Sale looking forward to stadium switch
Sale Sharks believe their players will enjoy some of the finest facilities in the Aviva Premiership next season when the club moves into the City of Salford Stadium.
The Sharks have confirmed a ground-sharing deal with Super League outfit Salford City Reds, who moved into the new £26million, 12,000-capacity stadium earlier this year. Sale recently signed Danny Cipriani and chief executive Steve Diamond believes the stadium will provide a trump card in negotiations with other potential new recruits.
"In a recent poll of all Premiership rugby players, wages came third and facilities came first," said Diamond, who confirmed the club are close to finalising the appointment of a new director of rugby.
Rugby Players Association chief executive Damian Hopley also believes the move puts the Sharks in a strong bargaining position when it comes to player retention.
"This is fantastic news for the players and management at Sale Sharks, who will now benefit from the impressive new facilities at Salford City Stadium," he said.
"We know from experience that a club's environment and training facilities are important factors when it comes to players signing or re-signing for their club, so this is a significant step forward for Sale Sharks recruiting and retaining talent at the club."
Sale's move from Edgeley Park, which has been their home for the last nine years, was also welcomed by Premiership Rugby.
"This is great news and a really big day firstly for Sale Sharks and also for Aviva Premiership Rugby," said chief executive Mark McCafferty.
"The announcement endorses the growth strategy of Sale Sharks and demonstrates the potential of rugby union in the north west. The potential for growth in the north west is huge as Sale Sharks have identified and I know fans will be delighted with the new surroundings.
"I'm sure they'll be delighted to make the trip to Barton next season. It has superb, modern facilities and I am sure the Sharks' fans will ensure a great atmosphere."