CHAIRMAN’S CORNER

08 August 2018

Swinton Lions Chairman Andy Mazey returns in his monthly column to answer your questions ahead of the crucial Championship Shield fixtures.

 

 

For this edition of Chairman’s Corner we turned to you, the supporters, to give you the unique opportunity to put your questions straight to Swinton Chairman Andy Mazey.

Talking Agecroft and academies to player’s contracts and preparation for relegation. You asked, Andy answered.

The Lions head into the final seven games of the Championship Shield hoping to retain their Championship status, starting this weekend with a trip to Dewsbury Rams.

Let’s take a look at what Lions supporters put to the man at the helm of the club through our social media channels.

YOUR QUESTIONS

FACEBOOK

Wayne Smith: ‘Will you still be chairman this time next year if we get relegated?’

“I’m committed to the club regardless of which division we play in next season and furthermore I’m excited by the continued progress we are making and the challenges that lie ahead. The aim this year has always been to stay in the Championship, so until that goal is no longer achievable it stays in place and we carry on the fight.”

Andy Mazey will celebrate his first year anniversary as the Lions’ Chairman on September 7

Liam Blakemore: ‘If we get relegated, realistically how many of the starting seventeen do you reckon will be here next season?’

“The honest answer is it’s difficult to say at this stage as there is a significant difference in central funding and other revenue streams between Championship and League One. We also have some players who will be off contract and may wish to peruse opportunities at a higher level regardless of what division we are in.”

“What I can say is we are working very hard and I presented the board with preliminary budgets last month for agreement in principle and we are already putting our player retention strategy into action as well as identifying targets for recruitment within the numbers we have prepared to ensure won’t be in the unenviable position of last year, going into October with a full squad needing to be signed.

“The aim is to keep together the nucleus of the current squad whichever division we find ourselves in, with this in mind it’s imperative we close the current season very strongly in respect of our commercial activity and attendances to enable us to hit the closed season period running and ultimately be as strong as we possibly can in 2019.”

Robert Ward: ‘If we are relegated will you be renegotiating to get a reduction in rent at Sale and if that was not possible could a change of venue be on the cards?’

“We shall be taking a view on our position come the end of the current season regardless of whether we stay up or go down. The preferred option has always been to stay in Sale until we return to M27 and this has not changed from the beginning of this board’s tenure, however there have been changes at Sale and the CEO who we negotiated with early days has moved on. There are many things to be considered in the weeks and months that lie ahead. Rest assured any news or updates will be communicated with our most important stakeholder, our loyal supporters.”

Heywood Road has been the Lions’ temporary home since the 2015 season

Beverley Lenord: ‘Financially, is the club where you hoped it would be at this point in the season (considering we started with very little)? And are we living within our means?’

“There have been variables which you get with any business but on the whole we are comfortable with the current financial position, especially considering the starting point last year as you quite rightly point out.”

“I’ve stated many times however there is a difference between sustainable and self-sustainable so in order for the club to be able to wash its own face and survive on its own revenue in future we must work harder to build our commercial revenues and fan base. This is easier said than done of course but we can all be sales people for the club as we all have employers or businesses contacts who can be targeted as potential sponsors or even just simply by convincing family or friends to attend games.

“More bums on seats equals progress and is 100% retained revenue which is vital for the club. We have learned some valuable lessons this year and now understand the areas we need to tighten up and areas we need to maximise as we move into year two of our New Era.”

Mark Stevens: ‘Can you update on the plans for an academy and reserve team?’

“TRC Swinton Lions Academy under the management of Neil Hayden is going from strength to strength. We are one of only fourteen clubs in the British game to operate an official RFL accredited academy of this type, which is closely linked into our once dormant Community Foundation and local education. It’s something we are very proud of. The next stage of our player pathway development is focused on working towards a full reserve side, but short term bridging the gap that exists between Cat 3 and first team.

“This is what we are currently hard at work on to enable us not only to have a mechanism for young Cat 3 players to make the next step but to also give valuable first team squad members who are not in the seventeen each week some essential game time. The biggest variable right now is not knowing which division we will be playing next year and this will affect the immediate strategy. Regardless we aim to be in a position to announce some key partnerships and developments regarding pathway progress in the weeks and months ahead.”

Warren Mottram: ‘I personally hope with your honesty, frankness and vision for the future, that you remain at the Club for the foreseeable future. Is there any alternative to Agecroft being considered or are the eggs in one basket?’

“It’s not a case of all eggs in one basket at all. The simple fact is that Agecroft is the only basket we can put our eggs in and the only viable option available to us, so we have to give everything we have to the project. In many meetings with the council we established that no other land will is available and as a club we haven’t got the necessary funding available to go out and purchase any land so the Agecroft project working in partnership with Moorside Rangers to deliver a community facility is our best route back to M27.”

TWITTER

Ian Gatward via Twitter – ‘Though I’m a London fan, I’ve been following your fortunes and really hope you survive, what is your take on the negotiations taking place involving SL & Championship clubs & where do you see this finally ending up as?’

“There are no negotiations that I’m aware of right now directly between Super League and Championship & League One clubs. There is consultation ongoing between Super League and the RFL and the RFL and Championship and League One representatives, however the situation you refer to is being driven by Super League clubs only. Championship and League One clubs are unanimous and see no need for a change of structure unless a proposal that meets the needs of the whole game can be found. Where do I see it ending up is a good question, my honest opinion is that they have probably run out of runway now for an changes in 2019 and I personally believe the current eights structure will remain.”

Ian Scott via Twitter – You seem to have put the feel good factor back your club from what I read and hear and the clubs new image is refreshing but has it led to increase crowds and revenue?

“Since taking the chair, I have wanted to make the club inclusive not exclusive to enable everyone involved with Swinton Lions to feel valued again and to be part of their club and this special journey we have started TOGETHER. So far, it’s going to plan and the growth while incremental is there none-the-less.

“Our sustainable strategy and long term vision combined with youth and community endeavours not only align with the RFL’s return on investment model vision but also encourage sponsors and commercial partners who can be greatly encouraged by crowds going up, they then want to be involved and be a part of it. The numbers are probably where we hoped they would be at this stage and we are all focused and ready to step on the gas in year two now regardless of which division we will be playing in.”

 

FOLLOW THE LIONS IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD

SUPER TICKET AND PRE-MATCH MEAL

You can secure the Super Ticket for all three of the Lions’ home matches against Sheffield Eagles, Rochdale Hornets and Featherstone Rovers, with the additional option of enjoy the experience in style with a pre-match corporate meal and entertainment. Prices are as follows:

SUPER TICKET – All three home games

ADULTS – £45

CONCESSIONS – £33

WITH PRE-MATCH CORPORATE MEAL 

ADULTS – £120

CONCESSIONS – £100

SECURE YOUR TICKET

There are several ways you can secure your super ticket and additional pre-match corporate meal.

BACS – Email steve.wild@swintonlionsrlfc.co.uk to arrange payment.

CHEQUE – Payable to ‘Swinton Lions’ and can be sent to the following address: 9 Worsley Road, Swinton, M27 5WA

CASH – Secure your ticket by visiting Greens Cafe, Station Road, Pendlebury

CHALLENGE CUP TICKETS

The club has a special allocation for the 2018 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley on 25 August between Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves and you can be there for a special price!

Tickets are available at £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for juniors.

There are two ways you can secure your seat at Wembley…

CHEQUE – Payable to ‘Swinton Lions’ and can be sent to the following address: 9 Worsley Road, Swinton, M27 5WA

BACS – BACS transfer can be arranged by contacting steve.wild@swintonlionsrlfc.co.uk for details.

ONLINE – You can purchase via the club shop at swintonlionsstore.com

Free postage is available for your ticket to be sent to you!

Sponsors

ProCarrier
Venditan
PES
SRW Group
Tecmark
North West Access & Sales
BeeManc
Joules