Non-league ante post 2018/19
29th July 2018:
- Salford City to be promoted 6/5 Sky Bet
Co-owned by former Man Utd players Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt since 2014, SALFORD CITY were promoted to the National League after winning the National League North last season.
That was their third promotion in four seasons and they now sit just one division outside of the Football League.
Neville and co are unwilling to let their first opportunity to break into League Two pass them by and have bankrolled an elaborate summer spending spree with a budget which likely eclipses some League One and League Two sides.
Chris Neal, Scott Wiseman, Rory Gaffney and Nathan Pond all bring Football League experience with them as they drop divisions to join the Salford revolution, but the two most eyecatching signings are 26-year-old midfielder Danny Lloyd, who Peterborough wanted to keep in League One, and experienced hitman Adam Rooney from Aberdeen in the Scottish top flight, with the latter on wages rumoured to be in the region of £4,000 per week. Both players joined for undisclosed fees.
The news of Rooney's signing led to Gary Neville and Accrington (now League One) owner Andy Holt getting involved in a heated discussion on Twitter, while even bosses north of the border have been chipping in.
Although money doesn't guarantee success, the quality in Salford's squad and management team appears up there with the best in the division.
Ignoring the ethical questions raised by a non-league club spending serious money, you have to instead ask yourself whether they have a chance greater than 50 % of getting promoted? I think the answer is 'yes', so will back them at any prices bigger than evens all day long.
Let's not forget that Salford are managed by Graham Alexander, who had Scunthorpe in the League One play-off positions last year and is still more than capable of managing at that level. He gained promotion from League Two with Fleetwood and has seemingly drawn on those connections with some of the players he's recruited this summer.
For Salford to land Alexander on a four-year-deal in May was thus a real coup - he's seemingly bought into the owners' long-term plan, one which will hopefully include making funds available for strengthening in January, should they be required.