Salford City Announce Plans To Search For New Investment

Salford City have announced that they are exploring new strategic partners to bring investment to the club after a period of stagnation.

The board, including Peter Lim and the Class of ‘92, who acquired the Ammies in 2014, are seeking out ‘the right new partner’ to help capitalise on the number of opportunities presented by the club.

In the ten years that Peter Lim and the group of ex-Manchester United stars have been on the hierarchy at Salford, they have stormed up the English football pyramid, seeing four promotions and zero relegations.

Despite searching for new partners to invest alongside them, the owners have said they ‘remain fully committed to the club’.

Nicky Butt, CEO of Salford City said [quotes via club media]: “We are backing Salford City with as much commitment and confidence as ever.

“We have achieved very special things here but there are major opportunities in front of us and we want to make sure we have the right mix of investment and strategic partners to take advantage of those opportunities.”

The move to look towards new investment comes as part of a ten-year plan set out by the board when they originally took over in 2014.

Butt said: “We had an original 10-year plan and with strong foundations now in place, it was always the intention to explore options for the next phase.”

Salford’s success across recent years is exemplified by their victory in the EFL trophy in 2020. However, since then, the team have struggled to see a route out of League Two, despite a playoff run last season. Now, the Ammies sit deeper in the table than ever after a disappointing 2023/24 campaign thus far.

The club currently sit 19th in England’s fourth tier, although, since the arrival of manager Karl Robinson in January, they looked to return to their typical form. An impressive eight-game unbeaten run saw victories over playoff contenders like Wrexham and Barrow. This weekend, the excellent spell of results ended after a disappointing defeat to Mansfield who currently sit at the top of the league.

A topic like club ownership often sparks debate across fan bases. The fans of Salford have voiced their opinion on the recent announcement.

Danny Shepherd, host of the Salford City podcast ‘One Up Front’ found the prospective investment confusing. He said: “I don’t understand why anybody would want to invest in Salford.

“We make heavy losses in this division, and we’ve got a small fan base with no sign of it potentially growing, so I don’t get how that’s attracting another financial investor,” he continued.

“It’s going in the wrong direction. I think we’ve gone past the point where we look like we could progress and keep momentum. Now momentum has stopped so we need to progress.”

He believes that fans are unhappy with the setup of the management and coaching system.

“The reason why fans think things have gone wrong, apart from the recent lack of investment, is the fact the owners have gone for the head coach model, rather than the manager model.

“They don’t like the fact that people like Neil Wood and Karl Robinson are given players to deal with rather than being able to choose their own which might suit their needs.”

Shepherd touched on the idea that Salford has seen a lack of investment. He looked at Wrexham’s incredible rise to compare how investment could change Salford.

“Wrexham is a perfect example. They came up with a lot of fanfare. But they’ve shown if you recruit intelligently in the right areas, and you have a plan that makes sense, then it makes all the difference in the world.

“It’s not just about money because they did put money in, in the first three maybe four years, but lately not.”

Salford now host Colchester United at the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday in their first game since the announcement.

Writer’s View

There is no doubt that Salford City would benefit from outside investment into the club, in the same way that most other teams would. Nevertheless, while they may not look appealing to potential investors due to their limited fanbase and recent form this season, there is great potential in investing in the club.

The main selling point to an investor is likely to be the business links to the Class of ’92 members – not many investors may turn down the opportunity to work with David Beckham or Gary Neville. However, with a turnaround in their recent form, the footballing side of the business would ideally spark some interest in the club. Salford’s football could benefit from the investment as after several seasons within League Two, they now look like they are struggling to make any further progress up the footballing ladder.

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