Rugby league club Salford Red Devils have opened talks with local businessman Sebastian Gerrard following reports he wants to buy the AJ Bell Stadium and invest in the Super club. League, we learned.
The cash-strapped Red Devils were considering a move to the Peninsula Stadium owned by Salford City Football Club, who had offered to buy the AJ Bell Stadium in conjunction with current housemates Sale Sharks, due to the prohibitive cost of rent.
However, they could now stay at AJ Bell Stadium, which has been their home since leaving The Willows 10 years ago, following talks with Mr Gerrard, who is believed to be the managing director of a construction company based in Swinton. The club have referred to ‘recent information’ regarding a proposed purchase of the AJ Bell Stadium.
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Red Devils chief executive Paul King has said further investment will ‘unlock’ the club’s potential. He said: “It’s no secret that the Salford Red Devils are operating without a benefactor in the Super League and with that a much leaner financial situation.
“Further investment would unlock the potential as an elite sporting organization in the Salford and Greater Manchester area. Personally, I wish Sebastian every success with the proposal as it is further proof that rugby league is a valuable asset to this region.”
Whatever the outcome of the talks, Salford have said they will stay at their current home until at least the end of the 2023 season. The 12,000 capacity ground next to the M60 motorway in Barton is currently jointly owned by Salford Council and property and land giant Peel.
Sale has played at AJ Bell since 2012 and announced in 2018 that he would move on if the owners did not sell. In September 2020, controversial plans to build a massive new stadium and sports village in Trafford for the Sharks were scrapped after the council said it would not back them following a public outcry .
Their former home before moving to the AJ Bell was in Weste on The Willows land, which was demolished to make way for new homes.
Salford City FC was taken over in 2014 by former Manchester United players Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Phil and Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes, who each owned 10% of the club. David Beckham also acquired a ten per cent share in 2109 – the year the League Two club were promoted to the Football League.
In a statement, the Red Devils said: “Following recent reports of a proposed purchase of the AJ Bell Stadium, the Salford Red Devils board met this week with local business owner Sebastian Gerrard. , to discuss plans.
“The proposal to the board is in its early stages, however, Sebastian would like to buy the AJ Bell Stadium and secure it as the home of the Red Devils, in addition he has expressed an interest in potentially investing in the club to secure its status at elite level. of the Super League.”
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