English mogul in the market for an NRL club



Salford owner Marwan Koukash is to press ahead with his bid to buy an NRL club and reckons it would take a small fraction of what it is costing him to fund the Red Devils.

The one-time Palestinian refugee who is now a wealthy businessman and racehorse owner has revealed he has ploughed between STG3 million ($A5.5 million) and STG4 million ($A7.3 million) into the Super League club since saving it from financial ruin 20 months ago.

And, although frustrated with the club’s failure to reach the play-offs this year and his own lack of progress in his bid to force radical changes to the way the game is run in this country, Koukash is keen to increase his involvement.

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He has submitted plans to build a new stadium for neighbouring Championship club Swinton and is planning to fly out to Australia next month to finalise a deal for an NRL club which he aims to twin with Salford.

“I’m looking at three clubs,” Koukash told PA.

“There were two but in the last week or so another opportunity has arisen.

“There are a lot of opportunities for me to get involved with a number of NRL clubs and the amount of investment that is needed is minute compared to what I’m putting in at Salford.”

Newcastle Knights are thought to be one of the clubs interesting Koukash, who has already held talks with NRL chief executive Dave Smith and insists there would be benefits for the Red Devils.

“It has to be the right deal for me personally and for the club over there and it has to have the kind of partnership I would like between the NRL and Salford,” he said.

“There will be sharing of players and coaching ideas and it will make my recruitment in the future a lot easier for Salford.

“For example, one thing I could offer a player considering coming to Salford is a one year’s development in the NRL and there might be players there who could benefit from coming over here.”

Koukash says he and his wife Mandy, who failed in a bid to buy Bradford earlier this year, are keen to spend more time in Australia.

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