Salford Community Stadium remains home of Red Devils

Featured image credit: Salford Red Devils

Super League club Salford Red Devils will remain at its home stadium for at least another year after announcing the agreement of a 12-month extension to its tenancy deal.

The rugby league team’s previous tenancy arrangement at Salford Community Stadium expired on December 1, and prior to that the club hit out at what it claimed was Salford City Council “inaction” over the ownership of the venue, adding that the situation meant its future was in severe jeopardy.

The Red Devils yesterday (Thursday) said it had signed a 12-month extension on the existing terms. Additionally, it stated that the club and fellow tenant, Premiership rugby union outfit Sale Sharks, have agreed and jointly presented a working proposal to the Council.

Red Devils managing director, Paul King, said the proposal outlines terms that would enable a “productive relationship” and a future for each at Salford Community Stadium, as well as profit for all parties. Terms include an “initial and fair” division of commercial assets and matchday revenues.

King added: “We have agreed to the extension with a belief in the Council that their commitment to complete the stadium deal by March will materialise.

“Whilst conscious that the extension is the same terms as our previous agreement, the implications of operating without any tenancy agreement leaves little choice in the short-term, however, it does now provide a level of certainty heading into 2024.”

The TotalRugbyLeague website said the Red Devils had also approached local football clubs Manchester City, Bury and Stockport County about using their facilities, but added that the preference was always to remain at Salford Stadium.

The Red Devils and the Sharks have both played at the 12,000-capacity stadium since it opened in 2012. However, the future of the venue formerly known as AJ Bell Stadium has been shrouded in uncertainty from the time its co-owner, Peel Holdings, announced it would sell its stake in a facility that is jointly owned by the developer and the Council.

The Red Devils’ action last month came amid concerns over its Super League position through the broad reforms being promised by the Rugby Football League (RFL) under its partnership with the IMG agency.

Seven top-tier Super League clubs in October received Grade A status in the indicative phase of a new process being introduced by IMG. The Red Devils received a Grade B rating, along with the remaining Super League outfits.

The RFL published the finer details of the grading system back in July. Clubs who receive 15 points or more will receive a Grade A licence and be automatically admitted to the Super League and be exempt from relegation. They will be joined by the highest-rated Grade B clubs, with Grade C teams to be barred from the Super League.

The grading criteria will define how Super League, Championship and League One clubs are assessed from 2025.