Salford City Reds: Dr Marwan Koukash completes takeover
Kuwait-born businessman Dr Marwan Koukash has completed his takeover of Super League outfit Salford City Reds.
Koukash, who is based in Liverpool and is also a racehorse owner, had been in discussions to buy the troubled club for more than a month.
The deal ends fears that Salford could be forced into administration.
"This is a very exciting day for Salford City Reds and a momentous day for rugby league," said Koukash following Thursday's announcement.
"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.
Salford City Reds timeline
18 October: Salford issued with winding-up petition by club sponsors Steuer Gregsson
29 October: Dispute with Gregsson settled out of court, but Revenue & Customs and two ex-players join the action
11 December: £1.5m rescue package involving Salford City Council and Peel Holdings rejected
7 January: Winding-up hearing adjourned until 4 February as chairman John Wilkinson reveals advanced talks with potential new investor
8 January: Kuwait-born businessman Dr Marwan Koukash revealed as potential new owner
31 January: Koukash completes takeover
"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.
"I have not purchased Salford City Reds just to save the club. I have done so because I want it to succeed."
Salford were also able to confirm two more new signings - half-back Liam Foran and back-row forward Vic Mauro from NRL club Manly Sea Eagles - while Connor Higgins has joined on a three-month trial from South Sydney.
They join Ryan McGoldrick and Martin Gleeson who have both signed two-year contracts, former St Helens forward Andrew Dixon, and loanees Rhys Williams and Jack Murphy.
The takeover comes after financial problems dogged the Reds throughout the 2012 season, with Revenue & Customs owed around £300,000, and ex-players Luke Patten and Vinnie Anderson due a combined total of £70,000 in unpaid wages.
But Koukash, who has confirmed that all creditors will be paid in full, will now take over at the side which had a winding-up petition issued against it, which was adjourned until 4 February.
A £1.5m rescue package had been rejected by councillors in December, with Reds supporters then staging a number of fundraising events and bucket collections before home games.
Neighbours Swinton Lions donated a large percentage of their share of the gate receipts from the pre-season friendly meeting between the two clubs on 6 January to aid Salford's survival bid.
And in mid-January, Salford were given another four weeks to settle their debts after long-serving chairman John Wilkinson revealed talks with a potential new investor - who at that stage was unnamed - were at an advanced stage.
Koukash had been discussing the deal with the Rugby Football League, as well as Salford City Council and Peel Holdings, the co-owners of the Salford City Stadium.
The 54-year-old was present at Salford's friendly against Wigan on 17 January and outlined his hopes for the club, saying the prospect of winning a trophy was the main reason for his decision to get involved in rugby league.