Just four weeks ago Martin Vickers, Salford Council's £134,000 a year Strategic Director, left the Council to `concentrate on a family business'. Chief Executive Barbara Spicer even put an internal mail around telling staff the news.
The Salford Star understands that Vickers walked away with a pay-off totalling £78,000 – which in itself was a scandal at a time of horrendous cuts to services for some of the most vulnerable people in the city.
But to add further insult to the people of Salford, despite taking the pay-off, Vickers had possibly already lined up a job with Marwan Koukash at Salford City Reds. There have been rumours flying around Salford and the Council for weeks that he was joining Salford Reds.
Yesterday the proof was finally revealed as Vickers appeared on the platform at the `Salford Red Devils' re-launch of the rugby club, smiling and clapping, a diplomatic distance away from Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart.
Martin Vickers was on the Salford Council team that negotiated the takeover of Salford City Reds by Marwan Koukash - which notoriously included a deal whereby the new owner agreed to pay back to Salford Council only 16% of the Council's £1.5million outstanding loan over five years, with the remaining £1.26million spread until 2038, interest free (see previous Salford Star article for further details – click here).
It's been widely reported today that Koukash offered a £1million contract to Wigan Warriors star Sam Tomkins as part of his `Red Devilution' to make Salford rugby club one the best in the Super League.
Martin Vickers was also on the board of the Salford City Stadium, the Salford Council/Peel Holdings joint venture company, until he resigned recently. Koukash has said that he wants to buy the stadium and unveiled plans yesterday to redevelop the land around the site into a casino, waterpark and retail units
At the January press conference when Koukash took over the Salford City Reds, Salford Mayor Ian Stewart praised Martin Vickers and the Council team "on securing this very, very exciting situation". He added that "The City Council will continue to provide help and support to the club in ensuring that Salford City Reds takes its rightful place in the top flight…"
He can say that again!
Meanwhile, Salford council tax payers might well be wondering if they can get the huge pay-off back from Martin Vickers. And who stood to benefit in the negotiations between Salford Council and Koukash.
Salford Council refused to comment, while a promised statement from Salford Reds hasn't materialised as yet.
See also previous Salford Star articles:
• Salford Reds Takeover Complete As Stadium Reports £4.3million Loss – click here
• Fat Cat Vickers Leaves Top Council Job – click here
• Salford Council's Amazing PR Outburst on Salford Reds… "It's no surprise that the Salford Star should respond so negatively to an agreement that is good for the council, good for the Reds and good for the city. But every silver lining has a cloud, eh?" - click here
Main photo shows Martin Vickers, top left, on stage at the press conference, as seen on Granada Reports