After months of financial uncertainty, Salford City Reds’ future has been restored as millionaire racehorse owner Dr Marwan Koukash completed his takeover of the Super League club.
With debts of up to £600,000 condemning the club to a dismal winter, Dr Koukash has finally put pen to paper in time for the 2013 Super League season start.
The club has been transferred from long-standing chairman John Wilkinson, who has owned the club for 30 years, and meetings are set to take place with HM Revenue and Customs concerning outstanding payments.
“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,” Dr Koukash said.
“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.”
It is rumoured that Dr Koukash was made aware of the club’s situation by RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, who was on the same flight to Dubai as him.
And the new owner has pledged to give spending power to coach Phil Veivers in order to turn around the club’s fortunes.
“This is a very exciting day for Salford City Reds and a momentous day for rugby league,” he said.
“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.
“I have not purchased Salford City Reds just to save the club, I have done so because I want it to succeed.”
An immediate takeover was needed to rescue the Reds from financial crisis as Salford councillors opted not to award the club a £750,000 life-saving loan.
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “I am delighted that Marwan Koukash has stepped in to rescue the Reds and take over ownership of the club.
“I am sure that, with Mr Koukash’s new dynamic leadership, his wide business experience and long-term investment plans for the Reds, the club can now go from strength to strength.”