Marwan Koukash: Super League 'must split from RFL', says Salford owner

Marwan Koukash
Marwan Koukash described the RFL as being "not fit for purpose"

Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash says the Super League needs to split from the governance of the Rugby Football League, and wants the other 11 chairmen to back the move.

Koukash plans to meet with his counterparts within two weeks with a view to them discussing the possibility of governing their own competition.

He also demanded an independent tribunal to review Salford's appeal against their six-point deduction.

"I'm talking about a split," he said.

"Super League clubs need full control over their finances, referees, and the compliance unit, everything."

Koukash made his announcement at media conference on Wednesday, only a day after he had released a statement in which he described the RFL as "not fit for purpose" and called for a vote of no confidence in the governing body.

Threat "to the status of the sport"

Koukash's frustrations with the RFL were based around:

  • Inability to monitor the salary cap
  • Lack of commercial revenue
  • Expansion at expense of heartland clubs
  • RFL looking after 'big' clubs

"If we're not careful we could end up becoming a feeder competition to the NRL," Koukash said. "And it may threaten the status of the sport.

"We could become semi-professional. I look at the people leading us, and I look at what has gone on here and the lack of commercial income that they are generating - do I think they're capable of taking us to the next level? I don't think so."

"Disgusting" penalty

The RFL punished Salford for breaches of the salary cap back in 2014 which included exceeding the £1.825m ceiling, fining the club £5,000 in addition to the points deduction.

Salford, Koukash claimed, did not know the injured Jake Mullaney counted against the salary cap when he signed Kevin Locke as replacement, maintaining the former had been 'de-registered' with the RFL.

He also outlined that the breaches related to 'Player A for a car, Player B for side payment, Player C and D for rent payments and Player E for leadership training', but that the car and side payment charges were dismissed.

However, he said: "They [the RFL] claimed we should have declared rent payments for Player C and D and for money paid for Player E.

"Regarding Player E, the RFL knew about it in October 2014, why did they not take action then? They had known about it.

"Dishing out a six-point penalty despite the facts being in their possession almost two years ago. To charge us now is disgusting."

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