SALFORD are optimistic a solution will be reached for them to stay at the city’s stadium – and thrive there if people hurry up.
The Red Devils have looked at moving to Bury FC’s Gigg Lane and the Regional Athletics Arena, next to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, after growing tired of delays over the city council’s buyout of the facility.
Current terms, which end on December 1, leave them completely hamstrung and not agreeing new ones would severely harm their chances of staying in Super League under IMG’s grading system.
Moving out would likely be the club’s death knell.
Now after commercial deals have been forced to wait for the authority buying out partner Peel Holdings’ stake to go through, they are more confident of staying.
Salford believe that purchase will go through early next year, with new terms allowing the club to finally make money from matchdays in place by then, as meetings – including one involving groundmates Sale Sharks RU – take place this week.
The club said: “We have received an indication of intent for the acquisition to be complete within the first quarter of 2024.
“We are conscious our position remains a time-sensitive one that is currently without a resolution.
MOST REDA IN RUGBY LEAGUE
“Without this materialising imminently, we are only able to assume that we will continue to not have access to the various commercial streams we have operated towards and budgeted for over the coming months.
“Our club is more than just a team people watch every other week. Our club is Salford’s club – owned by its community, and consistently here for its community as a source of jobs, education, and health.
“Despite previous experiences, there is a wholehearted belief that the council will come through.”
Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett said: “For a 150-year-old institution, and pillar of the sport, to be facing such a precarious situation is very worrying.
“Acquiring the stadium continues to involve a painstaking amount of work. My whole team at Salford City Council has spent many months seeking to make this happen.
“I recognise the club cannot continue to exist without a tenancy for next season, nor can it continue to exist indefinitely on current terms.
“But we all know the destiny of the Red Devils is not simply in Salford City Council’s gift. As mentioned, we are joint owners of the stadium with Peel, and cannot make decisions without them.
“I remain determined to preserve this crucial piece of Salford’s heritage and will do whatever is in our power to ensure that this iconic Salford institution is not lost.”
Salford City Council will meet the Rugby Football League this week to discuss the buyout process and the more favourable terms the Red Devils will get.
And the club believes something may now be done, as it must be, adding: “As the end of our current tenancy agreement is imminent, we remain aware that any further inaction could place this at risk.
“We are optimistic following recent discussions and hope the meetings this week offer a path to a swift resolution of critical priority, rather than serve as another example of a failed-to-materialise assurance.”