Sport

Refugee turned racehorse millionaire could be Salford City Reds’ financial saviour

By Mark Shales

Racehorse millionaire Dr Marwan Koukash has been revealed as the potential new owner of financially troubled Super League club Salford City Reds.

The Kuwait-born businessman held talks with the Rugby Football League on Monday, as well as Salford City Council and Peel Holdings – the co-owners of Salford City Stadium.

And after their winding up petition was adjourned for another month at the start of the week, Salford hopes he can echo his own rags-to-riches story with the club.

“Everything I have has come to me through hard work,” Dr Koukash told the Racing Post back in 2010.

“I wasn’t born into a rich family. I have six brothers and five sisters and we were refugees.

“We were on school holidays and were playing in one of the fields and all of a sudden planes came in and were bombing everywhere – we had to leave.

“We gathered a little of our stuff and just walked for three days.”

Dr Koukash arrived in England at the age of 17, after spending three years in a Jordanian refugee camp, with very little money or understanding of the language.

But after settling in Liverpool, the 54-year now holds a PhD in engineering and owns over 100 racehorses, in addition to a string of property developments.

His family’s business, EuroMa Tech, is the world’s biggest management and finance executive training company, and Salford hopes he can bring his impressive business expertise to the club.

The Reds currently owe £300,000 to Revenue & Customs, plus approximately £70,000 in unpaid wages to former players Luke Patten and Vinnie Anderson.

Although now living a lifestyle a world away from his traumatic upbringing, Dr Koukash insists he owes much to his early experiences.

“That part of my life taught me a lot, taught me to appreciate the things I did have, to appreciate the value of hard work and drove me to succeed,” he added.

“The first time I had shoes on my feet I was 12 years old.

“I learned a lot from my father. He worked his way up from a clerk to an accountant to a company director – he supported my education in England.”

Picture courtesy of ukrugbyleague, with thanks

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