Super League: Salford owner Marwan Koukash keen on NRL club; Gareth Hock exit confirmed
Last Updated: 16/09/14 6:56pm
Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash sees no problem in taking on an Australian NRL franchise as well as the Super League club.
It is widely being reported that Koukash, who is also a thoroughbred racehorse owner, is in talks with two NRL clubs with a view to taking charge of one soon.
It is obviously going to involve a great deal of travel but I remain totally committed to Salford. There are no issues and no problems. I also feel there could be an international brand to sell from this.
The 55-year-old bought the Salford club in 2013 before rebranding them the Red Devils and quickly recruiting 14 new players.
However, Koukash is eager to further add to his sporting portfolio by acquiring an NRL club but assures Salford supporters there would be no conflict of interest should he complete a takeover in Australia.
“Why should there be any problems with me owning two clubs? I cannot see any – no one has objected and I see many advantages,” Koukash told the Manchester Evening News.
“It is obviously going to involve a great deal of travel but I remain totally committed to Salford. There are no issues and no problems. I also feel there could be an international brand to sell from this.
“I just want the best deal for me and for Salford and this remains on-going. I can confirm that a lot of things still need to be done before anything is finalised.”
Koukash’s biggest business at Salford to date was bringing New Zealand Warriors full-back Kevin Locke to Super League and the Red Devils boss insists the Kiwi international is whole-heartedly committed to their cause.
“Kevin Locke plays for Salford,” he stated. “I have just recovered a text from him assuring me he is 100 percent totally committed to the Salford cause. He is one of our senior leaders.
“It is utter rubbish to even suggest he will not be here playing for us next season.”
Meanwhile, one player who will not be continuing with the Red Devils is forward Gareth Hock after he handed in a transfer request, which the club has accepted as long as any offers for the player benefit Salford.
Koukash said: “Hock is not going anywhere on loan and any clubs thinking this will drag on and that they can get him on the cheap in winter are wrong.
“It is disappointing that clubs are possibly choosing to speak to the player’s agent rather than come to us direct. This is not really fair on the player.
“If a player wants to leave as Hock did then I am not going to stand in their way, there is no point if they want out. But this deal must also be right.”