Star date: 4th September 2018


Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, is set to approve a further 670,000 loan to its AJ Bell Stadium, with the figure to be matched by its joint venture partner, Peel Holdings.

This will take the total amounts of loans outstanding from the Council to the Stadium to 25,165,000.

Full details here...

Total Loans To The AJ Bell Stadium
click image to enlarge

As relayed by the Salford Star last month, Salford City Council is set to approve yet another 670,000 loan to the AJ Bell Stadium, with the figure to be matched by Peel Holdings, the Council's joint venture partner in the City of Salford Community Stadium Company (CoSCoS).

This will take the total current debt owed to the Council by the Stadium company to 25,165,000, with a further 5.086million owed to Peel (see photo).

In a press release yesterday, Deputy Mayor John Merry span the loan as a positive thing... "This year the AJ Bell Stadium will return another operating profit after hosting high profile rugby matches, weddings, exhibitions and its first highly successful music concert" he stated

"It is expected to continue in profit which will help the company meet its existing loan repayments but, while we progress the development of land around the stadium, the overall business still needs financial support" he added "If approved, the funds will not come from money allocated to council services but from loan repayments made by CosCos."

This isn't strictly true. Firstly, the report to Salford Council's Cabinet next week states that the Stadium has "an expected break even position at a trading level" and mentions nothing about being in profit.

Secondly, Merry states that the loan does not come from 'money allocated to council services', but fails to mention that the interest on the Council's borrowing for the loan does come from its revenue budget, which pays for frontline services.

Although not referred to in the press release, John Merry has gone on record many times stating that the interest from the loans brings the Council a profit. However, the Cabinet report states that such interest doesn't go anywhere near paying for services...

"It is important to note that the 'profit' made by the interest rate differential serves to compensate the council for the risk of default" it notes "The interest is therefore held in a reserve until such time as the risk position crystallises, rather than being released into the general fund.

"The reserve covers the possibility of sale values falling short of the amount required to repay the debt" it adds.

The 'reserve' in the Council's coffers to cover the debt of over 25million is 8.089million, leaving a 'risk' after the latest loan of over 17million.

The Council reckons it can offset the debt by selling the land around the Stadium and John Merry said yesterday that the Council "hope to announce further investment by another major household name very soon".

After the latest loans by Salford Council and Peel Holdings to the Stadium (1.34million), the total debt will be 30.94million. The report quotes the latest accounts for the Stadium; that the "accounting freehold land value" for CoSCoS is 17million...

Mary ferrer wrote
at 06:15:58 on 11 September 2018
We appear to have forgotten what this article is about.The stadium opened in 2012 and we have been keeping it afloat ever since.When will it stop

ROSSI wrote
at 16:58:25 on 10 September 2018
Listen Ray, you sound like a good guy, with a bit of a Karl Marx heart, kind of like me, a Socialist who believes passionately in Social Justice; but about eighty percent of your comments on here are just bullying, plain and simple. Eighty percent of what you come out with is abusive in some way to either Joe or Mary, and it's wrong, and it's petty. It's just not right. And you're relentless with it. You're like the Philistine dwarves in that old Cecil B Demille film with Victor Mature and Heddy Lamar, the one where just before Samson brings the pillars crashing down, some dwarves are tormenting the poor blind bastard by stabbing him in the arse with mini pitchforks. It's just wrong Ray. This shit has got to stop, Ray - And it's got to stop now. So just Be nice. Be respectful. Stop being a dick. Yours in Socialism. Phil Rossi. The Broadwalk.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 12:11:42 on 10 September 2018
Rossi, why is it "bullying" to highlight the fundamental dishonesty of Mary Feŕrer? She pretends to have an answer to the cuťs but it's all so much self serving hot air!

at 21:33:22 on 09 September 2018
I'm calling time on this crazy shit. This shit's been going on way too long. Ray, I had an epiphany a while back - What it was, was Joe and Mary aren't bad people. They try, and to be honest they mostly fail, but still they try, to make things better. I used to spend some of my day writing piss taking texts, and then I realised, just what is the point of it? At best it's merely taking the piss out of people who haven't wronged you - at worst it is bullying. Cowardly bullying at that. There's just no need for it; so knock this shit off, Ray, and just make valid points, rather than stooping to the poisonous depths of keyboard sniping.

Mary ferrer wrote
at 21:32:55 on 09 September 2018
Rayofsunshine,I must be mad even bothering giving you an answer.take it you didn't turn up today,because if you did you would have found NO press,NO cameras just Salford residents who were interested in the history of Buile Hill Park. The lady who did the heritage walk worked very hard researching the park. Why don't you come to our next meeting for the campaign. You appear to have a lot to say on here,roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. I have for over 30 year's. We had questionnaires which residents filled in with their thoughts on what they would like to see in the park. If our council hadn't gone ahead with the building of the Stadium maybe they might have had a bit of spare cash to help with restoration of the Mansion and the park.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 19:26:16 on 09 September 2018
Mary,you're just going through the motions - creating a facade of activism to mask the fact that you don't have a concrete strategy to save Buile Hill. What is needed is a coherent anti cuts campaign, not an excuse for a photo shoot!

Retired Socialist wrote
at 10:06:19 on 09 September 2018
I think Mary as answered Rays question with Action, why does the Star print the constant attacks from this idiot on ex Councillors? every week its the same shite. If you think you can do any better RAY THEN DO IT.....

Mary ferrer wrote
at 07:32:52 on 09 September 2018
If your doing nothing tomorrow (Sunday)Sunshine come along to heritage open day in Buile Hill Park. We will be there with questionnaires asking people what they would like to see the Mansion being used for and the former stables area.it's called public consultation.

A Thought.... wrote
at 07:32:23 on 09 September 2018
Salford RL have a bit of a quandry on their hands. You see, if it wasn't for that stadium being built at Barton - The powers that be would have had the clubs licence by now. If the Stadium falls - no matter how people word it - the club does too - unless they can find an alternative stadium to share with.... From what I've seen the latest loan is to keep the stadium running. Stadium Co / Council (Hard to tell the difference) Fix the budget for the facility, Assign a proper rent to Salford RL / Sale Sharks RU and stop paying loans back with loans

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 18:35:57 on 08 September 2018
I thought Mary Ferrer was busy trying "to save" Buile Hill - apparently not! When things get complicated or require hard graft,Mary loses interest. Rather than engagng wth real issues, Mary, the one trick pony,bangs on about Salford Reds. As an issue,"Salford Reds" is getting rather long in the tooth but at least it gives Mary the pretence of relevance!

Joe O'Neill wrote
at 18:20:05 on 07 September 2018
Ray or what ever your real name is I will not waste anymore of Steve' Page arguing the toss with someone hiding from reality, the city as more important issues. I really suggest you get a life or seek medical help. If you do really have a pair meet up where ever you choose and discuss issues in the open instead of hiding.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 14:38:51 on 07 September 2018
Joe,the truth hurts,eh? You told the Manchester Evening News that you left the Lib Dems because you wanted to "speak out about immigration" , I.e pursue a blatantly racist agenda! It hasn't produced the dividends you hoped for - you've failed n several council elections - you are an embittered crank going nowhere!

Joe O'Neill wrote
at 19:10:05 on 06 September 2018
Like most out of work politicos I gaze the star for gossip and shock the star prints Ray of sunshine's regular anti Ferrer and O'Neill muck spread. It amazes me someone with an axe to grind can't grow a pair of balls and sign his own name. Could I ask the obvious Labour supporter did he ever fight a seat? did he put in the time and finances? Or is he more happier sat behind a keyboard hiding his identity calling people like a spoiled little brat. He forgets we fight a machine growing each day with the allowances creamed from the city purse, we often walk the streets alone carried on by a passion to help people using any tool available to us. I spend eight hours a day working with the elderly of the city I have a track record of helping others and him? just one more Labour shite hawk spineless hiding behind a computer screen.

Mary ferrer wrote
at 19:09:52 on 06 September 2018
So Joe and myself got less than 300 votes. Have a look at the people who got voted in. Look at what they are allowing to happen in our city.I will carry on standing and having my say.Not because I want to top up my pension or my wages. But because I care.Ray have a look at minute's of meetings I attended as a councillor and comments I have made on Salford Star regarding the Stadium. I have said at both full council and at planning meetings that this was a bad plan, for the sighting of the site for the Reds. And more so the building of the stadium in the first place. I have said this again and again. I may not have been a good councillor,but I tried my best. I never once sat and allowed something getting past without question. I have always challenged decisions I felt when NOT in the best interests for the people of Salford. So if that's being a bad councillor,then I was rubbish.I now think it's time Salford council sat down and worked with the interested parties and sell. So it will be at a loss,how much more money will it take for this project to start making a profit. Peel don't care 400.000 is a spit in the ocean for them. For the people of Salford it's a case which services will they cut.Its common sense something is not right and it needs addressing NOW

Simon Dodd wrote
at 16:00:07 on 06 September 2018
What an absolute JOKE! I am struggling to get a reduction in council tax or income support and have been told due to 'cuts' the council have to be careful with their budget! Absolute hypocrisy!

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 13:26:46 on 06 September 2018
Joe O'Neil/Mary Ferrer are unprincipled opportunists - they change their political allegiances at the drop of a hat! They dumped the Lib Dems for the racist/anti Working Class,UKIP!

Not forgot wrote
at 08:02:45 on 06 September 2018
And I bet Mary and Joe would have even less voters if they had been ethnicly cleansed like John Merry's were in Higher Broughton Top Streets, or the voters in Seedley and Langworthy. Labour voters get shit on then still vote Labour. You see the voters who vote for them at least have a bit between the ears, they have the brains to sort the wheat from the chaff. Mary and Joe were good councilors, the reason the public went against the Lib Dems was because of Cleggs alliance with the Tories. If it had not been for Clegg, I reckon the Lib Dems would have equal standing by now with Labour here.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 21:29:25 on 05 September 2018
Joe O'Neil/Mary Ferrer can't even get 300 votes in an election!

at 07:31:41 on 05 September 2018
I'll admit, this does seem foolish. It reminds me of the old saying, "Throwing good money after bad ..." and it's a tactic that is known to loser gamblers the world over. I just can't see why Mayor Paul would green light this ... I have to confess, I am disappointed. Oh well, never mind. It's only six hundred grand. I'm sure that over time things will even themselves out. Or failing that they could always put the Council Tax up by a fiver a week.

Malcolm Nicholls wrote
at 07:30:52 on 05 September 2018
Once again Salford city council hide behind closed doors That money could be better spent elsewhere. The last personal advisory to the last mayor left to join the reds still with his company car and a pay out. Salford city council refused to tell the truth then.How many councilers get free tickets Why not tell the people of Salford the truth.

Mary ferrer wrote
at 19:31:37 on 04 September 2018
The stadium loans have nothing to do with Salford Reds.The money is going to keep the bloody white elephant afloat. The management team running the stadium need to be sacked. They don't advertise. The front of house service needs looking at. If you don't advertise,How the hell will they make any money.What happened to the shopping centre being built to pay the loans off. Before the first brick was put in place this wasn't going to work. Can't understand Peel allowing this to happen. The council yes,they couldn't run a pee up in a brewery,but Peel. Some tax dodge at OUR expense ???

Gareth L wrote
at 19:31:25 on 04 September 2018
What Bob the regular is unaware of is the fact that this city could be bankrupt and in administration etc and the people would still vote labour. My point about the Salford Reds ie Vinny Keenan comment, is simple the Red Devils do not gey any money from the beer/burgers car parking etc, when they have a chance to renegotiate their deal there is no chance they will be able to get a share of what their customers bring in, as Peel and the council can't afford it. No one has said the debt is the club's.

Bob the regular wrote
at 19:30:57 on 04 September 2018
The other Bobs wrong. In 1944 someone in the intellegence service worked out a way to bump off Adolf Hitler. They thought about it, then came to the conclusion that as he was by then making such a balls of things, that it was better to keep him where he was.On newsnight the other day,they were saying about how quite a few councils were going to go bankrupt. If this is the case ,ours must be one of them. Last year when the cladding scandal came about, I knew ours would be the worst, and it was. Bankruptcy will be the best thing ever to happen to our city, because there will be a big investigation afterwards, proper scrutiny.

Rayofsunshine wrote
at 19:30:16 on 04 September 2018
So Bob the regular admits that the only wa his politics will triumph in Salford s, if and when the council is declared bankrupt. Pathetic!

Joe O'Neill wrote
at 19:30:07 on 04 September 2018
John Merry's folly a money pit of our own making, how much more cash are we expected to part with before someone at Labours Swinton base HQ as the balls to say we fucked up,

Vinny keenan wrote
at 13:40:03 on 04 September 2018
Salford RLFC only rent the ground to use on match days and training sessions just like any business rents premises None of the debt for the stadium is the fault of either Salford or sale rugby clubs, it was built as a community stadium for the people of Salford to use allegedly but no one gets to use it. The council were very happy to build it in the first place so they could get houses built on the willows land, like any business venture it's a gamble when building stuff whether it's going to make you a profit or not. This just happens to be one that will not make any money for the council or peel holdings.

bob wrote
at 13:39:32 on 04 September 2018
How dare this fool of a Mayor waste our tax payer money to give to a private concern that does not benefit the tax payers of salford. Time to stop or get rid of this wastrel of a man.

Bob the regular wrote
at 13:39:24 on 04 September 2018
Gareth is obviously not aware as to how socialist capital investment works. When a socialist investment is made, it is made in the sincere belief that what they are doing is right and in the public interest.When the idea turns into a white elephant, more money has to be put in to save face. These people cannot admit they were wrong,they honestly believe that by throwing more cash at it, it will make it work. It won't though, we all know they will never get their cash back. Still, who am I to grumble, I will be there next Sat, cheering on the reds , in their free stadium, looks like they will finish top of the qualifiers. Think about it this way. The more cash these knobs waste, the sooner our city will go bankrupt, the sooner it will go into administration, the sooner we get rid of the people who caused it. We will not have to pay more council tax than we do now. The stigma of civic bankruptcy does not worry me. Good old Dennett, good old old Merry and all the rest of em.

Gareth L wrote
at 10:43:42 on 04 September 2018
I can not see how something which is profitable constantly needs loans to operate. I can't see the Salford Red Devils ever being able to negotiate better terms, is taking some of the parking or food/beer revenue when the council and Peel need every penny.

Ray mozley wrote
at 09:35:36 on 04 September 2018
Outrageous when they are cutting back on social services the club should be left to manage on market forces the councillors should be taking out private personnel loans if they wish to bail it out.

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