The only way is up for minnows Salford City after a takeover by Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92 – but other non-league fans are giving the move the red card.
The club have been in the eighth tier of English football since the 2008/09 season, and with the takeover by Red legends Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville and Nicky Butt there is a real feeling that they can begin to make a genuine push through the divisions.
But, as the illustrious owners have already changed their kit colours and other supporters of non-league clubs also turning green with envy, there is a long way to go before Salford’s long-suffering fans can toast success.
Bradley Dobson, founder of the Northern Premier League discussion group for fans, said: “I couldn’t believe it. It’s a fantastic step in the right direction for Salford.
“I don’t understand why so many people have so much hatred towards them since the takeover.
“I know a lot of money has been pumped in with players etc, but no club are exactly going to say ‘no thank you’.
“It’s simply jealousy if you ask me. Every club aims to exceed as far as it can go, Salford have just been lucky enough to get the backing.”
The Ammies have already made a number of signings this summer, which will have been made all the more easier given its illustrious owners.
Their plans will also include bringing through exciting and talented youth players similar to how they themselves once burst onto the footballing scene as youngsters.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s disciples firmly believe in the fundamentals of grassroots football and hope to give back something to a community they came from.
Ryan Giggs told the Daily Mail: “Everyone knows how important Salford is to me, so this is an exciting acquisition that is right at the heart of what we all believe in.
“We want to engage the football community, use our football experience and knowledge to aspire and nurture young talent and being able to do that in Salford makes it even more exciting.”
However, it has not been all smiles for the supporters as there have been reports of controversy surrounding a suggestion of revising the team’s colours.
They now play red (the colours of Manchester United) rather than tangerine they have sported for the past decade. It’s likely this will all be forgotten if they gain promotion however.
They have already defeated Football League side Bury in pre-season and will be looking to take this form into the new season where inevitably they will be seen as favourites to gain promotion.
Salford Chairman Karen Baird told the BBC: “It is an exciting time for Salford City F.C. and I believe there are many more great achievements to come for the club.
“Without a doubt this deal will result in a very bright future ahead and is a great advert for non-league football.
“The club are in full support of the group and believe it to be a very positive move both for Salford City F.C. and the City of Salford itself.”
The Class of ’92 will be lacing up their boots and inviting some friends to play a match against Salford on the August 7 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Image courtesy of F73 Productions, with thanks.