Back to the future? Sale Sharks mull possible move back to old home following problems at AJ Bell Stadium

By Alan Ross

Sale Sharks are investigating the potential of moving stadiums given the failure of their current home to boost attendances and be more supporter friendly.

Crowd numbers have fallen at the AJ Bell Stadium, since the move from Edgeley Park 18 months ago, due to a number of issues relating to transport, traffic and the game day experience.

The club have already held a number of meetings with Peel Holdings and Salford Council, who jointly own the stadium, and new chairman, Gordon McKie, has stressed the issues to them.

Among the options being investigated by the Sharks is potentially switching back to Edgeley Park in Stockport with officials from the club touring their former home yesterday.

At the last home game against Worcester temporary traffic lights were left on the main access road to the stadium prompting Mr McKie to comment on the Sharks’ Facebook page.

“The stadium management company and contractors have been aware of the fixture being played today since early December and gave their assurances that the lights would be removed by 12 noon on the day of the game,” he wrote.

“They have not done this which caused significant inconvenience with supporters arriving and leaving the stadium.

“Sale Sharks value the continued patience of all our supporters and the matter will be investigated fully over the coming days.”

Other grounds also being considered are the Reebok Stadium, where the Sharks held a match in 2011 attracting close to 17,000 people as well as Leigh Sports Village and Bury’s Gigg Lane.

FC United, who currently share Gigg Lane, are leaving for their own purpose built stadium in Moston at the end of the season opening the way for Sharks to move in.

Leigh Sports Village hosted a fixture in the Rugby League World Cup last year and is currently the home of Leigh Centurions and the Blackburn Rovers reserve side.

Image courtesy of Broadcast Exchange, with thanks.

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