Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

RFL Too Harsh Says Koukash ; Owner Marwan Sees Red after Salford's Two-Point Penalty

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

RFL Too Harsh Says Koukash ; Owner Marwan Sees Red after Salford's Two-Point Penalty

Article excerpt

MARWAN Koukash believes Salford's two-point penalty for fielding an extra player was too harsh.

The Reds slumped to the bottom of Super League after the RFL hit them with the points deduction and a Pounds 5,000 fine last week for having 14 players on the pitch during the win over Castleford Tigers on April 27.

It was the result of an appeal by the club, who had originally just been fined Pounds 10,000.

But Koukash insists the club have been unfairly penalised.

"I feel this punishment for us was harsh," said the Reds owner.

"It was not done to give us an advantage. It was a genuine mistake on our part and we have learned from it.

"We accept that, but remain disappointed with the outcome. When a fine was imposed we thought it was harsh and that is why we appealed. A precedent was set in my view back in 2006 when Saints were fined Pounds 100 with no points deduction for having 14 players on the pitch during a match against Hull.

"I accept the fact Saints lost the match but both mistakes were the same. What we did was not done deliberately."

Meanwhile, Koukash has challenged his players, who host St Helens on Friday night, to show they are worthy and capable of being part of a newlook squad for the 2014 campaign.

"We will be announcing some very big signings for 2014 in August but places are still available within the squad for next year," said Koukash, who is in his first season in charge at the club.

"The players still have so much to play for. That's why I want them to finish this season strongly and show us they want to remain part of what we are trying to achieve.

"The incentive and opportunity is there for them to be part of this.

"I still view Salford as a sleeping giant within rugby league. The club's potential is vast.

"Brian Noble has been very fair and honest since he came in and took over as head coach.

"He was reluctant to splash the cash, preferring instead to give the players we already have every chance to show what they can offer in a fresh start.

"Brian made it perfectly clear to every player they would have the chance to show what they are capable of.

"He has been more than fair and done exactly this. …

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