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Sale Sharks may leave Salford stadium and move back to Stockport
10:03am Friday 31st January 2014 in Trafford Sport
SALE Sharks may be on the move again – possibly back to their former home at Edgeley Park, Stockport.
Sharks bosses are also looking at the possibility of a move to Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, Leigh Sports Village and other venues, in the face of declining attendance figures since their move to the AJ Bell Stadium, in Salford, 18 months ago.
Sharks have also expressed concern about the matchday management system in place at the ground.
The premiership club has seen its attendance fall from 8,000 to under 6,0000 since it moved to Salford, this is despite a successful season on the pitch.
Sale chairman, Gordon McKie, said: “The stadium, without attaching blame, has fallen short of expectation.
“Sale moved there in anticipation of preserving crowds, revenues and even growing them and that has just not happened.
“It’s a complex area, M60 traffic queues, access, leaving the stadium, car parks, catering, hospitality, matchday management, event management.
Mr Mckie added: “Time of games, be it Friday or Saturday, even Sunday, price of tickets, pricing up of packages, hospitality and to be frank the stadium at the moment is not functioning in the way I would expect it to for a professional rugby team.
“Hopefully, we will engage and address these problems because at the moment it’s evident that with our attendances falling it’s just not sustainable.
“I can’t keep running to our owners Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst to say ‘please invest more money.’ They are hugely committed to Sale but my job is to bring about action and improvement.”
One disgruntled supporter said: “I’d definitely welcome a move back to Stockport, it was much more convenient with it being right next to the train station.
“It’s an absolute nightmare getting in and out of the AJ Bell as its located on one of the busiest parts of the M60.”
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