ANDY Coley has been saddened by the cash-crisis at former club Salford – and is keeping his fingers crossed they pull through.
The Reds are hoping to secure new investment to stave off the threat of entering administration.
But, speaking to concerned fans this week, Salford chairman John Wilkinson couldn’t guarantee Salford will be able to start the new Super League season against Wigan on February 1.
The two sides are also set to meet in a friendly two weeks earlier. And the mess has left former Wigan favourite Coley – now employed by the club as their liaison manager to Wales RL – concerned for the future of the Reds, where he spent seven seasons earlier in his career.
He said: “It’s sad when any club gets in trouble like this, even more so when it’s one which you’ve got ties to.
“I had some great times at Salford and made some good friends, and I hope it works out for them.
“I have a lot of respect for the chairman, John Wilkinson, he is a very down-to-earth man and very honest. He certainly won’t want his time at the club to end like this.”
Coley experienced a similar uncertainly while at Salford, when the club kept a full-time playing roster after they were relegated from Super League.
“It was potentially the end for the club then if we didn’t get promoted,” said Coley.
“That Grand Final was one of the highlights for me, because it was probably the most pressure I’ve been under – fortunately we got the right result.”
Salford have a clutch of employees with links to Wigan, either the town or club, including coaches Phil Veivers, Sean Long and players Matty Ashurst, Stephen Wild and Wayne Godwin.
Ex-Warriors centre Martin Gleeson is also training with them after completing a doping suspension.
Salford, owing money to HMRC and two ex-players, plunged into trouble when the council rejected to loan them £750,000, and have lost money since switching The Willows for the City of Salford Stadium – a move required to meet the RFL’s Super League licence requirements.
“You do have to wonder,” added Coley. “What’s more important – Salford continuing, or having a shiny new stadium?”