Marwan Koukash: Salford owner threatens 'all-out war' with RFL

Marwan Koukash
Marwan Koukash took control of Salford in January 2013

Salford owner Marwan Koukash says he will "go for all-out war" if the Red Devils are deducted points for breaching the salary cap.

The Rugby Football League charged the Super League side earlier this month.

They could be docked up to 20 points if found guilty at an RFL independent tribunal, on a date yet to be set.

Koukash also insisted his actions in gifting 2015 player of the year Niall Evalds with a Maserati car were carried out within the regulations.

In addition, he says Salford "have been treated unfairly" by the RFL in the three years since he took control of the club.

At a media conference on Thursday, Koukash pointed to their heavy fine and points deduction for briefly having an extra player on the pitch in a match against Castleford in 2013, contrasting it with a nominal fine handed to St Helens for a similar offence in 2006.

"I feel we're being treated unfairly and have been for the last three years, probably because I have the balls to say something to the RFL," he said.

"I'm not a follower and I will speak my mind. If it gets me into trouble, so what? If they start deducting points from us, I'll press the red button and go for all-out war."

'We have not done anything wrong'

The alleged salary cap breaches concern "contractual arrangements made with Salford players in 2014 and 2015".

If Salford - who lie seventh in Super League - are found to have exceeded the £1.825m wage ceiling in the last two years, a hefty points deduction could threaten their place in the top flight.

Wigan, the last club to be found in breach of the salary cap in 2007, were docked four points.

"In the event the club get deducted any points I will go to the highest court of the land to challenge the ruling," Koukash told BBC Radio Manchester.

A date has yet to be set for the RFL independent tribunal hearing and Koukash wants adequate time to prepare Salford's case.

"It is not the first time Salford have been treated unfairly," he added. "We might be smaller than the big boys but we are still a club and are entitled to the same rights.

"How do you receive a list of allegations without evidence and be expected to agree to a hearing date without being able to consult with your lawyers?

"So far all we have been given is a letter from the RFL stating a number of allegations being made against the club but no details whatsoever.

"I have examined those allegations and I fail to understand what we have done wrong. We might have made a mistake with one or two, but definitely we have not done anything wrong."

The RFL's response

"Any club that is charged in relation to breaches of the RFL operational rules and salary cap regulations will be presented with the full case file of evidence at least 14 days before the hearing takes place.

"The RFL will present its case, the club will have the opportunity to respond and it is then up to an independent tribunal to decide as to whether a breach has occurred and what the subsequent punishment should be."

Gareth O'Brien
Salford suffered a narrow 31-30 defeat by Warrington in their last Super League outing

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