Mar 27, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT
Never heard of Salford City FC? There used to be a reason for that. The semi-professional club from Greater Manchester plays at the eighth level of the English pyramid, with its home ground (Moor Lane) holding only 1400 people. Unless you’re from the area, someone who supports a club that’s drawn them in the FA Cup, or an absolute English soccer addict, there’s no reason the Ammies should have been on your radar.
At least, there was no reason until today, because as of late evening England time, Salford City have some of the most famous owners in Greater Manchester, with a quintet of former Manchester United players having agreed to purchase the club. Pending FA approval, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, and soccer’s Neville brothers (Gary and Phil) will take over ownership of a non-league club that finished last season 192nd in the English table. The deal is expected to be completed this summer.
All five players came through the United system together in the early 90s, with some having direct links to Salford City. Ryan Giggs, who moved to Salford from Wales as a six-year-old, considers his hometown club:
“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,” said Giggs, according to ITV.
Gary Neville, who enjoyed a 19-year career with United, also has a personal connection to Salford.
“I had my first trial for Manchester United in Salford at age 11,” Neville said, “and I will never forget how important that was to me.”
Beyond those personal connections, the importance of developing young talent was cited as a motivation by both Giggs and Phil Neville.
“It is important to safeguard the hard work that is done in the lower leagues,” Neville explained, “and it is going to be exciting to be able to feed our experience into the young players.”
ITV has more (and ongoing) coverage of a story broken by its own Ian Payne, one which already has Salford fans excited about their new future:
Absolutely thrilled for @salfordcityfc and everyone involved!!! Hope to see some new fans down at Moor Lane very soon :-)—
Laura Flint (@laurakflint) March 27, 2014
Mar 28, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT
Catch up on all the action from Week 4 of the MLS season.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:41 PM EDT
A disappointing result for FCD, given Seattle’s lack of Dempsey and Martins, but a great one considering their early red card.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:06 PM EDT
Three more points for Vancouver, who win it late on Robert Earnshaw’s Whitecaps debut. He scores for everyone.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT
It was the late, late, late show at RFK Stadium, and despite being thoroughly outplayed, D.C. United go home with three points.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:04 PM EDT
Sporting KC get their first victory of the season, while NYCFC suffer their first defeat of the year — and history.
Mar 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
It wasn’t a great day to be a traditional European giant, but it was a great day to be Gareth Bale and Wales.
Mar 28, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
A dominant performance — and the three points to match — from the Revs…finally.
Mar 28, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
Think that MLS playing through int’l windows isn’t a big deal? Let’s ask Orlando City what they think about it.
Mar 28, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT
Campbell was capped 73 times, and is England’s second-youngest captain. Clearly he knows that, too.
Mar 28, 2015, 1:39 PM EDT
The Canaries finished in 7th place last season in the Veikkausliiga, Finland’s top-flight.
Mar 28, 2015, 12:54 PM EDT
Should the States’ losses in friendlies represent anything other than a concern at the lack of US youth readiness for the big stage?
Mar 28, 2015, 12:08 PM EDT
This likely comes as a surprise to Liverpool fans, as Johnson is widely treated rightly or wrongly as a scapegoat by Reds supporters.
Mar 28, 2015, 10:37 AM EDT
Does the embattled USMNT coach have a point? I’m again bracing for the comment section when I say… I think so.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:55 AM EDT
The States are 1-4 in their last five matches, all four coming on the road (Colombia, Ireland, Chile and Denmark).
Mar 27, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT
Roundup of Euro 2016 qualifying matches from Saturday.
Mar 27, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Both Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling will most likely be out of England’s friendly vs. Italy on Tuesday.
Mar 27, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT
Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahmovic buries a strange one.
- MLS Snapshot: FC Dallas 0-0 Seattle Sounders 0
- MLS Snapshot: Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Portland Timbers 0
- MLS Snapshot: D.C. United 1-0 LA Galaxy 1
- MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 0-1 Sporting Kansas City 2
- EURO 2016 qualifying roundup: Netherlands, Italy rescue draws; Bale, Wales go top 1
- Klinsmann’s USMNT struggles, experimentation in friendlies: Does it really matter? 4