Salford City made it 7 wins on the spin on Saturday and maintained their spot at the top of the National League.
After a takeover from the class of ’92 in 2014, 3 promotions in 4 years followed. As a result Salford have often been accused of buying their way through the divisions.
The target was to achieve Championship football within 15 years. That dream, therefore, continues to look more realistic.
Free scoring forwards the key to success
As high-quality defending and clean sheets few and far between in the 5th tier of English football, scoring goals is therefore a vital trait.
Saturdays 4-1 win saw a hat trick for striker Adam Rooney, the biggest and most controversial of a plethora of summer signings.
Salford signed Rooney from SPL side Aberdeen, more than doubling his wages to lure him to the club. Rooney now earns £4,000 per week in a league where many players are lucky to earn a quarter of that.
Rooney has registered 12 goals this season, and Salford are really beginning to see some return on their substantial investment.
Carl Piergianni got the other as Salford romped to a comfortable victory over struggling Dover Athletic, who sit just one point off the foot of the table.
Summer spending spree
Rooney, however, was not the only notable summer signing.
The draw of signing for Salford is reflected in the calibre of their signings. They brought in a number of fresh faces from divisions above them.
Experienced centre-half Nathan Pond joined from Fleetwood. Scott Wiseman added more stability in defence after signing from Chesterfield. Wiseman also showed his ability going forward against Dover as his cross found Rooney to make it 2-0.
In the forward areas, aside from Rooney, Rory Gaffney joined from Bristol Rovers and Danny Lloyd was recruited from Peterborough. The latter was instrumental on Saturday, setting up two of the goals; his 4th and 5th assists of the season.
Buying their way to the top?
Many have likened the clubs’ assault on the conference to a game of Football Manager.
With low attendances, a lack of TV revenue and just one automatic promotion place, the National League is a notoriously hard league to get out of.
Several large clubs are still languishing in the division, such as Leyton Orient; who look to be Salford’s main competition for promotion this season. As a lower league football fan, it’s hard not to envy the revolution that is taking place at Salford.
Like it or loathe it, money is what turns the wheels in a football club. Just look at Manchester City or PSG. It is all well and good to take the moral high ground regarding Salford’s money orientated approach but the majority of rival fans would bite your hand off for their club to get such exceptional backing.
The effect of the class of ’92
This is a huge part of the attraction for players to join Salford. Owned by superstars willing to pay good money for proven quality it’s a great destination for many potential signings.
In addition the club gained more fame and exposure as a result of the series based on it aired by the BBC in 2015 and 2016.
Aside from a substantial collapse, it would be hard to envisage the league 2 table next season without seeing Salford as part of it. Therefore this would only further their ability to bring in high quality players. However, the competition takes a big step up in League 2 and Salford will no doubt be looking ahead to that already.