No formal offer to buy the AJ Bell Stadium from Sale Sharks


Sale Sharks have announced they have made no formal offer to purchase the AJ Bell Stadium.

A club statement, released on Friday, came in response to rumours the rugby union side have made a ‘serious’ offer to buy the 12,000 capacity stadium.

The stadium, owned by Salford Council and Peel, is shared by Sale Sharks and Salford Red Devils who are believed to be planning their own bid for the stadium.

Sale Sharks statement from CEO Sid Sutton said:

“It has always been our ambition to own our own stadium and it’s no secret we have been exploring options to achieve this.

“However, at this stage no formal offer has been made to purchase of the AJ Bell Stadium.”

Sharks have played at the AJ Bell stadium for the last nine years after leaving Stockport County’s Edgeley Park stadium- the ground they had shared since 2003.

In 2015, Salford Red Devils moved into the stadium under a 50-50 management partnership, and after news of a potential Sale takeover, are believed to be readying a protective move to make the AJ Bell their permanent home.

In a statement taken from the Manchester Evening News, Salford Red Devils executive chairman, Paul King, said:

“The club has been made aware of a proposal for the acquisition of the stadium and we are looking at making a bid ourselves to protect our Salford base.

“We and the council must work together now to keep Salford Red Devils in Salford. We are hopeful a joint resolve will conclude with a positive outcome of remaining at the AJ Bell Stadium.”

A supporting Salford Council statement says despite the stadium company being approached in regards to the potential sale of the stadium, the Council will continue supporting rugby league side in any way they can.

Salford Council announced: “We have been integral in supporting Salford Red Devils and rugby league in the city for many years and we continue to do this in any way we can.

“Should a future decision be taken on the sale of the stadium, the council will be seeking reassurance for commitments for Salford Red Devils.”

Sale Sharks planned to build their own stadium and sports village in nearby Trafford on Crossford Bridge playing fields.

The plans would have seen ‘Crossford Bridge Community Sports Village’ include: a floodlight 4G pitch, a running track, a cycling and technology hub, a café, community space and a children’s activity centre.

However, after a public outcry over loss of green space, extra noise and potential pollution, the council dropped the plans in 2020.

Sale Sharks’ search for their own stadium continues.

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