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SALFORD COUNCIL AJ BELL STADIUM WORTH £6.5MILLION DESPITE OVER £24MILLION PUBLIC LOANS
 

Star date: 20th January 2018

PEEL HOLDINGS WILL SELL STADIUM, SALFORD COUNCIL WON'T SAYS SALE SHARKS OWNER

Speaking to the BBC North West Tonight, Sale Sharks owner Simon Orange said that the AJ Bell Stadium, which has had over £24million in public money loans from Salford Council, has now been independently valued at just £6.5million.

He added that the Sharks had offered to buy the stadium at "more than 50% higher" than the valuation, but, while joint owners Peel Holdings were keen to sell, Salford Council were "not interested"

Full details here....


The AJ Bell Stadium, joint owned by Salford City Council and Peel Holdings, has been independently valued at just £6.5million, Sale Sharks owner Simon Orange revealed in an interview with BBC's North West Tonight yesterday.*

The loss-making stadium has an outstanding loan of £16.678million for the building of the ground, plus £7.442million in outstanding loans for its operation, according to its latest accounts. Last August, Salford Council agreed a further loan of £632,500 to keep it afloat, bringing the total loans to £24.752million.

The Stadium also made a loss of £1.459million and has net liabilities of £7.068million the accounts state (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

Simon Orange told the BBC that Sale Sharks had "offered more than fifty per cent higher" than the £6.5million value of the stadium but had been turned down by the Council...

"We'd like to buy the AJ Bell but unfortunately the Council don't seem to want to sell it to us" he said "I think Peel are quite happy to sell it but the Council don't...We've given a good offer we think but they're not interested, so if we can't get that we'll have to go elsewhere."

At this week's full meeting of Salford Council, Deputy Mayor Paula Boshell, acknowledged that the Council had received "an ultimatum" from Sale Sharks which it "could not accept" but had heard nothing since.

Politically the Council can't accept the offer, which would hardly pay off the liabilities of the Stadium, never mind the public money loans.

Simon Orange also told the BBC that there was a break in the Sale Sharks lease for the Stadium in 2021 and, if the club couldn't buy the AJ Bell it would "be out by 2022...we'll have to go elsewhere".

He added that Sale was looking at redeveloping Stockport County's Edgeley Park, building its own stadium in Sale or at a site in Wilmslow.


The interview with Simon Orange on North West Tonight is currently available on IPlayer – click here (around twenty minutes in)

wrote
at 19:15:53 on 26 January 2018
Time Out you will find a Mayor cannot bring in an independent scrutineer without majority councillors approval. Plus if any councillor leaves a full year before Felse gets a chance they can sign some exit exemption what in effect means their Council agrees they cannot be forced to face an indictment.
 
Time Out wrote
at 08:07:33 on 26 January 2018
Bob do you think our next Mayor Felse will just bring in the legal administrators in getting all councillors scritinised. That is how in Doncaster they were able to send them to prison. Who would be mad enough to stay as a councillor under our next Mayor when it is a sure bet they will get investigated for every penny. In Donny Gate one went to prison for less than £100 wrongdoing. When is the best time to get out than risk the embarrassment. Mud sticks if just one is found to have been naughty. Salford Gate is sure to become the most interesting historical whistleblower event ever.
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 22:06:09 on 25 January 2018
I would rather see the whole city go bankrupt, just like detroit did. This will bring in administrators who would find out what has gone on.The money they wasted on the stadium will never come back.Peel may sell if they can under their terms of their agreements with the numptys. the numptys wont sell their bit because they know this will show how stupid they were in the first place, to the few people in salford who dont know already how stupid the numptys are. so it looks like sale will go. then what. reds are sitting pretty paying no rent. then what, same old circus show goes on and on.only the numptys are clever enough to create a mess like this.when council goes into admin, which it will, site will have to be sold. up for auction, reds sitting tennants paying no rent, what does it go for, less than £6m. it would not surprise me if the numptys had done some sort of deal ,with peel ,saying they would give a guarantee on peels losses. Now dont laugh at such a scenario. these numptys have done things like this in the past.
 
the end wrote
at 13:32:42 on 23 January 2018
bob the regular- so you would rather it go bust and we get nothing back? or would you rather it be sold and at least get £9m back? i know which i prefer
 
Mary ferrer wrote
at 08:23:47 on 23 January 2018
There was no public consultation before they went ahead with the stadium. But it's there now so what do we do,keep givinvg money to keep it afloat.Not sure how many top up loans we have had to give just to pay the running costs. We then have to pay interest on the loans to build it. Don't think they have much option.It's not made a profit since the day it opened.What kind of marketing have they done, very little if any.I say sell,cut the losses,they may end up with egg on their faces. But if they do sell,i hope they can make sure Salford Reds can carry on using the stadium. After all it was built for them in the first place. Just a pity the planners and Salford Labour Council didn't work with the fans to find out if this was the right site
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 09:23:29 on 22 January 2018
Why not build another stadium down at Barton next to the existing white elephant one. This one could be used for the football team. All that stupid row they had when they wanted to extend the existing stand or whatever. If they extend the moor lane site it will be a waste of money, it won't be long before they outgrow it. the local residents i am sure would welcome a move for the club, they could surrender the lease for 4 or 5 million, then luxury apps could be built on moor lane site. 4or 5 million would build a nice stadium, perhaps on the reds training ground. car parks could be shared with the rugby clubs. job done
 
Terry Burnett wrote
at 14:47:29 on 21 January 2018
Well done the Star yet again holding these characters to account. Selling the stadium will let those responsible for loan off the hook. Can Star journalists name all those responsible for granting loans including councillors, paid officials, Mayors Stwart/Dannett (don't hear much from him needs a lesson from Burnham can't we get rid of Dannett another cost to the council tax payers) A name and shame board which should run and run. Personally I wish both Salford football teams well it is a shame Rugby is tarnished by this stadium they deserve better.
 
Michael J Felsey wrote
at 14:47:04 on 21 January 2018
With the massive increase in young people going into Sports and Leisure Degrees the stadium has excellent income potential as a Sports Academy. Partnership with University, Sports Council and Lead Awarding Bodies, if done right, can attract thousands of young career chasers. Students from across the world want to learn in the UK. Then a revaluation of the ground could see the value of this asset be worth over £100million along with inward investment into nearby student new village and local gyms that would attract £800million. I want to see this problem turn into a big success.
 
Inside Out wrote
at 10:27:14 on 21 January 2018
A number of people who were involved in authorising the original loans have long since gone. The only hope here is that Salford City FC continue to progress and need a temporary ground share as there’s not much more scope for developing Moor Lane. The other thing is that there will be a hope that the Trafford Park Metrolink makes it to the stadium. No business case at present but that’s the game changer which might explain why not selling could be good in the longer term.
 
life is loud wrote
at 08:09:46 on 21 January 2018
Let Peel sell their share
 
Hedley Hopper Political Columnist & Independent Financial Adviser... wrote
at 08:09:20 on 21 January 2018
if only.... my bank would lend me four times the value of my house and NOT expect it to be repaid AND pay my bills for a year too!! I wonder if I can open an account at Salford Council Bank and re-mortgage! Is Nick Leeson an Investment Adviser to Salford Council??
 
Bob the regular wrote
at 08:08:49 on 21 January 2018
Great news,sooner it goes bump , the better. Salford reds can't be kicked out,let the clowns carry on the loss year after year. Under the reds lease i think it unlikely they will ever have to pay, as I cannot see them getting the over 8000 gates i seem to remember being mentioned.
 
Caroline Gray wrote
at 08:07:55 on 21 January 2018
100 per sent truth i agree....read bindloss our home trashed as they wished to sell on to developer friends back handers all the way ..
 
The end wrote
at 17:05:54 on 20 January 2018
Unfortunately I think he council will end up selling. It has 2 options 1 don’t sell, Sale move and the stadium goes bust as. Salford ri can’t afford it on their own, or 2) sell it at a loss, but stop accruing further year on year losses. A shambles from start to inevitable finish.
 
joe oenill wrote
at 17:05:51 on 20 January 2018
What ever part of the city you come from you have to admit this is one more white elephant Labour project. Ego taken to the highest level, instead of Monopoly money Labour played the game with our cash. The people responsible should be held to account and we all know who they are, The Star, Mary Ferrer and others tried to raise the issue but all suffered with a council deaf to the problem, surely it's time to take what we can get and dump the debt, a lesson learned if we inject cash get a professional company to advise on the business plan stop running a lucky dip with cash needed for the basic services, Labour are the kings of cavalier politics it's ok of it's not their cash.
 
bob wrote
at 12:41:25 on 20 January 2018
£24.752million, No wonder Salford is so hard up. The people who authorised these loans should be held responsible and sacked. Everybody knew these loans would NEVER be paid back and yet they were granted.
 
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