Aviva Premiership

Everything changes as Sale confirm takeover

Premiership club Sale Sharks have been taken over by a corporate acquisitions and investment company controlled by the brother of former Take That crooner Jason Orange.

Sale announced on Thursday that they are under new ownership after long-time owner Brian Kennedy opted to sell up to the Manchester-based firm CorpAcq Ltd, led by Simon Orange.

The Sharks finished sixth in the Premiership this season and lost to eventual winners Montpellier at the semi-final stage of the European Challenge Cup.

It is a decade since Sale won their only Premiership title, but Simon Orange is sure the takeover can relight the fire at the AJ Bell Stadium and give the club every chance of being back for good as a force in English rugby.

He said: "Sale have performed resiliently over the past 16 years under the ownership of Brian Kennedy and now we believe we can build on this success and take Sale Sharks to another level.

"With our planned investment I think we can close the gap between Sale Sharks and the teams above us. We intend to establish Manchester as a Premiership rugby region.

"The academy is one of the best in the Premiership with 12 of our junior players involved with England at various age groups and three senior players, originally from our academy, called up to the full England training squad, and we plan further investment in order to strengthen it.

"Sale also have an award winning Community Service Program which we also intend to grow.

"I hope rugby fans from the region will support Sale Sharks and help us to build a dominant Northern Powerhouse both on and off the field."