Stockport County quash Sale Sharks ground-share rumours

Stockport County, Edgeley Park
Edgeley Park

Stockport County have distanced themselves from rumours of a possible ground share with Premiership rugby side Sale Sharks.

The two clubs shared Edgeley Park from 2003 until 2012 when Sale moved to the AJ Bell Stadium near The Trafford Centre.

But Sale, along with Salford Red Devils, are keen to buy the ground – and the Sharks may look for a new ground if their bid is unsuccessful with Edgeley Park one of their rumoured options along with building a new stadium in Cheshire or Trafford.

But Stockport County’s board have dismissed the rumours, instead saying they want to buy back the ground from Stockport Council who bought Edgeley Park from Sale Sharks in 2015.

A statement on the club’s website reads: “County fans may have seen the rumours last week linking Sale Sharks with a possible return to Edgeley Park.

“As a board, we were clearly disappointed to see the news report which mentioned the ‘active possibility’ of the rugby club returning to Edgeley Park, without any prior consultation with ourselves. This has created a great deal of concern and negativity among our supporters.

“We have been in contact with Stockport Council (our landlords) and reiterated our intention that we are keen to progress to an arrangement whereby we can purchase Edgeley Park back from the council.

“Once again, SMBC reconfirmed their support for that ambition and we have also been assured by the council that any discussions about the future of the stadium will be with us.

“We have also made it clear that there is no appetite for any ground sharing arrangement with a rugby club.”

County Director Steve Bellis said: “We have a strong relationship with the council and we are working together towards a number of mutually beneficial aims including the reacquisition of Edgeley Park by the club, but also how we can pool our resources to deliver extra benefits to the community.

“We are keen to repeat the many successes we achieved together through various community projects as we did throughout the 1990s in particular, winning national awards on several occasions for our innovative projects.”

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