The AJ Bell Stadium has a capacity of 15,000. Credit: Google Earth Studio

Salford stadium swap saga nears conclusion

Talks that would see Salford City FC move from the Peninsula Stadium to the AJ Bell Stadium – with rugby league side Salford Red Devils going in the opposite direction – are at an “advanced stage”, according to the city council. 

Rugby union side Sale Sharks and football club Salford City FC want to acquire the AJ Bell Stadium from City of Salford Community Stadium, a joint venture between Peel L&P and Salford City Council.

Sale Sharks currently shares the 15,000 sq ft AJ Bell Stadium with Salford Red Devils, while Salford City plays at the Peninsula Stadium on Moor Lane in Kersal. 

If the Sharks/City joint venture buys the AJ Bell Stadium, the two teams would share the ground.  

Meanwhile the Red Devils would relocate to Moor Lane, swapping homes with Salford City and signing a lease on the 5,000-capacity Peninsula Stadium, which is council-owned.  

The sale of the AJ Bell stadium to Sale Sharks and Salford City is subject to agreement of the Red Devils’ board. 

“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,” the council said.  

“A lot of work remains to be undertaken and we will say more as matters are progressed. We want to get to the point where all parties are happy that the desired outcomes are achievable and formal approvals will then be sought.” 

The £26m venue was originally built for Salford Red Devils, but Sale Sharks signed a 25-year lease on the ground shortly after construction completed. 

The two teams have shared the ground since 2012. 

In April it emerged that Sale Sharks had made early enquiries about buying the AJ Bell Stadium after its plans for a new-build venue at Crossford Bridge Playing Fields were rejected by Trafford Council. 

At that time the Red Devils revealed it was planning to submit its own bid for the ground. 

However, since then Salford City FC has entered the equation, adding more weight to Sale’s bid to buy the ground. 

The move to Moor Lane could work out well for the Red Devils, whose tenancy agreement at the AJ Bell was described by executive chairman Paul King as “unsustainable”.  

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Hope Salford RLFC fans can find a way of getting to Moor Lane – their move from The Willows doesn’t appear to have paid off. It didn’t start well either:

By Bob

I think you are a little premature with this piece. The fat lady is far from taking the stage!

By Davyhulme Red

Football and Ruby Union doesn’t work, the pitch will get a hammering in the winter months.

By Anonymous

What a shame, a stadium that was built for Salford RLFC is now being snatched away and they’re being pushed out by the money that’s behind Sale and Salford FC…


Seems like a sensible move, the Rugby club should never have been pushed out of the willows, I wonder who made a killing out of that?

By A, dee

Backward step for the devil’s. Only 5.000. Won’t be able to keep up with the rest

By Neil Booth

“Football and Ruby Union doesn’t work, the pitch will get a hammering in the winter months” a shame but very true, still, Sale should be able to cope with the poor pitch.

By Twickers

Any truth in the rumours that Salford Council are paying Salford FC £2m as recompense for the investment they have made in Moor Lane? Also is there any truth in the rumours that the stadium needs £1.5m spending on it to update the inadequate floodlights to meet SL specifications and to improve facilities? If true that means the Council will be forking out £3.5m to boot out Salford Reds from their stadium.

By Davyhulme Red

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