Salford Red Devils warn the club’s existence is under threat without new stadium deal

Aaron Bower
Salford Stadium Alamy

The Salford Stadium - Alamy

Salford Red Devils have warned that the Super League club’s very existence is at risk if the local Council do not agree a new tenancy deal to remain at the Salford Stadium in the next month, urging those involved with the discussions to act with ‘urgency’ so the future of the club can be safeguarded.

The Red Devils’ current tenancy agreement expires on December 1, despite negotiations taking place for almost three years on a new term.

With that deadline now fast approaching, Salford have issued a strongly-worded statement warning of the grave consequences if no new deal can be finalised in the coming weeks.

They say that they would immediately be subject to a compliance matter from the Rugby Football League without a new five-year tenancy agreement, which would cause them to immediately lose points on their IMG score.

That could leave them at risk of being left out of Super League in 2025 and in their own words: “Reducing our central distributions from £1.31m to circa £50k per annum and effectively liquidating the club”.

Salford also suggested that the sale of star players such as Tyler Dupree, Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers, which raised valuable funds to help keep the club going, were only necessary due to a lack of resolution over a stadium deal, saying that if that had been in place earlier this year, they would have had access to other income streams to help improve their financial position.

They have now called on Council officers to act rapidly following what they describe as ‘endless pontification and procrastination’ from those involved.

Salford Red Devils issue statement regarding their future at the Salford Stadium

Salford Stadium Alamy The Salford Stadium – Alamy

In a statement, Salford said: “After endless pontification and procrastination by Council officers, we are less than a month away from having no such agreement, and the stark reality now is that without their action in the coming days and weeks, the future of the club is at risk.

“Nearly three years on from the initial approach made by Sale Sharks to purchase the stadium – a move which would have compromised our home and, as a result, our Super League status – the club has continually struggled yet continued to operate under the terms of an unfavourable lease agreement that has hampered our ability to become self-sustainable and grow.”

The future of the ground formerly known as the AJ Bell Stadium has been uncertain ever since its co-owners, Peel Holdings, announced they would be selling their stake.

The Council owns the other 50 per cent of the ground but with uncertainty lingering over the long-term ownership of the stadium, the Red Devils have been unable to come to an agreement on a new long-term tenancy.

A move to the Peninsula Stadium, home of EFL side Salford City, had been mooted at one stage, but Salford executive director Paul King said earlier this year that would “likely liquidate the club or at the least make the club part-time and commence a slow death spiral out of existence”.

As such, the club are keen to remain at their current home, but have grown frustrated over a lack of progress in talks.

And they have now warned that if nothing is agreed before the start of next month, when their current agreement ends, the consequences could be disastrous.

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