Dr Marwan Koukash has issued another angry reprimand to the RFL, following reports that his desire to see a ‘marquee’ player exemption on the salary cap was thwarted.
The move was apparently blocked before it even went to a vote, at a meeting of Super League clubs early this week.
This prompted some interesting scenes at Salford’s press conference this week, with Koukash taking centre stage.
The Salford owner ripped up the RFL charter in front of the assembled journalists, before declaring: “I have no intention of signing if you do not like my involvement.”
The Palestinian-born entrepreneur then stated his passion for rugby league, and his worry that the game was heading in the wrong direction.
He also hinted that a breakaway might be in the best interests of the sport.
“I am investing in the region of £2 million a year into this club and I want to make sure something I am investing in has a future,” he said.
“I am determined to stay in the sport. I am seriously addicted to rugby league.”
“I have lost all confidence in the RFL running of the Super League.
“The time has come for them to step sideways and let the clubs run the competition.
“A breakaway at this stage is very dramatic but I strongly believe in a change in leadership.”
Koukash believes that the RFL as it currently stands is not fit for purpose, and has singularly failed in its aim of growing the sport over the last five years.
“The people running Super League have failed to grow the sport over the last five years and the time has come for them to step aside and let the clubs run the competition.
“I received verbal promises from various authorities last July that a marquee player would be introduced but the clubs, with the support of the RFL, last week managed to block the latest vote.
“They now want to discuss it in November and that to me means brushing it under the carpet.”
Meanwhile, Blake Solly, Super League‘s general manager, insisted that the marquee player exemption idea was not completely killed off.
The proposal might yet be reconsidered by the Super League clubs in November.
“On this occasion the clubs have said they don’t think it’s for now,” Solly told Sky Sports.
“They’re interested in the concept of a marquee player but they’d rather defer it until the end of the year when they meet again in October, when they will have a look at the salary cap in general and in particular the introduction of the marquee player.
“Everyone agrees that having players of a higher profile would boost the comeptition, however what the clubs and league are keen to do is to make sure that that rule does not sacrifice the financial sustainability of the clubs, which is why they decided they needed to have a broader look.”