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Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2003 14:30 UK

Sharks to merge with Stockport

Sale and England star Jason Robinson
Stockport bound - Sale's Jason Robinson

Sale Sharks rugby union club are to merge with second division football side Stockport County.

They will form a new company called Cheshire Sport Ltd.

The new outfit will take effect from 18 July and both clubs will play at Stockport's Edgeley Park.

The switch from their Heywood Road site will see Sale increase their stadium capacity by more than 5,000.

And they will join fellow Zurich Premiership clubs Wasps, Saracens, London Irish and Bristol, who all play at football grounds.

While Heywood Road has proved something of a fortress for Sale in recent times - their last home league defeat was against Leicester almost 18 months ago - its size has hampered progress.

With a capacity of just 5,700, Heywood Road offers limited facilities, whereas Edgeley Park's current full-house figure stands at 10,817.

Sale were linked with a potential move to Bury's Gigg Lane earlier this term, but that plan was abandoned.

see also
Palmer concern over merger
30 Apr 03 |  Stockport

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