AJ Bell Stadium 0
Sale Sharks and Salford Red Devils currently share the stadium. Credit: Google Earth

Sale Sharks hopes to buy AJ Bell stadium in coming months 

Dan Whelan

The rugby union side wants to take control of its home ground and aims to wrap up a deal to acquire the 15,000-capacity venue in a joint venture with Salford City FC in the first quarter of this year. 

Sale made a £2m pre-tax loss for the 12 months ended 30 June 2021 and is hopeful of completing the purchase of the AJ Bell Stadium soon, according to its end of year financial results. 

Sale Sharks and Salford City FC would buy the AJ Bell Stadium from City of Salford Community Stadium, a joint venture between Peel L&P and Salford City Council. 

Since 2012, Sharks has shared the ground with rugby league team Salford Red Devils, for whom the stadium was originally constructed. 

Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, Red Devils would relocate to Salford City’s council-owned Peninsula Stadium on Moor Lane in Kersal. 

The move to the 5,000-capacity Moor Lane would provide the Red Devils with a way out of its current tenancy agreement at the AJ Bell, described by the club’s executive chairman Paul King as “unsustainable”.   

Meanwhile, the football club would go in the opposite direction, setting up a ground share with Sale Sharks. 

Salford City FC, owned by several former Manchester United players including David Beckham and Gary Neville, has seen an average of 2,000 fans come through the turnstiles at its home games this season. 

Sharks’ bid to acquire the AJ Bell follows a failed attempt to build its own stadium at Crossford Bridge playing fields in Trafford.

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If only the RL side could have stayed at the Willows. Much better location than AJ Bell or Moor Lane.

By Tom