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SALE SHARKS CALL EMERGENCY MEETING WITH SALFORD COUNCIL OVER ‘BREAKING POINT’ AJ BELL STADIUM
 

Star date: 6th November 2017

'DISASTROUS TRAFFIC', LIFTING BRIDGE DELAY AND 'CONSTANT BATTLE WITH POWERS THAT BE' LEAD SHARKS TO 'BREAKING POINT'

Sale Sharks owner, Simon Orange, has called an 'emergency meeting' with Salford City Council and Peel Holdings in relation to their AJ Bell Stadium over the 'disastrous traffic situation', the 'quality of offering' and 'constant battle with the powers that be'.

In a message to supporters, Simon Orange confirms that Sale Sharks have tried to buy the Stadium but are 'exploring other options' ... "This emergency meeting is to help us decide if there is any way we can continue to use the AJ Bell stadium as we, as well as you, are reaching breaking point" he states.

Full details here...


In a withering assessment of the AJ Bell Stadium, joint owned by Salford City Council and Peel Holdings, Sale Sharks owner, Simon Orange, has sent a message to supporters stating that the club is at 'breaking point' over the ground.

"All at the club empathise with the gauntlet you run having to get to the stadium" he writes "Believe me when I say we have very little influence over these endless obstacles and battle constantly with the powers that be. We have this week written to the Board of CosCos (City of Salford Community Stadium), the company responsible for managing the stadium, requesting an emergency meeting."

As well as what he calls the "disastrous traffic situation", he slates the "speed of service and quality of offering" and "ticket sales and distribution which needs attention"...

"We had been holding off hoping that we could at least bring some good news with the announcement of the new Barton Lifting Bridge finally opening but, as you may have seen in local news reports, this has further been delayed" Orange adds.*

"This emergency meeting is to help us decide if there is any way we can continue to use the AJ Bell stadium as we, as well as you, are reaching breaking point..." he explains.

As well as the Stadium board members, the Sharks have invited a further 28 people to attend the emergency meeting, including, from Salford Council, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett; Chief Exec Jim Taylor; Transport Lead Member, Roger Jones;  and Executive Support Officer for Culture, Leisure and Sport, Councillor Ann-Marie Humphreys, plus Councillor Robin Garrido and Councillor Barry Warner, who sit on the committee for Transport for Greater Manchester.

Also invited are Peel Holdings' James Whittaker, MPs Barbara Keeley and Kate Green, and GM Mayor Andy Burnham, plus representatives from Urban Vision, Trafford Council, Highways England and Hochtief, which is responsible for the construction of the Barton Lifting Bridge.

"....So far we have had only one reply showing any interest" Orange states "Hopefully, our request for this emergency meeting won't be ignored but we'll see. Feel free to complain directly to anyone listed!"

The Sale Sharks owner also confirms that the club has been negotiating with Peel Holdings and Salford Council to buy the stadium... "Although it isn't ideally placed geographically and, currently, is poorly served by public transport, we believe over the next few years with the bridge opening (hopefully) and the tram coming to The Trafford Centre by 2020, coupled with the use of the shuttle bus services we're planning, that the AJ Bell might prove a workable stadium" he explains.**

"We have also been exploring other options with Cheshire East Council and Trafford Council to build our own stadium as well as holding talks with a number of other organisations to give us some alternatives to the stadium in Salford" he adds "It's a painful process but we're looking at all of our options..."

The AJ Bell Stadium, has continued to make huge losses, with the latest Council accounts showing a £1.459million loss last year, with net liabilities of £7.068million (see previous Salford Star article for full details – click here).

In August cash-strapped Salford Council granted another loan of £632,500 to its Stadium company, taking the total outstanding amount owed to almost £25million - £7.442million for 'operational funding', and £16.678million for the actual building of the stadium.


To read the full message from Simon Orange - click here


See also previous related Salford Star articles...

* Salford Council Held To Ransom By Peel Holdings Over New Ship Canal Bridge – click here

** Sale Sharks Offer To Buy AJ Bell Stadium 'Unacceptable' – click here

Brexit = democracy = freedom wrote
at 09:02:35 on 11 November 2017
Should never have left the old willows site, this was their biggest mistake, should have rebuilt it there, but this just gos to show the complete incompetence of Salford City council and its Labour Party. This stadium will stand as everlasting testomy to the incompetence of this labour council
 
Terry wrote
at 15:03:41 on 09 November 2017
I wish Sale Sharks luck! Only Andy Burnham was worth inviting as for Dennett (who is he) Keeley, Jones, Taylor et al words fail for fear of libel. At least the Sharks problem by default highlights the incompetence of council planners.Cannot wait for local elections and the opportunity to boot them all out. As a resident we are sick of Sale Sharks/ Reds inconsiderate car parking and although splendid clubs be glad to see them relocate to somewhere more appropriate where fans can get to see them.
 
the end wrote
at 17:54:54 on 08 November 2017
road works finish this week , but the new bridge will not be open. Salford council and Peel have destroyed a perfectly good road and made life a misery for thousands of residents, whilst our councillors sit on the hands and do fuck all
 
Paul wrote
at 13:15:59 on 06 November 2017
Then all we have to do is leave .... to be honest Salford had had nothing but bad luck since moving to the AJ bell Stadium... I know call me fool hardy.... but this stadium has caused a massive headache to the fans who attend the games the people who live in and around the area and of course the Salford residence who pay their council tax as a bulk of it goes or has gone in keeping the stadium A float. Leave and then peel can build their factory units or houses on and that piece of ground rather than buying all our greenbelt.
 
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