Sale Sharks’ journey from Premiership strugglers to a Northern Super Club is expected to take its next step with director of sport, Steve Diamond expected to take the role of Chief Executive in a major reshuffle at the Manchester based club.
Diamond has been a huge success since taking over the Sharks’ on field duties a year ago, securing their Premiership status last season and building towards a possible Heineken Cup place, perhaps even a title challenge this year. His journey with Sale started as a player. He made over 300 appearances with Sale before taking a coaching role under former team mate, Jim Mallinder and the pair led the club to a second place finish.
Diamond’s second off field spell looks to have the potential to be even more successful. If he is given control of off field affairs in the position of Chief Executive he could oversee a huge revolution, not just in the Sharks fortunes but in Northern Rugby as a whole.
Sale are understood to be in advanced talks with Salford City Reds, over a potential ground share when the Reds move into their new stadium. With the current successes on the pitch, and the prospect of a purpose built Rugby Stadium for the Sharks could provide the basis for the “super northern club”, that Sale’s owners are said to be aiming to build.
According to the latest Betfair Six Nations Betting, Sale being tipped to have concluded the deal before the European tournament kicks off, which will allow them a chance to get properly organised by the time all the big guns return to Premiership Rugby.
With Leeds struggling in the Championship, Newcastle sitting bottom of the Premiership, and clubs such as Orrell, Liverpool Saint Helens and West Hartlepool now sitting in the lower echelons of the Rugby pyramid, the future of Union in the North of England could rely strongly on the success of the Sharks. They have proved successful enough in recent years, winning the league in 2006 and having collected a pair of European Challenge Cups, though they have disappointed when it comes to the Betfair Heineken Cup 2012.
The target will be to build upon that success and to secure their place at the top table of not only English but European Rugby. With Diamond at the helm of both on and off field affairs, he has the potential to secure his place as a legend at the club.