Star date: 18th January 2013


During a press conference held after the Reds friendly against Wigan last night, Dr Marwan Koukash – or `Dr Cashcow' as he's being dubbed – told the media that a deal to take over Salford City Reds will be concluded as soon as possible.

No mention was made by the racehorse owner of the Reds takeover possibly being related to a new racecourse in Worsley…

Full story here…

Dr Marwan Koukash Dr Marwan Koukash Salford Reds v Wigan Warriors
Salford Reds v Wigan Warriors Salford Reds v Wigan Warriors Salford Reds v Wigan Warriors
click image to enlarge

Dr Marwan Koukash held his first Salford City Reds press conference last night, after a young Reds team was beaten 34-16 by Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly.

Dr Cashcow, as he's being dubbed, confirmed that a deal to take over the Reds will be concluded as soon as possible… "I hope it can be done in a few hours, certainly no longer than a few more days. Hopefully by Monday we can announce the deal" he said.

Someone at the press conference asked, with no irony, `What attracted you to Salford?'

"It's an available opportunity…I think it's a lovely sport to be involved in and I hope it has the same kind of success that racing gave me" Koukash replied, adding "Saving the Reds is not a big deal, what is a bigger deal is creating a team that can compete and win trophies for a number of years to come."

And in an indirect criticism of all parties involved – Peel Holdings, Salford Council and Salford City Reds – he added " The problem Salford would face is that it has no home, it's a tenant in a stadium…So Salford must look at ways of generating extra income from other commercial ventures.

"Around this stadium there are many opportunities to develop such ventures and part of the deal we're looking at is for Salford to have a share in the stadium as well as to be able to develop some of the surrounding lands"

The Stadium and `surrounding lands' are owned by Peel Holdings and Salford City Council, with Salford residents having a huge financial stake – the Stadium was built with £22million loans from the Council, plus land and public grants to the value of £10.7million (see here).

"That's why the deal is taking longer to arrange than was expected" Koukash said "I like to have the security that the deal on the stadium and some kind of development…to generate extra cash for the club for many years to come."

"It is tough negotiations…it's a matter of coming up with the right deal to suit all" he added "I'm extremely grateful for the way the Council helped us – from the Mayor, Deputy Mayor , the Chief Executive, they've all been first class."

The Council might have been `first class' with Dr Cashcow but not with their own community, which has been kept in the dark throughout the process. Indeed, not a word on the developments was mentioned at the full Council meeting this week. Or whether whatever deal put in place is best for Salford residents, whose cash has been used to finance both the Club and Stadium.

In another indirect criticism of the parties involved, Koukash added that it "is a fantastic stadium; unfortunately it's in the wrong location" – a sentiment that was obvious to anyone before the thing was built… "It is going to be in the right location once they put the roads in…and realistically we're looking, after a three or four year period, to increase the average crowd to almost 10,000 -12,000."

During the press conference nobody asked about the subject which is circulating around supporters' forums and social media… that one of the reasons the racehorse owner has got involved might be a certain racecourse that Peel Holdings have been trying to build in Worsley…

…the one that Department of Communities and Local Government stated was "an inappropriate development in the Green Belt and is in conflict with the Green Belt policies in Salford and Wigan…There would be very clear and very substantial harm to the Green Belt…" (see here and here for further info)

With a new ConDem Government in power favouring `sustainable development', what's the betting that Dr Cashcow, in league with Peel, and leaning on a grateful Salford Council, might have another go at resurrecting the racecourse plans?

Watch this space…

Photos by Gareth Lyons

salford pimprnel wrote
at 15:27:49 on 27 January 2013
Doe's any one know how to cancel an e-bay bid? I bid £25 for a couple of Mickey Mouse outfits, and it seems I'm 15 minutes away from owning Salford labour council and Salford reds.
salford pimpernel wrote
at 14:47:33 on 26 January 2013
@steveE. Salford labour council always says that, when a development gets thrown out of planning, what they really mean is there's not enough cash and freebies in it for us labour councillors, come back when you make us rich & comfy, nothing is ever dead in the water when money is involved, and this racecourse is no different, you can just see all the labour councillors and MPs with their top hats and tails and frilly dresses and hats in the private boxes sipping champaign looking at us the lower class in the stands
SteveE wrote
at 09:34:36 on 26 January 2013
I find it slightly amusing that because Dr Koucash owns a number of racehorses, that equates to him wanting to build a racecourse in the area. The attempts by Peel to do this were effectively killed off 3 years ago, after Peel originally touted in the idea in the late 1990s, subsequentely applied for planning permission, which was rejected by both Wigan and Salford, and eventually killed off by the Government. The land in question was nothing to do the stadium, and the reasons for rejection will still apply and are unlikely to be resolved . Dr Koukash has plans to gain ownership of the stadium, although this is unclear if it means attempting to buy out Salford Council and also Peel. As Salford Council took out loans for the stadium, that may be a rather complex transaction and one, if it were possible, that would take time. Peel have their own plans for the area so they don't really have any interest in selling out. My guess is that he is looking at a hotel development as he has been involved with these in the past, but again this conflicts with Peel wider plans in the area which also includes hotel developments at nearby sites. Again Dr Koukash stated he was looking at opportunities outside the stadium, and he seems to be trying to negotiate a deal to buy the club with guaranteed development around the stadium to act as a revenue stream for the club. He may have a vision , but he is working on the assumption that he can get 10k to 12k crowds with sucesss, even Wilkinson did not stretch that far. Salfors Reds are overshadowed by football , always have been and always will be. The first phase of the road development will make little dfference , it may do for Sale as they will mostly be hitting the stadium from the south. It will be interesting times ahead.
salford pimpernel wrote
at 08:22:08 on 26 January 2013
@ mark. didn't the mayor say there is a lot of poverty and deprivation in Salford, so how is a racecourse going to help them, doesn't gambling hit the most vulnerable in our communities the hardest, people trying to chase the dream of getting out of poverty and so becoming more poverty stricken, vicious circle, look ar rochdale council in the news recently on gambling £70+ million. creating jobs, 95 % will be low paid. Salford city fc, Salford council don't do nothing that is not in there interest or there labour concillors or developers, the land salford city fc is on, is lot more valuable than the land the council were going to give them and probably would have been in a crap location, probably not even in salford. on salford reds, there not in salford any more, not proper salford. new owner better buying old ground and building a new compact stadium there where it's fan base was. ......ps at the moment there's more life in these three dead star's than there is in salford rugby club ( ok, Lucan's not a star but he's better known than salford rugby club ).
City blue wrote
at 08:21:17 on 26 January 2013
@Mark, do me a favour and lend me £50, i will only give you half back though, but that's ok because as you state in your comment that's "better than nothing". Oh and i think you will find that city fans have stuck with their club though everything for many, many years, i hardly think you can compare them to Salford reds.
mark wrote
at 17:36:58 on 25 January 2013
I'm not asking the council to fund the club. I don't want that to happen again. Where did I say that I did want this? All I'm saying is that if he buys the councils stake in the ground, which everyone is moaning about the council owning, then how is that bad? If they only get part of the money back it's better than nothing, isn't i it? Also, if the team starts winning, the attendances will pick up, people like a winning team, ahem, U, City. By the way, if you are seeing dead celebrities, you need help. Also, a few years back, Salford council were in talks with a property developer about developing the ground at moor lane. However, Salford City FC have a long lease on the ground, the developer offered to build them a small stadium on the request of the council. As it happened, the developer lost interest due to the economic climate We do want a Salford City Reds in Salford and we do not want it to be funded by the council, so how is this takeover not good for all concerned? So what if a racecourse is built, would it not bring revenue into the city?
salford pimpernel wrote
at 07:19:30 on 25 January 2013
absolutely fantastic news, council cuts abandoned, council gets it money back on the white elephant also known as the Salford stadium, just phoned Elvis he said it's true he heard it from Lord Lucan who heard it from Marilyn Monroe who's sleeping with someone at the club. mark get real, these negotiations that are going on about this club, when it comes to people getting there money back the Salford tax payer is going to be way down the list, this bloke holds all the cards as does any other buyer,if peel or Salford council start demanding he can just walk away let it fold then buy it on the cheap, if its such a great investment why has he not already bought it, is one of the problems the crowd, he needs 8,000 to break even, remember in its hour of need a couple of weeks ago only 1800 turned up and how many of them was opposition fans, or is he only interested because he has other business plans in the area, may be a racecourse., and this is one way to have Salford council in his pocket, wont be the first person to do this, this council has a track record of it, this labour council has proven it has no interest in the Salford electorate or their views, as in the past labour councillors have shown that they can be bought cheaply. PS mark if if Salford city fc would have approach Salford council for funding what do you think the answer would have been, and also remember they stopped funding for the Salford star, because the Salford star wouldn't kiss their arse and wouldn't keep Salford labour corruption out of the public domain. if you wont a Salford reds then fund it, dont ask the 99% of Salfordian who don't give a stuff, to fund it for you.
mark wrote
at 20:07:11 on 24 January 2013
Do you know that he isn't doing all this? If so, pray tell, let us all know what you guys at the Salford Star know! If not, hold your horses, stop moaning about what is looking set to be the biggest thing to happen to the reds in years, and get behind the club. Think you could manage that?
Salford Star wrote
at 17:40:59 on 24 January 2013
See Mark's comment below...Do you know something we don't? He's doing all this? What a star! No-one's told us! Do you work for him?
mark wrote
at 17:36:54 on 24 January 2013
So him paying off the clubs debt, including that to the council, and buying the councils share in the stadium is bad for tax payers? How is this bad if the council are getting their money back?
Salford Star wrote
at 13:09:28 on 24 January 2013
See Mark's comment below... This is nowt to do with the editor's views on rugby - this is about whether any deal is best for the council tax payers of Salford, financially or environmentally. If Salford City FC or Swinton Lions were getting bucket loads of public money to keep them afloat in a non-transparent way, of course the Star would be investigating. By the way, Mr Kingston doesn't actually `hate' rugby league, just knows nowt about it, like cycling or fishing or extreme worm charming. Many of the Star supporters and contributors are Reds fans - and we have reported on games in the past and publicised fundraising efforts to keep the club afloat - but they are also unhappy with the way the club's finances have been handled. As far as Mr Koukash is concerned, his private investment into a private club in none of the Star's business - except where it concerns public money and potential motives which might adversely affect the people of Salford. Put it this way - the Star sucks up to no-one, just because they've got a few bob.
mark wrote
at 12:54:01 on 24 January 2013
Again, Mr Kingston, would you try to turn this good news story into a bad news one if he was pumping money into Salford City FC? No, because you hate rugby.
Centre ground wrote
at 09:27:35 on 22 January 2013
@SalfordRes, I hardly think this website is Left wing, left wingers would not be objecting to the actions of a Labour (left wing) council, which is what the website often does. I don't identify this website site as siting with any political alliance because quite rightly they often point out that they are all tossers no matter what party. With regards to the club nobody who objects to the loans given to them wants to see them go under, what they want is the cash to be repaid and for Salford council to stop funding private business and private sports clubs. P.S you need to do yourself a quick on-line search and find out what a "rascist comment" is before alleging such, as all you are doing is devaluing the term from it's proper use.
salford pimpernel wrote
at 09:27:28 on 22 January 2013
if all the people slagging off the Salford star on this page turned up and paid to watch Salford reds play you could double there attendance crowd. also it baffles me where doe's the racism come in to it,or is this being used to try and shut down the debate
David Lyons wrote
at 03:54:12 on 22 January 2013
Dr Cashcow? A rather childish piece of journalism, in my opinion. Not the type of article to get the Star credibility,an apology is in order.
SalfordRes wrote
at 20:40:39 on 21 January 2013
Do you think using rascist comments regarding someones name is appropiate for a so called left wing website.Maybe you could get a job at the sun writing headlines like that.
True Salfordian wrote
at 14:55:14 on 21 January 2013
So if the club folds how much will the council get back?. I realise you are intellectually challenged on this matter so I'll work it out for you the answer is nothing repeat nothing.GET BEHIND THE CLUB but why bother when its easier to insult the would be new owner in the hope the deal falls through. As a longtime disabled supporter who thanks to this government is struggling to get by one of my few pleasures like many from Weaste is supporting the reds through thin and thinner shame this flippant site doesn't agree or like differing opinions. So answer the question who dubbed the phrase Mr Cash cow.
Salford Star wrote
at 07:01:06 on 21 January 2013
See last few comments below...And you will be the same people who probably slagged off the Star for daring to question Council loans, grants and cash to the Reds in the past? Will the deal be best for Salford council tax payers? No-one yet knows. As far as wanting to see the Reds fold, this is garbage. Hopefully this will be a bright new beginning but our job is hold public bodies to account, be that on finance or environment issues. Shame you lot don't get as worked up about cuts to vulnerable people in this city. Hope to see you `true Salfordians' on the upcoming Salford Against The Cuts demos...
True Salfordian wrote
at 06:46:05 on 21 January 2013
I note no reply as to the dubbing of the insulting name "Dr Cashcow" a term used nowhere else but this site. It's quite clear to anyone who reads this site that the Salford Star would like nothing better than see the Reds fold. You're a disgrace to the City!!!. Are you Karen Garrido in disguise?
Observer wrote
at 06:45:46 on 21 January 2013
Too busy to get the basics right? About sums it up....
Mark wrote
at 06:45:41 on 21 January 2013
Typical Salford Star, trying to turn a story about a man wanting to SAVE Salford Reds and repay the DEBTS they owe, including to the Council, into a bad news story for the city. Mr Kingston, would you have any issues if this man wanted to pump money into Salford City FC? Thought not. Football does not have to be at odds with rugby mate, they can co-exist. Salford Star only like to report about conspiracy theories and like to scaremonger. Grow up. Harbinger of doom all the time guys, try, and I know this may be hard for you, being positive once in a while.
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 16:59:10 on 20 January 2013
In response to Mr Walsh, Personally, I've got no vendetta against Salford Reds, their directors or their staff. What will be interesting though, is who gets paid their money back first..The Directors and their companies ???- The fans through a drop in the ticket price ???- Peel Holdings (surely not???) - or perhaps the people of Salford, who's lead councillors have been (until recently) letting the club use the council coffers like its own private piggy bank...you talk of Salford RL's Potential Loss as if it were a berievement - want a professional sports team ? - Get your "Directors" to Fund it Properly!
salford pimpernel wrote
at 17:17:34 on 19 January 2013
being a professional sports team, means being able to pay and support your self and not using council tax payers money to prop up a mickey mouse club with mickey mouse crowds, amazing these Salford fans they would rather see the collapse of this city as long as this club survives, look around Salford fans, there are more deserving cases to spend our money on than a poxy second rate rugby club that less than 1% of Salford people give a stuff about. Dr cash-cow? he must be if he's willing to waste money on this club, also if this club is such a great investment why is peel not taking it over with their billions? because they are businessmen, and they didn't get where they are by throwing money down the drain .
Salford Star wrote
at 07:39:57 on 19 January 2013
See WC's comment below - so we got an `e' and an `l' the wrong way round so shoot us...We're too busy writing articles about Slaford to be arsed with this...
wct wrote
at 07:33:51 on 19 January 2013
spell check? Worsley? where's Worsely see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryu5_QW7CJ4&feature=player_embedded#! for directions
Andrew Walsh wrote
at 22:51:02 on 18 January 2013
Who is dubbing him Dr Cashcow? Whole article is based on pure speculation and this seemingly never ending vendetta you have againt Salford RLFC. Of course mistakes have been made but it seems you would rather see the city of Salford be without a professional sports team. That would be a terrible day indeed for a city that has had a club proudly representing it (and its people) for 133 years and counting. I'm also struggling to see how a racecourse is bad for the city, whatever the Department of Communities and Local Goverment said.
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