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13th September 2012

Salford City Reds end the season with an apology

A stadium share, rumoured financial troubles and poor attendance figures left the club struggling.

Salford City Reds chairman John Wilkins wrote an apology in his programme notes in their final league game of the season against Wakefield Trinity as the Reds played out the match at Leigh Sports Village instead of their regular home at Salford City Stadium.

This was because Sale Sharks, whom they share the venue with, were also playing on the same day.

The Reds normally play their games on a Friday evening to avoid this, but the prospect of Sky coverage on Saturday forced the switch.

Salford City Reds moved into the new £26m ground at the beginning of 2012. However, there have been rumours of financial trouble at the club throughout the year. The club were paying off a large tax bill in April, and released Chief Executive David Tarry in June.

Chairman John Wilkins stated at the start of the season that the Reds would need to achieve an average attendance of at least 8,000 to balance the books. However, this season they have averaged under 6,000.

Wilkins had hoped that the ground share with Sale Sharks, announced in April, would increase Salford’s attendances, but this has not been the case.

The prospect of Sky TV money on Saturday evening may have been too much to turn down for the cash strapped club, who ended the season in eleventh place.

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