Premiership Rugby’s Sale Sharks’ plans to return to a newly built stadium in their home town have been put on ice.
The club, currently based in Salford, announced plans in June to move to a council-backed sports village in Sale.
But Trafford Council has withdrawn support for the plans after strong opposition to the scheme.
The Crossford Bridge Community Sports Village plans would have seen a floodlit 4G pitch, running track, grass pitches, community pavilion and children’s climbing and activity centre built on playing fields on the edge of the town.
Sharks owner Simon Orange said a return remained a “long-term ambition”.
The club said in a statement:
Our fanbase, in Sale and beyond, have been extraordinary in the support they have shown throughout this initial consultation. We would like to thank every fan, resident, sponsor and business who has invested significant time in helping to shape these plans.
This consultation has given us even more confidence in our future ambitions. We have made no secret that our long-held ambition is to return our elite men’s and women’s teams to our hometown of Sale, and to further strengthen our community ties. The learnings and partnerships developed throughout this exercise have moved us forward significantly. Although disappointed by this political decision in the short term, we look forward to delivering a solution in the future that puts our great fanbase and City region at the heart of it.
Image courtesy of Sale Sharks