Ian Watson

After the sudden departure of Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson yesterday evening, fans took to Twitter to voice their opinion on the news that came only two weeks after Watson told the media he would be seeing out his contract that would have kept him at the AJ Bell for another two years.

A former Red Devils player, Watson took on the role of head coach in 2014 and has been admired by fans for taking them from the brink of relegation in 2016, to their first Grand Final three years later.

After they were labelled as “one-season wonders” off the back of their Grand Final appearance, Watson took the Red Devils to their second major final in a year last month, their first Coral Challenge Cup Final contest since 1969.

More recently, Salford became more appealing for possible investors as they became debt-free for the first time since 2013 at a cost of a six-point deduction.

This is why fans at the club seemed confused following the announcement of Watson’s departure, as Salford were definitely a club that were on the up both on and off the field.

Watson came out two weeks ago and told SkySports that he would be staying at Salford, amid rumours he was being scouted by Hull FC: “I think the timing and everything else that’s going on with COVID, it’s probably not right for us at the moment so they’ll be nothing going any further from here on in.”

But it is believed Watson will be moving to Huddersfield Giants, not Hull FC, as they are without a head coach after the departure of Simon Woolford in September.

Despite having a bigger spending budget, a number of fans have viewed this as a step down for the 44-year-old.

Watson signed a contract extension in February of this year to see his stay extended to at least 2022. Despite the abruptness and shock of his decision to leave, some fans remain positive and upbeat for 2021.

Compensation between the 44-year-old and Salford has been agreed, as the Red Devils begin the search for a replacement.

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