The Class of ’92 and the University of Salford have agreed a partnership which will see students and academics heavily involved in the development of Salford City FC, the Old Trafford Supporters’ Club and Hotel Football.
Signed at the Salford City v Class of ’92 friendly held at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday 7 August, the unique collaboration between the University and Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville and Nicky Butt gives the opportunity for Salford students studying a wide range of courses to use their knowledge and expertise to contribute to the success of Salford City FC.
At the same time, it forms a key part of the Class of ‘92’s aim to invest in and create opportunities for young talent and to build on the Club’s roots in the local community.
In the partnership’s first project, broadcast and journalism students filmed and reported live on the friendly match. Both undergraduates and postgraduates will cover Salford City matches throughout the season, together with major milestones in the club’s transformation.
Sports and health science students will work closely with the Club’s coaching and physio staff to develop comprehensive strength and conditioning training programmes and nutrition plans for Salford City players, who will use the University’s state-of-the-art Human Performance Lab and other facilities to monitor their fitness and progress.
Salford Business School students and staff from the School’s Centre for Sports Business will work on digital marketing initiatives, along with corporate finance and event management, helping to deliver the ex-United players’ ultimate ambition of creating the world’s first digital, ‘always on’ football club, giving fans unrivalled access to behind-the-scenes activities and up-to-the-minute information about Salford City’s ongoing development.
Beyond their involvement with Salford City, the University’s broadcast and media production students will also work with the Class of ’92 on a documentary following the construction, opening and operation of Hotel Football – the new hotel, including the Old Trafford Supporters’ Club fans’ bar and restaurant, due to open next to Old Trafford football ground in November.
Commenting on the partnership, Gary Neville said: “The Class of ’92 were given a chance when we were young by Manchester United, so now we want to give something back and provide the best opportunities possible for Salford students and other young people in the community.
“This partnership is a central part of our vision and we’re really lucky to be able to make the most of the enthusiasm and skills of some fantastic students and the incredible facilities at the University.
“Whether it’s sports science, digital expertise or journalism, the University and its students offer so many things which are relevant to a football club and our other projects. I’m confident that the involvement of students and staff will bring a more professional approach to Salford City and the partnership is a vital part of our strategy to bring success to the club and hopefully go as high as we can up the football pyramid.”
University Pro Vice-Chancellor and Salford Business School Dean Professor Amanda Broderick said: “The internship, placement and research opportunities for our students through our exclusive partnership with the Class of ’92 are incredible.
“Salford has always led the way in industry engagement and our work with Salford City, Hotel Football, the Old Trafford Supporters’ Club and on other projects further strengthens our commitment to our graduates’ career success and contribution to our community.
“Our staff and students can provide the Class of ’92 with impressive expertise in a huge range of areas and I’m looking forward to the partnership being a great success.”
The partnership will initially run for a five-year period but Ryan Giggs is confident that its success will lead to a long-lasting relationship. “We’re committed to Salford City FC, Hotel Football and the local community for the long term,” he confirmed, “and we see our partnership with the University of Salford as a massively important part of this commitment. We’re really looking forward to working with the students on a wide range of exciting projects for many years to come.”