Sale to be self-sufficient in 18 months - Steve Diamond

Steve Diamond is confident Sale Sharks will soon be able to function without the financial support of co-owners Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst.

Sale host Saracens on Saturday in their first competitive match at the Salford City Stadium since their relocation.

Chief executive Diamond said: "We envisage that within 18 months we'll be completely self-sufficient.

Sale Sharks chief executive Steve Diamond

The stadium was built for Salford and we have a great relationship with them. It seemed sensible to fulfil the needs of the stadium with two rugby teams

Steve Diamond

"There's no point coming to run the business commercially if you're going for a handout every six months."

He told BBC North West Tonight: "That's what Brian, Ian and I all desire. The two investors are not after making a profit.

"Everything that we make will be ploughed back into the side and you can see that with the investment into a new coach (Bryan Redpath) and internationals like Danny Cipriani and Richie Gray."

Diamond has said Sale need to attract an average attendance of 7,500 to break even.

Until last season, the Sharks had been playing their home matches at Stockport County's Edgeley Park, after moving from their base at Heywood Road in 2003.

In April, Sale and Super League club Salford City Reds announced they would be sharing the new stadium in Barton, which has a capacity of 12,000.

"The stadium was built for Salford and we have a great relationship with them," continued Diamond. "It seemed sensible to fulfil the needs of the stadium with two rugby teams.

A "rude awakening" for Sale

Sale Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani

Danny Cipriani made his debut as a substitute for Sale at Exeter last weekend, but could not prevent his new side falling to a 43-6 defeat

"The benefit to the players is obvious, with the biggest pitch in the country and the changing facilities, but as important are the supporters and the corporate people.

"Edgeley Park was a 100-year-old stadium and this is a state-of-the-art facility which has everything that you need."

The groundsharing agreement has already caused some problems, however.

Salford's final Super League fixture of the season at home to Wakefield was due to be played on Friday evening, with Saracens becoming the first Premiership visitors to the Salford City Stadium on Saturday.

However, Salford's game was put back to Saturday evening for live television coverage, and with Sale's match already being televised, Salford have been forced to find an alternative venue.

The Sharks will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 43-6 defeat at Exeter on the opening day of the campaign.

"We got a rude awakening and a bit of a reality check, which you often get during the season," Diamond added.

"Unfortunately for us, we got it in the first game at Exeter.

"But I'm sure that playing Saracens at home, against a top side like them, will see us at our best."