McManus takes aim at Koukash

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus has hit back at Salford owner Sr Marwan Koukash, in a pointed column in the Manchester Evening News.

Koukash made some incendiary comments this week, denouncing how rugby leaguer is being run as a sport. He also hit out about the blocking of a proposal for a ‘marquee’ player at each club to be exempt from the salary cap.

So enraged was Koukash, that he ripped up the RFL charter at a press conference, before declaring he was “addicted” to rugby league.

McManus has reacted with some asperity to the comments regarding the marquee player proposal.

“I was therefore happy that this week’s Super League AGM saw ten clubs vote to defer consideration of the potentially inflationary  ‘marquee player proposal’ to a date after the new league system has time to prove itself and bed in,” he wrote.

“More importantly, it is to be reconsidered in conjunction with other critically related matters regarding salary cap and British player production and retention.

“It was  hilarious that Salford claimed that it was voted down by ‘RFL friendly clubs’ when the proposal was created by the RFL in the first instance and re tabled by the RFL subsequently – you certainly don’t need enemies with friends like that! 

“It is nevertheless heart-warming that we can still maintain a keen sense of humour even when we discuss the most serious of matters.”

Koukash was not the only target for the St Helens chairman’s pen, however. Former Great Britain winger, and now Sky Sports pundit, Brian Carney has also come under fire, for making the suggestion that the salary cap should be scrapped altogether.

“What is not humorous however is the normally very sensible and impressive Brian Carney suggesting that the salary cap be disbanded altogether.” McManus continued.

“He says that rugby league clubs did not go insolvent before its adoption. I’m afraid there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.

“In fact, the big three of Saints, Wigan and Leeds were all seriously bust due to overspending on players and had to be bailed out by myself, Dave Whelan and Paul Caddick respectively. Other clubs even had to merge to save themselves.

“It was because of this that the salary cap was adopted and with the unanimous and continuing approval of clubs. It is the envy of other sports. Super League was saved by it and would be deeply vulnerable without it.”

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