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Should Salford renegotiate their restrictive agreement with the management company? Using the threat to up sticks and relocate to another, more supporter friendly location within the City of Salford.

Or should they and SaleSharksRUFC come to an agreement to buy the stadium from Peel and SCC assuming these two are open to offers. Which would make financial sense.Splitting the costs.

Or should Salford cut their loses and relocate to their own new build stadium within the City of Salford?

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Should Salford renegotiate their restrictive agreement with the management company? Using the threat to up sticks and relocate to another, more supporter friendly location within the City of Salford.

Or should they and SaleSharksRUFC come to an agreement to buy the stadium from Peel and SCC assuming these two are open to offers. Which would make financial sense.Splitting the costs.

Or should Salford cut their loses and relocate to their own new build stadium within the City of Salford?

 

The City of Salford recently refused planning permission for Marwan to build a small stadium for Swinton to move them back into Salford. This was on a patch of land that became available because of the closure of a school, but the city has it earmarked for housing (I think). Any parcel of land that becomes available closer to the heart of Salford is likely to go the same way, so I'm not sure where another stadium could be built. Moving within the city, then, may not be an option.

 

It's not clear that buying the stadium is an option either. The city's partial funding of the build was fairly controversial, and they surely couldn't sell their half unless the price matched (or exceeded) what they paid. As things stand, the stadium is losing money, so anyone willing to pay that amount would have rocks in their head. And then there's Peel, who don't seem too desperate to sell their half.

 

This last point suggests things may not be all bad. Peel is a money making machine that would pull out if they didn't think there was something in it for them. Of course, that 'something in it for them' could just be nothing more than a bit of leverage over the Port Salford development they want to build in the area. Still, the fact that they don't seem over-keen on selling up at the moment suggests they see a long term future in the stadium.

 

So, long term, things may work out. The stadium isn't easy to get to, so the only people going at the moment are the diehards. Make it easier to get to by putting extra roads in (already being done, but slowly) and it'll make the effort of getting there a bit easier. Put a consistently successful team on the field, and it'll make that effort more worthwhile. Put some form of leisure facilty in the currently derelict area around the stadium (which, inevitably, means a pub) and it becomes less of an effort to get there. The pub is on it's way, apparently.

 

Short term, I suppose Marwan could try and renegotiate the stadium deal, but, as I said, the stadium is losing money and was bailed out by the city last year, so I can't see them being too willing to accept less money. The strange thing is, the stadium seems to be quite busy. I usually go there alternate weeks to get tickets for away games, and there's invariably some commercial event on. How they're still losing money is a mystery. Still, it appears they are, or at least were last year.

 

If it ever comes to pass that the stadium starts to make money, I hope Marwan would buy it. (I can't see Sale being interested: Brian Kennedy has been hinting at pulling out in recent years because they seem to be losing more money than Salford, and this has been exacerbated by an apparent fall in attendances since their move to the AJ Bell. It wouldn't surprise me if they left before the end of their lease. That lease is, I believe, 20 years, but it's thought they have an opportunity to get out after 5, which is in 3ish years' time. It'll be interesting to see what happens.) Having a stadium that the club has to pay out on rather than something that brings money in puts Salford at a disadvantage compared to the clubs that own their own. Marwan is obviously well aware of that, and has said so.

 

So, short term, I thnk we're stuck with a stadium that's a drain on the club and is located on the fringe of the outskirts of nowhere. Longer term, maybe it will work.

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All very interesting.

But wait isn't this the very same club who hounded the council to financially support them in facilitating the building of a new stadium, which indeed was given the green light location wise by its previous chairman.

Also there was no remonstrations about the loss of money when Salford council was paying the rent for the first two years of the Koukash regime. Who incidentally agreed to remain at that stadium when he took over your club.

As for the building of a stadium in Swinton for Swinton, the council never refused planning permission since it never even reached that stage. The land he wanted was educational land and due to this it brings a whole raft of problems in obtaining a different use for it, there were other matters but they are not for open discussion as they are in Koukash's private domain.

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I agree with many of your points, and I think in time the AJ Bell could become a great place to visit and watch RugbyLeauge if the promised infrastructure materialises in the form of Metrolink, hotels, pubs ect.

But even if all this infrastructure does happen. The problem is still the restrictive agreement with the management company. And the uncertainty of being a tenant.

Regarding Sale Sharks RUFC I believe their attandence has risen since they started holding their games on Saturday afternoons. I think their average is now 7500 per home game. Less than when they were at Edgeley Park but an increase of 2500 from when they first started playing at the AJ Bell.

The nightmare scenario for Salford could be waking up one morning and finding out that Brian Kennedy and Sale Sharks are their new Landlord. Which isn't beyond the bounds of possibilities. Look at how Wasps financed, and then bought the Richo Stadium in Coventry. Becoming Coventry City's new landlord. Monkey see Monkey do!

first

The City of Salford recently refused planning permission for Marwan to build a small stadium for Swinton to move them back into Salford. This was on a patch of land that became available because of the closure of a school, but the city has it earmarked for housing (I think). Any parcel of land that becomes available closer to the heart of Salford is likely to go the same way, so I'm not sure where another stadium could be built. Moving within the city, then, may not be an option.

 

It's not clear that buying the stadium is an option either. The city's partial funding of the build was fairly controversial, and they surely couldn't sell their half unless the price matched (or exceeded) what they paid. As things stand, the stadium is losing money, so anyone willing to pay that amount would have rocks in their head. And then there's Peel, who don't seem too desperate to sell their half.

 

This last point suggests things may not be all bad. Peel is a money making machine that would pull out if they didn't think there was something in it for them. Of course, that 'something in it for them' could just be nothing more than a bit of leverage over the Port Salford development they want to build in the area. Still, the fact that they don't seem over-keen on selling up at the moment suggests they see a long term future in the stadium.

 

So, long term, things may work out. The stadium isn't easy to get to, so the only people going at the moment are the diehards. Make it easier to get to by putting extra roads in (already being done, but slowly) and it'll make the effort of getting there a bit easier. Put a consistently successful team on the field, and it'll make that effort more worthwhile. Put some form of leisure facilty in the currently derelict area around the stadium (which, inevitably, means a pub) and it becomes less of an effort to get there. The pub is on it's way, apparently.

 

Short term, I suppose Marwan could try and renegotiate the stadium deal, but, as I said, the stadium is losing money and was bailed out by the city last year, so I can't see them being too willing to accept less money. The strange thing is, the stadium seems to be quite busy. I usually go there alternate weeks to get tickets for away games, and there's invariably some commercial event on. How they're still losing money is a mystery. Still, it appears they are, or at least were last year.

 

If it ever comes to pass that the stadium starts to make money, I hope Marwan would buy it. (I can't see Sale being interested: Brian Kennedy has been hinting at pulling out in recent years because they seem to be losing more money than Salford, and this has been exacerbated by an apparent fall in attendances since their move to the AJ Bell. It wouldn't surprise me if they left before the end of their lease. That lease is, I believe, 20 years, but it's thought they have an opportunity to get out after 5, which is in 3ish years' time. It'll be interesting to see what happens.) Having a stadium that the club has to pay out on rather than something that brings money in puts Salford at a disadvantage compared to the clubs that own their own. Marwan is obviously well aware of that, and has said so.

 

So, short term, I thnk we're stuck with a stadium that's a drain on the club and is located on the fringe of the outskirts of nowhere. Longer term, maybe it will work.

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All very interesting.

But wait isn't this the very same club who hounded the council to financially support them in facilitating the building of a new stadium, which indeed was given the green light location wise by its previous chairman.

Also there was no remonstrations about the loss of money when Salford council was paying the rent for the first two years of the Koukash regime. Who incidentally agreed to remain at that stadium when he took over your club.

As for the building of a stadium in Swinton for Swinton, the council never refused planning permission since it never even reached that stage. The land he wanted was educational land and due to this it brings a whole raft of problems in obtaining a different use for it, there were other matters but they are not for open discussion as they are in Koukash's private domain.

 

I appreciate you've got a bit of a bee in your bonnet about Salford (both the city and the club), and are keen to express it on here and on RLFans (where they generally just ignore you), but I'm not sure what your point is here. How does a decision made by ther previous chairman affect the opinions of the current chairman and of the fans? I'll actually defend the previous chairman here, because I think he was in a no-win situation over the stadium. The club didn't have much choice but to move from The Willows because they were in danger of losing their place in SL over it, and Barton was the only option available to them. Subsequent events have shown this to be a poor decision, at least for the time being. However, I don't see a good outcome had they stayed at The Willows either.

 

The point about not complaining when the council were bailing them out is a bit silly. The club - and Marwan in particular - has complained about the lack of support for the club in the city since pretty much day one.

 

Your point about Marwan agreeing to remain at the stadium is also a bit silly I'm afraid. What else could he do? Buy a club but have nowhere for the team to play? Not a good idea with the start of the new season just a couple of weeks away. The deal itself isn't a good one, as Marwan has said, but again he had little choice. It's all in this article here.

 

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/ajb-stadium-location-shocking---8900497

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I agree with many of your points, and I think in time the AJ Bell could become a great place to visit and watch RugbyLeauge if the promised infrastructure materialises in the form of Metrolink, hotels, pubs ect.

But even if all this infrastructure does happen. The problem is still the restrictive agreement with the management company. And the uncertainty of being a tenant.

Regarding Sale Sharks RUFC I believe their attandence has risen since they started holding their games on Saturday afternoons. I think their average is now 7500 per home game. Less than when they were at Edgeley Park but an increase of 2500 from when they first started playing at the AJ Bell.

The nightmare scenario for Salford could be waking up one morning and finding out that Brian Kennedy and Sale Sharks are their new Landlord. Which isn't beyond the bounds of possibilities. Look at how Wasps financed, and then bought the Richo Stadium in Coventry. Becoming Coventry City's new landlord. Monkey see Monkey do!

first

 

 

Sale's stated attendances might be a bit misleading. Over on the Sale forum, the people who actually attend matches at the AJ Bell regularly mock the official attendance figures. Judging by what they say, the actual attendance is usually around two thirds to three quarters of the official attendance. On occasion, it's been even lower. That's why I can't see Brian Kennedy wanting to buy the stadium. The club has moved away from its core support in Cheshire, and doesn't appear to have picked up much new support in Salford. I think making the AJ Bell their permanent home would be a high risk strategy, and the more likely outcome is that they'll leave after 5 years. Could be wrong thoiugh.

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Sale's stated attendances might be a bit misleading. Over on the Sale forum, the people who actually attend matches at the AJ Bell regularly mock the official attendance figures. Judging by what they say, the actual attendance is usually around two thirds to three quarters of the official attendance. On occasion, it's been even lower. That's why I can't see Brian Kennedy wanting to buy the stadium. The club has moved away from its core support in Cheshire, and doesn't appear to have picked up much new support in Salford. I think making the AJ Bell their permanent home would be a high risk strategy, and the more likely outcome is that they'll leave after 5 years. Could be wrong thoiugh.

They filled the stadium at Christmas, the place was full. 12000 people. Sale won't ignore this. They can see the potential of the AJ Bell. But their long term aim is to own their own stadium. They understand the financial benifits and security this gives them. Salford ignore them, and their plans at your peril.

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Sale's stated attendances might be a bit misleading. Over on the Sale forum, the people who actually attend matches at the AJ Bell regularly mock the official attendance figures. Judging by what they say, the actual attendance is usually around two thirds to three quarters of the official attendance. On occasion, it's been even lower. That's why I can't see Brian Kennedy wanting to buy the stadium. The club has moved away from its core support in Cheshire, and doesn't appear to have picked up much new support in Salford. I think making the AJ Bell their permanent home would be a high risk strategy, and the more likely outcome is that they'll leave after 5 years. Could be wrong thoiugh.

Apologies for spelling 'League' incorrectly in my first reply. Slap myself on the wrist. Spelling obviously isn't a strong point of mine.

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They filled the stadium at Christmas, the place was full. 12000 people. Sale won't ignore this. They can see the potential of the AJ Bell. But their long term aim is to own their own stadium. They understand the financial benifits and security this gives them. Salford ignore them, and their plans at your peril.

 

That was against Leicester around Boxing Day. Traditionally, Leicester are a big draw, as are Boxing Day fixtures, so the two came together to create a near sell out. In general, though, their attendances don't seem to be as good as the official figures suggest, at least going by what the Sale fans say on their forum.

 

Obviously, none of us can predict the future - not even Mystic Meg - but I still think it more likely that Sale will leave the AJ Bell than buy it.

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http://rugbyam.co.uk/marwan-were-losing-100000-a-match/quotename="Red John" post="3094809" timestamp="1427287548"]

That was against Leicester around Boxing Day. Traditionally, Leicester are a big draw, as are Boxing Day fixtures, so the two came together to create a near sell out. In general, though, their attendances don't seem to be as good as the official figures suggest, at least going by what the Sale fans say on their forum.

 

Obviously, none of us can predict the future - not even Mystic Meg - but I still think it more likely that Sale will leave the AJ Bell than buy it.

Marwan says they're losing £100.000 a game at the AJ Bell. Something has to give.

PS: Sale still got 12000 attendance. How do they explain the difference in stated attendance and real tickets sold with the tax man?

http://rugbyam.co.uk/marwan-were-losing-100000-a-match/

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PS: Sale still got 12000 attendance. How do they explain the difference in stated attendance and real tickets sold with the tax man?

 

A bit of conjecture (based on the same conjecture on the Sale forum) but maybe they're counting all tickets sold or given away, irrespective of whether the people attend.

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Stop messing about with the dates. This game was originally scheduled for the Sunday. Then it was switched to the Friday for TV. Well not everyone can reschedule their life to suit TV.

I was planning to attend this game on the Sunday. But when they reschedule it to the Friday, work commitments ruled me out like many others, it appears.

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I now believe that Salford RLFC's future may be in a shared stadium with Swinton Lions RLFC. Maybe at Agecroft? Because the AJ Bell isn't going to work out.

After Friday nights abysmal attendance and the club planning to basically give away tickets for the next game. This just can't carry on.

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Stop messing about with the dates. This game was originally scheduled for the Sunday. Then it was switched to the Friday for TV. Well not everyone can reschedule their life to suit TV.

I was planning to attend this game on the Sunday. But when they reschedule it to the Friday, work commitments ruled me out like many others, it appears.

 

I now believe that Salford RLFC's future may be in a shared stadium with Swinton Lions RLFC. Maybe at Agecroft? Because the AJ Bell isn't going to work out.

After Friday nights abysmal attendance and the club planning to basically give away tickets for the next game. This just can't carry on.

 

I think Salford's problem at the moment is that it's harder to find reasons to attend than it is to find reasons not to. Taking a broad view of the problem, next year marks the 40th anniversary of their last meaningful trophy win, and it's now 46 years since they last made it to the Challenge Cup final. In that intervening period, there has been, if memory serves, just one, solitary semi-final appearance. To put this into perspective, the oldest player currently playing Super League - Adrian Morley - was still a gamete when Salford last won a major trophy. It's just not an attractive proposition for sports fans brought up in the shadow of Manchester United and now, increasingly City, who can buy trophies and call it success.

 

The stadium and its location add to the problem. It's not somewhere you can just turn up to: you have to plan the trip in advance because access is poor, parking ridiculously expensive, egress slow, there's nothing around the stadium, so if you arrive early to avoid the traffic, you're left twiddling your thumbs until kick off, and you need to buy a ticket beforehand because there's no cash turnstile. You really need to have a reason to go, and for the uncommitted, that reason isn't there yet. (Just as an aside on the location, I listened to a bit of the RL phone in on GMR on Sunday, and one of the presenters made the point that he works in Manchester but lives in Newton-le-Willows, near St Helens, and he said it's quicker for him to go home first and then approach the stadium from the west than it is to get there from Salford side: that's an indication of how poor the location is for Salfordians.)

 

Looking at this season, the fixture list I received when I picked up my season ticket highlights another one of the difficulties. Of the eight home games played so far, three have been moved either for TV or for other reasons (a clash with a home fixture for Manchester United, for example). Of the other five, two were played at stupid o'clock on a Thursday for TV. The changes, the daft kick off times, the general faffing about just make the whole experience a ball ache, so I can see why people don't want to make the effort to go, and it is an effort. I fear it will hit season ticket sales next year, so there'll be even fewer people committed to the cause.

 

The Huddersfield game was a perfect storm of reasons not to go: date change, on TV, poor weather, unattractive opposition, problems on the M60, few away fans. Apparently, 40% of season ticket holders didn't turn up.

 

A move to a different stadium would be the ideal solution, but I can't see it happening. The city of Salford part own the stadium, and I doubt they'd give permission for a rival stadium to be built. I can't see where it could go either. I'm not sure where in Agecroft you'd put one. The West One site (an 'outlet mall' type shopping park, where the 'One' in its name refers to the number of shops still open on it) just near the Willows would have been far, far better: closer to the centre of Salford, much better served by public transport, etc.), but it wasn't to be, and now some warehouse type shop has moved in.

 

So, we are where we are, and I think we're there for the foreseeable future. The challenge, then, is to give people that reason to go. The infrastructure around the stadium is slowly - very slowly -  being built up, and I think Marwan is on the right lines with what he's doing for the club. Despite the whining from opposition fans about 'he should have (or, more often, 'of') put money into the academy', the club needs a successful first team to bring the fans in, and to be a springboard for that academy. Perhaps a top rate marketing director would help the cause.

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I can't disagree with any of your comments.

Regarding Agecroft, I thought Swinton had planning permission for a stadium in 2011at the juntion of Langley road next to Forest Bank prison?

Another idea, all be it not much chance of it ever happening. What about going into some joint deal with Salford City FC and developing their Moor Lane ground in Kersal into a Rugby League, Football ground. A long shot, I know.

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I don't know if either Moor Lane or Salford Sports Village were ever considered. My feeling is the Moor Lane site might be a bit too small, or maybe a bit too isolated (access problems again). Swinton had a season there a decade or so ago. Salford played them there in a cup match and won 76 - 0. They scored a try off each of their first four sets (Mal Alker scored three, Cliff Beverley the fourth, all off pretty much the same move, with Beverley dummying rather than turning the ball back inside to Alker for his try).

 

The Sports Village might be a decent option. The potential downside is that it's part of the flood plain of the Irwell (back in the days when it was plain old Littleton Road playing fields, we were taken down there as part of a GCSE Geography field trip). I haven't been down Kersal for ages, but there used to be a block of flats on the other side of Littleton Road that was built on concrete stilts because of the threat of flooding.

 

Nevertheless, I still doubt they'd get planning permission. The city really has to make the AJ Bell stadium work after all the money that's been pumped into it. The work going on at the moment on road building and developing the area around the stadium should help matters. The club then needs to pull its finger out and do a bit of proper marketing.

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I don't know if either Moor Lane or Salford Sports Village were ever considered. My feeling is the Moor Lane site might be a bit too small, or maybe a bit too isolated (access problems again). Swinton had a season there a decade or so ago. Salford played them there in a cup match and won 76 - 0. They scored a try off each of their first four sets (Mal Alker scored three, Cliff Beverley the fourth, all off pretty much the same move, with Beverley dummying rather than turning the ball back inside to Alker for his try).

 

The Sports Village might be a decent option. The potential downside is that it's part

of the flood plain of the Irwell (back in the days when it was plain old Littleton Road playing fields, we were taken down there as part of a GCSE Geography field trip). I haven't been down Kersal for ages, but there used to be a block of flats on the other

side of Littleton Road that was built on concrete stilts because of the threat of flooding.

 

Nevertheless, I still doubt they'd get planning permission. The city really has to make the AJ Bell stadium work after all the money that's been pumped into it. The work going on at the moment on road building and developing the area around the

stadium should help matters. The club then needs to pull its finger out and do a bit of proper marketing.

Yes the future for the next few years is at the AJ Bell. I think Salford should concentrate on Sunday and hopefully Saturday afternoon KO times. It's a fact that Saturday afternoons result in the best attandences for both football and Rugby clubs.

Maybe someone could start an amateur club at Littleton road. First they'd need to badger Salford Sports village (the council) into allocating one of the many pitches into becoming a dedicated Rugby pitch.

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If you're going by car or coach there aren't any real problems.the car park is empty within under half hour.

The problem is still public transport with a woefully inadequate bus service.

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...relocate...

...and relocate...

 

"Relocate" -  undoubtedly one of the most overused words in the English language these days.    

How about trying the word 'move' for a change?

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As a rock solid Lions fan, I said this (Littleton Road field) to my next door neighbour years ago in order to keep Salford actually in (real) Salford and not some patch in Eccles (only in Salford administratively speaking).

That's why if the Lions are ever to return home it needs to be in M27 (Swinton & Pendlebury) not in some unwanted place in metro Salford which would be quite simply unnatural.

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...for Swinton to move them back into Salford.

 

Let's get this statement amended. We (the Lions and their fans) do not want to move back into 'Salford'. Our home has to be in Swinton and Pendlebury. For any sports club to play their games outside their historic area is wholly wrong and, more to the point, simply unnatural full stop.

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The Domesday Book describes the shire of Salford as being the land between the Ribble and the Mersey. It stretched from Blackburn in the north to Cheshire in the south, from Leigh in the west to the Pennines in the east. This area includes Barton. The boundary changes of 1974 merely incorporated into the city of Salford some parts of those lands that were previously in its shire. Barton - and Swinton, for that matter - is in 'real' Salford and always has been. I don't feel there's any need to relocate it.

 

Regarding the Swinton club's move back to Salford, I do hope it is to the Swinton district, but I don't think your argument that it would be 'unnatural' to move to any other district of the city is a particularly strong one. There are plenty of precedents for this: Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham....It happens, and the sky doesn't fall in.

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The Domesday Book describes the shire of Salford as being the land between the Ribble and the Mersey. It stretched from Blackburn in the north to Cheshire in the south, from Leigh in the west to the Pennines in the east. This area includes Barton. The boundary changes of 1974 merely incorporated into the city of Salford some parts of those lands that were previously in its shire. Barton - and Swinton, for that matter - is in 'real' Salford and always has been. I don't feel there's any need to relocate it.

 

Regarding the Swinton club's move back to Salford, I do hope it is to the Swinton district, but I don't think your argument that it would be 'unnatural' to move to any

other district of the city is a particularly strong one. There are plenty of precedents for this: Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham....It happens, and the sky doesn't fall in.

When I go to mass in North Manchester, the priest never refers to Manchester, but always refers to Salford.

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