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SALFORD RUGBY STADIUM LOSSES MOUNT TO OVER £10 MILLION
 

Star date: 30th December 2013

STADIUM LOSSES MORE THAN DOUBLE IN LAST YEAR

The Salford Council/Peel Holdings joint venture rugby stadium in Barton has seen losses mushroom to over £10.2million, latest accounts reveal.

The value of the `AJ Bell Stadium', which hosts Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks, has been written down from £19million in 2011 to £7.649million in 2013 – with around £22million still owed on public money loans from Salford Council. Many will be asking whether the de-valuing of the Stadium is a set up for Marwan Koukash to purchase it on the cheap. And what's it all got to do with fracking?

Full details here…


The Salford Council and Peel Holdings joint venture stadium company – still amusingly officially titled The City of Salford Community Stadium Limited – recorded losses of £10.278million in the year to 31st March 2013, latest accounts reveal.

The Stadium – now called the AJ Bell Stadium after Sale Sharks were handed the naming rights – was built with a £22million loan from Salford Council, with a further £600,000 public money loan approved this year "to enable it to fully discharge its liabilities" (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

The £10.278million losses include `impairment losses' of £7.9million, essentially a de-valuing of the stadium – which, adding in `impairment losses' of previous years, would appear to have reduced the stadium's value from £19million in 2011 to £7.649million in 2013.

Cynics might argue that this is preparing for a cut price sale of the loss making stadium to Marwan Koukash, who took over Salford City Reds rugby club this year, vowing to buy the ground.

Apart from the £7.9million `impairment loss', the stadium company lost £695,000 on `cost of sales', £834,000 on `administrative expenses', and over £1.1million on loan interest - leaving a total loss of £10.278million, compared to a £4.335million loss in 2012 when the ground was barely functional (see previous Salford Star article - click here).

Even without the write-down of the stadium's value, losses were still over £2million in the year 2012-2013, and the accounts show a `net liability' of almost £1.8million.

Oustanding loans total £22.423million, compared to £18.865million last year. And Salford Council was owed over £21.621million as at March 2013. The accounts record the interest payments as "nil".

Salford council tax payers, facing huge cuts to jobs and services, will be pleased to hear, however, that the directors of the Stadium company (which includes only Councillor David Lancaster as an accountable rep from the Council) have "received comfort from the directors of Salford City Council that the necessary level of support will be provided to the company".

Salford council tax payers will also be pleased to hear, we're sure, that Salford Council is directly employing a `Stadium Client Manager' on a salary band between £65,478 and £72,027…and that consultant D and R Tinker Ltd, run by former Salford Council employee Dave Tinker, was paid £12,354.63 "in relation to support to the stadium and its tenants" (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

They are obviously doing a good job because the accounts note that "match day income was lower than anticipated" due to "lower than anticipated attendance figures for both Salford City Reds and Sale Sharks".

Meanwhile, the stadium naming rights – which saw the word `Salford' taken from the ground's AJ Bell title - were handed to Sale Sharks as part of a deal drawn up in the hire agreement. The accounts state that "Sale Sharks were granted the entitlement to grant naming rights at the Stadium for a period of ten years subject to an annual payment". So, Salfordians will never know how much the Council ditched the city's name for…

While the actual stadium has been de-valued in the accounts, the land around it has not, and remains almost the same as it was in the previous accounts, apparently £15million. Statements from the company declare that the new road – the Western Gateway Infrastructure Scheme or WGIS – will "assist with the development of marketing opportunities"…

…Plans for this include retail and hotel sites…which could possibly be linked to other potential developments in the area – Port Salford and the controversial fracking industry.

Salford Council and Mayor Ian Stewart are currently sitting on the fence concerning fracking – but questions must be asked about conflicts of interest should the fracking issue come up, as the industry would certainly benefit land values around the Barton stadium – and bale the Council out of one mighty financial hole its dug itself at a time when cuts are killing the city.

mary ferrer wrote
at 3:55:40 AM on Sunday, January 5, 2014
Will we ever see any of OUR money coming from this very big white elephant. I haven't seen any adverts about hiring the place for events and for the so called COMMUNITY use that the planning panel were told it would have. Are WE getting anything back in the ways of rent? I understood there was going to be a shopping area and the rents from that would help with the payments of the loan WE have ALL entered into. Where has that plan gone????
 
David Cameron wrote
at 12:09:27 PM on Thursday, January 2, 2014
@Marwan KouKash zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yawn next With all those z's, must be watching a salford reds game
 
Not a commie, just don't like getting ripped wrote
at 1:16:17 AM on Thursday, January 2, 2014
@Anti-Commie, eek don't tell the Scarlets about the interest free deal that Salford got they will think they have been ripped off. b Thanks for letting the good people on this site know about the EU competion rules though, if we take it to them we might have a chance of getting some of OUR money back.
 
David Cameron wrote
at 1:16:10 AM on Thursday, January 2, 2014
Well were positive that 99% of salfordians don't give a shit about salford RL club, there's more important things in salford than rugby. It's not our fault that salford council and kucash have invested in a white elephant that is always going to struggle, there were at the right level back at the old ground the willows, rugby is a minority sport with a minority following, it is unable to support it self.
 
Anti-Commie wrote
at 12:59:20 PM on Wednesday, January 1, 2014
STOP FECKING MOANING! SALFORD GOT PITTANCE COMPARED WITH SCARLETS RU CLUB!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-25390697 THIS RAG NEVER REPORTS ANY POSITIVE STORIES ABOUT SALFORD RL! DISGRACE!!
 
Marwan KouKash wrote
at 12:59:10 PM on Wednesday, January 1, 2014
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz yawn next
 
David Cameron wrote
at 11:45:22 PM on Monday, December 30, 2013
Let's call in the receivers declare it bankrupt, pull it down and sell the land for housing, we've got a better chance of at least making some money back this way, I can see kucash getting this for about £5million and once again the salford tax payer getting screwed again by this bent and currupt labour council. Where's the greater Manchester police in all of this, why is this not being investergated, this is our money that is being stolen or has the police become too politicised and cowered into not investergating this fraud in to public money
 
Off with their heads wrote
at 1:55:30 PM on Monday, December 30, 2013
It makes me sick reading about wastage like this. What are the people of Salford affected by the cuts the council have made going to get out of this stadium? Answer = FUCK ALL. GRRRRR it makes me mad.
 
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