Has the Salford City project been a failure

Published on 20 October 2023 at 13:00

It sounds strange to say that a team competing in the EFL just six years after being in the eighth division of English football should be considered a let down, but Salford City are no ordinary team. The renowned Class of 92 from Manchester United, which includes Gary and Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, and David Beckham, co-own Salford City. The Class of 92 confirmed their intended takeover of Salford City on 27 March, 2014.

What has been achieved so far?

Salford played at the eighth tier of English football in the season just before the plan was introduced, finishing 16th with an average attendance of 117 for their 21 home league games.


Currently have plans to either improve capacity of current stadium or move to new stadium in the near future. There was plans in place for the club to move to the AJ Bell stadium for the start of the 2023/24 season before the moved collapsed at the end of 2022.

Between 2014 and 2019, Salford City FC, with the support of their new owners, undertook a spectacular journey of promotions, moving up from the eighth division to the fourth tier in just five seasons.


EFL Trophy win in 2022


League Two Playoff semi final loss to Stockport on penalties 2022/23 season 


At what cost?

The promotions may look amazing for the journey they have been on but everyone forgets the cost of the promotions. According to data supplied by Project 92 Limited for the financial year ending June 30, 2021, the League Two team was losing £91,000 each week.

According to recent data, it lost more than £4.7 million last year. According to the accounts, since Project 92 was founded in 2015, losses have totaled more than £15 million, and the project's liabilities are more than £19 million.

Although Salford's assets are only worth £3.7 million, they may have borrowed almost £7 million from investors in the two years prior to the publication of these reports.

Salford always seem to be the favourites be promoted to League One each season, I think this is down to the names of the owners and their reputation during their playing career. Salford have been stuck in League Two for almost five season. 'The Ammies' may always finish high up the table but can never seem to make that next step up to automatic promotion, due to this they don't get as much prize money from the league but Salford know they need to improve their squad for the next season, which means digging a deeper and deeper hole into the Project 92's bank account.

The owners do have high standards and expectations. The main aim is to be in the Championship by the start of the 2029/30 season. Currently this doesn't look likely because football doesn't always go your way. Salford have been through seven managers in just under 10 years. This doesn't help the players having the constant change of personnel and most likely change of style of football. The board are clearly ruthless when it comes to sacking managers if things aren't going the way they want it too. If a new manager is coming in I can imagine they feel pressured from the get go looking at ways past managers have been given their marching orders.

Has it been a success or a failure?

When their ownership eventually comes to an end I think overall it will be looked back on as a successful ownership period, but I do think that it will have a sour end.  The club have grown commercially a lot and a lot of that is down too the Project 92 ownership group.

It is well known the former Manchester United players have a lot of money from their playing days and other business they may be involved in, Gary Neville and David Beckham being the most notable ones. Unfortunately running a football club costs a lot of money and they don't have a bottomless pit of money. Beckham owns his own club in the MLS, Inter Miami who have also grown commercially over the last few years especially since the arrival of Lionel Messi in the summer. Due to owning his own club I think 'Becks' will eventually opt out to focus on his MLS side, from this I think one buy one they will start to sell their stake in the club. They're already in a loss and that loss will keep getting bigger if they don't get promoted soon, if they start selling their stakes they will most likely leave the club in debt.


Let us know what you guys think!





Written by Joshua Lucas

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