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Ex-player says former club should accept selling players instead of asking fans for money

Salford Red Devils were forced to release a statement this week following some criticism of them opening up their fan ownership model to include a credit union loan offer to allow fans who can’t afford to pay a lump sum to pay weekly or monthly instalments.

The club are chasing community ownership to keep the club in a strong position.

Managing Director Paul King revealed this week that the Red Devils were able to turn down a transfer bid for a key player because of the support of fans and to keep a hold of their star players they need this support to continue.

However, after some negativity towards their announcement this morning, the club have clarified the situation:

“Salford Red Devils would like to clarify the position regarding the recent announcement of support from the Salford Credit Union (SCU).

“Since the launch of ‘Reds Rise Together’, over 600 people have backed the campaign and the club in its efforts to become the first elite community-owned rugby league club, raising over £160,000 in the process.

“Throughout these first weeks of the campaign, supporters have provided feedback and suggestions as to how the Club could make the campaign more widely accessible and we have been eagerly listening.

“One frequent request was to provide a direct debit option through which supporters could support the campaign and make monthly payments in the process. As we are utilising the Crowdfunder platform over a 6-week project, with payment required upfront, a reoccurring direct debit option was not possible.

“In pursuit of providing supporters with a solution whereby they would be able to make the full payment immediately, the Salford Credit Union provided an alternative option to a traditional direct debit scheme.

“Salford Credit Union is a local not-for-profit organisation that will only provide finance following satisfactory credit-check and affordability assessments and will decline applications where necessary. The SCU also allows those wishing to take up the option of the SCU ownership offer the ability to choose the loan terms most appropriate to them. The Club encourage only those willing and able to do so to utilise the SCU ownership offer.

“We will continue to do what we can to make involvement as accessible as possible without compromising the remarkable support of those already making history with us and remain committed to operating with transparency and honesty throughout so to ensure motives and intentions are accurately presented. We ask those questioning the Club to seek answers from us firstly before incorrectly questioning integrity and reporting potentially damaging false narratives to the detriment of the campaign.”

Now though former Salford Red Devils star Mark Flanagan has said he thinks the whole situation is wrong that fans should be asked to pay to keep the club successful.

Instead he feels that the club can still be success by selling players citing the departures of Ben Murdoch-Masila and Rob Lui ahead of their Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final appearances.

He said on Twitter:

“If a club has financial problems it should sell its assets or at very least downgrade outgoings to a manageable level. Prior our best years in 2019/20 we sold O’Brien, Lui and Ben M-M to stay alive. Relying on fans donations during a cost of living crisis is wrong.

“Salford have some of the most amazing, passionate fans in RL but for me they shouldn’t be put in this position.

“Salford have some amazing fans that I have a great deal of respect for. I just wish the ‘community ownership’ model was offered when the club had been in a sounder financial position rather than fighting for its survival.”

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