Tag: Marwan Koukash

Statement | Red Devils Season Update & big news from Marwan

Super League Salford remain a Club in transition since Marwan Koukash gifted his ownership of the Club to the Community.

As the transfer of control was only approved by the Rugby Football League on eve of the 2018 season, time was always going to be of the essence to merely keep the famous old Club afloat, let alone replicate the successes of the campaign before.

With very little funds available to enhance the playing squad, 2018’s Salford Red Devils have begun to look increasingly vulnerable despite the best efforts of the team and the band of loyal supporters.

Club Director and Holding Company Member Andrew Rosler states: “Whilst prior to the season we had many initiatives planned to explain the new structure and start the marketing push for Season Ticket sales, the delays meant we had to scrap all that and concentrate instead on the opening game of the season. It was incredibly frustrating to not be able to announce anything for months, in fact there were times just after Christmas when I doubted it would happen at all.”

Prior to the Season we were broadly satisfied that the Club would approach a breakeven position but the lack of pre-season marketing plus a general feeling of uncertainty meant that Season ticket sales were lower than expected. In addition, the home attendances have been quite poor compared to last year as is our away support. In fact most of the income has been down on last year. The playing squad had been contracted to the Club before the end of last season but for the first time in recent history didn’t have the support of the benefactor, so this Season survival on and off the pitch are major priorities”.

Given, the likely restructure to the entire competition especially the format of promotion and relegation this is the most crucial season, probably ever, for the Club.

The Club are currently in 8th position and will be pushing hard for a Top 8 finish in the regular season, which is a great achievement given the size and spend of the current squad, however, given the financial position is still uncertain and a general feeling of despair it is understandable that fans are getting frustrated.

They may not see that the many people in and around the Club, some of whom are volunteers, have been working around the clock to turn around the fortunes of the Club and have already put in place some long term strategies.

However, with the need to raise additional working capital and to strengthen the Squad this year and to build a competitive squad for next year some drastic action was needed.

Director Andrew Rosler: “For many weeks we have been engaging with the Supporters Trust with an emphasis on fund raising and sustainability,” he continues “They have been considering the various fan ownership and fund raising models that have been facilitated by Supporters-Direct, mainly in Football”

The Club can anounce that it will formally begin discussions with Supporters Direct to consider a number of options that will give fans the chance to raise funds for the Club, take ownership and have more say in how the Club should be operated. Details of the various schemes will be made public in the very near future.

As an incentive to motivate the whole Community to get behind this scheme, former owner Marwan has now offered to write off the entire debt owed to him, even though he has not asked for any repayment since his departure. But this is conditional on the Club becoming self financing for the rest of this season and next.

Andrew Rosler comments: “I think Marwan felt that having gifted his shares, the local Community would vote with their feet to demonstrate just how important the Club is to the City. He has been disappointed with the declining attendances and felt that the demand just wasn’t there. However he has now bought in to what we are trying to do and can see that the fans can shape the fortunes of the Club directly. It is an amazing gesture to write off such a large amount of debt but he is testing the fans and the whole community so do its bit and prove him wrong.

In addition, the Club will attempt to raise additional short term funds by shortly issuing half season tickets for the remainder of the season. There will also be a big push to target far more local businesses to buy season tickets. The Club is also delighted to announce that as a further gesture Marwan has also offered to match all half season ticket proceeds!

Paul McNally, Head of Communications at the Red Devils said: “Announcing, half season tickets on the back of four bad defeats would ordinarily be a tough sell however the facts are quite simply that this is the most intense and important period in the Club’s history. We need every lapsed, casual and disillusioned fan to stick it out and support the team like you’ve never before.”

Andrew Rosler agrees: “I think all of us are fed up with turning up every with season with no real expectations other than mediocrity and disappointment. The Club has to almost re-invent itself rapidly and challenge all the objections that have been levied against it for years. We have some fantastic ideas which we will be rolling out soon, including the very important local player development and there could finally be a great future for the Club. But in the here and now we need to all work together to make the fund raising schemes work and more than ever back the team no matter what.”

Michael Dobson set to leave the Red Devils

Michael Dobson is set to leave the Salford Red Devils at the end of the 2017 season to return to Australia with his family.
Unfortunately, Dobson was not expected to play again this season due to needing an operation on a thumb injury sustained in the defeat against Wigan but this has now been confirmed as his last game for the Red Devils.
Dobson joined the Red Devils from Newcastle Knights back in 2015 and has helped Salford survive a Million Pound Game and guided the side to their first Challenge Cup semi-final for twenty years.
Dobson said: “I’ve been thinking about it for the last year and I’ve got a young family and it’s time to take the family home.
“I’ve been here for ten seasons now and we’re just ready to go back, settle down and take a step back from full-time rugby league and move onto the next phase.
“I’m going to play a little bit semi-professionally back in Australia and working within another club trying to get my foot in the door within the realm of coaching and development.
“I’ve loved it over here I’ve been here for ten years and, I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d be here this long but that’s probably why we’ve loved it so much.
“Obviously, I’ve loved the Salford Red Devils. We’ve had a hard three years but a good three years they’re a great bunch of lads and coaching staff here and the people who are involved with the club are great have been great, so it was a tough decision.
“Marwan’s ambition alongside the quality of players at the club was the reason I signed and since Ian Watson has come in everything’s really clicked and it’s made it hard to leave because of how close-knit we’ve become but, of course, family has to come first.”
Head Coach Ian Watson has coached Dobson for almost two years now and knows how important the Australian half-back has been to the Red Devils rise.
Ian Watson said: “Myself and Dobbo sat down in pre-season together to discuss the possibility of this being his last season due to him having a lovely young family, his wife Sally and two young boys, and he felt the time was right to take them back home.
“While we hoped Dobbo may change his mind his decision to take his family home is the right one for him but as a person, and a player, he will be greatly missed by both the coaching staff and the playing group here at Salford Red Devils.
“Dobbo is someone you can greatly rely on to commit 100% to the cause which is shown in the amount of respect he commands from the coaching staff and players. He has helped drive and install a fantastic work ethic within the team and club as captain.
“His attitude is one that doesn’t rely on his talents, which are obvious to see, but his desire and hard-working nature which rubs off on all the players around him. His professionalism and performances over the last couple of years for Salford have been a massive reason as to why we’ve progressed to being a top eight club.
“On a personal note, it’ll be sad to see Dobbo leave and I’d like to thank him as he has helped me massively as a young coach with the discussions and time we’ve spent together. I wish him and his family all the very best back in Australia and I’m sure we’ll see Dobbo be very successful in the future whether it be in a coaching position or any other ventures he wishes to pursue.”
Dobson points to the Challenge Cup semi-final as the highlight of his time with the Red Devils.
He said: “To make it to the Challenge Cup semi-final was really special. The day, the occasion and the atmosphere was unbelievable and it showed the potential the club has as a whole with the players, staff and fans combining to be successful.
“It makes it tougher for me knowing this club will be playing in the big games going forward but hopefully the fans get behind the boys every week because I certainly will be from home.”
Red Devils owner Dr Marwan Koukash said: “Everyone would like to thank Michael Dobson for his commitment and effort to the Red Devils over the past three seasons. It has been fantastic to have someone as professional and talented as Michael in our side.”