Salford groundshare still interests Sale Sharks

Drawing of Salford community stadium
Salford's £26m community stadium will initially hold 12,000 spectators

Sale Sharks chief executive Mick Hogan says the club are still in negotiations about a move to Salford City Reds' new stadium at Barton.

Reds chairman John Wilkinson and Sale owner Brian Kennedy have previously spoken about a possible groundshare.

"It's no secret we've had a chat with the stadium management people at Salford," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"If the deal is right for our supporters, our players, sponsors and the like we would like to move there."

Hogan, 40, joined the club in January 2010 from rugby league side Wigan Warriors to oversee the club's long-term strategy and commercial activities.

The City of Salford Community Stadium, which will initially hold 12,000 spectators - later being expanded to 20,000 - is due to completed in February 2012.

Asked about Sale's future at Edgeley Park, Hogan said: "At the minute we're staying. We're here definitely for the rest of this season possibly thereafter.

"It's very early stages of negotiations, but all we're concentrating on for the rest of the season is turning this place into a fortress."

The Sharks currently groundshare with football club Stockport County who play in the Blue Square Bet Premier, a situation which means both play during the winter months.

If a move to Barton were to come off, with the rugby league season running from February to September, there would be little crossover.

"Most modern stadiums these days, unless you are in the top half of the Premier League, need two teams, possibly even three, to make them pay," Hogan added.

"They're expensive, particularly new builds like Salford, and there is only so much non match-day stuff you can do with conferencing and banqueting.

"We're a regional club and possibly moving further around the M60 dial opens us up to more of Lancashire, and that mid-Lancashire region, where we know there is a lot of support for rugby union."

Sale's attendances have dropped in recent seasons and their opening three home league fixtures this year have seen attendances of 6,547, 6,250, and 8,088.

Last season they moved their home fixture against London Irish to Bolton's Reebok Stadium, a move which attracted 16,428 spectators.