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Salford Red Devils open talks with businessman after investment reports and ‘proposal to buy AJ Bell Stadium’


Salford Red Devils rugby league club have opened talks with local businessman, Sebastian Gerrard, following reports that he wants to buy the AJ Bell Stadium and invest in the Super League club, it has been revealed.

The cash-strapped Red Devils were considering moving to The Peninsula Stadium owned by Salford City Football Club, who had proposed to buy the AJ Bell Stadium in conjunction with current co-tenants Sale Sharks, because of the prohibitive cost of rent.

However, they could now remain at the AJ Bell Stadium, which has been their home since moving out of The Willows 10 years ago, following discussions with Mr Gerrard, who is believed to be the managing director of a Swinton-based building company. The club pointed to ‘recent news reports’ regarding a proposal to buy the AJ Bell Stadium.

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Red Devils managing director Paul King said further investment would ‘unlock’ the club’s potential. He said: “It’s no secret that Salford Red Devils operate without a benefactor in Super League and with that a much leaner financial situation.

“Further investment would unlock potential as an elite sports organisation in the Salford and Greater Manchester region. Personally, I wish Sebastian every success with the proposal as it is further evidence that rugby league is a valued asset to this region.”



Salford Red Devils

Whatever the outcome of the talks, Salford say they will remain in their current home until at least the end of the 2023 season. The 12,000 capacity ground next to the M60 motorway at Barton is currently jointly owned by Salford council and property and land giant Peel.

Sale have played at the AJ Bell since 2012 and announced in 2018 that they would move grounds if the owners would not sell. In September 2020, controversial plans to build a massive new stadium and sports village in Trafford for the Sharks were dropped after the council said it would not support them following a public outcry.

Their previous home before moving to the AJ Bell was in Weaste at The Willows ground, which was demolished to make way for new homes.

Salford City FC were taken over in 2014 by former Manchester United players, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Phil and Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes who each owned ten per cent of the club. David Beckham acquired a ten per cent share too in 2109 – the year the League Two club were promoted to the Football League.

In a statement the Red Devils said: “Following recent news reports regarding a proposal to purchase the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford Red Devils board of directors met this week with local business owner Sebastian Gerrard to discuss plans.

“The proposal to the council 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, furthermore, he has expressed his interest in potentially investing in the club to secure its status at the elite level of Super League.”

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