Salford Council bosses must have been fuming today after players from Salford City Reds were seen on national tv promoting a new `ice rink'. The rink was not the controversial Swinton based, Council run skating patch but an artificial `eco-ice' rink at the Trafford Centre, owned by Peel Holdings.
One of the justifications for splashing out so much public money on the Council's rink is that it is a "positive PR exercise for the City", and fortunes have been spent employing outside agencies to do all the marketing. But it looks like the Trafford Centre - also sponsors of Salford City Reds - has cleaned up in the PR stakes, especially as the Council run rink is due to open tomorrow.
"Salford City Reds are known as superb athletes - and yet ice skating doesn't feature on their usual training programme" says Michelle Wilden of WonderIce, purveyors of the `eco-rink' "We are over the moon to have sportsmen of this calibre test it out… and they have an open invitation to come back for more training."
Meanwhile, Salford Reds' vice captain Rob Parker adds: "Cross-training is a great way to improve fitness, and building up speed on the eco-rink was certainly a good work-out for sportsmen who have to be at their best. Perhaps we'll see more rugby players taking to the rink as part of their fitness regime."
We're sure Salford Council will be delighted to see them at its Swinton rink – it needs every penny it can muster to make up the estimated £85,000 income to offset against the £228,450 cost to local council tax payers…