Marwan Koukash to hand over control of Salford Red Devils

Salford owner Marwan Koukash has announced his intention to hand control of the club to a community trust.

Koukash rescued the club from financial ruin in 2013 but has now decided to hand it over to a community trust.

The 58-year-old says his decision is not connected to the running battle he has fought with the game’s governing body, the Rugby Football League, during his four-year tenure.

Instead, he says it is in his own interests and insists it will not impact on the future of the Red Devils.

Koukash said in a statement: “Moving forward I strongly believe that the additional investment in recruitment towards the end of last season, combined with an off-season in which the coaches can prepare, we will see the team improve further and genuinely compete for a top-four finish and an equally successful cup run.

“I further believe that commercial decisions I have recently taken, combined with the business partnerships and arrangements I have already secured will, with the strong support of the local community who buy season tickets and regularly attend games, mean that the club can become self-sufficient.

“As I have always said, I am merely a custodian of the club, which will always be bigger than any individual who owns it, and will continue longer than any one person can run it.

“To this end the club, quite rightly, must always belong to the fans and the local community of Salford.

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“I will continue to hold very high regard for our fans and the wider community supporting us and because of this I have rejected lucrative offers to relocate or rebrand the club because I have seen that there is an overwhelming passion from the fans to retain the Salford name.

“I have now instructed my legal team, subject to RFL approval, to establish a trust to take ownership of the club for the benefit of the fans and the local community of Salford.

“I will appoint a board of trustees to include local Salford businessmen and a representative of the fans to be elected by the season ticket holders, which will ensure the fans have a prominent voice in the running of the club.

“I am confident that the new structure at the club under the guidance of the Trustees will see the club continue to make progress on and off the pitch.”