Dr. Marwan Koukash
The BBC are reporting that the wealthy owner of Super League side Salford Reds, Dr Marwan Koukash, is looking to take over a football club. Dr Koukash refuses to be drawn on the identity of the club he’s looking at, but describes it as “a huge club previously” which “just needs that little bit of extra investment to take it to the next level.” Dr Koukash goes on to say “By bringing in the personnel that were previously associated with the club at its heyday and bringing people in who are genuine club supporters it will excite the fans. Once I get the football club I will definitely have my own TV channel which will cover my three sports; racing, rugby and football.”
There is plenty there to encourage speculation, and in the knowledge that the current owners of Leeds United seem not averse to selling a controlling interest in the club, many Leeds fans will sit up and take notice when a wealthy Kuwaiti speaks of acquiring “a huge club previously”. More intriguing still is the mention of personnel previously associated with the club “at its heyday”. Leeds United supporters might ask “which heyday” as the nineties were an era of comparative success and prosperity, though not to be compared to the truly great era of the sixties and seventies when Don Revie created a global force in the hitherto humble location of Elland Road. Some “previous personnel” might be welcomed back with open arms; others decidedly not.
It would appear that Marwan Koukash is looking at Championship level for his entry into the world of football; he admits that he almost bought a second tier club before he became involved in racing. This begs the question of which other Championship club might fit the Koukash blueprint. There are a number of sleeping giants in this league, as well as a few who are perhaps just big lads having a snooze. Most neutral onlookers though would concede that Leeds United is by far the biggest name outside the Premier League, and it is this fact that makes Leeds at least as likely as any other club in the Championship to be scrutinised by a man who is willing and able to make the kind of investment which could elevate the club back to its accustomed spot in the top flight.
The time scale mentioned by Dr Koukash is “within the next month or so”. If true, then some club is going to see big changes before Christmas, and whether this will prove a galvanising force to the new season, or more of a disruptive factor that could explode carefully-laid plans is a matter of some uncertainty. Takeovers can be very, very good for a club, and they can be just the opposite. Watch this space.