Salford Council has remained tight lipped on its proposed £750,000 rescue plan for Salford City Reds rugby club, after a Mayoral Team meeting which began at 10am this morning. Now the Council has issued a press notice that the planned £750,000 rescue bid, via way of a loan facility, has been rejected by councillors.

The press notice states "Councillors today rejected a rescue plan for the troubled Salford City Reds. They refused to agree a £750,000 lifeline for the club as part of a proposed new joint venture between Salford City Council and Peel, which would have taken-over the running of the club."

"…now the joint venture deal is off the table after councillors expressed concern about the financial viability of the rescue plan, the level of risk of such a loan, and embarking on such a joint venture in the current economic climate" the notice adds "The council has already invested £1.5million into the Reds."

Over recent months the Salford Star has documented how the £750,000 loan facility would have come on top of previous recent support for the Salford Reds, including loans of either £1.5million or £2million (no-one knows for sure); a hidden payment of £250,000 for the Willows car park which only came to light when there was an information leak; over £350,000 in grants and funding to the Salford Reds Foundation, of which over £200,000 found its way back to the rugby club in `re-charges'…

…Salford Council has also provided direct sponsorship of over £6000; Salford Council officers being seconded to help the club, and the Salford City Stadium `home' for Salford Reds built with over £32million of public funding, including a £22million loan, land worth £6.7million and a £4million grant from NWDA…

The press notice adds that, together with the postponed winding up notice, Salford City Reds "has already had their bank account frozen".

Salford Mayor Ian Stewart, and his deputy Councillor David Lancaster did not attend the meeting which rejected further finance and "took no part in the debate and did not vote, on legal advice".

"Times are tough and in many ways, the Reds are yet another victim of the recession" said Ian Stewart "We would have loved to try and help them out, but given the spending cuts the city council is already facing, that proved impossible. The Reds have had a long and proud history in Salford over the last 116 years, but they are now victims of cash flow problems and the current economic climate.

"The city council's ability to support the club financially is now at an end, and it is for the club's existing Board to decide the future of the Reds" he added "Whilst we can no longer help financially, we will do everything in our power to support the club and would urge any single investor or group of investors who are interested in a take-over to act extremely quickly before the Club Board of Directors make a final decision on the future of Salford City Reds."

The future of the club is now uncertain...

UPDATE 13th December...

Salford Reds Chairman, John Wilkinson, has issued the following statement...

"The board and myself were obviously very disappointed to learn the outcome of the vote taken by the City Council’s cabinet yesterday, but we respect and understand the difficult position they were in, given the backdrop of budget cutbacks.

During negotiations the Club has been unable to speak freely and has had to respect the process, and it has been frustrating having to sit back and leave incorrect and at times scurrilous speculation unanswered.

If these negotiations could have been brought to a successful conclusion, as we all expected they would be, it would have secured the future of the Club, however this now opens the door to other opportunities.

The position as it stands is that the Club has a short-term cash flow problem that it needs to overcome, however once that is done the club’s business plan remains solid, viable and independently verified by leading accounting firms such as KPMG.

Salford City Reds remains a great investment opportunity for new blood with an appetite for top level sport and we would urge anyone with an interest to make contact immediately.

The Club has always received exceptional levels of support from the local business community and this spirit remains, with the Club still attracting new sponsors even while recently surrounded by an air of uncertainty.

This gives us great confidence that there is someone out there who can help us take this great club forward and on to successes within Super League.

As a board we were fully committed to the deal on the table as everything had led us to believe that it would be concluded positively. As a result of yesterday’s decision we are forced to reopen investigations into other avenues, and remain confident that with everyone pulling together in the same direction – board members, supporters, players, coaches and staff – that a positive conclusion can still be reached within the required timeframe.

Discussions continue with other interested parties, including Peel, and we are grateful to the RFL for their on-going support in these matters. We will update stakeholders on any progress as soon as we are able.

In addition we are considering a meeting with supporters at a convenient time and location one evening. If you would be interested in attending such a meeting please send an email to admin@reds.co.uk and we will ensure you receive full details in time to attend.”

 

 

wrote
at 15:46:18 on 17 December 2012
@Eddie - I think there's a Local Government Ombudsman who's supposed to investigate dodgy councils, but from what I've read they're not much use. It's Catch 22, whats needed to start a proper investigation is evidence of wrongdoing, but the council are hardly going to hand it over. Maybe we could start a public list of council clam ups? Then at least everyone would know the best places to at least start looking for leaks..!
 
Eddie Banks wrote
at 13:38:16 on 17 December 2012
I quite agree . There is a far too much secrecy regarding the activities of this dreadfully inept clowncil . Every thing they waste OUR money on must be urgently investigated . How can we get this city's finances independently investigated ?
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 06:16:16 on 17 December 2012
I agree with what "wrote" has said regarding this issue. it needs to be investigated by independent outside body. The council do allow the general public to look at the accounts once a year, but you would have to be a maths genius to get to the bottom of their accounts. Hid within their long term debtors lies a can of worms, but will we ever find out who and what?? I do hope there is a good outcome for the Reds, but not at the expense of Salford residents.
 
wrote
at 09:15:53 on 16 December 2012
we need a public and police inquiry in to this mess, is this going to be Salford's " jimmy savile " moment. where everyone is talking about this councils corruption behind closed doors,through fear of threats from the council. yet in years to come when the dam brakes and the truth comes out we all find our suspicions were right yet did nothing at the time. it's time that salford councils financial books were opened to us the tax paying public who pay there wages and to see where our millions have gone, and to whom they have gone to. maybe the salford star can start a on line petition to have this matter discussed in parliament. ps john wilkinson should not be allowed any where near public properties i.e Buile Hill Mansion, after this mess. rugby is not football it gets micky mouse crowds, now salford is going to pay for this folly, which salford people told the clowncil before they went in to this venture.but they now best?
 
Royston wrote
at 18:54:47 on 13 December 2012
Lets get straight to the point and stop pussyfooting about. I suggest we move the cranes from the Quays to the centre of the pitch at the new stadium and then surround them with "affordable" housing units, add a few nice warehouses where the car parks are and then there will have enough space left for Peel to build a monument to their avarice in the shape of a 300 metre high White Elephant that Salfordians can look upon with awe when they are passing over the high level bridge on their way to the Trafford Centre which , as any fule kno is the official hub of the known Universe
 
Anderson Sowerberry wrote
at 10:07:18 on 13 December 2012
Pickles must authorise an in-depth, external,independent investigation into the waste and squander of Taxpayers money in this mismanaged city .
 
Insider wrote
at 07:41:35 on 13 December 2012
It is a disgrace that the council were even thinking of loaning or giving more money to Johnny Wilkinson's. The council have already seconded staff free of charge and funded a consultant. They get more than their share of the budget as do many of Biffo Councillor Lancaster pet ideas. The Mayor is Lancaster's glove puppet with the assistants Do nothing Dennet, Bimbo Stone, Antrobullshit, Gina no-merit, Mary Morris'Dancer, Bill 'no balls' Hinds, Merry dance to lancasters tune John, and any other councillor who can rack up expenses to line their pockets, too frightened of representing the people and challenging the Council of Stalinford!
 
Kit wrote
at 18:36:54 on 12 December 2012
My feeling is that the Reds had to be kept alive only enough to finish the "new stadium operation".
 
Big Bad Bob wrote
at 09:54:33 on 12 December 2012
Its about time someone put the Reds out of their misery! From observing recent events it would appear that the club has been woefully mismanaged and the council has been throwing good money after bad to keep a mortally wounded animal going. What was the Council thinking? I feel sorry for the Reds fans and the ordinary staff at the club (and I guess the good community works done by the Red Foundation will suffer too)Hopefully a decent buyer will now emerge and rebuild from the ground up and give Salford a team it can be proud of as its the least that the fans are owed.
 
Curious Clive wrote
at 09:54:23 on 12 December 2012
Ian Stewart and David Lancaster "took no part in the debate and did not vote, on legal advice". Why is this then? Is it not that normally they would only be prevented from voting if they had a vested interest? Maybe Mary Ferrer could advise us on this, is this correct Mary?
 
Mary Ferrer wrote
at 06:12:15 on 12 December 2012
I wonder if this latest loan hadn't been leaked to to the press,would it have been passed this morning. Makes you wonder.Thank god for the power of the press.Questions now need to be asked. 1) Who proposed this latest loan in the first place. 2) What is the exact amount of loans. 3) Where within the councils accounts is the loan for £1M plus which was given in 2009. 4) Who or what are the councils long term debtors. 5) Is that where the £1M plus in hidden.6) Do we know when we can expect repayment.7) who within the Council over the last 4/5 years has been rubber stamping all these loans with the club being in such a financial mess. I hope we get answers, because I don't think we will be getting any Money.
 
life is loud wrote
at 21:04:32 on 11 December 2012
I quite agree with the rejection when services are being cut and people are having to work for less money we cannot prop up this sort of finance anymore, sell it off, by the way it would make a great concert venue. Its amazing how money was pumped into Salford rugby club but noone was interested in saving the great Swinton Rugby club that rugby ground should never have been bulldozed
 
Joe O'neill wrote
at 21:03:28 on 11 December 2012
So are we to see Labours white elephant bite the dust?I for one could never understand how so much of this cities cash could be thrown at what in the buisness world would have been cut at birth.Qusetions must be asked of Labour in regards to tax payers money in a climate of cuts and austerity.What ever figure this city have thrown at this club makes little interest to many only the fact they did throw away our cash when people are worried over if they have a job or not.Who in their right minds would have thought the club could pull in the crowds? why are we trying to clarify how much cash was put forward they must come out in the open, we must demand answers,what criteria did this council have in place for hard and soft loans? was it followed.Why did a mag like the star and activists have to force the answers from a council that claims to be transparent but hides under a thin veil of secrecy.I hope with others to put together a list of questions and place them on Salford councils door i suggest others do the same,because if your wages are cut next year or your job goes you to should be demanding answers from Salfords Labour council we will
 
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