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26 June 2020

Swinton Lions can confirm that the current board now holds a significant controlling stake in the Company, following negotiations with the Club’s former directors.


The Swinton Lions Board wishes to reveal that following recent constructive and amicable negotiations with the club’s former directors, an agreement has been reached which now leaves the current Board holding a significant controlling stake in the Company. 

Those remaining shares held outside of the immediate Board are also overwhelmingly in the hands of Swinton supporters.

The Lions’ Operations Director, Steve Wild, said, “Whilst this is a significant and positive step forward for the club, I’d firstly like to place on record my personal thanks for everything that Andy Mazey, Tony Sheridan, John Coyne and Pete Smith did for the club during the period 2017 to 2019.

“Andy came to the club at a very difficult time in our history, and it’s fair to say that by the time they left, albeit suddenly, the club was in a far better place than when they arrived.

“Nobody can ask for more than that, and all four remain personal friends. The transfer of shares was a smooth and friendly process, and involved a financial settlement acceptable to both parties.

“But time evolves, and as a club we have to move on and look to the future. I feel we have made sure and steady progress as an organisation over the past 9 months, despite of course the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

“But I’m confident that by the time the storm clouds disperse we’ll be in as good a position as any to meet the sport’s future challenges head on.”

Head Coach Stuart Littler guided the Lions to a ninth-placed finish in the Championship in 2019

Steve Wild continued: “The Board met this week under social distancing rules, and there was obviously satisfaction that the transfer of shares had been successfully concluded. If we are to make strategic plans, whether short, medium or long term, it’s obviously important that we are in total control of the company.

“We fully appreciate the challenges ahead, but I think over the past 9 months we’ve already demonstrated the resolve to take things forward. The loss of five out of six directors in one fell swoop was not an easy issue to deal with. But in-house we have kept tight as a family group (officials, coaching staff, back room staff and players), and steadily we have been rebuilding our management and club infrastructure.

We have brought onto the new Board local business people, a Salford City Councillor, a representative of our highly successful Supporters Trust, and resourceful people with the club at heart.

“I also want to pay tribute to the incredible loyalty of our fans, who pound for pound are surely the best and most innovative in all three divisions. You’ve only got to look at they way they rallied behind the club in 2017, together with the astonishing success of their Pride Builder program, if ever proof was needed.

“As regards the future we have a lot of hard work to do, but we are excited by that as well as optimistic. Such is the incredible competitiveness of the Championship we realise that we will effectively have to improve year on year just to stand still. That’s no easy task, but it’s one that we embrace. We have a tremendous coach and coaching set up, and a group of players who will only get better.

“However, one area where we simply have to up our game is within community development. It’s only by re-launching our Foundation and significantly expanding our community program can we hope to expose more people, and especially youngsters, to the Lions’ brand. We have a responsibility to the sport of rugby league as a whole in that respect, not just to Swinton Lions.

“We have therefore recently appointed a Director of Development in Damian Ridpath, who comes to us with a proven track record in another elite sport, and in his short time at the club is already driving some significant initiatives forward.

“In summary we believe that our historic organisation, with a huge city on our doorstep, has enormous potential. We will therefore continue diligently with the task in hand, and strive to make the Lions the best club it can possibly be.”


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