The Class of ’92 seem to keep on delivering and delivering. From some of the best football we’ve seen in the Premier League, to some of the best punditry. It seems like these lads could do no harm (if you take aside Phil Neville’s pretty awful commentary in the World Cup). Nevertheless one thing struck us after watching the recent BBC documentary about their takeover of Salford City FC; were they really wanted there in the first place?
From the success of recent promotion – as highlighted in the documentary – to their recent victory against League Two Notts County, the short answer would be surely yes. How many supporters of teams that are pretty much never going to win anything without investment, have wondered what would it be like if rich owners all of a sudden came in and spent their way to success? The change is huge and even Man City fans of old are still going to the likes of Munich away and thinking ‘how the bloody hell is this apnin’?’.Though the achievements of Salford City are but a thousandth of a fraction of that compared to Man City, we were intrigued to hear the fans views about what must be a crazy time be a Salford fan.
On Tuesday night, Salford were heading into a midweek game having won just one out of their last seven home games. The arrival of Mickleover was a good chance for ‘The Ammies’ to improve their home form. A good early start saw Salford take the lead, but a dreadful mistake at the back resulted in Mickleover pulling it back and holding out for 1-1 draw. Salford sit fourth, just six points off the top with two games in hand. Successive promotions remain a very realistically aim for the northern contingent. Following the game we caught up with some of the fans to get their view on the drastic changes:
“As a life long Salford fan at first I was not very sure, but the fact they were all Manchester lads made me feel better about. I think because they were local and all seem like decent blokes I was quite happy about it. They’ve put their money in and it seems like they genuinely care. So all in all mate, I cant complain. Plus promotion helps!”
“It was the Peter Lim investment that I was a bit apprehensive about. You worry nowadays that money can ruin football. I worried it would stop being about the fans and start being about making money; that really has not been the case the luckily. It still feels like our club and I’m enjoying watching the lads so much.”
“I love it here and I still do. The lads that took over are legends in my eyes and they’ve got so much football knowledge I think it can only be a good thing. I don’t know if I would be so happy if was being treated like a business like lots of clubs are now though. But all in all I’m happy yeah, could of done with a win today though!”
While a handful of those at Tuesday night’s game may not speak for all the Salford fans, it’s evident that these guys are happy with the way the club is heading. There does seem to be a genuine feeling that Salford is and will always be about the fans. It’s heartening to see some lads who have had extremely successful careers, putting some of what they’ve earned back into the community. Wouldn’t it be great to see more footballers doing that?
However, the experience on the night echoed that of watching the BBC’s documentary. How frustrating must it be for fans of other non-league clubs to watch the investment going into Salford, knowing they’re going to be playing against players that in reality should be playing in a much higher league than they are. The manner in which their success has been bought will surely result in some resentment towards them; just as it does to likes of Chelsea and City. Surely other fans have a right to feel some animosity to this plastic success.
However, in answer to whether or not the Class of ’92 were wanted at Salford, it’s clear the Salford fans are most welcoming of their new owners. Whether or not other fans are so welcoming however remains to be seen.
Featured image: all rights reserved by James Boyes.