Salford coy on stadium swap deal with football club

Salford say reports that a stadium swap deal that would see them relocate from the AJ Bell stadium to Moor Lane, current home of Salford City FC, is done are premature.

The Red Devils have an agreement to play at the AJ Bell Stadium until the end of 2023. But they are likely to move out as part of a deal to take over the stadium by Sale Sharks.

Sale have previously stated that they will hold off from finalising a deal for the stadium until the rugby league club’s future is secured.

UNSUSTAINABLE: Fans call for action over fears Salford may be forced out of AJ Bell Stadium

With the city’s football club, now playing in the Football League, part of the takeover bid with Sale and set to switch to the AJ Bell Stadium as part of it, it leaves their current recently re-developed home at Moor Lane available for the Red Devils.

A local television report on Friday suggested that the deal was done; but Salford have issued a statement to clarify their position.

Setting the record straight

The statement said: “We are currently actively engaged in positive discussions with all parties in the reported ‘stadium swap’ agreement. We continue to strive towards the best possible outcome for Salford Red Devils.

“We are open minded to facilitate all aspects of the ongoing dialogue as long as the best interests of the Club are also considered throughout the process.

“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.”

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The discussions are being held between Salford City Council and Peel Holdings, the landowners, and the three sporting clubs.

The Peninsula Stadium at Moor Lane has a capacity of 5,100 and has been re-developed over the past five years as Salford City climbed up the football pyramid.

Swinton Lions played at the ground in its previous guise between 2002 and 2004; this was when the ground’s capacity was around 1500 and the football club barely attracted 100 to home matches.

Recent reports have suggested that the Red Devils are unhappy with the offer being put on the table to them with regards to the concourse opportunities at Moor Lane.

Salford are to hold a fans forum on Thursday November 4 to provide a further update to supporters. They say they anticipate developments by that stage.

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