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Premiership Rugby

Sale Sharks merger gets green light

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The two clubs will merge to form a new company called Cheshire Sport Ltd, the new deal taking effect on July 18. Niels de Vos, current Chief Executive of Sale Sharks, will take charge of the new company.

In a statement issued by Sale Sharks, Chairman Brian Kennedy welcomed the new deal, at the same time announcing that his team would cease their attempts to drop the 'Sale' from their team name.

"I am delighted to be able to confirm that, from the start of next season, Sale Sharks will be playing their home fixtures at Edgeley Park Stadium in Stockport," said Kennedy.

"Sale Sharks have come a long way in a very short space of time to become one of the leading club sides in Europe, with a reputation for providing fans with a pulsating excitement and high scoring rugby. Our current home at Heywood Road is simply too small to cope with the massive public demand to see our games.

"The last five home games of this season have all been sell-outs leaving thousands of fans disappointed. At numerous meetings with fans you have made your priorities very clear – that any new home must retain the fantastic atmosphere of Heywood Road coupled to massively improved facilities and ease of transport from the Sale area.

"Edgeley Park will offer Sale Sharks fans a facility that will be the equal of the best grounds in the Zurich Premiership. It will be shared with football but on matchdays I can assure it will feel like our ground and our club. Equally, importantly, it will give the club the platform to continue to invest in the team and help realise our goal of becoming National and European Champions. At tomorrows game there will be leaflets distributed explaining the move fully."

Edgeley Road has a capacity of 11,000 – an improvement of 5,000 on Sale's current home at Heywood Road.

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