Super League club’s Managing Director suggests he would step down if fans wanted as he gives them the power for real change

Salford Red Devils Managing Director Paul King has defended the club’s ambition to become community owned.

He explained the concept fully on BBC Radio Manchester as he pushed back against criticism:

“We launched a community ownership fund, you can go on, go onto the website, you can donate. We got asked to provide a direct debit option because there isn’t a direct debit option through CrowdFunder. So in league with the local authority, the credit union was who we chose because they were not for profit and anything that overspills goes back into the community. So we went with them, we took a bit of criticism because of that. I think as of yesterday there were three people that had used that facility.

“What I would say to anybody who’s listening, if you go back on the website, if you’re not happy about it, up to the 5th of June when the crowdfunder element closes, up to the 5th of June, you can press the refund money button and get your money back.

“So we’re not forcing anybody to do anything, we’re asking people if they will donate and this is our plan and on Tuesday we’ll reveal the bigger picture where we’re at and what the vision and aspiration is. At that point if they don’t agree, if they don’t like it and they’ve donated they can get a refund. If they do like it and they haven’t donated then please donate.”

He also suggested that this allows fans to make real change at the club and even stand for board election and vote those on the board off, including himself:

“In terms of plans for the crowdfunding, that’s kind of set in stone on 5th June. But this is the whole point, I’m not a benefactor, we’re a fan-owned club so there’s myself, Andy Rosler, Paul Trainor, Joanne Hawkins, we’re all the board, we’re all fans and have been for a long time so we just have to find a way for the club to survive and compete so we can break this chain of being a selling club.

“I think some people might not like it, but that’s fine but you can put your hand up. The board will stand down about December and some of them will stand for re-election, but at that point, any fans, because we can have a board of six to nine people, can put their hand up to be a board member at that point.

“They can change the direction of the club if they want. That’s the whole point of it. It’s about people coming in and bringing a bit of fresh blood in and maybe if that’s either change of direction or a change of personnel crack on that’s that’s democracy for you that’s the way it works.”

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