In the past 24 hours we have received information concerning an approach by a currently unnamed third party with regards to the potential sale of the current home of Salford Red Devil & Sale Sharks - The AJ Bell Stadium, in Barton.
Over the past few days there has been rumour circulating online that a stadium sharing deal between two other clubs has been put forward which could possibly see the future of Salford Red Devils at the AJ Bell placed in jeopardy if the sale of the 12,000 seat were to be approved.
Salford Council has today released a press statement confirming that an approach from a 'would-be' purchaser has been made but are quick to point out that as yet, there have been no decisions made and that Salford Reds have been asked in light of the approach to bring forwards their own proposals for purchasing the stadium.
The former Salford City Stadium, now known as the AJ Bell Stadium was constructed in 2011/12 and has been the home of Salford's Rugby League side since opening. It was built by Salford City Council in partnership with co-owners Peel Land & Property who both have an equal 50-50 stake in CosCos, the management company that oversees the stadium.
Salford's Devils moved to the new stadium after quitting their former home 'The Willows' in Weaste.
Since then the club has had its ups and downs but in recent years they have gone from strength to strength on the pitch with an impressive win of 'The Million Pound Game' and narrowly losing in the grand final to St Helens in 2019.
In order for a sale of the stadium to take place it would have to be agreed by all parties. Salford Council has confirmed it will be seeking assurances for commitments for the club should any sale take place.
The clubs behind the bid have not yet been named but both Salford FC and Sale Sharks have been mentioned as potential purchasers online, however we must stress that at this time this is just speculation and online rumour, it is not definite.
The Sharks have made a previous bid for the stadium back in 2017 when owner Simon Orange said they had made an offer above what they thinks it is worth.
Salford Deputy Mayor, John Merry referred to the offer as being “unacceptable”.
A spokesperson from Salford City Council said:
"We can confirm that the Council has been approached by a would-be purchaser for the stadium, but we would like to emphasise that no decision has been taken. We should also note that the Council would only account for one half of any such decisions in any case, as the stadium is owned via a 50-50 management partnership through the Stadium Company CosCos.
"Recognising the approaches that have been made to the Council, the Red Devils have also been asked to bring forward a proposal for purchasing the Stadium and all such proposals will be considered on their own merits. There are no timescales on any of these discussions and all offers can be discussed on their own merits - with no guarantee that CosCos will seek a sale at the end of them.
“Should a future decision be taken to sell the stadium, the council will be seeking reassurance for commitments for Salford Red Devils.
"The council has 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 that we can. Previous actions - including payment holidays on rent and loan support - have stabilised the club and provided time for their board to make longer term plans for its future."