Koukash declares RFL unfit for purpose
LoveRL.com: Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash has branded RFL officials as unfit for purpose, and is attempting to force a vote of no confidence in the governing body’s board.
Koukash is reportedly lobbying other Super League chairmen to back his call for a special general meeting. Salford were recently docked six points for alleged salary cap transgressions, which the club are set to challenge, but Koukash insists that this has nothing to do with his call for a vote of confidence.
“I am in talks with a number of other chairmen to set up a meeting to bring a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the RFL,” said Koukash.
“They are not fit for purpose. We invest millions into rugby league and want what is the best for the sport. I have been in the sport for four years and commercially the game has gone backwards in that time. My biggest fear is that in two years’ time, when the new television deal kicks in, the NRL salary cap will be three times that of Super League and I hear they will be increasing the size of their squads from 25 to 32.
“That will result in good NRL players who normally come here staying in Australia and more of our elite players of the calibre of Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson going over there. I can envisage Super League becoming a feeder competition for the NRL.”
Look, there’s no doubt about one thing: Super League is going to be even more of a feeder competition for the NRL. There’s a bunch of reasons for that, but the two key ones at this point is this: the Australian television coverage of the sport not only covers all 8 games every weekend in addition to the magazine shows, and is of outstanding quality. The British coverage of the sport covers two games a week, and the TV commentators and personalities are a range of buffoons. Even when the on-field product is half-decent, the rampant boobery of the announcers renders it unwatchable.
But the fact is that it was the Super League club chairman in 2008 that voted for the ridiculous club eligibility rules where a 25-man squad had to consist of 10 “local” players, 10 “other British players” and 5 overseas players. Why on earth you would want to restrict the quality of participants in an entertainment product when every other sport was allowing in more international superstars when you can’t produce enough world class talent of your own is beyond my comprehension. Of course, that also set up another decade where the same 5 clubs were going to be invincible because 10 Super League standard local players don’t grow on trees. So the only way for the lower level clubs to catch up was if the top clubs just became terrible as well…. and welcome to 2016. In the meantime, the NRL and the Aussie exchange rate boomed, and you have yourself a nice little feeder competition.
Marwan might be right about the RFL (especially their baffling “marketing”), but he’s wrong if he thinks 12 Super League club chairman are going to do much better. The game’s not in crisis in the UK, it’s just stagnant. I expect we’ll get the usual solution we get when the game gets a metaphorical flat tire – they’ll just rotate the four tires and keep on driving.
P.S. Marwan, when you say you invest millions into the game, don’t forget – the supporters of the game collectively invest more than you. It’s their money you’re all wasting too, not just your own.