As confusion reigns over the future legal ownership of Salford Red Devils, a new club crest has been unveiled after 'intensive research and design'...
"Time and again, the same symbols and defining factors were brought up in the feedback – The Willows, Salford Quays, the down-to-earth work ethic of those who live here" the club states "It seemed everybody we spoke to felt the same way. It became clearer than ever before that this could not just be about simply changing a logo.
"In a way, given the depth of the research, ultimately the new crest would almost create itself and we are proud that, going forward, this historic Club will once again carry the name of Salford wherever we may play" it adds.
The crest features a willow tree at its centre, in a shield topped with a devil's trident. Also depicted are worker bees, rivers and canals, and a crossed wire representing the Lowry Millennium Footbridge (see diagram).
"We are proud too that our city's heritage and ethics will be worn with pride by our players – wherever they may come from in the world and we will make sure they know the significance of every aspect of playing for Salford Red Devils" the club concludes.
Meanwhile, the last fortnight has seen the creation of the independent Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust, which is completely separate from any board of trustees that Marwan Koukash might set up to run the club.
This Trust has been set up by the fans for the fans, and harks back to the supporters' organisation, Forever Reds, which began in 2003 to help the club but has been dormant in recent years since Koukash took over. The new Supporters' Trust has met twice over the last couple of weeks and already has almost three hundred members from all over the world.
"The reason we got together in the first place was to improve dialogue between the fans and the community and the club because there seemed to be a disconnect in that relationship" explains Dave Campbell, a member of the temporary board that's been created "We've had good dialogue over the last season with the club's CEO so it just seemed sensible to legitimise ourselves.
"It's not about fan ownership or anything like that; it's just about re-engaging" he adds "I personally think it's the only way the club is going to succeed, if the club engages with its fans again properly. Part of the objectives are to support rugby league from top to bottom, including the amateur rugby clubs in the area, getting involved with fundraising, and social events.
"We'll be working in partnership with Salford Red Devils Foundation and, hopefully, feeding into the new board of trustees and getting some sort of joined up thinking, so we're all working together before the new season starts" he says "We want to be proactive, raise the profile of club and game, and we want to see the team succeed whoever is operating the club."
Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust is currently formalising itself with a constitution, rules, accounting procedures and the temporary board, which has a wide cross section of members until elections take place later in the year.
It will come under the umbrella of Supporters Direct which covers hundreds of supporters' trusts across the country. Members are also hoping to meet with supporters' organisations at Warrington Wolves and Sale Sharks.
"The majority of Trust members are happy that the club is remaining in the city, and that it's keeping the Salford title in its name" says Dave "There's lots of uncertainty but we're getting ourselves organised and hopefully the club does see us as a sounding board for fans. I would encourage fans to get involved, ask questions of us and stand for election.
"We're just custodians of the Trust at the minute, just getting it to an operational point but we want young, old, people from all over the city and wider areas to get involved" he adds "It's been overwhelming how much interest it's got just in a couple of weeks. It's about getting fans heard and hopefully contribute to the way the club is going in the future..."
To become a member of Salford RLFC Supporters' Trust costs £10 for adults and £5 for children – click here for online registration form
For more details about the Trust see the website https://salfordrlfcst.wordpress.com/
Contact the Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the Trust on Twitter @SalfordRLFC_ST