Tonight’s attendance of 1972 was very disappointing considering the blood, sweat and tears the Club is putting in at the moment.
— Salford Red Devils (@SalfordDevils) May 8, 2015
Salford Red Devils hit an all time-low on social media over the weekend with a rant about their disappointing crowd in going down 0-19 to Huddersfield Giants.
The crowd of 1,972 was twelve fewer than their record lowest attendance at AJ Bell Stadium set back in 2013, the same year Marwan Koukash took over the ownership of Salford City Reds and changed their name to Salford Red Devils.
It was also their fifth loss in a row including their embarrassing Challenge Cup loss at the hands of Leigh Centurions who are undefeated in the Kingstone Championship this year with twelve wins.
Injuries and suspension haven’t helped the club running eleventh in this seasons Super League and resulted in the club requesting their recent match with Hull FC to be postponed.
In the digital media age that comment from Salford’s official twitter account was out of line. And if I was a Red Devils fan I would be questioning the motive. This combined with reports of bad behaviour by the local fans during the Giants defeat suggests to me that there’s a deep and worrying culture coming out of a club that once was coached by the great Lance Todd and has Gus Risman as a club legend having turned out in over 400 games.
If such a comment was written by any of the sixteen National Rugby League clubs there would be severe condemnation from the rugby league community and those reporting on the game.
To his credit Koukash has come out and said ticket prices will be slashed to five pounds and children admitted free in the south and east stands for their next home game against Warrington Wolves on May 22. Yes, this gesture will go a little way to winning back some respect from fans after the social media blunder.
The situation of Salford reminds me of a movie I watched again recently called Eddie with Whoopie Goldberg coaching a stuggling NBA club with maverick owner “Wild Bill” Burgess who was only interested in publicity for himself and not interested in the team’s performance.
Is this what’s going on at Salford?
Some comments from Koukash include:
— Marwan Koukash (@drmarwanK) April 27, 2015
— Marwan Koukash (@drmarwanK) April 14, 2015
Ex-players such as Nick Youngquest watch from the sidelines with disgust at how egotistical the Red Devils owner comes across on social media.
So Salford’s biggest issue isn’t their injury crisis. It’s their culture and how to fix that, and whether the eccentric owner can show a little more maturity to get the right people on board to save this club from the downward spiral.
Maybe the proof in the pudding is Penrith Panthers General Manager Phil Gould’s motto at Penrith, to respect the past in creating the future. I wonder what Todd and Risman would think of what’s going on at this once proud club.