Sale Sharks: Premiership club taken over by group led by Simon Orange

By Nathan MiddletonBBC Sport
Steve Diamond and Simon Orange
Simon Orange (right) with Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond

Sale Sharks have been taken over by an investment group led by Simon Orange, brother of ex-Take That member Jason.

They will replace majority shareholders Brian Kennedy and Ian Blackhurst, who were both co-owners at the Sharks.

The pair took over in 2000 and helped build a side that won the European Challenge Cup in 2002 and 2005.

Sale, who will play European Champions Cup rugby next season after finishing sixth, also won a maiden Premiership title in 2006 during their tenure.

Talks about a potential deal have been ongoing since the start of the year.

"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," Orange said.

"With our planned investment, I think we can close the gap between Sale Sharks and the teams above us."

He continued: "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."

Director of rugby Steve Diamond predicted a "very bright future" for the club following the takeover deal.

"We want to grow this club and coming off the back of a good season is a great time to do it," he added.

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