IAN BLEASE LEAVES SALFORD RED DEVILS

Director of Rugby, Ian Blease has today left Salford Red Devils to take up an opportunity at Leeds Rhinos.

His departure ends a 20-year association with the club, where he has represented the Red Devils’ both on and off the pitch.

A Salford lad through and through, Ian joined the club as a player from local side, Folly Lane ARL.

He went on to make 272 appearances over a 12-year period, including three seasons as club captain.

Ian also won two Second Division titles (1990-91 & 1995-96) and was part of the team who won promotion to the newly founded Super League in 1996.

The back-row forward also reached two Lancashire Cup finals, where he scored a memorable try against Widnes in 1991.

Since his playing days, Ian rejoined the club in 2016 as Director of Rugby.

During his tenure, the Red Devils have reached the Betfred Super League Grand Final in 2019 and the Challenge Cup Final in 2020.

In the wake of his departure, Ian Blease has said: “As my time at Salford Red Devils now comes to an end, I do hope everyone will understand my decision, for what for me and my family is a huge opportunity to join Leeds Rhinos as the Sporting Director.

“I have given my all for this club for over 20 years, and I feel now is the right time to seek something I have worked hard for.

“Firstly, I would like to pay my respects to all my club colleagues and the board for understanding my position, who have helped and assisted me throughout the last eight years.

“They know who they are, you are very special to me, and I will be forever grateful.

“Secondly, to all my coaches and back-room staff, you have been on point for the club every single day we have worked together.

“To every single player over the last eight years, you have my heart completely. You have worn the shirt with such pride, and you have all helped me build teams who competed with the best in competition – and I will be forever grateful.

“I now have the best of memories to take with me from our years of working closely together.

“Finally, a special mention to the Red Devils fans, your support for and to me has been amazing.

“From the Supporters Trust and its members to every single fan who has taken time to speak to me over the years, I truly thank you.

“It has been my absolute pleasure to work for you all, and I sincerely wish all the fans and the Red Devils all the very best for the future.

“I do hope my contribution to the club has helped the club transition from what it was when I arrived, to where it is now.”

Managing Director, Paul King has added: “Ian has been a loyal servant to the club for over 20 years now, so it’s with some sadness that we confirm his departure.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed our last six years working together and it is a relationship that has created so many unforgettable memories.

“Old Trafford in 2019 and Wembley in 2020 are two fantastic occasions that will remain stamped in the club’s DNA throughout history, as will Ian.

“It is very difficult to deny one of the big three when they come knocking, so I fully understand his decision to leave and wish him well in the future.

“Ian, Sally and Ava have long been a part of the Salford family so match days will feel a little strange, but they will always be welcome back at the stadium and should be guaranteed a very warm, and pleasant reception when the Rhinos are in town in August – I have no doubt we will share a pint post-game.

“The club will now focus on securing a stadium deal, the commencement of our Elite Academy, the 2025 squad build, the race for the playoffs and the many other exciting opportunities heading our way.”

RED DEVILS SECURE ELITE ACADEMY LICENCE

Salford Red Devils are excited to confirm that the Club has been awarded an Elite Academy Licence.

Securing the Elite Academy Licence is a significant piece of the jigsaw and efforts since the Club’s previous application have sought to reaffirm that.

Since 2021, the Club have invested into a strong pathway programme through the REDS, Development Academy and Reserves Programmes – with 26 players having secured professional contracts. Whilst key appointments have strengthened the pathway, with first class personnel already in the system, this already strong infrastructure will now be built upon.

The Aims of the Academy are as follows:

  • Creating an environment of excellence for young players to develop and progress to represent Salford Red Devils in the Super League.
  • Developing people first in “The Salford Way”, with a top rate personal development and welfare programme.
  • Driven by innovation.
  • One Club – “The Red Thread” permeating through every aspect of the Club.
  • Ensuring all players respect the balance between Rugby League, Education and being ‘Future Ready’.
  • Producing at least five players for the Salford Red Devils First Team squad in 5 years.

In tandem with the incoming Rugby Strategy for Salford, the Elite Academy Licence supports the ethos of the RED Thread – the core values of the Club. Together, they connect that young child lacing up their boots for the first time with the first-team star pulling on the shirt and representing Salford.

Managing Director, Paul King said:

“I am delighted with the decision to award the Club an Elite Academy Licence. It is outstanding news for everyone involved with the bid, and pivotal in our strategy to drive the Club forwards.

“Today’s announcement is recognition and a deserved reward for the hard work not only put into this bid, but also in to laying the foundations for its success since 2021.

“Those foundations have already enabled so much, and now the licence gives us an opportunity to build on them and develop elite players that no longer have to leave our City in order to pursue a career in rugby league.”

Speaking on the Club’s previous application in 2021, Paul Trainor, Director added; “We chose to use that as a catalyst to create a first-rate player pathway coaching team creating a system which develops great people as well as great rugby players.

“Our Academy programme will ensure that the players coming through the club will understand what it means to represent the City of Salford as well as our club, demonstrating our “Red Thread” core values as an ambassador of the club.  

Over the past three years, our Rising Stars, REDS, Development Academy and Reserve Team pathways have produced 26 players who have gone on to be rewarded with professional contacts, either at Salford Red Devils or at other clubs.

Ian Blease, Director of Rugby Operations said;

“This is a sign of the quality of our system, which the Elite Academy will enhance even further. Having our Elite Academy Licence provides the opportunity for the club to retain the best talent in the City of Salford, as well as support their education and begin their journey to achieve their dreams of playing for Salford Red Devils in Super League.

“We look forward to welcoming them and their families into the Salford family.”

The Club would also like to give thanks to the partners, donors and businesses who have provided support to the pathway. Their unwavering support has contributed to a successful bid and enabled young people to have a chance at achieving their dreams.

Should further individuals, groups or businesses wish to discuss supporting the Academy moving forward please contact chris.irwin@salfordreddevils.net.

CLUB GRANT KEN SIO RELEASE ON COMPASSIONATE GROUNDS

We can confirm that the club have granted Ken Sio his release from Salford Red Devils on compassionate grounds, bringing to an end a magnificent five-year stay at the club.

Adored by the fanbase and well-respected by all his teammates, Sio has been a consistent, high-quality performer for the Red Devils since his move from the Newcastle Knights in late-2018.

He has scored a staggering 78 tries in just 104 appearances, notching his 100th in the Betfred Super League during our clash away at Huddersfield Giants, earlier this year.

The 33-year-old has been our top try-scorer for three consecutive seasons and made two appearances in the Super League Dream Team.

He was also crowned the Super League’s top try-scorer in 2021.

His athleticism and incredible technical ability has been at the heart of so many big moments over the years and he leaves the club with the best wishes of everybody, as he returns home to be with his family.

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has said: “It was difficult to hear that Ken will not be returning to Salford.

“The whole group holds Kenny in such high regard and he has been a trusted friend to myself, and the group.

“We do however fully support Ken’s decision to give his full attention to his family and wish him, Vicky, and the twins the absolute best in the future.”

Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease has added: “In such difficult circumstances, I would like to wish Ken and his family all the best.

“I would like to put on record a massive thank you for his professionalism and dedication during his five years at the club.

“He has been one of our finest signings over that period; an ultimate pro and someone I consider a very close friend.

“I know the supporters hold him in very high regard and his presence and energy around the place will be missed – a real legend of this club.”

Managing Director, Paul King has also added: “Kenny’s personal situation sadly changed quite dramatically since signing his extension only a few months ago, and it is with regret but understanding that we have accepted his request for release on compassionate grounds.

“Kenny has been a magnificent servant to the Club over the last five years and has given us all plenty of moments to celebrate.

“I’m sure I join everyone in saying thank you to Ken, and wish him and his family the very best of luck going forward.”

Everyone at Salford Red Devils would like to thank Ken for all his efforts during his time at the club and wish him and his family all the best.

SALFORD CREDIT UNION SUPPORTS REDS RISE TOGETHER

Salford Red Devils today announce a partnership with the Salford Credit Union in support of the Reds Rise Together campaign.

The Salford Credit Union offer allows supporters to back our bid to become the first elite, community-owned rugby league club and join the Founders Club.

Paul King, Managing Director of Salford Red Devils said:

“Supporters have asked for a route into supporting the campaign through a monthly payment option and the Credit Union offer allows for just that.”

“Salford Credit Union are a local institution with a history of supporting the local community and so we are pleased to have their support with this special campaign.”

Mark Brazendale, Chief Executive Officer of Salford Credit Union said:

“We’re proud to support the Reds Rise Together campaign and be the latest example of Salford supporting Salford. The Club are so important to the community and to enable more local people the opportunity to get involved is really exciting.”

Examples of a Salford Credit Union Loan are:

Loan AmountTermRepaymentInterest RateCharge for CreditTotal Payable
£1,00012 Months£91.86pm19.90% APR£102.29£1,102.29
£1,00052 Weeks£21.07pw19.90% APR£95.43£1,095.43

You can apply for online via the Credit Union’s website www.salfordcreditunion.com via the Personal Loan Section and completing the ‘Personal Loan – Non-Member’ Application Form. In the Loan Purpose box simply select ‘Salford Red Devils Share Ownership’ option. All applications will be treated as being confidential and following approval the funds will be transferred to your nominated Bank Account and then you can purchase your share directly with the club.

If you are already supporting the campaign, but would like to take advantage of the Salford Credit Union offer and join the Founder’s Club, here’s how you can do just that:

  • Complete the Salford Red Devils CSO application on the credit union page here.
  • Once funds have been received, visit our Crowdfunder page and make the £1,000 payment to join the Founder’s Club.
  • Contact the club at owners@salfordreddevils.net with CU UPGRADE in the subject line providing full name and email address. We can then process the return of your original investment.

Salford Credit Union is an ethical, not for profit organisation with the aim of helping its members at the heart of everything it does. They offer savings and loan products to people living and working in Salford. All loans are fully regulated and are approved subject to status.

Salford Credit Union do not charge Loan Set up Fees, Administration fees or Charge for Early Repayment of the Loan. Interest is charged on the reducing balance, the quicker the loan is repaid the less interest will be charged.

Salford Credit Union is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Information correct at time of publish. Salford Credit Union may use Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies to help make decisions. Only those living or working in Salford may apply for a personal loan with the Salford Credit Union. Salford Credit Union are often able to help people who don’t have great Credit Scores, but we regret we are unable to offer a loan if you are in a Debt Management Plan, Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), Debt Relief Order (DRO) or have been declared Bankrupt within the last two years.

£150K RAISED THROUGH REDS RISE TOGETHER

Salford Red Devils today announce that over £150,000 has been raised through the Reds Rise Together campaign.

Almost 600 people have pledged their support of the community share offer campaign which bids to make Salford Red Devils the first elite Rugby League club to become wholly community owned, though momentum has slowed approaching the fourth week of the campaign.

Paul King, Managing Director of Salford Red Devils said;

“It is a remarkable milestone to reach [£150,000 raised], and once again demonstrates just how much this club means to some people.

“It has been so touching to read the reasoning of those becoming shareholders on the Crowdfunder page, and know that others feel the same way about our great club as I do.”

“We’re less than £100k from the initial target, and whilst that can change quite quickly, momentum has really slowed as of late which is worrying.

“We’re approaching an important moment in the campaign – the final stretch – and ideally we’re through the £250k mark well before then and well on our way towards our upper targets.”

Salford Red Devils can also confirm that the club has rejected an offer for an unnamed player this week.

“A reflection of the progress we have made as a club in recent years is our hugely talented squad who are attracting offers from other clubs across the world, and who would potentially command significant transfer fees.”

“But one of the reasons we are doing this now is to ensure we can keep our playing squad together and compete at the higher end of the competition – it just feels counter-productive to move on members of the group right now so we will avoid doing so for as long as we can.

“That being said, it may be something we must consider sooner rather than later if we do not get back on track in the campaign.

“To those who have already pledged and are now making history with us, firstly thank you, and secondly, help us now go further by speaking to your friends and family about it.

“Get them involved right away, or get them along to the event on the 23rd to learn more – this is such a special moment, not only for the club and the game, but for our local community too.”

What is the campaign?

‘Reds Rise Together’ is a community share offer which allows an individual to purchase a share in the club’s holding company – now a Community Benefit Society (CBS) – entitling them to a vote and eligibility to stand for election to the CBS board. Along with a host of other benefits, the overriding benefit is a collective one, meaning that together, we can take better control over the future of our club and continue to add meaningful value to our communities.

Why are we doing it?

In the first instance, we are doing this to become the northern hemisphere’s first elite rugby league club that is truly community-owned and one that gives every member a voice – making history in the process. There are also further key reasons:

  • Maintain as competitive a playing squad as possible that ccompete at the highest level.
  • To unite our growing community behind a common-cause.
  • Fulfil IMG criteria ensuring Category A status within the top-flight of Super League through high level Commercial and Marketing growth.

How can you get involved?

It’s simple: buy a share and/or share the message far and wide!

To get involved or for further information, please view www.salfordreddevils.net/owntheclub, or to contribute directly, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/salford-red-devils

Let’s make history. Together. #RedsRiseTogether

CDX Security announced as new Club Partner

Salford Red Devils are pleased to announce that CDX Security have joined the club as a new Official Partner.

CDX Security is an SIA accredited supplier of security services offering proactive management and innovative security solutions. With a head office in Warrington, CDX Security also have offices in London, Leeds and the West Midlands.

As part of the new partnership, CDX Security will feature on the sleeve of the Red Devils kits for the remainder of the 2021 and the entirety of the 2022 season.

Salford Red Devils Executive Chairman Paul King commented: “We are delighted to welcome CDX Security as a partner of the club. CDX Security and their Chief Executive John Roddy are huge supporters of the rugby league game, and have demonstrated this once again with their support for Salford Red Devils.”

Commenting on the newest CDX Security tie up, who boast England Head Coach Shaun Wane as a strategic advisor, Chief Executive John Roddy added: “‘We were delighted to be contacted by Paul King earlier in the week and advised that there was an opportunity to provide further sponsorship with the Salford Red Devils.

“We have enjoyed good relations with Salford for a few years now and have sponsored a couple of games during the past three seasons, we have also enjoyed sponsoring Harvey Livett, this season.

“The club are excellent to deal with and have always made our attendance at games, a first class experience, for the CDX Security team and our invited guests, ensuring a quality experience.

“We wish the club all the very best for the remainder of the 2021 season and we look forward to being part of the 2022 season and having the CDX Security logo on the playing shirts.”

To find out more information on our newest partner, visit www.cdxsec.com.

Fans forum to be held regarding ownership of the AJ Bell Stadium

Following recent speculation on the ownership of the AJ Bell Stadium, the club will be hosting an event on Thursday 8 July to provide context, clarity and communicate the circumstances around the stadium’s ownership.

The event, which will be held in the 1873 Lounge and will commence at 7pm. will feature a presentation delivered by executive chairman Paul King and club staff, followed by the opportunity for fans to ask questions.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, there will be a limited capacity available for the event therefore sponsors, squad builder members and season ticket holders will all be prioritised and access will be on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are free and can be obtained online here. If you wish to be sat with a particular person, please book together, as you would for a matchday via networking. The event is strictly over 18’s only. Due to restrictions on numbers, please only book a place at the event if you fully intend and are able to go. You will not be able to attend if you do not have a ticket.

Executive chairman Paul King said: “In recent months there has been growing speculation about the ownership of the AJ Bell Stadium, we have been relatively quiet on this matter whilst we took the time to fully understand the circumstances and realities of the situation.

“Following regular meetings with Salford City Council, we believe that we now have a clearer understanding of the circumstances and want to communicate these openly, in person and with the chance for fans to ask questions.”

The event will be recorded and published at a later date for anyone who is unable to attend or get a ticket, and there will be live updates on our social media channels.

Fans forum to be held regarding ownership of the The Salford Stadium

Following recent speculation on the ownership of the The Salford Stadium, the club will be hosting an event on Thursday 8 July to provide context, clarity and communicate the circumstances around the stadium’s ownership.

The event, which will be held in the 1873 Lounge and will commence at 7pm. will feature a presentation delivered by executive chairman Paul King and club staff, followed by the opportunity for fans to ask questions.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, there will be a limited capacity available for the event therefore sponsors, squad builder members and season ticket holders will all be prioritised and access will be on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are free and can be obtained online here. If you wish to be sat with a particular person, please book together, as you would for a matchday via networking. The event is strictly over 18’s only. Due to restrictions on numbers, please only book a place at the event if you fully intend and are able to go. You will not be able to attend if you do not have a ticket.

Executive chairman Paul King said: “In recent months there has been growing speculation about the ownership of the The Salford Stadium, we have been relatively quiet on this matter whilst we took the time to fully understand the circumstances and realities of the situation.

“Following regular meetings with Salford City Council, we believe that we now have a clearer understanding of the circumstances and want to communicate these openly, in person and with the chance for fans to ask questions.”

The event will be recorded and published at a later date for anyone who is unable to attend or get a ticket, and there will be live updates on our social media channels.

Salford Red Devils and Wilkinson Star reignite partnership

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that Wilkinson Star have become a partner of the club once again.

Founded in 1983, Wikinson Star is one of the United Kingdom’s leading importers and wholesale distributors of industrial and welding equipment.

Owner of the company, John Wilkinson, is a former Chairman of Salford, so there is a strong link already in place between Wilkinson Star and Salford Red Devils.

Wilkinson Star have a number of industry leading brands, including Jasic, which has now become the official sponsor of our number 25, Jack Ormondroyd, for the 2021 season.

Speaking on the partnership, Salford Red Devils managing director, Paul King, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our dear old friends Wilkinson Star as a club partner for the 2021 season.

“Having kept in touch with John and Tina for the last few years, I was very aware that their love for the club has never dissipated. John has used his 31 years of experience at the helm to help guide me on more than a couple of occasions in the last few years so it will be fantastic to see him on a more regular match day basis.

“It is also a very clear sign of our increasing commercial viability that companies such as Wilkinson Star, one of the leading wholesalers of welding equipment and compressed air products in the UK and Ireland, have agreed to partner with us.

“At a personal level, game day will be even brighter knowing John is back in the stadium. Who knows, if we ask nicely he may get on the mic in the platinum lounge from time to time for an interview or heritage presentations!”

Wilkinson Star owner, Dr John Wilkinson OBE, added: “This year I celebrate 50 years in business in the City of Salford. Such wonderful years of working with, and employing, thousands of local people, something so special in my working life!

“I am very proud to say that throughout these years I have made many friends, including Paul King, a true friend who has taken on the role of Chairman of Salford Red Devils, a very proud position in our great city.

“So, to celebrate this, I am delighted to take on a sponsorship role at Salford with my company brand, Jasic, and look forward to a season of meeting old friends and making new friends at the Barton stadium.”

You can find out more information on Wilkinson Star HERE, where you can also find numerous contact numbers and email addresses to suit the service you require.

Salford University will host ‘Takeover Day’ against St Helens

Salford Red Devils and Salford University have teamed up in a brand-new partnership which will give students the opportunity for both parties to share expertise and give students unique and beneficial experiences.
As a key component of the partnership, Salford University will stage a ‘Takeover Day’ at the St Helens fixture on Thursday 28th February. Students and staff from the University have been given discounted tickets as part of the event.
Prior to the game, students from Salford University’s Shock Radio will build the atmosphere at the The Salford Stadium, they will also provide live commentary and post-match player interviews. There will also be a reaction challenge game co-ordinated by the staff from the sports exercise team at the University.
Salford University Journalism students will be assisting with official matchday communications and operations. The University’s band will entertain fans pre-game in the marquee and there will be a crossbar challenge at half-time between Salford Red Devils supporters and the University’s Rugby League team.
As part of the longer-term partnership, Salford University have taken pride of place across the back of the 2019 shorts as an official kit sponsor while a member of the Salford Business School will sit on the Club’s Board of Directors.
Salford University and the Red Devils have already worked together on a number of projects including the ‘Fan Fit’ app which tracks the number of steps and activity Salford fans do over each month as well as taking feed directly from the Club’s official website, social media and Youtube channels. Salford Red Devils also held their annual media day at the University’s MediaCity UK Journalism campus in January.
Jennifer Hinsley, Operations Manager at the University of Salford Business School, said: “This is a very exciting partnership for the University, which will give a huge range of our students the chance to experience Rugby League, whether that is just as a fan or actually getting involved in helping to run a matchday. It is a big part of our strategy to give our students real world experience in this partnership is a key part of that.”
Salford Red Devils Director, Paul King, said: “To have a strong working relationship with Salford University is fantastic and this ‘Takeover Day’ is the perfect opportunity for us to display this wonderful partnership. This day will allow a number of the Universities students get involved with a gameday whether that be offering assistance to the operations, entertainment or just coming and experiencing their first-ever Rugby League game.
“We’ve been working really hard on improving the matchday experience at the The Salford Stadium and offering a partner such as Salford University a ‘Takeover Day’ will only help us with this and I’m hoping all the students and staff of Salford University as well as the Salford Red Devils fans support the occasion.”
 
For students looking to purchase tickets for the upcoming game against St Helens, please contact M.Ahmed42@salford.ac.uk.
 

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