Koukash completes City Reds takeover
Rugby League, Updated:
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Racehorse owner Dr Marwan Koukash has completed his take-over of Super League side Salford City Reds.
Koukash confirmed his takeover of the City Reds at a press conference on Thursday.
"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 told reporters.
"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 (former owner and chairman) 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."
The millionaire racehorse owner purchased the club from chairman John Wilkinson, who has been invited by Koukash to become the Super League club's life president.
The future of Salford had been in the balance and the club are due in court in four days to face a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs and former players Luke Patten and Vinnie Anderson over unpaid bills reportedly in excess of £600,000.
However, Koukash has pledged to drive the club forward following his takeoever and is confident that over time he can turn the City Reds into a side capable of challenging for honours.
He added: "This is a very exciting day for Salford City Reds and a momentous day for rugby league.
"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."
Salford have already strengthened significantly ahead of the new season and have now confirmed the arrivals of former Warrington and Wigan centre Martin Gleeson, who has won the Super League Grand Final twice, and former Manly Sea Eagles pair Vic Mauro and Liam Foran, following the loan signings of Jack Murphy and Rhys Williams earlier this week.