Plans which would see three of the major sports clubs in Salford participate in a stadium swap are progressing well.
The potential sale of the AJ Bell Stadium to Salford City FC and Sale Sharks would see both teams based at the ground, with current tenants Salford Red Devils being relocated to City’s current home the Peninsula Stadium.
The stadium is currently owned jointly by Salford City Council and Peel Holdings under the company name CosCos. As of yet, nothing has been agreed between the four parties.
A joint statement by Salford City, Salford Red Devils, Salford City Council and Sale Sharks reads: “We are issuing this statement to update people on the current situation. We understand fans of the clubs want to be informed as this progresses.
“Discussions are at an advanced stage and ongoing between all four parties in matters relating to the AJ Bell Stadium and Peninsula Stadium at Moor Lane.
“These discussions are also following the usual legal procedures and due diligence that will require formal approval by all parties.
“It is important to note that the expectation is we will secure a future for all three clubs in the city. We are proud to have them based in the city and we also need to consider the future of all sporting clubs in Salford.”
The two stadium’s are just 10 miles apart, but the AJ Bell has a bigger capacity at 12,000 compared to the Peninsula’s 5,000.
Salford Red Devils, along with Sale Sharks, have played at the 12,000 capacity stadium since it opened in 2012.
The Red Devils themselves have released a separate club statement, confirming that negotiations involving the Salford stadium swap are progressing.
Their statement continues: “As we understand it, there is still no finalised agreement for the purchase of the AJ Bell Stadium. Regarding our reported move to the Peninsula Stadium at Moor Lane, whilst we understand positive progress has been made between Salford City Football Club and Salford City Council, we are still yet to undertake any due diligence on the stadium.
“The conversations continue to develop at pace, however the Club recognises the need to conduct a considered evaluation of any alternative options to our tenancy at the AJ Bell Stadium, which is still contracted until the end of 2023.”
The club will be hosting a Fans Forum event on Thursday 4th November to update fans, with more details set to be released in the coming weeks.
Fans of all Salford clubs affected have took the social media to express their views on the potential swap.
Devils supporter Myke Murphy took to twitter and offered his views.
Should never have left the Willows, great days there. 👍
— Myke Murphy (@MurphyMyke) October 16, 2021
His view though is not shared by all Devils fans, with others looking at the potential bigger picture such as these users.
Not matter what we’re going in the right direction commercial side boom time, our board breath Salford, due diligence time for the board, this time we control the situation
— john hayes (@johnhay58649711) October 17, 2021
100% but history now. Let’s look forward, things are on the up I think.
Although be good to know who the new coach is going to be.
— SalfordRedDevilsFan 👹🍥 (@fan_salford) October 16, 2021
Football fans have also had their say via facebook, with City fans divided on whether this more is going to be beneficial for the Ammies.
Dalton Eckersall said: “To be fair it’s out the way for local supporters & we won’t be able to fill it so pointless in my opinion.”
This view is opposed by Gordon Pilling who is more encouraged by the news.
He said: “Really nice ground and facilities easy to get too good parking – only drawback we will be like a pea in a drum re supporters to size of stadium at the beginning of our tenure but that will change in time and another plus players will enjoy it giving us a better opportunity in signing ones who have turned us down in the past because of the poor ground and facilities where we are now.”