Salford Red Devils fans are club’s biggest problem, says disappointed owner Koukash

Controversial Salford Red Devils owner Dr Marwan Koukash has risked the wrath of the fans after slamming the club’s small crowds.

Mega-rich Koukash took over The Devils in 2013, but despite large-scale investment, the club finished bottom that season, and missed out on the play-off places by four points this term.

But despite his sides’ inconsistent performances, he has insisted that he is more concerned about the poor attendances at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Speaking to BBC North West Tonight, Koukash scathed: “I cannot continue to work with a 3,000 gate.

“The club needs 6,000 or 7,000 as I’ve always said I want to build a club that can financially sustain itself.

“If being here keeps fans away then we need to ask why. If you can’t solve the problem and get people to work with you, you have to consider other options.

“The fans are probably more frustrating for me than the on-the-field performances we’ve had this year.”

The Devils share the stadium, which opened in 2012, with rugby union Premiership side Sale Sharks and Koukash admitted that the club had to do their part in order to boost attendances for next season.

“This stadium is a fantastic stadium – one of the best rugby league stadiums in this country but there are issues that need to be addressed; accessibility, match day experience, etc,” he added.

Koukash has also revealed that a deal to purchase an Australian NRL club, believed to be Newcastle Knights, is close to completion, although he has moved to reassure the Salford support that their club will still have his full backing.

“Is it likely? It’s very, very likely,” he said, regarding the potential Knights purchase.

“But it needs to be the right deal for me personally, for the club in Australia and for my vision of what I’m trying to create – and international partnership for Salford and an NRL club.

“I have no intention of leaving Salford, provided that I can deliver what I had hoped to and that is grow the club.”

Koukash also stated his intent to add Swinton Lions to his growing number of clubs.

“We’ve talked about buying Swinton and that is still a very, very strong possibility,” Koukash said.

“For the last six months I’ve had a professional team make a proposal to develop an area behind the town hall, where it will end up with a decent stadium for Swinton to play in.

“Once we are given the green light, I’ll go ahead and complete the purchase of Swinton.”

Main image courtesy of SuperLeague TV via YouTube, with thanks.

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