Salford Red Devils have lost two of their star players with both Andy Ackers and Brodie Croft having signed for Leeds Rhinos for the upcoming 2024 campaign.
The duo have both signed three year contracts and will form part of Rohan Smith’s new look spine that includes NRL signings Matt Frawley and Lachlan Miller.
Acquiring both Ackers and Croft is a major statement of intent from Leeds who finished the 2023 season in a disappointing eighth having lost six of their final nine games.
Not only is it a statement of intent on the field, it also shows the financial strength of the Rhinos with the Daily Telegraph reporting the deal for Croft to be worth $2 million, with a $300,000 transfer fee.
Moreover, Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington himself has confirmed that the moves represent the ‘biggest investment in one go since we signed Iestyn Harris in 1997’.
Part of the reason for the reported transfer fee was due to Croft being signed on to a long term contract with Salford, one that would see him contracted to the side until 2030.
That was part of the Red Devils mid-season retention programme, but as evident with Tyler Dupree who had signed a three-year deal before his Wigan move, it doesn’t guarantee anything.
Dupree’s transfer controversially came months after the club asked for investment from fans with the club striving to be community owned.
One of those owners took to X, formerly Twitter, to reveal the letter shared to those that had invested to inform of the departure of their two star players.
A screenshot of the letter reads as follows:
“Where we can, we will always share information with you; the good, the bad and the ugly. Hence why we shared the recent board update with you.
“Ahead of their imminent announcement, we want to let you know that the Club has agreed to sell Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers to Leeds Rhinos.
“Whilst Brodie had a well-documented NRL release clause, we were not planning on seeing him depart this winter.
“However, the Club will now receive a club-record fee for Brodie, easing some of the financial pressures we have previously communicated.
“Andy was asked to stay; however, he has expressed his desire to make the move to Leeds. We thank them for their efforts and sincerely wish them both the very best of luck in the future.”
Consequent to the news many Salford fans are calling for reinvestment in the club given the loss of Dupree, Croft and Ackers.
Thus far the only signature the Red Devils have made is that of Nene Macdonald, the former Rhinos centre joining on a four year deal.