Salford City thank ‘outstanding leader’ Karen Baird as she steps down as Chair after 10 years

The club simply wouldn't be where it is without her.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 24th May 2023

After watching the Greater Manchester club gradually climb the ranks of English football, as well as playing a key role in the 2014 takeover and day-to-day operations ever since, Salford City Chair Karen Baird is leaving the club after more than a decade of service.

For 10 years Baird has played an integral role in bringing stability to the club, securing four consecutive promotions and getting them back into the EFL in 2019, all whilst running her own business which she is now set to leave Salford for to focus on solely.

Writing in a heartfelt statement, the club said: “It is with great sadness but huge gratitude that we see Karen stepping down as Chairman of Salford City Football Club at the end of the season.

“Karen has worked tirelessly for over 10 years whilst also running her own business, Champion. She has been incredible and her passion, dedication, loyalty and love for Salford City could be seen in everything she did; it was never just a job.

Salford are yet to announce who will be taking over as Chair.

They also went on to acknowledge that “her role became increasingly demanding but her ability to adapt swiftly to the changes was outstanding”, adding that they “cannot thank Karen enough for all her hard work, and wish her the very best in the future.”


They described her time at the club as nothing short of over “a decade of progress and commitment”. Speaking in an equally emotional goodbye of her own, Karen said that “after an amazing 10 years… it feels the right time for me to step down.

“Since 2013, when I took the reins as Chairman, we have had an unbelievable journey starting with the takeover in 2014 by the Class of ’92, when we were in tier four of non-league, to the quick succession of three promotions in four years with Bernard and Jonno at the helm. The dream of an FA Cup run in 2015-16 was so exciting, and is probably still my favourite memory!…


“I would like to thank all the fans, committee, owners, football and non-football staff, managers, and all the players who have helped our journey over the last 10 years, and my biggest thanks goes to Gary [Neville] who believed in me to undertake this journey with him.”

Karen Baird’s full statement as she steps down as Chair of Salford City FC.

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As for the Class of ’92 themselves — Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Phil Neville and recently installed CEO, Nicky Butt, who replaced Gary Neville after he stepped down back in November — they were full of gratitude and recognition for their long-term partner.

“Karen has been an inspiring figure at the Club for many years and an outstanding leader both on the football and business side, and we really could not have done it without her.


“She worked committedly for the Club and in the early years, much of that was voluntary, highlighting just how much the Club meant to her. We would all like to thank her for her dedication and wish her all the best in everything she chooses to do.”

Salford might have just missed out on promotion into League One following their tense playoff defeat to Stockport County last weekend, but they are still miles ahead of where they were 10 years ago and have all the tools needed to keep building — none of which would have been possible without Karen Baird.

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Featured Image — Salford City