Salford City Reds takeover completed by Marwan Koukash
Last Updated: January 31, 2013 9:04pm
Millionaire racehorse owner Marwan Koukash has completed his take-over of Salford City Reds.
Dr Koukash, owner of global executive training company EuroMaTech, confirmed his purchase of the club at a press conference on Thursday, bringing to an end months of uncertainty over the future of the Reds.
The former Palestinian refugee has bought the club from long-serving Salford chairman John Wilkinson, who has personally kept Salford afloat over the last 30 years and has been invited by Koukash to become its life president.
"It gives me great pleasure to confirm that my purchase of Salford City Reds has now been completed ahead of the start of the 2013 Super League season," said Dr Koukash, who has been involved in talks to buy the club for the last month.
"This is a very exciting day for Salford City Reds and a momentous day for rugby league."
"It has been a difficult and sometimes very fraught process and I can understand why some of our fans have been frustrated. I would like to place on record my thanks to John Wilkinson, Salford City Council and Peel Holdings for their co-operation in the last few months. Without them, we wouldn't all be where we are today.
Dr Koukash has pledged to make funds available to head coach Phil Veivers for team strengthening.
"This is a very exciting day for Salford City Reds and a momentous day for rugby league," he added. "No other club in the sport has the potential of Salford City Reds and I give a firm commitment to do all I can to help realise that potential.
"It will not happen overnight and I urge our fans to be patient as we set out on an amazing journey. My message is that the hard work starts now."
Today's announcement comes four days before the club are due back in court in Manchester to face a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs and former players Luke Patten and Vinnie Anderson over unpaid bills thought to be in excess of £600,000.