Posted by Editor on 18th January 2013 at 12:14 PM
Koukash: 'I'm no Sugar Daddy'
Income was the watchword as Dr Marwan Koukash revealed his intentions for Salford in an in-depth press conference last night.
The first public appearance in front of the rubgy league press yielded a few clues to the background of this Kuwait-born millionaire.
"I hope rugby has the same kind of success racing gave me," he said.
"The big deal is creating a team which can compete, and win trophies for a number of years to come.
"Salford and many other clubs need extra income from outside the league, and unless you have a sugar daddy, and I'm not, I'm someone who will facilitate that income."
Koukash admitted negotiations had been tough - Peel aren't a company that give anything away, and Salford City Council have an interest in preserving their financial stake in Salford City Reds.
But he denied that either party was being obstructive.
"I'm extremely grateful to the way the council helped us. The Mayor [Ian Stewart], the Deputy Mayor [David Lancaster] the Chief Executive [Barbara Spicer] have all been first-class."
When asked how long it would take to turn Salford into a trophy winning team, he turned to former Wigan coach Graham Lowe and asked: "Boss?"
Lowe wouldn't be drawn on a specific time frame but said he would introduce an attitude "that doesn't accept mediocrity, that is challenging itself continually. You need that before you need players."
"I know a lot of people would like to see international players immediately, but that's short-term thinking. What Marwan is talking about is a long-term vision."
Lowe revealed that he'd been brought into the fold by former New Zealand Rugby League Chairman Andrew Chalmers but again wouldn't be drawn on what his specific role would be.
"I've been blessed with a terrific career, and a lot of that was down to Wigan [Warriors]. I want to give something back now, and there's a great opportunity for me to do that here."
"This is a fantastic stadium," Koukash added.
"Unfortunately the way things are today, it's in the wrong location. But it's going to be in the right location once they put the roads in with links from the Trafford Centre and from the motorway.
"We're not expecting miracles because at the end of the day if fans find it difficult to come here - there's no bus system to the stadium. And if you drive here it's difficult to park and to leave [onto the busy A57].
"So we expect the crowd to pick up next year once the new road is in."
Dr Koukash said that he had spoken to coach Phil Vievers about recruitment for the 2013 campaign but added that he had to speak cautiously: "I'm not yet the chairman of the club, and approaching players at the moment would be a bit dodgy."
Pressed, he admitted: "Graham and Phil and I have met, and we have identified a number of players, and although we haven't signed on the dotted line we have been talking to a number of players who will bring the crowd in; players who could blend well with the youngsters we saw out there today, and could win matches."
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